Notes from the Secret White People Meetings

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My grandmother never lived to witness Trump’s inauguration. She died of multiple organ failure a few days before, declining so rapidly that she was effectively dead for twenty-four hours before her heart finally quit. She didn’t vote in the final election of her life, either, believing, rightly, that both of the candidates were too repulsive to deserve anyone’s support. Was she lucky to miss out on the psychic shockwave, elusive yet pervasive, that has rocked this nation in the three subsequent years? That, I can’t say, but when the news media is overloaded with grisly absurdities and comic grotesqueries (not an uncommon state of affairs, these days), she is usually the first person to come to my mind: “Holy fucking Christ, I’m glad Grammy isn’t around to see this.”

She was around, though, to see plenty in her nearly-ninety years. She saw a cop in South Carolina shoot Walter Scott three times in the back; it would have been quite the challenge to shoot him in the chest, as he was running away from the cop and towards the street. The cop, now a murderer, informed his masters that Scott tried to steal one of his weapons, but a video recording of the crime, captured without the murderer’s knowledge, exposed both his lie and his attempt to plant evidence of it. Wikipedia alleges that this scandal generated “a widespread controversy”, but I don’t recall anyone discussing it more than once, or for more than one day. In any case, Walter Scott did not become a (white) household name, unlike Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, two murdered men who dwarfed Scott in mass media coverage.

My grandmother had no stomach for violence, nor did she have a fixed view of colored Americans. Commenting on Scott’s demise, she asked my sister: “What do you think of the intelligence of the blacks?” Grimacing in disgusted disbelief, my father answered for her: “There’s plenty of dumbass white people, mom! Oh my God!” This, mind you, was a few years after she scolded my aunt, her daughter, for advising my sister to date white men only. “Oh, stop it!” my grandmother said with a dismissive flap of her hand. “This isn’t thirty or forty years ago. This is a different time!” Indeed, it was a very different time: America’s first black president had just ended a successful re-election campaign, much to the delight of my aunt and uncle on the other side of my family tree. They think Barack Obama was the greatest president in American history, and they will tell anyone who cares to listen—including my cousin, whom they disowned when she married a black man, but whom they welcomed back into their lives after she divorced him.

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Tara Reade and the Epilogue to American Feminism

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If the fourth wave of American feminism rose, as we had confidently come to believe, on the same day that we elected Donald Trump, then how do we explain its sudden crash upon the soggy, slimy, spore-spotted stones bunched together by the Biden campaign? This was no common interpolation, no ordinary link in the chain, but the anticlimactic coda of a movement that once offered legitimate hope of revolution, only to succumb to the suffocating grip of the establishment. This slow snuffing out of the victim likely started fifty or sixty years ago, when academia claimed (in the absence of cause) feminism as its intellectual domain. That, of course, was the beginning of the ill-fated flight known as third-wave feminism; it was also the cue for feminists to abandon economic justice and to pursue an abstract “social” enemy. The lifeless beast slumbered until the dynastic Clintons were dethroned, an unparalleled political tragedy that proved sufficiently arousing to inspire aggression. This marked animation, in contrast to the tedium of the past several decades, was thought to be the dawn of a new era, but it was only the furious epilogue to the penny dreadful that our history will write.

Cheap, sloppy literature and party propaganda printed in garish, nauseating pink: such was the one product of American feminism’s fourth and final wave. The directed resurgence of feminist ire in the last several years, ubiquitous in the most powerful tiers of the corporate media, was always an elaborate marketing gimmick developed by the Democrats. Banal and superfluous for most of the 2000s, the Democrats received much-needed cultural relevance when Obama came upon the scene, only to be threatened with popular insignificance when Trump made his political debut. Lacking a compelling spectacle of their own, the Democrats seized a weathered, polarizing trend officially known as feminism and sold it to Trump’s dizzy critics. They advertised it as the sophisticated, high-minded, and grown-up alternative to Trump’s titillating sideshow, but its moral insincerity, in substance as well as in form, failed to escape the eye of discriminating customers.

No one could explain why fourth-wave feminists plumbed the murky details of Brett Kavanaugh’s college yearbook, but could not be stirred to investigate the extralegal business of Jeffrey Epstein. None of these self-proclaimed activists defended Tulsi Gabbard when she was lampooned as the goddess of 4chan, but to them, rugged sexism was the one conceivable cause of Elizabeth Warren’s disastrous performance. Under no circumstances could these moral philosophers understand why a civilized human adult would vote for Trump when he has been plausibly accused of committing rape—just as we cannot comprehend why they have agreed to vote for Biden, not only when he is plausibly accused of committing rape, but when these so-called feminists acknowledge the claim.

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License Unlimited: Governmental Power in the Days of Pandemic

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Scenes from the Rally to Reopen New Hampshire, 04/18/2020

The pandemic had discredited, shattered, and exposed many of our patriotic myths, though perhaps none of them are as salacious as the claim that the American government fears its citizens, and that this enduring “fear of the people” has stayed the hand of many a would-be tyrant or despot. When we promote this self-aggrandizing superstition, we seek to persuade ourselves of our supremacy—a supremacy earned, paradoxically enough, through our subservient relationship to the state—and simultaneously to reassure ourselves of our government’s impotence—an impotence developed, as you can probably imagine, through the state’s dominion over us. Fortunately, the incoherence of this creed has been irreversibly exposed in the time of the coronavirus, as the American people have submitted to their government’s repressive measures—unfathomable to those who have long believed in the “fear of the people”, but hardly unprecedented for this unfree nation.

According to the government, that amorphous institution of unlimited control, it reluctantly and humbly adopted these measures in order to protect its citizens from an uncommonly lethal disease. The American people have accepted this explanation, remarkably reminiscent of the justification for the revocation of civil liberties after 9/11, with nary a timid question or critique: six weeks into the pandemic, and there is still no popular discourse challenging the government’s motivation in sentencing three hundred million people to house arrest. The only controversy surrounds the need for, or efficacy of, such a massive lockdown: “Is this necessary? Is it working?” The official debate must adhere to the intellectual template approved by the government, the template stating that the government has always had the best intention, even if its actions were ill-advised.

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You probably don’t need to be reminded that this is the same framework with which every foreign policy debate is introduced: we are told that the American government intended to do the right and honorable thing when it annihilated another nation (for imperialist violence is our foreign policy), but mistakes were made and the wrong, undesired outcome was achieved. Faith in our government remains paramount precisely because it attenuates and suffocates our intellect. Why else would we hear President Trump’s most bloodthirsty critics demand that his government continue to revoke the people’s freedom of movement? Conversely, why are those who are demanding an end to these restrictions sporting pro-Trump, pro-Republican Party merchandise at rallies in New Hampshire and elsewhere? It is because these groups cannot operate outside the structural limitations of state propaganda: in their mind, the government must provide the solution.

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In the US, Anti-War Progressives are Political Niggers (by D. Pearce SSC)

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The following essay was written by D. Pearce SSC. He received his Masters in Applied American Politics & Policy from Florida State University in 2015. Before enlisting in the US Army, he worked for the Democratic Party as a public relations specialist, and now runs an eponymous YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Have you had the pleasure yet of someone calling you a Bernie Bro, even after you have already sworn off your political allegiance to Bernie Sanders?

Throughout the 2019-2020 Democratic Primary the Senator from Vermont and two-time failed Presidential hopeful repeatedly Russia-gated himself, played unity games with the DNC and stifled his own movement by refusing to leave the defensive crouch position. Eventually Bernie Sanders bought himself a sturdy pair of kneepads and went on to full-throatedly endorse Joe Biden for President. For many, like myself, this was too much. People who thought in Sanders they had a real fighter in the ring for human-centered political aspirations have had to renounce their support of the Sanders, whose legacy will now forever disappointingly boil down to being more a pressure-release valve on the American Left than any kind of progressive Mike Tyson. Up-punching corporate overlords silly for the sake of passing Medicare For All and ending wars seemed too much for the old man’s heart. Albeit mediocre, Bernie’s final moments in the political spotlight will still nonetheless perhaps lead to 60-75% of his supporters “voting Blue no matter who.” I wonder what Bernie’s going to do now with all those millions of leftover cash from his contributors, now that the General Election is coming up…

When you think about it, Bernie Sanders has turned out to be quite the feather-in-the-cap for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

You, reader, may have watched the 2020 Primary and had Sanders and others you thought progressive violently dash your hopes of a better future arriving sooner rather than later. The ship of Americans awaking to the reality that is their collective American political nightmare and voting themselves into a better world, closer to less militarism and debt-free education/healthcare, has crashed onto the shores of neoliberalism in 2020.

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