Commentary
The Sick and the Damned
Postliberal and neoliberal thought views the individual as totally cut off from a social body, simply a biological unit in which malfunctions can be addressed through medical or pharmacological interventions. The tragicomic result of this simultaneous pretense toward empathy (capitalism with a human face) and individualism is “self-care culture.” “Self care” becomes both an industry and a deflection from the very real problems that capitalism causes.
The Need For International Radical Solidarity With Rojava
On the northern edge of Syria, the de facto autonomous region known as Rojava has set the example for the future of radical democracy and economic autonomy in the Middle East. The region is structured by a secular model of democratic confederalism put into place by its constitution in 2014, a constitution that makes law…
Don’t Protect Their Secrets!: Whisper Networks and Manipulation
Even as we nurture beautiful futures and tender solidarity, our networks are struggling. As Bobby London wrote, “The state cannot destroy us the ways we destroy ourselves.” In addition to the threats that freedom faces from outside, we have threats inside that we need to deal with in real-time. We regularly fail to address them…
Everything Wrong with the Parkland Students’ Manifesto
On Saturday, March 24, survivors of the Parkland School Shooting led hundreds of thousands of people in a “March for Our Lives” to protest gun violence. The day prior, they published their “manifesto,” a listing of policy recommendations intended to prevent future gun violence. Gun violence is scary, and living through a school shooting is…
The Conservatism of Gun Control
On March 24, hundreds of thousands of students and other activists against gun violence participated in the March for Our Lives, an event meant to spur action to put an end to mass shootings in the United States. Ten days earlier, many of the same people participated in a school walkout with the same purpose….
Why I Hate the Word Terrorism (But Don’t Regret Using It)
I have no interest in learning about the Austin bomber. What their politics were, where they were raised, what groups they were part of. Whether he was nice, or even what motivated him to commit terrorism. He voided my empathy and understanding the moment he placed the first bomb down.
Applying Political Ideas on the Individual Level
We often talk about how our political ideals and ideologies would culminate into social realities if we are ever able to succeed in our endeavors. Our theorization is premised on this very fact of conceivability. Without a comprehensive picture of social order operating under the ethos we believe to be best, we wouldn’t have much…
Your Allies, Not Mine
America positions “radical Islam” as its enemy, blames leftists for it, but continues to enable it amidst misfiring accusations. The left often faces a criticism from the right that we are not tough enough on “radical Islam.” A while back, Barack Obama was also criticized by those to the right of him for not saying…
In Defense of Walk on Girls
“Walk-on girls,” “Grid girls,” whatever you call them, they all serve the same functions: hype up the crowd, wear the sponsors’ logos, and most of all, look pretty. It’s a sports modeling job, plain and simple. You fill the entrance pit at the races or entertain the crowd between rounds of darts. Sexuality is absolutely…
Sex Work Panic Is Squashing the Mardi Gras Spirit
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is known as a time of pure indulgence. Chasing down floats for beads, drinking until you puke, dancing your ass off, and flashing your tits are pretty much expected. So why, at a time when the rest of the community is partying in the streets, are there strippers marching through…
Lessons From My Narcissist Father: Kleptomania and the Boundaries of Need-Based Consumerism
My father has been stealing for as long as I can remember. As a child I witnessed him simply walking out of bookstores, one hand clasped in mine and a pile of magazines and books in the other. Nobody ever stopped him and I never said a word. Years later, as an adult, I watched…
The Cosmic Privilege
“I was home with my daughter, my service dog Pono, and Rosie the chinchilla, who belongs to my daughter, Abby. When I read the alarm, I jump out of bed and grab my glasses. I run to Abigail’s room. ‘Get up honey. You have to get up right now. Right now. Grab your pillow. Go…
We Will Breathe the Ashes of the Dead for the Rest of Our Lives
Tuesday, as the world prepared to listen to the State of the Union, a small piece of news slunk out with horrifying implication. The Trump administration had withdrawn its pick for ambassador to South Korea, Victor Cha, after he privately expressed disagreement with a plan for a “limited strike” on North Korea. This piece of…
The Mutations of Freedom
“Freedom” and “liberty” are the stodgy, dust-covered utterances of academics, fascist patriots, and manipulative dogmatists; or at least they can feel that way. But behind all that cultural baggage is something that reaches deep into our experience and hopes and pulls out a fistful of primal energy and connectivity. This feeling is so intrinsic to…
Echoes of Canudos: The Brazilian State Massacre 120 Years Later
This past October marked the 120th anniversary of Brazil’s biggest state-sponsored massacre. The War of Canudos took place between 1896 and 1897 and took the lives of 35,000 people, including men, women, and children. Amidst the civilians killed, at least 500 indigenous Kiriri died. According to the anthropologist Edwin Reesink (with whom I spoke over…
The PUSH Against Prison Slavery
The prisoners are revolting again, folks. After the wave of strikes launched on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison riots and the August 19th strikes of this past year, inmates in Florida are planning another strike starting on January 15th, 2018 on Martin Luther King Day. On that day, in what has been dubbed…
Not the Droid You’re Looking For: Subtler Political Points from The Last Jedi
The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson’s recent continuation of the Star Wars saga, has generated many new takes. Yet most focus on debates about aesthetics, storytelling, cinematography, fandom politics, and concerns with fantasy physics rather than the social and political commentary of the movie. Perhaps it’s because the main political messages of this installment were so…
The New [Digital] Biography
Curating autobiographies, the Modernist movement, and the false promise of social media in the Trump era This essay was written during the days following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. As a means of sorting through the benefits of social media in establishing a political stance in the Trump era, I found myself at an impasse….
Don’t Sell the Red Gold Away
San Gavino Monreale, in Sardinia, is my birth-town. It’s also the single biggest producer of the spice called saffron in Italy. We call it also red gold for its color and price. Saffron is a tradition that dates back centuries. The first bulbs (the spice is extracted from a flower) were cultivated around the XIII…
Who Are We Burning Flags For?
On October 24 a judge dismissed the charges levied against several protesters who burned the American flag at the Republican National Convention last year. The protesters weren’t technically charged with burning the flag because that might constitute a violation of free speech. The protesters were charged with one of the state’s many items in its…
Free Markets & Capitalism?
Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist