The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Culture Corner:
Youth (Spring) & The United States Governed by Six Hundred Thousand Despots

Jun 3, 2024

Film: Youth (Spring) directed by Wang Bing, 2023, streaming on Amazon for $3.99.

The award-winning documentary focuses on the lives of the young people (ages 16 to 25) who work in a huge textile district sewing clothes for export in the city of Zhili, not far from Shanghai, China. The factory district in Zhili has 16,000 textile plants! The thousands of workers are housed in overcrowded dormitories, and their low pay is justified by their bosses as they say they provide room and board, no matter that it’s squalid and allows no privacy. The film shows how the company doesn’t just dictate their living conditions, it intrudes on every aspect of their life, not even allowing time off for medical conditions if they have not “fulfilled their quota.” You also see the potential power of the thousands of workers pushed together by capitalism.

Book: The United States Governed by Six Hundred Thousand Despots, by John S. Jacobs, edited by Jonathan D. S. Schroeder, 2024

A 170-year-old treatise denouncing the U.S. government was just discovered, written by fugitive slave John S. Jacobs. He was the brother of Harriet A. Jacobs, who wrote her own autobiography and polemic against slavery, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

John S. Jacobs worked the lecture circuit, sharing the podium with Frederick Douglass and others, proclaiming the lie of slavery in a “free” country. When the Fugitive Slave Law was passed, he could no longer abide to live in this country. He went to Australia, where his treatise was published completely uncensored. He wrote: “That devil in sheepskin called the Constitution is the great chain that binds the north and south together, a union to rob and plunder the sons of Africa, a union cemented with human blood, and blackened with the guilt of 68 years.”