Workers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains. That’s from Karl Marx, of course. He wrote that famous phrase in 1848. The weird thing is, it’s pretty likely that Marx himself never met an actual worker.
Wait a second. He didn’t spend a decade in a cotton mill, witnessing the oppression firsthand. No. Karl Marx never spent a moment in a factory. He was a rich kid who became a journalist. Of course he was. But for more than 150 years, Karl Marx inspired generations of other rich kids who also became journalists to repeat his line or variations of it.
Over time, workers became working men or working class and then with feminism, working people or working families, but the idea itself never changed. Ordinary people, wage earners, are getting shafted, so they’ve got to unite. They’ve got to come together for protection and for dignity. This was the idea, of course, behind the organized labor movement, and every Democratic president from Andrew Jackson until now has made the very same point over and over again. “The noble people of Scranton…” You hear it even today. So, Democrats have repeated that line often enough. You would think they really mean it.