[Marxism] Blog Post: In Search of the "Real America"
mikedjyates at msn.com
Wed Nov 27 12:17:09 MST 2013
Full at http://cheapmotelsandahotplate.org/2013/11/27/search-real-america/
"This past June, I attended the Left Forum at Pace College in Lower Manhattan. I used to love to go to this city. We visited often and moved there twelve years ago, planning to stay for at least five years, while I worked for Monthly Review magazine and Monthly Review Press. We lasted one year, knowing that we had made a mistake. We enjoyed Manhattan, but not enough to compensate for the stresses of daily life.
I went to the conference to help my comrades at Monthly Review Press sell books. It was nice to see acquaintances and meet people I knew only through correspondence. I didn’t attend any of the hundreds of sessions or make a presentation, concentrating instead on promoting our publications and generating much-needed revenue. After the last plenary session, some of us went to dinner and enjoyed interesting conversation. And so, the weekend passed.
This was the fourth time I traveled to New York City since we left in 2002. I anticipate each trip with excitement. I hope that my old love affair with the nation’s greatest metropolis will be rekindled.
But it never is. After years of living on the road, seeing the country up close and personal, hiking thousands of miles in beautiful places, enjoying solitude, Manhattan seems a nightmare. Trash everywhere, noise, traffic, pedestrians cheek by jowl, too much light at night. Precious little green space. The city used to be a center of working class militancy, radical politics, and popular art, literature, and music. But today, it is mainly a haven for the world’s rich, who exploit the (increasingly immigrant) working class that serves them. It seems just a monument to shopping, dining, and deal-making. Everybody is hustling, all day, every day." . . .
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