gwapisimo  asked:

In relation to your thesis abstract, I like the way you broke it down in simple terms that anyone can understand. You're a good writer. I do have a question though. In the context of Mesoamerica, what is corvee labor?

Thanks for the feedback! I think it is important that abstracts be easy to read, but still include all the pertinent information of the paper.

Corvée is simply unpaid or forced labor. That doesn’t mean that corvée labor is necessarily slavery. Typically, corvée labor manifests in the form of a labor tax. An elite in a position of power and authority demands a certain amount of labor as a tax. This tax could be yearly (i.e. work for a month in the dry season every year) or less frequently like every ten years (a male from a household (father, brother, uncle, etc) has to work several months during the dry season but then the household won’t contribute for another ten years). 

Abrams (1989, 1994) and Lucero (2007) have argued for some sort of labor tax for the Classic Maya. Carballo (2012), in his model of a labor collective, argued that the calpolli based form of labor organization, called a tequitl, was easy to extract tribute in the form of labor by Aztec nobility.

For my thesis, I argue that the ruling lineages of the Teuchitlan culture made use of corvée labor by leveraging their positions as mediators with the supernatural (cultural/symbolic capital) or leveraging their ties to their extensive family, friends, or those that may be indebted to them (social capital). It’s hard to say for certain right now with so few houses excavated, but that may change in the future. There are also questions as to whether every guachimonton at Los Guachimontones was constructed like Circle 2 or if Circle 2 is unique. I hope to answer those questions in my dissertation by expanding my analysis to the other guachimontones at the site.


Abrams, Elliot M.

1989 Architecture and Energy: An Evolutionary Perspective. Archaeological Method and Theory 1: 47-87.


1994 How the Maya Built Their World: Energetics and Ancient Architecture. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.

Carballo, David M.


2012 Labor Collectives and Group Cooperation in Pre-Hispanic Central Mexico. In Cooperation and Collective Action: Archaeological Perspectives edited by David M. Carballo, pp. 243-274. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

Lucero, Lisa J.


2007 Classic Maya temples, politics, and the voice of the people. Latin American Antiquity 18(4): 407-427.

Millennials have made it clear they most want career advancement and growth, something not every workplace can offer on demand. But in lieu of those opportunities, many companies are resorting to quick fixes in an attempt to shape culture. Whether it’s free snacks, Ping-Pong tables, or beer taps, these perks—like participation trophies before them—are trinkets that do not thoughtfully consider the symptoms of the problem before providing a treatment.

Vacation usage—a benefit repeatedly found to be more valued than raises, bonuses, and retirement plans—is a measure of trust and an important part of the work-life balance equation. Despite its value, a study by Project: Time Off revealed Millennials are not taking the vacation they earn. In fact, they are the most likely generation to forfeit time off, even though they receive the least amount of vacation days.

Research into Millennial vacation behavior shows they are afraid, not entitled. Compared to Boomers, Millennials are at least twice as likely to say they are fearful of losing their job. This cohort worries about what the boss might think, wants to show complete dedication, and does not want their bosses to see them as replaceable.

These findings are counterintuitive to the coddled Millennial stereotype that ignores the circumstances of the generation’s experience. Coming of age during an economic downturn has consequences.

—  this sponsored post on the atlantic for a vacation planning app has a sharper insight into current labor issues than eight years of obnoxious thinkpieces from the atlantic abt millennials, this feels like a diss track
5

“I am a man.” - On February 12, 1968, Memphis sanitation workers, the majority of whom were Black, went on strike demanding recognition for their union, better wages, and safer working conditions after two trash handlers were killed by a malfunctioning garbage truck. The strike gained national attention and dragged on into March. Striking workers carried copies of a poster declaring “I AM A MAN,” a statement that recalled a question abolitionists posed more than 100 years earlier, “Am I not a man and a brother?”

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.
—  James 5:1-6
neoliberalreflections.txt

You don’t have to read “why sweatshops are good” articles and analysis because it only reaches the same point: “well it’s better than starving” (ignoring deaths in the workplace and people still starving anyway).

It’s interesting how much analyzing people do to defend sweatshops rather than say “hey, maybe ‘work or starve’ is a bit terrible and none of this suffering is necessary”.

Arguments for capitalism rely on an incorrect perception of the 21st century altogether. So, looking at the 21st century: Resources are abundant, wealth is abundant, and technology is advanced.

What does capitalism do about those facts?

1) Relies on artificial scarcity to function.

2) Fails to distribute that wealth accordingly (it’s completely just that 8 people have more wealth than 3.6 billion people…right?)

3) Tells us to fear automation because there is no other option besides 'work or starve’.

That is primitive logic. Capitalism treats society as if we’re still cavemen struggling to survive in a dangerous world, because otherwise it wouldn’t function. So, instead of fearing what the future has to offer, ask yourself why you’re afraid in the first place.

The first general strike will be on Friday. Here’s what it’s trying to accomplish.

  • Amidst the hundreds of protests occurring spontaneously across a broad coalition, word of a protest of a whole different kind has been sweeping the country: calls for a “general strike,” a work stoppage that goes beyond putting bodies in the streets.
  • Put together by individual organizers across the country in response to a call for a strike by author Francine Prose in a column for the Guardian, the first of such strikes will come on Friday.But it’s difficult to say exactly how wide-spread this first strike will be. 

  • There will be rallies in major cities like New York City, San Francisco and Philadelphia. But whether or not the single day strike can unify around a single message and make their point clear to the Trump administration remains to be seen. Read more. (2/16/2017 6:22 PM)