From Brotherly Handshake to Militant Clenched Fist: On Political Metaphors for the Worker's Hand

  title={From Brotherly Handshake to Militant Clenched Fist: On Political Metaphors for the Worker's Hand},
  author={Gottfried Korff},
  journal={International Labor and Working-Class History},
  pages={70 - 81}
  • Gottfried Korff
  • Published 1 September 1992
  • Art
  • International Labor and Working-Class History
The hand has long been a symbol of what makes human beings human. It is still used to convey this meaning, despite the decline of manual labor and the replacement of manual dexterity by machines, robots, and computers. A number of twentieth-century images remind us of the hand's labor power: for example, Fernand Leger's 1951 homage to Vladimir Mayakowsky, his earlier 1918 painting, “The Mechanic,” which is a veritable icon of the worker whose hand forms the dynamic compositional element (Fig. 1… 

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