In 1853, concerning liberal politics that protested foreign slavery but ignored its own oppressions, Karl Marx connected the struggle against wage slavery directly with the struggle against race slavery in the US southern states. "The enemy of British Wage-Slavery has a right to condemn Negro-Slavery...a Manchester Cotton-lord -- never!" That same parallel convinced early 19th-century trade unionists and readers of Connolly's 1913 manifesto, "To the Linen Slaves of Belfast". Slavery has functioned throughout the modern era as a connective metaphor in political rhetoric.
The slaveries of everyday life continue no less today than under classic slave systems. Economic globalization drives wages continually downward in order to provide dominant economies with cheaper goods, at the expense of workers in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Impoverished neo-slavery, absence of labor rights, and subordination to capital represent the terms of existence neo-liberalism has established for uncountable hundreds of millions of workers. Large segments of the sex industry function through violence against women and sex slavery. Contemporary fiction and film remain profoundly engaged with imagining lives lived within historical and neo-slaveries, as well as futurist slave societies of science fiction.
Slavery remains one of the most relevant descriptions of contemporary life, yet gets treated as either history or rare exoticism. Bad Subjects issue 69 will re-explore the metaphor and reality of slavery. Worklife, economic, gender/sex, national, religion, social discipline and prisons, or other forms of slavery: we are looking for non-fiction prose essays of 2500-4000 words that expand the paradigm. We will be especially interested also in witness essays addressing the forms of neo-slavery described in Bales' Disposable People. The essays we are looking for might remember the original words of the Internationale: "Esclaves, debout, debout / Le monde va changer de base / Nous ne sommes rien, soyons tout."
The submission deadline is April 30, 2004; issue publication date is June 1, 2004.
Contact issue co-editors Cynthia Hoffman [email@example.com] and Joe Lockard [Joe.Lockard@asu.edu] with essays or essay proposals. See Bad Subjects at .
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