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  I voted for Joe Biden and hope he wins. I’m also alarmed at the increasingly transparent alliance between the Democratic Party and influential sectors of corporate America, namely media conglomerates and the technology industry. (Their relationship reminds me of the Republican Party and the energy industry.) It’s true there are conservative media outlets that are not friendly to Democrats, but it’s far less certain how objective the “paper of record” and other “serious” media would be to a post-Trump and post-COVID Biden administration that is politically and ascetically their peer. (I would say we are at a point of competing Pravdas, but that would be a slander against the Soviet newspaper’s pre-Stalinist period when it was a battleground of ideas.) Perhaps even more damning is the Democratic Party’s relationship to the technology industry, particularly when companies like Twitter and Facebook have shown they are prepared to unilaterally decide what’s true and what’s false. Not many
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 Vicky Osterweil can be well received by the same people who thought Bernie Sanders “too radical” because Osterweil’s jargonized defense of looting is not supposed to be taken seriously while Bernie’s “political revolution” very much was. That particular stratum of the professional class, including many activist influencers, have a wink and nod built into the ideology with Osterweil. Everyone knows it’s opportunist bullshit, soon to be forgotten, but for the next few months keep a copy of the book on the coffee table so if anyone comes over they will know how “radical” you are. (Unless someone, you know, steals it.)
Middle class liberals went from arguing Bernie Sanders is too radical for the suburbs to supporting, at least tacitly, burning down buildings (disproportionately immigrant owned) as a political shortcut. Many then pivoted again to support the candidacy of Antone Melton-Meaux against Ilhan Omar. Melton-Meaux has been critical of both BLM and #metoo from the right and is the most transparent candidate of capital I’ve seen in a long time. (Strangely enough, he’s too chickenshit to run on “rebuilding Minneapolis,” something that might actually gain traction.)  This is why people outside of the states have so much trouble sorting out our politics. We’ve never had a party of labor, the populists were smashed by business and the state, so this professional managerial class muddle confuses everything. It’s incredibly frustrating. 
State power (that is the ability of the state to use brute force) has increased beyond any somewhat comparable moment in history, yet the state’s ability to everyday govern has decreased to historically poor levels. People (across the political spectrum) typically make sense of this through various conspiracy theories, some more attached to reality than others. (Many are nakedly conspiratorial, others have elements of structural analyses, usually done by trained post-structuralists of course.) America is ground zero, but this is not exclusively an American phenomenon. (China is a possible counter-example, though their competence is both exaggerated and relies heavily on the brute force part of the state.)  This creates a stalemate of sorts. The state lacks legitimacy, but also can’t be replaced. You can add Ross Douthat’s Laschian critique of societal “decadence” (drift may be a better word) to this context. His analysis is largely correct in my view and he’s also right that it’s relat

A Letter From Saint Paul

As I write this we are about a half an hour from curfew. I’m in St. Paul. It has been hit far less than its counterpart across the river but my neighborhood, the city’s poorest and most diverse, is still boarded up. My neighbor is a mental health professional and helped out at a makeshift hospital for the protests. I mowed her lawn the other day and found a clear attempt to start a fire in the alley. It looks like they tried to set another neighbor’s garage on fire.  Things have been much calmer the last few nights. After George Floyd was murdered I felt sick to my stomach. (And I’m a white guy. I don’t pretend to know how people who have been attacked by those brutes for generations feel.) My view is that the first two nights were what you could call a rebellion, the pinnacle being the burning down of the third precinct . (The city was reduced to abandoning it and pretending there was a gas leak .)  Night three saw a qualitative change. It was lumpenized to the point of the mov
I’m somewhat familiar with the story, but haven’t seen the tv series “the plot against America.” Is it any good? I’ll admit I have doubts that will be difficult to overcome. My guess is it’s a well stylized but historically simplified attempt to frame international liberalism, particularly the US dominated post war order, as something deeper than what it has become- a value championed almost exclusively by the cosmopolitan elite and global corporations. I also predict that the entire post WW1 context (three months involvement and almost 120,000 Americans dead, split evenly between fighting and the flu pandemic) is lost to Lindbergh and his anti-Semitism. Is this accurate? “The man in the high castle,” another alternative history book made into a tv series that I actually did watch, missed an opportunity to dig into American militarism by not really explaining why so many high level American military members joined the Nazis. (We were supposed to believe it’s just because the Germans wo

South Carolina the Bulwark

Putting South Carolina’s primary right before Super Tuesday is a stroke of genius. There is not a better state to serve as a bulwark for any left candidate who manages to do well in the first three states. South Carolina is probably the most conservative state in the country. This, of course, means that its Democratic Party is also conservative, at least relative to more liberal states. South Carolina also has a significant African American population. To the punditry, this is an early test of the “black vote.” (Despite their purported wokeness, media types love to treat African Americans as though they are a monolithic voting bloc separated from the larger culture of their communities.) There are black conservatives. Both relative to other Democrats in the Democratic Party and also relative to the universally recognized ideological spectrum. (Indeed, Tim Scott is from South Carolina.) This context is overwhelmingly ignored by the media. So instead of talking about a socialist Jew