We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Cowboys, Class Struggle, and the West

Click here to access this 55 minute interview with historian and author Mark Lause conducted by Sasha Lilley of KPFA radio, a listener sponsored radio station in Berkeley, California. This interview with Lause offers you the real history of cowboys and labor and their often violent conflicts with capitalists and their bosses in the late 1800s.
The cowboy is a mythified character in American society, conjuring up rugged individualism and masculine brawn, values dear to American capitalism. But historian Mark Lause suggests that when we think of the cowboy, we should think of a precarious wage worker.