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Re: <nettime> How Silicon Valley’s CEOs
Brian Holmes on Sun, 2 Feb 2014 00:55:05 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> How Silicon Valley’s CEOs

On 02/01/2014 03:02 PM, Michael H Goldhaber wrote:

Sadly, Brian misspoke (or miswrote)

Indeed I misspoke - or deluded myself? A moment of wish-fulfillment?

The interesting thing is that the neighboring airport town of SeaTac passed a 15-dollar minimum wage law. It was challenged and a judge ruled it couldn't apply to some 4000+ airport employees, but only to about 1600 hotel and parking lot workers. However the momentum then got going for similar campaigns such as the one you can see at 15now.org, which Kshama Sawant supports. Well, huge numbers of people in the US support it and every experience of victory builds that support.

I too was struck by the idea in Orsan's post, that we may see the rise of a new kind of ruling class, based on sheer coercive power rather than money. Certainly we are already seeing a new kind of money-power: both transnational corporations and billionaires have gained agency since 2008, in a situation where there are almost no remaining barriers to the movement and investment of capital. You can see them going wild all over the planet, especially outside the former core countries. However, dark predictions about the future are by this point, just boring. If nothing changes the future is obviously dark.

The conclusion from the Occupy movement was that we need organization. Corporate earnings are at an all-time high, and wages are immobile. I can't imagine that Silicon Valley engineers will unionize in any progressive way that would go beyond their specific interests. I can imagine that some of them would get radicalized joining a cross-class coalition that would also further their own interests. These minimum wage campaigns are not negligible. They are one of the few chances out there to make left politics real again. All other progressive causes can only benefit.

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