In defence of working class existence as choice

Angry Workers of the World

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We read and reviewed David Ranney’s “Living and dying on the factory floor”, which was about his decision to put his academic career on hold and his subsequent experiences as a factory worker. [1] The following thoughts relate to this decision, which used to be widespread within the left. Today taking on working class jobs for political reasons is either ridiculed as an artefact of political militancy or criticised as a potentially manipulative act of privileged and educated middle-class politicos who try to convert the workers.

I want to look at my own decision to remain a low-paid manual worker from various angles. The text is not strictly biographical, but looking at the subjective side of the decision is personal. It is not an account of experiences in five dozen or so jobs, although it contains descriptions. The text is not a ‘salting’ or organising manual, it looks more broadly…

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