In this special episode, we talk with three veterans about how the military and the class system (in the U.S. and around the world) go hand in hand. How does the military market itself to the poor and marginalized (and why is that marketing so effective)? How does our broken economy ensure a constant stream of recruits who will be sent to fight endless imperialist wars just so they can pay for college or finally be accepted as a worthy citizen? What happens to these recruits when they’re serving and when they leave (if they leave)? Why is it that so many features of military life and America’s self-perpetuating war machine translate to an accepted status quo in which women, LGBTQ folks, and non-white recruits are subjected to vicious harassment, violent assault, or worse?
In this important conversation, we’re joined by Triste Ordex, Marine Corps vet and national organizer for Vets for the People; Amber Mathwig, a former 10-year Navy Master-at-Arms and organizer with About Face: Veterans Against the War; and Clarke, a Navy veteran, organizer with the Democratic Socialists of America, and commercial diver.
In this new book, longtime organizers and movement educators Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes examine the political lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, including the convergence of mass protest and mass formations of mutual aid. Let This Radicalize You answers the urgent question: What fuels and sustains activism and organizing when it feels like our worlds are collapsing?
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Maximillian Alvarez is editor-in-chief at the Real News Network and host of the podcast Working People, available at InTheseTimes.com. He is also the author of The Work of Living: Working People Talk About Their Lives and the Year the World Broke.