Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago 1,234 miles off coast, has become a site of climate change–fueled conflicts around immigration and workers’ rights. Right-wingers have used the crisis to advance their own agenda — offering a cautionary tale for the Left.
Matthew James Seidel is a musician and writer currently based in Florence, Italy. His essays and reviews have been featured in Current Affairs, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Protean Magazine, Liberated Texts, the Millions, Ebb Magazine, and AlterNet.
It’s easy to look enviously at strikes in other countries and bemoan American workers’ apathy. But even the most dramatic forms of mass resistance are the product of years of commitment to changing people’s minds and understanding workplace politics.
The Six Counties look closer than ever to reuniting with the rest of Ireland, and neoliberals are arguing for the new state to institutionalize Protestant-Unionist representation. But working-class people don’t need backward-looking identity politics — we need Ireland to stop being a low-wage tax haven.