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This symposium essay argues that workers must face up and wake up to the emerging real world of perpetual employment vulnerability Clinging to the faith that those who govern us will abide by simple moral codes simply will not do in this world Workers must resist forces promoting vulnerability and internalize a steely and cleareyed ethic of selfdefense in response to the smash mouth truth of this challenging new environment Workers and dissidents must not shrink when their frank opposition to the status quo is cabined and marginalized as ÔÇ£incivilityÔÇØ The law ' and I focus in the essay on American labor law ' can be of some help at the margins to the cause of worker resistance but one cannot lose sight of the implacability of the adversary or the ineluctability of the situation As Chinua Achebe once said with his customary penetrating wisdomTo answer oppression with appropriate resistance requires knowledge of two kinds in the first place selfknowledge by the victim which means awareness that oppression exists an awareness that the victim has fallen from a great height of glory or promise into the present depths secondly the victim must know who the enemy isHowever the dire predicament remains full of possibilities And many such possibilities along the way are beautiful and ennobling Workers need not lose their humanity or their values when confronting the moral insouciance of owners and employers In the end I am convinced and argue from the context of my own life that both my law students and their formerbluecollar Teamster law professor and perhaps others can learn to appreciate and even venerate the sometimes beautiful incivility of human resistance Whether in Ferguson Missouri or in the workplace the human spirit fights on

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