Monday, July 8, 2019

Conversation with Gretchen Mullen

I have been having a stimulating conversation with Gretchen Mullen of Skeptic Review about neo-fascism and anti-fascism. We're currently on the fifth round of letters (my last one was a two-parter). Check out our exchange here!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Socialized Medicine Is the Most Efficient Outcome

In Mutual Aid, Peter Kropotkin describes how non-capitalist societies managed disasters:

As to the social characters of the mediƦval guild, any guild-statute may illustrate them. Taking, for instance, the skraa of some early Danish guild, we read in it, first, a statemet of the general brotherly feelings which must reign in the guild; next come the regulations relative to self-jurisdiction in cases of quarrels arising between two brothers, or a brother and a stranger; and then, the social duties of the brethren are enumerated. If a brother's house is burned, or he has lost his ship, or has suffered on a pilgrim's voyage, all brethren must come to his aid. If a brother falls dangerously ill, two brethren must keep watch by his bed till he is out of danger, and if he dies, the brethren must bury him–a great affair in those times of pestilences–and follow him to the church and the grave. After his death they must provide for his children, if necessary; very often the widow becomes a sister to the guild. (141, Dover Books edition, emphasis added)
As we can see, non-capitalist societies had very different ways of managing disasters. Here, Kropotkin describes five, perhaps six, different events that capitalism would handle with insurance. Fire insurance, boat insurance, health insurance, and life insurance would be the capitalist alternative to the duties described here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Extremism Isn't a Thing

Further bolstering my theory that anyone who describes themselves as a researcher on extremism is a fucking idiot, Eoin Lenihan has been caught with his pants down in his recent "anti-antifa" study (probably also deserves scare quotes) and the conspiratarian sphere is not happy.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Anti-Anti-Antifa

There was a lot of hubbub over a recent report put out by the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (RICOC) documenting the battles between antifa and what the report refers to as "anti-antifa." Public reaction to this report seemed to be overwhelmingly negative, particularly the bibliography and the decision to refer to antifa's antagonists as "anti-antifa".

While there are throughout minor errors of fact, I felt like the report overall was...not terrible? Within the context of being a primer for law enforcement officials, the report does a pretty decent job of summarizing the antagonism between the antifascist left and the far right.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Two More Fascist Ideas

After having successfully muscled a Muslim travel ban into existence by including North Korea and Venezuela in it, Trump now has his sights set on his big, beautiful wall along the border with Mexico. To accomplish this Trump has floated two ideas I have previously suggested he would eventually use: a national emergency and borderland eminent domain.

Of Course Trump Is a Fascist

Like many right wing dictators before him, Trump is considering using extraordinary executive powers to seal his authoritarian regime. It's certainly novel to do so for the sake of a real estate project. Personally, I had expected him to do so to arrest Democratic Party congressional leaders and send them to Guantanamo without charge (thanks Obama) on the basis of allegations of the party's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood as is the vogue with the conspiracy theorists Trump has sewn himself among. I still haven't found the origin of his Chinese theory of climate change, so who knows what tattered ace he has up his sleeve on this one.

This move toward unchecked executive authority is unsurprising if you have believed all along, based on the actual things he says, that he is a fascist. It is probably surprising if you believe that "checks and balances" is anything more than aspirational. Indeed, congress does have some oversight on the matter. They'd have to renew Trump's state of emergency.

Annually.

Fascism has historically demonstrated that liberal republics are the best vehicle for anti-democratic insurrections. Founded on a creed of egoistic domination for its own sake, fascism takes various forms depending on who holds the reins. Trump's fascism seems to resemble that of neoreactionaries, albeit with a real estate corporation taking over the government rather than a tech company. Which bring us to the next fascist idea: eminent domain.

I had also suggested this possibility last year. Trump would use eminent domain to sell borderlands to his own company to build a privately managed border wall. Not sure why the eminent domain has to involve the military, but different strokes I guess.

Unfortunately, and mostly to the chagrin of shitlibs and lesser socdems, Trump absolutely has the power that far leftists said he does and that his followers want him to. The only power he doesn't seem to have is the power to make federal workers stop calling out sick.