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Wednesday May 1st 2019Tim Candler9

 

    May Day. M'aider means Help Me in French, and the expression mayday-mayday-mayday, because apparently it sounds like m'aider when transmitted through early radio receivers, came to mean Help Me in English radio language. If you think that's nuts consider breaker-breaker. In the 19th Century the long tradition of celebrating May Day as the dawn of the moments when spring turns to summer, May Day also became a celebration of the success industrial workers had had in wrestling power over wages and conditions from Capital. It became International Workers Day and back then elements of labor saw a lasting strength in organizing internationally. A strong union in Mexico would get the same hourly rate as a strong union in Detroit, only seemed brotherly. It was a dream of stability that stumbled as production changed, fell prey to the Ricardo's economics of comparative advantage and the profit motive. It's a painful lesson when you've lost what you thought was a safe job, and sulking helps nobody except the fascists.

 

Past

       My own May Day was celebrated with a visit to the Dentist, followed by the Planting of the Noble Sweet Potato. There were no flags or banners, no drums to march along with, no songs of freedom, no bars to preach in. But I did think about Gandhi's visit the Lancashire Textiles Mills, which occurred at the beginning of the Great Depression of the 1930's. India produced a lot of cotton, the vast majority of which was sent to Lancashire where it was turned into cloth and then exported to India. Gandhi reckoned India should make its own cloth. As a part of his campaign of civil disobedience he called for a boycott of foreign textiles and encouraged Indians to use their home grown cotton to make their own cloth. Indian cloth is or was called Khadi, which means hand spun. The thing was Lancashire cloth was was made on the very latest machines, even with the shipping it was cheap, Indian Cloth was hand spun and hand woven on a loom. In the US, before the Revolution, animal hides had to be sent to England to be tanned, and there was something about Tea to aggravated city folk.

 

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