Introduction to Work and Daily Life in The Red Menace

We talk a lot about the working class, we socialists. So much so that we sometimes tend to forget that the working class is made up of actual people; people like those who live next door, like those who we see on the subway, like those we work with, drink with, sleep with. People different from us, but with hopes and fears not so different from our own after all.

We owe it to ourselves, as well as to that entire working class we try to champion, to take a fresh close look at the way we spend our lives (peculiar capitalist expression, to "spend your life"), at the way we work, have fun, form and dissolve relationships, learn, waste time, or talk politics. Our lives, after all are what capitalism, and socialism, and the death-struggle between them, are all about, The roots of our revolutionary beliefs are to be found in the experiences of our daily lives.

In the Red Menace, we would like provide a forum through which people can communicate what they feel about their jobs, and about the other things that happen to them every day. We think it is vitally important to analyse these things, to work out our own thoughts, and to share them with others. There can be no set format for this -- anything from a single paragraph, to a cartoon, to an incident that sticks in the mind, to a long essay could be useful. We ask our readers to send us their thoughts and perceptions.

The article which follows ("A Tale of Two Offices") is one attempt to come to grips with the realities of a particular work experience, that of large institutional libraries.