We must tie this conversation to that of wages overall

Demonstrators gather in front of a McDonald’s restaurant to call for an increase in the minimum wage on April 15, 2015, in Chicago. Scott Olson/Getty Images

As Biden and his cronies in Congress are now backing away from yet another one of their main promises, namely raising the minimum wage to $15/hour — undoubtedly an improvement over the current pitiful rate of $7.25/hour, but still woefully low ($15/hour is roughly a yearly income of about $30,000) — we should be asking ourselves why it is acceptable for legislators to determine how poor people can be but not how rich people can be.

Indeed, so long as we have a system in which people are forced to sell their labor-time for a wage simply to survive, there…

Amazon and other corporations are deeply complicit in the ongoing oppression and precarity of Black folk and their communities in America.

Amazon employees, led by Chris Smalls who would be fired, hold a protest and walkout on March 30 in Staten Island, New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Plastered across Amazon’s homepage for the past few days is a black banner with white, bold text that reads “Black lives matter.” Amazon wants the world to know that it “stands in solidarity with the Black community” by donating $10 million to organizations that support justice and equity such as the NAACP, National Urban League, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and UNCF, among others. In a recent blogpost, the company stated that Amazon is “committed to helping build a country…

Countries that claim to be democratic today are not. For all of these countries are not ruled by the people but rather are ruled by capital.

Image courtesy of Fred Moon on Unsplash

The world has never before seen true democracy in action. Countries that claim to be democratic today, and that were supposedly established with democracy as their foundation many years ago, are not, in fact, democracies at all. For all of these countries are not ruled by the people but rather are ruled by capital. They nearly all claim to be democracies, but democracy as a political system is mutually opposed to capitalism as an…

Image courtesy of the Goldfarb School of Nursing

President-elect Joe Biden has already been garnering praise for some of the historical nominations and appointments to his cabinet and administration. He has also been under mounting pressure to continue to supposedly “diversify” his cabinet simply by nominating women and people of color. The big problem with this kind of approach to “diversity” is that while you may end up with a group of people who may look different from one another, they do not necessarily think differently and represent different interests.

Diversity needs to be more than just skin deep. Mainly advocated for historically by white liberals through policies…

The primary reason the southern US border is so heavily secured, surveilled, and controlled is because of the skin color

Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

“… absolute hospitality requires that I open up my home and that I give not only to the foreigner (provided with a family name, with the social status of being a foreigner, etc.), but to the absolute, unknown, anonymous other, and that I give place to them, that I let them come, that I let them arrive, and take place in the place I offer them, without asking of them either reciprocity (entering into a pact) or even their names.” — Jacques Derrida

Between 1892 and 1954, over twelve million Europeans passed through Ellis Island to immigrate to the United…

Human rights discourse is mainly used as a rhetorical sleight of hand.

Image courtesy of blackhistorymonth.org.uk

The US, together with its Western European allies, has long claimed to be a champion of so-called “human rights” and has tried to hold other countries accountable for human rights violations. As usual, though, when a mirror is held up to it, the US fails to practice what it preaches while still holding other countries accountable for actions that pale compared to what the US does.

How can the US genuinely try to promote the idea of human rights around the world — itself a highly Eurocentric, rather than a universal concept with a narrow and historically limited understanding of…

Dorothea Lange, Migratory workers harvesting peas near Nipomo, California, 1937, gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the New York Public Library.

As long as we have an economic system in place that allows for people to be remunerated at vastly disparate levels for different kinds of work, the people who make the most money should be those who contribute the most to society, those who offer society more than they take away from it.

Just like our economic system is a social construct that has been created by humans rather than being some kind of natural law, so too is the hierarchy of salaries and wages socially determined and changeable. …

A Trump supporter carrying a Confederate flag in the US Capitol. January 6, 2021. Image via Mike Theiler/Reuters

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare just how underdeveloped the self-proclaimed “developed” countries really are. It is more than just a coincidence that the countries hit hardest by the pandemic are the countries that are supposedly the most developed.

Global mortality rates as of January 5, 2021. Data courtesy of the Johns Hopkins University. Map courtesy of the CDC.

Joseph Keppler, The Bosses of the Senate, 1889, lithograph. Public domain

One of the aspirations of many entrepreneurs and business people is to grow their companies so big that they become empires. Whether it be a hamburger empire (McDonald’s), a shoe empire (Nike), an operating system empire (Microsoft), a media empire (Disney), etc., the people running these empires — emperors — are unfortunately not embarrassed at all about their imperial ambitions.

Perhaps it is due to a lack of familiarity with history, perhaps it is the capitalist ideological conditioning they have undergone, perhaps it is the thirst for power, or perhaps it is just a sense of entitlement, but regardless of…

Riad Kherdeen

PhD Candidate at UC Berkeley. Your source for original, critical, thought-provoking content about art, history, culture, and politics.

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