"When the multiracial power of the working class topples U.S. capitalism, it will simultaneously break the Yankee stranglehold on the rest of the globe. It is here, at this point, that the strategies for both racial and national liberation come together."
-Viva La Raza: A History of Chicano Identity & Resistance by Yolanda Alaniz & Megan Cornish
I would also add to that the question, do we still have a functioning working class? When a family can no longer be supported by a single income, let alone by two and it is no longer possible for that family to hope of owning a small house, let alone an apartment, I'm not so sure. These were not extravagant hopes for our parents or grandparents generations. Beyond that, when an individual working 40+ hours/week struggles support him or herself (pay rent, buy food, pay medical bills, get from place to place) something is seriously wrong.
How wrong is it? Here is what Chris Hedges thinks. He is new to me so I welcome counter arguments or critiques.
Chris Hedges talk on "Death of the Liberal Class".
And here's my current two cents:
If you're barely making it in this country, it's not because you're not trying hard enough. It's not because your desire to work a job that you enjoy that affords you time to yourself, time to travel, time to rest or to have medical benefits is extravagant. Your desire to go to school, to study what you love and are truly good at and not what might (emphasis on MIGHT) get you a job that pays enough when you get out is not extravagant. Your desire to learn and grow as a person and to maybe help others do so is not extravagant. If you're barely making it here, it is not because art is an extravagance of the privileged. It is not because you are making bad decisions regarding prioritizing your art practice above your work practice. Art-making is not a privilege, it is a right.