Thursday, April 19, 2018

PE of Fash III: Eugenics and the Alt-Right (Reading List)

This class is intended to address what I consider to be the closest historical precedent to the alt-right: the eugenics movement. I say this not only by manner of ideological comparison, nor only manner of social insertion. I say this because the core organizations the bred the original alt-right - VDare, New Century Foundation (American Renaissance), and the National Policy Institute - are part of a non-profit financial network that has preserved eugenics since its decline following the discovery of DNA and the sequencing of the human genome.

The "required" readings cover the history and present of the eugenics movement. The Belkhir & Duyme piece explores the core assertions and fallacies of the eugenics movement both in its historical manifestation, but also in the present day. The Smedley & Smedley piece adds color to the Belkhir & Duyme piece, going beyond the mere refutation of biological, especially genetic, origins of social identity and aptitude constructs to give an accounting of the historical and social origins of these constructs using race as its case study.

The piece by Baker is presented as a means of focusing on how eugenics functioned logistically to popularize their approach. Baker's piece, which highlights the attempts by the organized eugenics movement to appeal to Christianity, is especially illustrative given that the movement ultimately wasn't able to get enthusiastic support on the basis of tying eugenic beliefs to Christianity. However, in the process the movement underwent numerous, ultimately cosmetic changes, hiding and repackaging core principles to appeal to an audience averse to themes of biological evolution, birth control, and selective breeding.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

PE of Fash Week II: Economic Anxiety and Angry White Men (Reading List)

Tonight was the second night of my six-class minicourse on the political economy of fascism. The readings for this class touch on a debate that cropped up in the wake of Donald Trump's ascendancy to the presidency: was his base motivated by racism or economic anxiety. I picked readings that problematized this dichotomy and the epistemology that would assert that these two phenomena are unrelated.

In the sphere of fascist ideology, economic outcomes are critically tied to the composition of the citizenry. On the one hand, fascists take the promise of democratic representation at face value, and thus political power is fundamentally a matter of the demography of the electorate. On the other hand, fascists see extra-electoral and extra-political factors bearing down on political, and hence economic, outcomes. In either instance, the fascist sees representative democracy as systemically corrupted.

Monday, April 9, 2018

We've All Dated That Goy

Gee. Dash. Dee.

I suppose I should start by saying that there are plenty of chill goyim out there. Just because you had a bad experience with one self-conscious goy doesn't mean that all goyim will project their insecurities onto you in a national newspaper. That said, we've all dated that goy.

The goy who repeatedly asked whether we'd ultimately see ourselves marrying a Jewish woman. The goy who insisted that we were just trying to spare their feelings by lying. The goy with whom we tried to share our traditions that we honestly didn't practice so much, but it's an excuse to get the family together. The goy who needed to feel more connected to your Jewishness than you were. The goy who felt more connected to your Jewishness than they were to you.

In a heroic act of shiksa vindictiveness, Carey Purcell took to a national newspaper to announce her intention to avoid dating Jewish men based on a sampling of two (2) relationships with Jewish men that ended, to her mind, because of her partner's secret intentions as described above. I could quote her strange orientalization of her previous partners' Jewishness (and that of their mothers), but why bother? We've all dated that goy.

The one who made accommodating her insecurity about your identity a part-time job. The one whom you refuse to make you feel guilty about your Jewishness. The one who induces you to question if things wouldn't be easier but for her goyishkeit. (Turns out it doesn't matter all that much but do you.)

Anyway, I support Carey Purcell leaving Jewish men the fuck alone.

Friday, April 6, 2018

PE of Fash Week I: How to Talk to a Nazi (Reading List)

Tonight was the first of a six week course I designed for the New York Public Library. The course begins with an overview of the course in the form of my "How to Talk to a Nazi" workshop based on my zine "You Can't Punch Every Nazi." I gave students a copy of the zine. The course then goes through investigating fascist ideology at four levels: as a political religion, a social science, a governmental theory, and a political praxis. The course then concludes with an exploration of alternative perspectives that answer some of the legitimate critiques of liberalism that fascists appropriate from the far left but resolve with cynical authoritarianism.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How To Get Your Professor To Accept a Late Assignment

Shit happens. You misread the syllabus. You had a (real actual) death in the family. Your boss tells you she needs you to work on your day off. Your kid is sick with the flu and now so are you. There are a litany of legitimate reasons why you would miss a deadline. Personally, I am extremely lenient with deadlines, going so far as to explain to my students that, apart from the end of the semester, I effectively don't enforce them. Obviously, not every professor is this way.

Regardless, your professor is a person capable of empathy and leniency to varying degrees. Your professor may have specific reasons why they have the policies they do, but often with the right approach they are willing to make exceptions. I have written this guide to help students feel confident in approaching their professor for an extension. This method is by no means fool-proof, but following these tips will make your professor more likely to grant you a reasonable extension.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Quick and Dirty Fascism Studies Lit Review

In preparing to write a lit review due on the 8th, I've decided to make a spreadsheet of a selection of books notable either for their influence on fascism studies or their novelty. In another measure of procrastinating on actually writing the literature review itself, here is a short list of notable authors and a quick summary of what they thought about fascism. Any scholar not appearing on this list was omitted with the utmost contempt.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Liberalism Is Probably Impossible Reader

Since the Democratic Party and its enabling non-profits have recently staked their hopes on an electoral process that they have insisted for over a year was compromised by foreign actors, I have been thinking about the consistent failure of electoral strategy in light of fascist upsurge. What history demonstrates time and again, from the Pact of Pacification to the Sermon on the Mount, is that a brutal government cannot be thwarted through obsequiousness. Liberalism, understood not as a political orientation but a governmental paradigm, ultimately proves impossible. Whatever is won in the moral spectacle of violence cannot make up for the literally everything that is materially lost. Suffering is suffering. Dying is dying. Below, I present five texts that tackle different aspects of the logic and application of liberalism which prefigures its own demise.

Shawn Rosenberg - Against Neoclassical Political Economy: A Political Psychological Critique

Ed White - The Value of Conspiracy Theory

Frederick Shauer - Uncoupling Free Speech

Mitch Berbrier - "Half the Battle": Cultural Resonance, Framing Processes, and Ethnic Affectations in Contemporary White Separatist Rhetoric

Frantz Fanon - On Violence (from Wretched of the Earth)

Jean Paul Sartre - Preface to Fanon's Wretched of the Earth