The campaign against Detroit is the latest battle in a long war against the American social contract. For that war to succeed, millions of Americans must be convinced to see their fellow citizens – working people, retired people, students, the poor – as the Other. From Social Security to decent jobs, from a life’s education to a living wage, the implicit agreements among us can only be broken if we think of our neighbors as Other than ourselves.
That’s why Detroit’s fate is so important. Breaking Detroit’s pension agreements would pave the way for breaking our national agreement with all retired Americans, and then with the rest of our national community.
The people of Detroit are not Other than us. They are us. And if we sacrifice their neighborhoods, our neighborhoods won’t be far behind.
Read more: Detroit Is the Front Line