It is worthy reflecting connected the information that a cardinal constituent of the celebrated papers was besides a declaration of a antithetic cardinal information the founders hoped would beryllium established arsenic the bedrock rule upon which governmental and societal beingness successful America would beryllium organized: the “self-evident” information “that each men are created equal.”
It is besides worthy reflecting connected the durability and vitality of that truth, connected the nation’s vexed committedness to surviving by that truth. Certainly the federation has been struggling implicit its past of radical injustice and inequity, which has embedded racism and its attendant unit stubbornly successful the social, political, economical structures of American life. Addressing this structural unit and inequity is cardinal to realizing the cardinal information the founders articulated.
Another content strategy profoundly embedded successful the structures of American life, besides severely astatine likelihood with the self-evident information of people’s equality, is what we mightiness telephone the “Amazon” mentality, oregon possibly adjacent much appropriately the “Bezos” mentality. This mentality operates nakedly and proudly according to the stark content successful the inequality of people, which besides contains the corollary content that frankincense immoderate radical merit oregon are entitled to much than others, person lives that substance much than others, and are much oregon little than disposable than others.
A recent portion in The New York Times by Jodi Kantor, Karen Weise, and Grace Ashford, exposing moving conditions successful an Amazon warehouse, underscores however Bezos’ rejection of the founders’ self-evident information is operationalized successful ways antagonistic to ideology successful the workplace. The portion details however workers’ each movements are minutely scrutinized, however they hazard being fired for adjacent 1 disconnected time successful which they don’t execute maximum ratio successful their movements, generating an ambiance of panic and anxiety. The portion emphasizes however Amazon takes large attraction of packages but devotes small attraction to its workers.
Rooted successful Jeff Bezos’ content that radical are inherently lazy, Amazon treats workers arsenic disposable, churning done workers precisely due to the fact that it does not privation a stable, semipermanent workforce that mightiness go “disgruntled” implicit time. While Bezos believes that radical implicit clip volition effort to fig retired however to exert arsenic small vigor arsenic imaginable successful doing their jobs, which is wherefore Amazon has specified changeless turnover successful its workforce, it’s hard to deliberation helium believes this astir himself.
People similar Bezos, meaning galore of the wealthiest among us, simply judge they are antithetic from and superior to others. It’s a mentation of supremacist thought we are often beauteous quiescent astir successful American.
Again, portion Bezos is an exemplar of this creed, helium is hardly alone. The content that immoderate lives substance much than others are held not conscionable by the wealthiest but alternatively matter-of-factly and unquestioningly infuses American civilization and politics, which mostly ratify gross economical inequality.
Take Robert Mercer, a reclusive hedge-fund manager and billionaire, who became a large fiscal unit down Trump’s 2016 run and presidency and was besides a large stakeholder successful Breitbart News. According to a erstwhile elder enforcement astatine his company, David Magerman, who opposed what helium characterized arsenic Mercer’s supremacist and racist politics, “Bob believes that quality beings person nary inherent worth different than however overmuch wealth they make. A feline has value, he’s said, due to the fact that it provides pleasance to humans. But if idiosyncratic is connected payment they person antagonistic value. If helium earns a 1000 times much than a schoolteacher, past he’s a 1000 times much valuable.”
It should beryllium wide this content strategy is antagonistic to, hostile to, democracy. Realized successful societal and economical structures and promoted done argumentation successful the governmental realm, specified a content strategy results successful an anti-democratic civilization and acceptable of institutions.
This is wherefore it is truthful important that successful precocious June, astatine its 30th planetary convention, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 1 of America’s largest labour unions with 1.4 cardinal members, passed a resolution to assistance unionize Amazon.
While it is important that Congress code the battle connected ideology successful the signifier of elector suppression authorities and effort to curb economical inequality, having ample non-governmental organizations amassing and giving coherence to people’s powerfulness and dependable is hugely important to challenging the anti-democratic content systems and structures organizing American life.
As I wrote precocious successful the pages of PoliticusUsa, Amazon is an exemplar of firm efforts to erode democracy. The institution actively undermined the unionization thrust by its workers successful Bessemer, Alabama, engaging successful tactics that prevented a escaped and just election. If we can’t person escaped and just elections for our authorities officials, we don’t person democracy. The aforesaid holds true, though, passim our society, including the workplace.
And, arsenic I’ve been trying to stress, taking connected these undemocratic structures passim American society, is besides taking connected these unsafe and inhumane anti-democratic content systems that substance the governmental and societal dynamics that devalue American lives and deem their voices little meaningful successful determining however our governmental and societal institutions relation and however the fruits of our corporate labors are shared.
So, the Teamsters solution to instrumentality connected Amazon globally is simply a main organizing effort for ideology itself.
Randy Korgan, the Teamsters’ nationalist manager for Amazon, said, “Together we volition combat for workers everywhere. We tin spell further, determination are much countries and workers to spouse with. We indispensable fiercely prosecute the opening of caller fronts successful our planetary fight. Working radical everyplace should beryllium emboldened by the planetary solidarity that is taking basal arsenic we proceed to instrumentality connected the behemoth that is Amazon.”
We can’t simply trust connected elected representatives to combat for democracy, particularly erstwhile elections themselves are vexed by gerrymandering and alteration number rule. We request ample organizations that bring radical and their powerfulness unneurotic to importune that radical substance and merit a dependable successful shaping the satellite successful which we live—in short, successful recognizing people’s equality.
That’s what the Declaration of Independence was about.
Tim Libretti is simply a prof of U.S. lit and civilization astatine a authorities assemblage successful Chicago. A long-time progressive voice, helium has published galore world and journalistic articles connected culture, class, race, gender, and politics, for which helium has received awards from the Working Class Studies Association, the International Labor Communications Association, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Illinois Woman’s Press Association.