I’m trying something new in the interest of blogging more: posting roundups of the interesting things I’ve read on the internet. How frequently will I do this? Who knows?
We’re in for the long haul, and successful activism means not burning ourselves out. Mirah Curzer has tips, and Greta Christina suggests it helps to take pleasure in activism.
Resisters and activists should be sure to learn from the past, although I’m not sure I agree with how this column dismisses online work. Lots of important community building can happen online.
Effective resistance may mean adapting our messaging–using simple, punchy language like a certain thin-skinned vulgarian, and reframing to match others’ values.
Republicans and Democrats are suggesting that we should just simmer down and gracefully accept the results of the election. Greta Christina has some questions about that.
Everyday anti-fascism means making oppressive behavior costly. This is naturally at odds with the liberal idea that all ideas–even advocacy for genocide and violence–deserve protection.
“Nazism is democracy’s anti-matter. There is nothing about the ideology or its practice that is anything but corrosive to democratic institutions.” An exceptional read on why Nazism and fascism are not mere differences of policy and must be met with force, not welcomed at the table of ideas.
If you want to understand neofascism, you have to understand the nerd.
See also: Kunyosying and Soles’ Postmodern geekdom as simulated ethnicity.
See also also: We need to talk about the online radicalisation of young, white men.
See also also also: how misogyny is uniting disparate political factions.
Progressive values have been pigeonholed as “tolerance”, but that’s a milquetoast mischaracterization. Progressive liberalism is about fighting tooth and nail to overturn horrific systems of dehumanization and oppression.
On that note, when we treat tolerance as a moral absolute, we open ourselves to bullshit grievances of “not tolerating the intolerant”. Yonatan Zunger suggests that tolerance is better understood as a peace treaty–when one party backs out, they no longer get to enjoy its protections.
“One of the biggest problems with mainstream liberalism is its fetish for abstract principle over material reality. It is prone to forgetting that in a democracy, principles exist as a means to an end: the guarantee of maximal rights and liberties for the greatest number of people. A right is a tangible thing for the person who needs it most: a freedom from imprisonment by the state, food on the table, a roof over one’s head, a life free from deprivation.” Katherine Cross on what liberals get wrong about free speech.
We on the left like to talk aspirationally about “going high,” but sometimes, the only possible way to defend what is worth defending is to “go low”.
The erosion of democracy looks different in the 21st century than it did in the 20th. David Frum makes it clear that it’s no less serious now than it was then. In response, Ezra Klein points out that our system would be robust enough to handle an autocratic president–if only Congress would do its damn job.
What does it take to get a visa? Find out in this new choose-your-own-adventure game from the Spokane Spokesman-Review. Disclosure: Both of the game’s creators are friends, and I’m dating one of ’em.
Publishing lists of crimes committed by immigrants, as the White House has announced it will do, is a propaganda tactic straight from the Nazi playbook.
Is the White House testing the waters for a coup, or are we seeing the flailing of a weak and incompetent administration?
What it means to be in a constitutional crisis, by Alexandra Erin.
Also from Alexandra Erin: Blocking Gorsuch preserves the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.
And a third from Erin: What the New York Times‘ recent look inside the White House tells us about the administration.
Speaking of, did you read that NYT article? Because you should.
In 1939, the St. Louis passenger ship left Germany for Cuba. Its passengers, primarily Jews with visas, were almost all turned away, and the U.S. denied them refuge. This Twitter account tweeted the names and photos of the refugees who were turned away at our borders and later murdered by the Nazis. Let’s think about that.
Miri writes that we’ve watered down powerful concepts like “propaganda” and “censorship”. Now that we need them, the words no longer suffice.
Neil Gorsuch showed himself to be a partisan nominee the moment he accepted Merrick Garland’s spot. “Hypocrisy, like time, flows only one way here.”
For the love of god, stop armchair-diagnosing the President with narcissistic personality disorder. The doctor who wrote the diagnostic criteria for the disorder says President Toad doesn’t meet them–and furthermore, as Miri elaborates, it stigmatizes people with mental illness. Stop it. Stop it stop it stop it. ✋
The President’s first week was awful on a scale I’ve never seen before… so what happens when we experience another terrorist attack?
“Maybe this is how it becomes great again,” writes Shawn Vestal in the Spokesman-Review. Maybe there’s hope yet in the people of this country rallying to reject fear and hate.”
“I’ve seen worse. The thing to remember is this: if you believe in what you have to say, then you must find a way to say it. This isn’t any worse, it’s just your turn.”
Noted neoconservative and scholar of international affairs Eliot Cohen: “There is nothing great about the America that Trump thinks he is going to make; but in the end, it is the greatness of America that will stop him.”
Finally, The Onion wrote an article about me and I didn’t even realize it.
Header photo is public domain via Unsplash. Link icon by Noe Araujo from the Noun Project (CC BY 3.0).