Thursday, June 7, 2018

UBI vs. JG: Communist Revolution Editiion

I like to talk a lot of shit. I've been talking a lot of shit lately on the Job Guarantee (JG) proposals relative to Universal Basic Income (UBI) in tweets and comments here and there. Since I generally grow bored of conversations on the internet fairly quickly, relatively few people have actually heard anything resembling my full argument in favor of UBI over a JG. So here I am, finding new ways to procrastinate my dissertation work.

The discussion here, I hope, will equip supporters of UBI and the JG with a more holistic understanding of both from the perspective of long-term revolutionary goals. As an anarcho-communist, I view both proposals (technically three proposals, more on that later) through the lens of which can best situate the working class to seize the means of production to establish a decentralized communist production and distribution network.

Monday, June 4, 2018

PE of Fash Week V: Free Speech and the Fascist Creep (Reading List)

The "required" readings in this week's class provided three levels of analysis of the phenomenon of fascist recruitment. The Simi and Futrell piece provides the most intimate portrait with a focus on white power activists, mostly neo-nazi skinheads, navigating normal society. The Berbrier piece provides an analysis of white power activist's public rhetoric since the transformation of the movement one based on militias to one based on conferences. The Perry piece provides the most zoomed-out picture, giving an overall account of the transformation of the white power movement in the post-Civil Rights era.

All three authors note the untenability of their subjects' core beliefs in public. Whereas Berbrier investigates how white power activists reframe their rhetoric for a post-WWII audience, Simi and Futrell explore the justification of individual white power activists in selectively hiding their leanings altogether. Perry provides a general overview of the development of the former phenomenon.

Monday, May 28, 2018

PE of Fash Week IV: Confederate Monuments and the Historic Imaginary (Reading List)

This class is directed at tracing the line from fascist social theory through fascist philosophy of history to fascist aesthetics. For the most part, the class focuses on Italian Fascism and its parallels with US white nationalism in this regard. This is important not only because of the central place that mythologizing the past around artifacts has in fascist political practice, but also because of the central place that culture has in fascist political theory.

For the fascist, social change goes from culture to politics to economics. Marxists, it should be noted, perceive this chain of causality in exactly the reverse order, though beginning in the 1920's, Marxists began to explore a mutual determination between these three phenomenon. The fascist reasoning, grafted onto liberal Enlightenment reasoning, posits that any nation is driven by the will of its people through culture. This culture shapes the form of political outcomes which ultimately shape economic outcomes through policy. For fascists, the form of government is irrelevant to this phenomenon. In actuality, this is a far more compelling argument under representative systems than authoritarian or directly democratic ones.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

PE of Fash Week 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.