jstenner + politics   1559

The LGBTQ Movement is an Intersectional Fail
The root of Gay Inc.’s betrayal of Chelsea Manning, and their flip-flops on marriage rights and Trans rights, lie directly in their being joined at the hip with the Democratic Party. The incestuous revolving door between military contractors and ex-military officers is only exceeded by Gay Inc’s revolving door with the Democratic Party.

The pollsters and media “professionals” who gave us the disastrous failed campaign against Proposition 8, for example, were drawn directly from the Party. The current president of Gay Inc’s biggest and wealthiest group, the Human Rights Campaign, Chad Griffin, “got his start in politics volunteering for the Bill Clinton presidential campaign, which led to a position in the White House Press Office at the age of 19. Following his stint in the White House and his graduation from Georgetown University, he led a number of political campaigns advocating for or against various California ballot initiatives, as well as a number of fundraising efforts for political candidates, such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.”

All of the pro-LGBTQ reforms of the past two decades that were eventually supported by the Democrats have one thing in common: They cost virtually no money. From hate crimes legislation to marriage rights to Trans people’s access to public restrooms, all cost the profit system little, if any, serious money.

But we live in a neoliberal age where the only reforms acceptable to the Democrats are those that don’t cost the system any money. We have a party whose leaders and enablers think that the main reasons why they lost the last election was not their presiding over the last eight years of a decades’-long economic slide in working class incomes, but rather, Russian meddling and the vicissitudes of former FBI Director James Comey’s public pronouncements.
politics  intersectionality  feminism  lgbtq 
17 days ago by jstenner
Taibbi: Bernie Sanders’ Anti-Amazon Bill Is an Indictment of the Media, Too
There’s an argument to be made, and people like Ezra Klein at Vox are already making it, that Sanders has gone too far this time, in emphasizing symbolism over policy specifics. Klein argues that Sanders is a big enough name now that he can finally “attract excellent staff and advisers” and bring in “a much broader network of lefty policy thinkers,” who presumably can help him “learn more about the workability of policy.”

Translated, this means: Bernie has enough poll support now that he can finally hire all the Beltway bullshit artists who spent the last 40 years turning the Democratic Party into a subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce.
politics  economics  bezos  amazon  neoliberalism  from twitter_favs
4 weeks ago by jstenner
Obama Urges Young Voters To Ignore How Many Lousy Candidates Democratic Party Runs
RT @TheOnion: Obama Urges Young Voters To Ignore How Many Lousy Candidates Democratic Party Runs
politics  obama  democrats 
5 weeks ago by jstenner
The most dangerous philosopher in the West? | America Magazine
In The Courage of Hopelessness, Zizek challenges the reader to act without relying on the false certainties of ready-made discourses. Global capitalism, he notes, is increasingly losing its link to Western democracy. Nondemocratic regimes like China’s have proven that they can function within the world of global capitalism. This economic system is capable of adapting to various political systems, and in so doing it puts at stake what Zizek refers to as “the commons.” This includes issues like ecology, immigration, access to information and health care. As common spaces of living and communication become more and more privatized, the question of who gets to have access to them creates more worldwide tensions. Increases in migration and reactions against it, like calls to “build that wall,” are some examples of these tensions.

In the face of this hopeless situation, Zizek argues that we should avoid the temptation of identity politics. Since capitalism excels at appropriating all kinds of cultures and identities for consumerist gains, politicizing particular non-Western cultures and identities will not prevent its negative expansion. Though identity politics may mobilize many on the left, for Zizek this happens in full conformity with the way neoliberalism capitalizes on different cultures. Since capitalism cashes in on a certain free market of identities, identity politics does not, then, offer any serious challenge to the current state of affairs.

To develop these points, Zizek analyzes the Syriza movement in Greece, Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Trump-Clinton election in the United States. For him, Donald Trump is the “symptom” of Hillary Clinton’s politics, which focused on issues of cultural and sexual identity. She succeeded in uniting “Wall Street and Occupy Wall Street,” and in this sense her message to her liberal supporters was: “we can concede all your cultural demands...without endangering the global market economy.” These improvements in cultural and identity recognition are positive achievements in Zizek’s view, but he says they betray a fear that many political liberals have of actual change. Identity politics becomes a way of promising generalized change while allowing the neoliberal economic system to remain the same.

Writ large, this book is an extended argument that a hopeless situation can be a fertile ground for acts of courage, provided one dares to think outside of the usual right-wing/left-wing labels
zizek  politics  capitalism  identity  seminar 
5 weeks ago by jstenner
Trump Minus Narrative Equals Bushbama – Caitlin Johnstone – Medium
You can’t out-vote a power establishment which has the entire political and government system locked down using alliances, campaign finance, corporate lobbying and mass media propaganda, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fight them. It just means you can’t fight them on their terms using their tools.
politics  propaganda  caitlyn_johnstone 
5 weeks ago by jstenner
This is what filter bubbles actually look like - MIT Technology Review
Or, more appropriately titled, How to use data to reinforce the notion that any viewpoint other than the "center" is valid (i.e. not "extreme").
dataviz  politics  socialmedia  visualization  centrism 
7 weeks ago by jstenner
On the Front Lines of the Populism Wars
Mouffe begs to differ. Parties and parliaments, she claims, still “provide symbolic markers allowing people to situate themselves in the social world.” But with dwindling membership numbers and the neoliberal takeover of those parties, “these symbolic spaces have increasingly been occupied by other discourses,” holding “negative consequences for a democratic society.” Out-maneuvering liberals on their own terrain, Mouffe proposes a “real pluralism,” in which “the ever-present possibility of antagonism is acknowledged.” According to Mouffe, the response to the “populist moment” does not lie in a frantic flight from mediating institutions altogether, but rather “in making our institutions more representative,” the true objective of every “left populist strategy.” Social subjects, she argues, “cannot exist without representation.”
left  populism  politics  Reviews  identity  class  power  seminar 
7 weeks ago by jstenner
Project MUSE - Thymotic Politics: Sloterdijk, Strauss, and Neoconservatism
Peter Sloterdijk’s Rage and Time (2006) argues for the political significance of rage. To do this Sloterdijk turns to the Greek concept thymos which “signifies the impulsive centre of the proud self” (2006, 11). He places rage, or thymos, at the center of a historical narrative spanning Homeric myth, Christian theology and revolutionary politics. Sloterdijk emphasises the Homeric form of thymos through the figure of Achilles, as “rage celebrates a force that frees human beings from vegetable numbness” (2006, 5). Sloterdijk’s contention is that “we have not only stopped to judge and feel like the peoples of old, we secretly despise them for remaining ‘children of their time’” (2006, 5). The loss of an understanding of rage, the dynamic force of the political, leaves modern Western culture cut-off from the political itself. We may infer that the contemporary subject is, without access to rage, trapped in this state of “vegetable numbness.” Furthermore, rage is described as that which elevates the human subject; “wherever rage flames up… the identification of the human being with his driving forces realises itself” (2006, 10). The thymotic soul is identified with the human, but “for everyday people the evidence of the moment remains out of reach” (2006, 10). Those who have been domesticated through the city are cut off from thymos and therefore from self-realization.
thymos  sloterdijk  politics  Philosophy 
8 weeks ago by jstenner
Project MUSE - A Thymotic Left?: Peter Sloterdijk and the Psychopolitics of Ressentiment
As its subtitle makes clear, Peter Sloterdijk’s Rage and Time: A Psychopolitical Investigation (2006) continues a line of research that begins with the Critique of Cynical Reason (1983), which already abounded with references to psychopolitics. Far from psychologising political powers, psychopolitics deals with the ecology and economy of energies or affects that are articulated only on a collective level. In this sense, Sloterdijk is indebted to crowd psychologists such as Hermann Broch and Elias Canetti, to the mimetic anthropology of Gabriel Tarde and René Girard, as well as to media theorists such as Marshall McLuhan or Jean Baudrillard. But his primary inspiration is Nietzschean, insofar as psychopolitics is inseparable from “a self-aware antipolitical therapeutics” which seeks “not to depoliticize individuals, but to deneuroticize politics”1 (Sloterdijk 1990, 90) with regard to the basic affect constellation of the West: ressentiment.
thymos  sloterdijk  politics  Philosophy 
8 weeks ago by jstenner
Taibbi: Censorship Does Not End Well – Rolling Stone
For more than half a century, we had an effective, if slow, litigation-based remedy for speech violations. The standards laid out in cases like New York Times v. Sullivan were designed to protect legitimate reporting while directly remunerating people harmed by bad speech. Sooner or later, people like Alex Jones would always crash under crippling settlements. Meanwhile, young reporters learned to steer clear of libel and defamation. Knowing exactly what we could and could not get away with empowered us to do our jobs, confident that the law had our backs.

If the line of defense had not been a judge and jury but a giant transnational corporation working with the state, journalists taking on banks or tech companies or the wrong politicians would have been playing intellectual Russian roulette. In my own career, I’d have thought twice before taking on a company like Goldman Sachs. Any reporter would.

Now the line is gone. Depending on the platform, one can be banned for “glorifying violence,” “sowing division,” “hateful conduct” or even “low quality,” with those terms defined by nameless, unaccountable executives, working with God Knows Whom.
politics  censorship  security  social_media 
9 weeks ago by jstenner
Mistaken Identity - Verso
A powerful challenge to the way we understand the politics of race and the history of anti-racist struggle

Whether class or race is the more important factor in modern politics is a question right at the heart of recent history’s most contentious debates. Among groups who should readily find common ground, there is little agreement. To escape this deadlock, Asad Haider turns to the rich legacies of the black freedom struggle. Drawing on the words and deeds of black revolutionary theorists, he argues that identity politics is not synonymous with anti-racism, but instead amounts to the neutralization of its movements. It marks a retreat from the crucial passage of identity to solidarity, and from individual recognition to the collective struggle against an oppressive social structure.

Weaving together autobiographical reflection, historical analysis, theoretical exegesis, and protest reportage, Mistaken Identity is a passionate call for a new practice of politics beyond colorblind chauvinism and “the ideology of race.”
identity  politics 
9 weeks ago by jstenner
Jordan Peterson’s Bullshit
Peterson’s writings are a hodgepodge of Christian existentialism, Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal, and E. O. Wilson. But the main philosophical issue is his Nietzschean conception of power. Only a strong will, exercising itself against a contingent and meaningless world — and against the weak — can ever hope to flourish.

Peterson’s philosophy reflects the brutal nature of capitalism’s irrational demand that we sacrifice human beings for profit, which he transforms into a call for individuals to sacrifice themselves for something transcendent and holy. In other words, Peterson tries to Latinize the bourgeois kitsch with mediocre calls of self-actualization. But the self is not actualized: it is told to kill or be killed in capitalism’s endless competition.

Ironically, Peterson’s critique of postmodernism is itself very postmodern. His description of postmodernism as a new form of “dialectical materialism” that exercises totalitarian thought control not only echoes Cold War polemics against Marxism but also certain tendencies within French postmodernism. These accounts, such as Lyotard’s, accuse the Enlightenment, Hegelian dialectics, and Marx of constructing “metanarratives” on top of an irreducibly complex reality. Peterson shares the French post-structuralists’ fear that reason lends itself to a logic of domination. Indeed, Peterson recapitulates Heidegger’s own influential rejection of the “Cartesian Self” as the launch of a new stage of civilizational nihilism.
politics  psychology  pop  alt-right 
10 weeks ago by jstenner
Three Variations on Trump: Chaos, Europe, and Fake News - The Philosophical Salon
We can now see what those who bemoan the “death of truth” really deplore: the disintegration of one big Story more or less accepted by the majority, a story, which used to bring ideological stability to a society. The secret of those who curse “historicist relativism” is that they miss the safe situation where one big Truth (even if it was a big Lie) provided basic “cognitive mapping” to all. In short, it is those who deplore the “death of truth” that are the true and most radical agents of this death: their motto is the one attributed to Goethe, “besser Unrecht als Unordnung,” better injustice than disorder, better one big Lie than the reality of a mixture of lies and truths. One thing is clear: there is no return to the old ideological hegemony. The only way to return to Truth is to reconstruct it from a new cognitive interest in universal emancipation.
zizek  politics  fake_news  international 
11 weeks ago by jstenner
The Neolithic, Capitalism, and Communism
The problem is not technology or nature. The problem is how to organise societies at a global scale.

Today we need neither a return to primitivism, or fear of the "ravages" the advent of technology might bring. Nor is there any use in morbid fascination for the science-fiction of all-conquering robots. The urgent task we face is the methodical search for a way out of the Neolithic order. This latter has lasted for millennia, valuing only competition and hierarchy and tolerating the poverty of billions of human beings. It must be surpassed at all cost. Except, that is, the cost of the high-tech wars so well known to the Neolithic age, in the lineage of the wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945, with their tens of millions of dead. And this time it could be a lot more.

The problem is not technology, or nature. The problem is how to organise societies at a global scale. We need to posit that a non-Neolithic way of organising society is possible. This means no private ownership of that which ought to be held in common, namely the production of all the necessities of human life. It means no inherited power or concentration of wealth. No separate state to protect oligarchies. No hierarchical division of labour. No nations, and no closed and hostile identities. A collective organisation of everything that is in the collective interest.

All this has a name, indeed a fine one: communism. Capitalism is but the final phase of the restrictions that the Neolithic form of society has imposed on human life. It is the final stage of the Neolithic. Humanity, that fine animal, must make one last push to break out of a condition in which 5,000 years of inventions served a handful of people. For almost two centuries — since Marx, anyway — we have known that we have to begin the new age. An age of technologies incredible for all of us, of tasks distributed equally among all of us, of the sharing of everything, and education that affirms the genius of all. May this new communism everywhere and on every question stand up against the morbid survival of capitalism. This capitalism, this seeming "modernity," represents a Neolithic world that has in fact been going on for five millennia. And that means that it is old — far too old.
badiou  politics  neoliberalism  capitalism  communism 
11 weeks ago by jstenner
A Neoliberal Nightmare at OZY Fest 2018 – Rolling Stone
“There are some tech experts in Silicon Valley whom I have met who say that maybe what they will do this time is really disrupt the actual election,” she continued. “We are still very vulnerable.” Her repeating leitmotif of a solution: “The best way to deal with them is to vote in November.” Perhaps starting to wrap their minds around the catch-22 presented, the cheering women began to slouch.

“There’s nothing you can do about any of this, so all you can do is stay hydrated,” summarized Christman, taking a sip of electrolyte water. Give in, children. Let the cleansing waters of techno-vation pull you under as they hydrate your fucking lungs.
politics  election  neoliberalism  clinton 
12 weeks ago by jstenner
Opinion | Liberal Blind Spots Are Hiding the Truth About ‘Trump Country’ - The New York Times
Populism on the left. Today, “populism” is often used interchangeably with “far right.” But the American left is experiencing a populist boom. According to its national director, Democratic Socialists of America nearly quadrupled in size from 2016 to 2017 — and saw its biggest one-day boost the day after Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s recent primary upset. Progressive congressional candidates with working-class backgrounds and platforms have major support heading into the midterms here in Kansas, including the white civil rights attorney James Thompson, who grew up in poverty, and Sharice Davids, a Native American lawyer who would be the first openly lesbian representative from Kansas.

To find a more accurate vision of these United States, we must resist pat narratives about any group — including the working class on whom our current political situation is most often pinned. The greatest con of 2016 was not persuading a white laborer to vote for a nasty billionaire with soft hands. Rather, it was persuading a watchdog press to cast every working-class American in the same mold. The resulting national conversation, which seeks to rename my home “Trump Country,” elevates a white supremacist agenda by undermining resistance and solidarity where it is most urgent and brave.
politics  class  race  economics  neoliberalism  Trump 
july 2018 by jstenner
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