Monday, August 28, 2017

Rosa Luxemburg knew "the free battle of opinions" is essential to socialism

"Without general elections, without freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, without the free battle of opinions, life in every public institution withers away, becomes a caricature of itself, and bureaucracy rises as the only deciding factor." —Rosa Luxemburg

I share this today because the poor guy who was attacked by Antifa for holding a sign saying "The Right to Openly Discuss Ideas Must be Defended" would've really put Antifa on the spot if his sign had said "The free battle of opinions must be defended. Rosa Luxemburg was right."

"Freedom is always the freedom of dissenters." —Rosa Luxemburg

Antifa vs speech: the right to discuss and the LD50 gallery

I'm posting the following things by people I know little about and may disagree with on everything other than the content of the guy's sign: "The Right to Openly Discuss Ideas Must be Defended."

I don't care what he believes. He should be able to stand on the street with his sign. It is only a threat to those who want to silence anyone who disagrees with them.

From NO PLATFORM FOR ARISTOTLE – dcm – Medium:
I was in Copenhagen for work one day earlier, and decided to attend alone, and make a counter-protest, in support of freedom to discuss ideas, and against intimidation. I made a sign saying “The Right to Openly Discuss Ideas Must be Defended” (the reverse side said “Stand-up to Violence and Intimidation”) and came in the morning and stood against the gallery wall. I’d only been there for a moment when a crowd started to form. Almost immediately, I was surrounded by a group of people screaming Nazi at me — “Nazi”, “white supremacist”, “fascist”, etc. I said I was Jewish, and also an anti-fascist, and I believed in discussion. The crowd jeered. It wasn’t unexpected. I stood my ground until a guy appeared — Garry McFarlane, a Black Lives Matter leader, and ripped it from my hands, symbolically. Led by him, the crowd pushed me away. “Don’t worry, I got the whole thing on video,” I heard a voice next to me say, and she disappeared. You can see her video here. Later, I noticed Andrew Osborne in a military jacket standing near the back.

At the demonstration journalists had asked me for my name, and I’d supplied it, on the basis that I wanted to stand-up for something, as an individual, in my own name. In retrospect, that wasn’t a smart move. When I logged back on the internet, I was an hero. There were dozens of hits on my Facebook pages, and Andrew Osborne was retweeting an Antifa account called FashXKilla threatening to punch me in the face.


The woman who took the video was then targeted:



ETA: Socialist quotes for free speech

Sunday, August 27, 2017

On Antifa and my 20-year-old revulsion with black bloc tactics

For people who are new to discussions about Antifa and black bloc tactics: Antifa is short for anti-fascist. It does not refer to a formal group like the Weathermen or Students for a Democratic Society. It refers to groups who share the same ideology. "Black bloc" is also not a group: it refers to dressing up in black and wearing masks to make it harder to be accountable for illegal actions ranging from vandalism to assault and battery.

This is the bulk of a comment that I left at Being mean online: a few observations | Cautiously pessimistic:
As for the description of the black bloc in “Oakland’s Third Attempt at a General Strike”, it’s consistent with the first time I observed black bloc tactics. In the 1990s at a protest against Iraq sanctions that was supposed to be peaceful, their violence sent adults with children fleeing and ended the protest early. Which must have pleased the police.

Hieronymous’s account tells how the black bloc hindered rather than helped:

“The masked-up black bloc opted for breaking a few windows and spraying some graffiti instead of something in solidarity with the workers inside the store.”

“…we did see some of the destruction at the Wells Fargo Bank at 12th and Broadway, where a circus of moral indignation was no longer directed at the banks, but was directed at the black blockers instead.”

“The tactics of the black bloc quickly hit a practical dead-end and brought on the same pointless violence vs. non-violence debates that are just as divisive today as they were in 1967…”

“Without a strategy, the black bloc becomes a form devoid of a theoretical basis in the content of what is being struggled for, which can be summed up as a form of violent activism. It is clearly not class struggle…”

“…black bloc activists think it possible to smash a social relationship away by mere might…”

“The insurrectionists in the black bloc want to create an orgy of destruction, believing that social relations can be simply removed through negating their forms, by smashing them, totally oblivious to the content of capitalism – both in theory and in practice – as well as the possibility of finding working class allies in the stores they are smashing. Those low-income hyper-exploited wage slaves often hate work as much as — or more than — the black blockers.”

And Gerard had this comment:

“The smashing of windows of course led to lots of arguments. I took turns defending the black blockers and criticizing them, just to try to get conversations going. My own criticism is based on tactics. I couldn’t see any long-term good coming out of the destruction, no matter how much I may hate banks or supermarkets. The young people in black were well organized but it seemed like theatrics more than anything else, and not the kind most working-class people are attracted to. People were working in those banks. I was a lot like the young people in black once, so I sympathized, but, as the saying goes: “I wish I knew then what I know now.””
A reminder that police provocateurs love how easy it is to infiltrate groups that wear masks:

Quebec police admit they went undercover at Montebello protest - Canada - CBC News



Related:

Boots Riley on black bloc tactics.

Free speech, not street violence, ended Milo Yiannopoulos's career. (Yes, my title underestimated Milo, but my point doesn't change: black bloc tactics just gave him free publicity. What hurt him were revelations about his past.)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The killing in Charlottesville obscured the magnitude of the alt-right's failure

At the end of July, the Southern Poverty Law Center posted this in Neo-Nazi Misfits Join Unite the Right | Southern Poverty Law Center:
Over the weekend, the country’s largest neo-Nazi group announced plans to attend an alt-right rally next month in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is expected to draw thousands of extremists.
The actual turnout? The best estimates I've seen were around 500.* The killing of Heather Heyer overshadowed the truth: Charlottesville was supposed to be a show of strength. It was instead a show of political irrelevance. My suspicion is the leaders of the alt-right were grateful for the counter-protesters who gave them an excuse to cancel their own protests. They knew the numbers that would show up on their side would be tiny.

I congratulate the peaceful counter-protesters who came out in the thousands and tens of thousands to show how very insignificant the alt-right is. It's a shame a few on the left used this an excuse to engage in violence instead.

* The estimates I've seen range from 300 to 700. Based on the videos, the lower numbers look more plausible than the higher ones.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

An unnecessary, incomplete, and probably inept defense of Adolph Reed

The identitarian left has ignored Adolph Reed since 2009 because they believe "lived experience" trumps all and no one can deny that Reed has lived his life as a black man. So they said nothing about him and hoped he would go away.

Inconveniently, he didn't.

So now they're attacking him. In the facile White Marxism: A Critique of Jacobin Magazine, Uday Jain offers examples of the people he tries to damn with the silly concept of "white Marxism": Vivek Chibber, Walter Benn Michaels, Nivedita Majumdar, and Adolph Reed. Of the four, the only one who could be called white is a Jew. Jain relies on the same tactic that neoliberals use to attack fans of Bernie Sanders: Pretend they're all white men and trust their readers will never notice the truth.

Mark Harman's Identity crisis: Leftist anti-wokeness is bullshit is a smarter attack that focuses on Reed. It's long and mistaken, so if you'd rather not read it, here are a few comments I left there that may be useful out of context:
I give you credit for addressing Reed, but your ideological filter is keeping you from seeing many things. Here's a hasty response:

1. When Reed says, "I’m increasingly convinced that a likely reason is that the race line is itself a class line..." he's pointing to a truth: The class system provides a structure for racism. In the US today, we do not have a racial system that's separate from the class system as existed during Jim Crow or in apartheid South Africa. Instead, racism affects Americans within the class system like an extra weight that some members must bear.

2. The Black Panthers were working in the black community, but they rejected identity politics while fighting racism, just as Malcolm X did after he left the Nation of Islam. For example:

“Working class people of all colors must unite against the exploitative, oppressive ruling class. Let me emphasize again — we believe our fight is a class struggle, not a race struggle.” — Bobby Seale, co-founder Black Panther Party

And here's the Hampton quote with the parts that don't fit your thesis:

“We got to face some facts. That the masses are poor, that the masses belong to what you call the lower class, and when I talk about the masses, I’m talking about the white masses, I’m talking about the black masses, and the brown masses, and the yellow masses, too. We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity. We say you don’t fight capitalism with no black capitalism; you fight capitalism with socialism.” —Fred Hampton

3. You say, "Reed has also dismissed “intersectionality” specifically, reducing it to merely campus activism and simply an extension of neo-liberal identity politics, ignoring that it emerged as the work of black feminists addressing specifically the failures of struggles in the ‘60s."

"Intersectionality" was coined by Kimberle Crenshaw who, like her mentor Derrick Bell, was trying to address a social problem while rejecting the anti-capitalism of people like King and Malcolm X. She is a bourgeois black feminist who has not said anything in support of socialism that I've been able to find. Why any socialist would think the concepts of the bourgeoisie are good when they come from its black members, I have not a clue, and yet some do.

You might ask yourself why neoliberals love Crenshaw's approach. David Harvey has the answer in his book on neoliberalism:

"Neoliberal rhetoric, with its foundational emphasis upon individual freedoms, has the power to split off libertarianism, identity politics, multi-culturalism, and eventually narcissistic consumerism from the social forces ranged in pursuit of social justice through the conquest of state power. It has long proved extremely difficult within the US left, for example, to forge the collective discipline required for political action to achieve social justice without offending the desire of political actors for individual freedom and for full recognition and expression of particular identities. Neoliberalism did not create these distinctions, but it could easily exploit, if not foment, them." —David Harvey
One commenter mentioned Mark Fisher, so I added:
Something from Mark Fisher's "Exiting the Vampire Castle" since it was mentioned:

"I’ve noticed a fascinating magical inversion projection-disavowal mechanism whereby the sheer mention of class is now automatically treated as if that means one is trying to downgrade the importance of race and gender. In fact, the exact opposite is the case, as the Vampires’ Castle uses an ultimately liberal understanding of race and gender to obfuscate class."
A commenter called Khawaga insisted my comments about Crenshaw were only ad hominem and noted Marx had a middle-class background, so I said,
The difference is Marx was rejecting his class; Crenshaw was embracing hers.

The brilliance of "intersectionality" is it is effectively disconnectionality: instead of seeing the world in terms of interrelated forms of oppression, it makes each form unique and says they only intersect sometimes. It takes racism in particular from its historical roots in slavery and turns it into a psychological flaw. The result is an ideology that lets the bourgeoisie continue to divide us by race and gender.
A commenter called radicalgraffiti provided a quote from Crenshaw that had a token mention of class. I answered,
http://www.newstatesman.com/lifestyle/2014/04/kimberl-crenshaw-intersectionality-i-wanted-come-everyday-metaphor-anyone-could

Quoting Crenshaw in 2014 does not change the fact that her original conception of intersectionality was limited to race and gender. When I did a little researching, I saw another feminist brought in class about a year later, if I remember correctly.

In my experience, intersectionalists tend to talk about "classism" rather than class, continuing their focus on prejudice rather than economic relationships.
And when Khawaga continued to insist I was engaging in ad hominem, I said,
I am not saying Crenshaw should be ignored because she's bourgeois. I'm saying intersectionality is a bourgeois ideology. When neoliberals like Hillary Clinton cite it, you should suspect it's not a concept that's on our side. It is an approach to justice that focuses on identity proportionality, so to an intersectionalist, if the classes were equally representative, they would be fair. Whereas I would say the problem is not proportionality; it's the existence of a class system that must be ended no matter what form it takes.
The discussion there continues. If I decide to stay in it, I may update this post.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mark Fisher on Class Reductionists

I reread Exiting the Vampire Castle and was struck by this (italics mine):
I’ve noticed a fascinating magical inversion projection-disavowal mechanism whereby the sheer mention of class is now automatically treated as if that means one is trying to downgrade the importance of race and gender. In fact, the exact opposite is the case, as the Vampires’ Castle uses an ultimately liberal understanding of race and gender to obfuscate class.  In all of the absurd and traumatic twitterstorms about privilege earlier this year it was noticeable that the discussion of class privilege was entirely absent.  The task, as ever, remains the articulation of class, gender and race  – but the founding move of the Vampires’ Castle is the dis-articulation of class from other categories.
Two more bits from his essay:
The bourgeois-identitarian left knows how to propagate guilt and conduct a witch hunt, but it doesn’t know how to make converts. But that, after all, is not the point. The aim is not to popularise a leftist position, or to win people over to it, but to remain in a position of elite superiority, but now with class superiority redoubled by moral superiority too. ‘How dare you talk – it’s we who speak for those who suffer!’
and
We need to learn, or re-learn, how to build comradeship and solidarity instead of doing capital’s work for it by condemning and abusing each other.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Mobbings of Mark Fisher, Freddie deBoer, and Leftists who Criticize the Identitarian Left

I can't say for sure that Mark Fisher killed himself because he was mobbed by the identitarian left, but I suspect it, and I'm not alone in that.

I can't say for sure that Freddie deBoer broke because he was mobbed by the identitarian left, but...

I can't say for sure that the leftists I see suffering online (whose names I will protect) are suffering because they were mobbed by the identitarian left, but...

I can say for sure that the identitarian left broke me.

I was mobbed in 2009. My sins were rejecting race reductionism and, because I didn't know about Poe's Law at the time, being ignorant enough to ironically say I was outing someone who was using her full legal name in public posts on her public LiveJournal. My mob was more heavily weighted toward neo-liberals than those that targeted Fisher, deBoer, and others—my mob hated talking about class so much they made it a square on their racist bingo card—but the differences in the mobs are smaller than the similarities. All of the mobs involve peers who ought to have been able to engage in civil debate, but instead relied on everything from mischaracterizations to anonymous death threats.

After I was mobbed, a friend, a tough guy who I never would've expected this recommendation from, told me that Judy Blume's Blubber should be required reading for everyone on the internet. If you understand the fifth-graders who bully with name-calling, lies, and innuendo, you understand half of the problem.

But the second half, the effect on the victim, gets less attention. After I was mobbed, I couldn't understand why I was so depressed, why I couldn't concentrate on my work, why suicide seemed like a reasonable solution. So I began researching mobbing. That resulted in these posts:

Mobbing drives people a little—or a lot—mad

How to survive a mobbing (that mostly happens online)

We humans are pack animals. The cruelest thing we can do is drive our fellows out of the pack, and yet we do it with hardly a thought. Now that I understand mobbing, I'm a bit surprised it leads to few mass murders—but then, if it led to more, it would get more attention. The mobbed usually turn on themselves. Their suicides are assumed to come from depression, and few people ask what factors made the depression fatal. The slower ways that mobbing kills, the stress-related heart attacks and deaths from drug or alcohol-abuse, are even more easily disconnected from mobbing. Those who have not been mobbed think it's something that can be easily shaken off. One friend doubted the possibility that Mark Fisher's suicide was connected to a mobbing that had happened four years earlier. I pointed out that my mobbing happened eight years ago and its effects are still with me. I expect to die with them.

Mobbers are bullies who use everything but fists. When their targets break, they mock them for breaking. That's already happened in Freddie's case—you can see a few despicable people at work at Freddie DeBoer's Dank Meme Stash*.

Good luck, Freddie deBoer. Rest in peace, Mark Fisher.

*

*Facebook group either deleted or private now.

Recommended:

I’m fed up with political correctness, and the idea that everyone should already be perfect  by Fredrik deBoer

Exiting the Vampire Castle by Mark Fisher

Journey back into the vampires’ castle: Mark Fisher remembered, 1968-2017

Mark Fisher, 1968–2017

Purity leftism – MattBruenig

All Worked Up and Nowhere to Go | Amber A’Lee Frost


Leslie Lee III on class reductionists

"If any class-reductionist leftists actually exist they would still be 100 times more helpful to black people than neoliberals." —Leslie Lee III

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The shortest history I've ever written of Privilege Theory

A comment I left at Facebook:
Privilege theory comes from Kimberle Crenshaw's fusion of bourgeois feminism with Derrick Bell's Critical Race Theory, which comes from the black churches. Privilege theory ignores the working class because its believers want bourgeois women and people of color to have all the privileges of bourgeois white men.
Here's a more complete post: The Problem with Privilege Theory

And here's an example of how privilege theory ignores the working class: Why #BlackLivesMatter should be #PoorLivesMatter—now with graphics

Friday, August 18, 2017

Paul Robeson rejects identitarianism

"Here was the first understanding that the struggle of the Negro people, or of any people, cannot be by itself. That is, the human struggle. And so ... my politics embraced also the common struggle of all oppressed peoples, including especially the working masses. Specifically the laboring people of all the world. And that defines my philosophy. It’s a joining one of ‘we are a working people, a laboring people, the Negro people.’

"And there is a unity between our struggle and those of white workers in the South. I’ve had white workers shake my hand and say ‘Paul we’re fighting for the same thing.’ And so this defines my attitude toward socialism and toward many other things in the world. I do not believe that a few people should control the wealth of any land, that it should be a collective ownership in the interests of all." —Paul Robeson

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Shetterly's Free Speech FAQ

NOTE: This FAQ is about the principle of free speech. There's a little about the law, but if you want to research the legal limits of speech in the US, try the ACLU's Defending First Amendment Rights.

1. How old is the idea of free speech?

At least 2500 years old. In 399 BC, Socrates said, "If you offered to let me off this time on condition I am not any longer to speak my mind... I should say to you, "Men of Athens, I shall obey the Gods rather than you.""

2. Isn't censorship something that only a government can do?

No. From What Is Censorship? | American Civil Liberties Union:
Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. Censorship by the government is unconstitutional.
3. Does free speech give you a right to lie, slander, or engage in false advertising?

No. Free speech gives you the right to say what you believe. It does not give you the right to say what you do not believe. Lying cannot be defended as free speech.

4. Does free speech give you a right to harass or threaten people?

No. Free speech does not give you the right to make anyone listen to you, and it does not give you a right to hurt anyone. Credible threats of danger are grounds to have people arrested, not for speaking, but for promising to do harm.

5. What about illegal forms of pornography?

Free speech gives you the right to try to change laws, but it does not give you the right to break them.

While art is a form of speech, and pornography is a form of art, when we talk about illegal pornography, we’re talking about recordings that are evidence of crimes. Keeping those forms of pornography illegal is not about speech—it's about targeting the market that promotes the crime. The principle is no different than targeting people who pay for prostitutes, drugs, or contract killings.

If you don’t like those laws, use your free speech to try to change them. If the subject of illegal pornography becomes legal, the pornography will become legal too.

6. What about firing people for saying things that do not directly affect their job?

People should be fired because of their job performance. If companies need to address something an employee has said off the job, they only need to say, “The opinions of our employees are their own.”

7. What about protesters speaking out to silence speakers and intimidating venues into canceling their events?

If you don't want to hear people speak, don't go to their speeches. Preventing people from speaking is the opposite of free speech.

8. What about protesting speakers in ways that don't silence them?

Yes! Protest outside events, but don't block passage to them. Go to events wearing armbands or T-shirts that show you reject a speaker's message. When speakers take questions, point out the problems with their beliefs.

9. Does free speech mean we have to let everyone speak wherever they want?

No. Groups have a right to invite the speakers they want to hear. They have no obligation to invite people they don’t want to hear.

10. Doesn't free speech let us cancel a speaker's invitation to speak?

No. When Clark University invited Norman Finkelstein to speak, then canceled the speech in response to protesters, Sarah Wunsch of the ACLU wrote:
...the cancellation of his speech violates the basic principles of freedom of speech and academic freedom which are so fundamental to an institute of higher learning. The existence of an opportunity to speak at another time or in another location does not remedy the wrong of censorship. 
11. What about copyright?

Free speech does not give you a right to claim someone else's expression as your own or to use their expression as you please. Copyright laws vary from country to country—in order to be true to free speech, copyright laws must allow for Fair Use.

12. Isn't free speech used by the powerful to abuse the powerless?

Free speech lets the powerless speak. Without it, the weak will be silenced by the rich and powerful.

13. What about silencing people who oppose free speech?

Free speech belongs to everyone, including people who oppose it.

More:

XKCD doesn't understand free speech—or the difference between legal and moral rights

Actually, what XKCD doesn't understand is that money is not speech (XKCD doesn't understand free speech, take 2):

Explaining free speech to XKCD, a cartoon

Frederick Douglass and Henry Louis Gates on free speech and hate speech

Socialist quotes for free speech

Two examples of the unexpected consequences of banning (pornography and swastika)

On responding to speech with violence, or why a coward in a mask is nothing like Captain America

Friday, August 11, 2017

Google memo outrage reveals the dream and flaw of left-identitarianism

One of the better pieces about Damore's memo, Sabine Hossenfelder's Backreaction: Outraged about the Google diversity memo? I want you to think about it. notes:
The bigger mistake in Damore’s memo is one I see frequently: Assuming that job skills and performance can be deduced from differences among demographic groups. This just isn’t so. I believe for example if it wasn’t for biases and unequal opportunities, then the higher ranks in science and politics would be dominated by women. Hence, aiming at a 50-50 representation gives men an unfair advantage. I challenge you to provide any evidence to the contrary.
This idea that every job will someday have 50-50 gender representation is part of the identitarian dream. Whether it'll come true, I haven't a clue. Because nature gives the sexes different physical strengths and weaknesses, we'll either have to modify human bodies or use advanced tech to realize that dream.

But if there are subtle mental differences between men and women, those differences will always manifest themselves in some of the things people do. There may always be more men than women doing work like The 10 most dangerous jobs for men.

In a fair world, the requirements for doing a job are about ability, not gender. Whether that results in some jobs being disproportionately male or female should be irrelevant, so long as every individual can compete fairly.

The problem is our only way to test whether people have equality of opportunity is to look for equality of outcome. People will always be right to wonder about the reasons for disproportionate results.

Hossenfelder suggests,
One way to deal with the situation is to wait until the world catches up. Educate people about bias, work to remove obstacles to education, change societal gender images. This works – but it works very slowly.
Belief in change through education is another part of the left-identitarian dream, but education doesn't work slowly: It doesn't work at all. As noted at Wealth inequality is even worse than income inequality
If we equalized education levels between black and white Americans, we'd barely dent the racial wealth gap.
What does work? Sharing the wealth. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Some political whimsy from Twitter today

I tweeted this quote by an unknown writer: "Socialist jokes are only funny if everyone gets them."

Which inspired these responses:

"I'd tell you the joke about capitalism but I doubt you'd buy it." —@jaymiejmoore

"I'd tell you the joke about socialism but I doubt you'd share it." —@WillShetterly

"i'd tell you the joke about communism, but it's never really been tried" —@chaosprime

"I'd tell you the joke about anarchy, but it never really comes together." —@jaymiejmoore

"don't worry if you don't get the joke about anarcho-transhumanism, it won't be long before it gets you" —@chaosprime

"if you don't get the joke about accelerationism, i'll tell you worse and worse jokes until we find one that you get" —@chaosprime

'Anybody can tell a joke about nihilism. There's nothing to it." —@CPetersen_CS

"there are exactly ninety-six jokes about syndicalism, all of them equal" —@chaosprime

"I'd tell you a joke about philosophy but you'd all just argue about the answer & whether it was funny long after the rest of us went home." —@jamesmsix

Friday, August 4, 2017

By Ta-Nehisi Coates' logic on Confederate, The Handmaid's Tale should be cancelled


In Don't Give HBO's 'Confederate' the Benefit of the Doubt, Coates argues that

1. "Hollywood has churned out well-executed, slickly produced epics which advanced the Lost Cause myth of the Civil War."

Hollywood has also produced slickly sexist work.

2. "...while the Confederacy, as a political entity, was certainly defeated, and chattel slavery outlawed, the racist hierarchy which Lee and Davis sought to erect, lives on."

Sexism also lives on.

3. "...comparisons between Confederate and The Man in the High Castle are fatuous. Nazi Germany was also defeated. But while its surviving leadership was put on trial before the world, not one author of the Confederacy was convicted of treason."

No one has ever been convicted for the suffering caused by sexism. To pick one example from countless many, the men responsible for so many women dying in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire were not indicted for manslaughter.

4. "The symbols point to something Confederate’s creators don’t seem to understand—the war is over for them, not for us."

The struggle against sexism is also not over for women.

5. "Confederate is a shockingly unoriginal idea."

In prose, yes, it's been done many times, but it's rarely been addressed by Hollywood, just as stories about sexist societies are shockingly unoriginal in prose, but have rarely been addressed by Hollywood.

6. "African Americans do not need science-fiction, or really any fiction, to tell them that that “history is still with us.”"

Nor do women.

7. As an after-thought, Coates notes that half of the team creating Confederate is black, but he suggests they are subordinate to the white writers who are more famous. The Handmaid's Tale TV show has a male producer, Bruce Miller, who is called its creator on the IMDB page because he created the TV show and wrote the pilot. Its executive story editors are a woman and a man, Nina Fiore and John Hererra. If Confederate is flawed because of the social identity of its creators, so is The Handmaid's Tale.

ETA: On Facebook, Mike Wolf commented,
Actually, a great number of Nazis were back in positions of power after WWII, mainly because most Germans preferred to stick their head in the sand and forget the whole war and genocide had ever happened.

Despite the massive re-education by the Allies on the horors of Nazism, it took the student revolts of the 60s to weed out the remaining Nazis.

And of course Neo-Nazis exist to this day and probably will in perpetuity.
Earlier: Six hard questions about HBO's Confederate

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Why the Libertarian Party should, by their logic, be a socialist party

Simon Kongshøj wrote in a comment at Facebook:
Granting for the sake of argument that personal liberty requires economic liberty and that we value personal liberty, then every person ought to have economic liberty. Economic liberty is impossible for a person whose economic means are so meagre that he/she cannot make meaningfully free choices (slaves and serfs are the extreme of that; but the same can be said for the modern working poor), so no person ought to have so meagre economic means.

That would form the basis for a libertarian argument for socialism.