Radical kids these days have it tough. After all, it’s considered radical these days just to be someone who believes in the Bill of Rights and doesn’t like to call Mexicans “pieces of shit”. It doesn’t take very much to be radical in these days of right wing conformity.
So, what’s a young wanna-be radical to do? How can a radical be radical in a way that isn’t so darned conventional?
Wear a t-shirt with Communist icons on it. That’s it. That always angers the grownups who actually lived during the time when Communsm was a significant global force, and actually remember what Communism is. How about a t-shirt with Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Chairman Mao on it? Ooh, and you could make it a black t-shirt, so that everyone knows that you’re not just a regular Communist. No, you’re a black-on-the-inside moody Communist too – that’ll show ‘em.
Well, how lucky are you? It turns out that they have just that sort of t-shirt over at a web site called stkr3.com that caters to young, angry people trying to establish their radical creds, just like you.
There’s just one catch: That t-shirt turns out to be made in an outsourced factory that uses sweatshop labor. Sweatshop workers are, you know, the people who have nothing to lose but their chains. You’ve heard that phrase somewhere before, remember? No, it wasn’t Scary Movie 3.
The truth is that we here at IrregularTimes.com are not Communists. Communism turned out to be about oppression as much as the capitalism that it tried to replace. We believe in using the mechanisms of online capital to give economic power to a wider base of people in a way that’s consistent with our progressive ideals of freedom, democracy, and a basic level of opportunity for all. It’s our hope that by working online, we can overcome the excesses of industrial capitalism without having to go over the edge into another oppressive ideology like Communism.
So, we try to be ethically consistent. We sell shirts with progressive messages to spread the word, but we don’t put those messages on shirts that were made by sweatshop workers. Sweatshop shirts are what you find at Wal-Mart, and we are not Wal-Mart progressives.
You won’t find Marx, Lenin, or Chairman Mao on our shirts, and you won’t find black t-shirts in our collection, because as of now every black t-shirt that CafePress sells is made by a company that uses sweatshop labor. However, you will find some strong progressive messages on our shirts, and you can be sure that all the shirts we sell through our CafePress shops are completely sweatshop-free. That’s because we make sure to only sell those kinds of shirts that are offered by American Apparel. American Apparel is a company that works in the USA, using non-sweatshop conditions, treating its workers fairly. All of our shirts feature progressive political designs that are our own, found nowhere else on the web.
Consider it your chance to really get radical, and go beyond the pose. Leave the sweatshop Communists behind. Get ethical in your political apparel. Far out.