This is the first issue of Processed World. We hope it will serve as a contact point for office workers who are dissatisfied with their lot in life and are seeking something better. The current situation of most clerical workers,
secretaries, and "processors" of various sorts is our starting
place: meaningless work with little material reward in a deteriorating and
self-destructive social system.
The opening article offers a compelling description
of the individual mired (but not hopelessly) in Corporate Office Land. From there
we go to the Blue Shield strike, which is still going
on as we go to print. This trade union-based attempt of office workers to improve
their situation has run up against institutional and strategic constraints.
The following article, "New Information Technology:
For What?" has undergone intensive discussions among the writers and
editors of PW. After a brief economic analysis of automation in the office it
broaches the touchy subject of whether or not computers-- and high technology
in general-- are inherently oppressive. Also discussed are some of our
ideas of how a society based on free social relations can put new information
technology to use.
Next is a short story about insurrection in San Francisco
in 1987, beginning with the occupation of the Bank of America buildings by
the workers inside. A review of the movie 9 To 5
concludes our first issue. Hollywood's attempt to address the reality of office
work gets lost and distorted in improbability and easy laughs.
We hope these articles (and those in other issues to come) will begin to
challenge the assumptions upon which this society is built. At the root
of this effort is our desire to live and take part in a radically different
social system, a society which as yet exists nowhere on Earth.
These new forms of social existence begin with communication, with breaking
down the barriers that isolate us and finding different ways to express
our feelings and thoughts. With a shared understanding of the fears, desires,
and pleasures of our daily existence, we can counter the false images and
stereotypes encouraged by those who want to keep us in our "place."
In a world where so much of our time is wasted on boring tasks or ridden
with anxieties, it is important that we experiment with ideas and activities
that are in themselves enjoyable. Rebellion can be fun, and humor subversive.
Only by cultivating our imagination and talents will we be able to find
ways to shatter the existing order.
Write to us. Tell us about your situation-- where you work, what conditions you
work under, what kinds of resistance you are already involved in, how you coordinate
your activities with coworkers, etc. And write to us about your dreams. What kind
f a world would you like to live in? What would you do with yourself if you could
do what you enjoyed instead of what you've been forced to do to make a living?