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[xmca] Solidarity and the Vanishing 401K

As Mike suggests there is some very good meat in the latest MCA which will well repay the price of an on-line, or even a paper, subscription. The piece by Richardson Bruna, for example, is an almost perfect case of taking apparently "incommensurable" approaches and synthesizing them in a practical matter of everyday teaching; just the sort of thing that MCA is justly famous for.

So, much as I appreciate the editorial genre that Wolff-Michael Roth has established (long, many portioned reflections on matters of meta-science generously illustrated with real data), I always find pronouncements like "a cultural historical analysis begins with ontological solidarity" (p,. 109) rather jarring, even intolerant. More than one contributor to this list and to this journal begins excellent cultural historical research from a very different kind of solidarity.

At the bottom of the same page, I was highly amused to read this:

"The problem with labor solidarity and other solidarity movements for special purposes comes from the fact that these forms of solidarity simply pit the interests of one group (social class) against the interests of another and often against the group (labor class) itself--for example, when unionized individuals go on strike they may hurt the stock values of the companies in which their retirement plans have invested. These forms of solidarity serve to bond those within a certain boundary against those that are to be on its outside. This solidarity serves strategic purposes, which undermines the very notion of solidarity."

I guess our poor editor must have written this before the bankers staged a credit lockout, the actual market for live-in housing was foreclosed upon, and the 401Ks were bled white as a balance sheet--all without any apparent claw marks from the labor movement! Time is unforgiving stuff.

David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education


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