Saturday, October 10, 2015

Queens County Revisited: The 1970's (45)

Another reason I was able to get some of the other Council on International Educational Exchange [C.I.E.E.] office workers to start thinking about how boring and empty the 9-to-5 workweek pattern was for those of us who had been economically compelled to accept the menial or flunkie clerical jobs, in order to obtain the rent money that the greedy New York City landlords ripped off each month from their tenants, was that at C.I.E.E. there was also actually another office worker there who was a politically conscious, anti-capitalist, leftist working-class intellectual. His name was Marvin and he worked at the desk next to mine.

While it wasn't that unusual to find co-workers in the 1970's within the clerical workplace offices of the Manhattan skyscrapers who were liberal Democrats in their politics, by the 1970's it was already rare to find co-workers, white or Black, who were revolutionary socialist, revolutionary communist or revolutionary anarchist in their political beliefs, in the workplaces inside Manhattan's skyscrapers.

And by the 1980's, it often seemed like all the New Left white radicals of the 1960's and early 1970's who were from white upper-middle-class or white upper-class backgrounds had made a collective decision to only seek middle-class professional jobs, academic university jobs, managerial jobs or high-wage unionized labor-aristocrat blue collar or union bureaucracy jobs; rather than collectively getting jobs within the Manhattan skyscraper office work world. Or rather than at least attempting, like I was, to politicize, radicalize and encourage the unionization of all of the unorganized, non-unionized, low-wage clerical office workers whose labor was being exploited each day within these Manhattan skyscrapers.