Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

Why was it so hard to see ourselves as people who might need a union? Gramsci had observed that any individual’s personality was “strangely composite,” made up of a mixture of beliefs, thoughts, and ideas gleaned from family history, cultural norms, and formal education, filtered through their own life experiences read through the prevailing ideology of the time. Hall had taken this up to argue that when the working class failed to espouse revolutionary thought, women to embrace feminism, or people of color to advocate antiracism, it wasn’t because they suffered from false consciousness. The idea that consciousness could be true or false simply made no sense: it was always, Hall stated, “complex, fragmentary, and contradictory.” This was just as true for those on the left as for anyone else. “A tiny bit of all of us is also somewhere inside the Thatcherite project,” Hall had warned in 1988. “Of course, we’re all one hundred per cent committed. But every now and then — Saturday mornings, perhaps, just before the demonstration—we go to Sainsbury’s and we’re just a tiny bit of a Thatcherite subject.”

The Thatcherite project was since then much advanced, and we had internalized its dictates. For our whole lives we had learned to do school very well; in graduate school we learned to exploit ourselves on weekends and vacations before putting ourselves “on the market.” Many of us still believed in meritocracy, despite learning every day how it was failing us. The worse the conditions of academic life became, the harder everyone worked, and the harder it became to contest them. Plus, we were so lucky to be there — at Yale! Compared to so many grad students, we had it good, and surely jobs were waiting on the other side for us, if for anyone. Who were we to complain? Organizing a union of graduate students at Yale seemed to many like an act of unbearable privilege — a bunch of Ivy League self-styled radicals doing worker cosplay.

—p.20 Spadework (18) by Alyssa Battistoni 4 years, 11 months ago