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Steve Fraser
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Steve Fraser is the author of several books, including "Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life," "Labor Will Rule: Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor" "Wall Street:… Read more

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The strangling of our political potential by a claustrophobic sense of the possible did not always typify American public life. My book is about that change in the temper of the times, and is in part motivated by my own experience.

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On Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Day, citizens from around the country should gather at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street. Let’s call this macabre gathering -- with luck and even worse times, it should be mammoth -- “We Surrender” or “Restore Debtor’s Prisons” or “De-Fault Is Ours” or “Collateralize Us.” And plan on a mirthful day of mourning.

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Three moments -- 1911, 1964, now -- coming together compelled me to think about when and why people resist power, why they acquiesce, and why, sometimes, they may believe they are resisting when they are in truth acquiescing. If it is so self-evident that the Triangle Army was compelled to say “enough is enough” back then and act on that resolve, what has happened now?

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Does the prospect of deepening economic meltdown and political disarray raise the specter of a social upheaval and, perhaps, the collapse of capitalism, the likes of which we haven't seen since the Great Depression?Does the prospect of deepening economic meltdown and political disarray raise the specter of a social upheaval and, perhaps, the fall of capitalism?

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Bio

Steve Fraser is the author of several books, including "Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life," "Labor Will Rule: Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor" "Wall Street: America's Dream Palace," and, most recently,"The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power".He has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, The Nation, The American Prospect, Raritan, and the London Review of Books. He has also been published on Tomdispatch.com, and his pieces can be seen on Truthdig, the Huffington Post, Salon, Truthout, and Alternet.
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