If anyone is wondering just how deep is the left’s abandonment of its most long-standing and foundational values, namely free speech and class analysis, one need look no further than this book about populism: Systemic Corruption: Constitutional Ideas for an Anti-Oligarchic Republic by Columbia Law School postdoc scholar Camila Vergara.
“Although it is physically impossible for the guards in a panopticon to observe all the inmates, the fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that they are motivated to act as though they are being watched at all times. Thus, the inmates are effectively compelled to regulate their own behaviour.”
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed…That will disclose…What everybody knows – Leonard Cohen
When Populism Meant Collective Strength Against a Rigged System
The mildest of criticisms aimed at woke theology are considered literal violence by its proponents. But at the same time, the harshest slurs and insults are completely acceptable if they are deployed against individuals who are not part of what has become a protected caste. In fact, randomly tossing around words like bigot, Nazi or White supremacist is the woke sport of our age. Nazi no longer means members of the National Socialist Party of Germany in the 30s and 40s who were dedicated, above all else, to the extermination of other humans born into one particular group. For woke cultists, Nazi just means anyone who doesn’t adhere to the exact language of their catechism. It’s strange that it is necessary to say, in our modern woke world of supposed tolerance for everyone’s identity, that Jewish identity and the enduring nature of anti-Semitism are real.
How the Left Woke Up and Found Its Inner Anti-Semitism
A decade ago for a brief moment following the 2008 global economic crash, there was a world-wide wave of angry emotion when the unbridled greed of the dominant capitalist elite was suddenly laid bare. Here in the US this engendered a movement called Occupy, which started in Zuccotti Park in the New York City financial district and spread quickly throughout the country.
Occupy, with all its imperfections, was widely viewed as a genuine populist movement. The movement focused on issues of economic inequality and coined the phrase ‘we are the 99%.’ Chris Hedges said at the time in an article on Truthdig that “Occupy articulated the concerns of the majority of citizens.”
Occupy set off a powerful emotional surge that swept across the country and genuinely frightened the elite. The State moved quickly to ensure that Occupy was effectively quashed. Under Obama, the federal government and local police forces joined to dismantle, often brutally, Occupy encampments across the country. No effort was spared in terms of mass arrests, surveillance, and other forms of State powered repression to ensure that Occupy couldn’t metastasize into anything lasting or inspire any actual challenges to power.
How about a coup against Silicon Valley?
Cancel culture is the horror movie that has people transfixed by their computer screens, lost in the make believe exchanges of social media when suddenly, all too real, a monster steps out of the screen and into the lives of actual people, seeking their destruction and reveling in their pain and loss.
Karl Popper, Free Speech and the Paradox of Tolerance
The North Complex Fire is still burning in Butte County, Northern California. It’s one of the worst wildfires in California history and has ravaged a vast area, some 40 miles long and 20 miles wide. My two days there were a visit to a different planet. We were part of a K9 search and rescue team, sent to look for dead bodies. Our team consisted of 4 humans and 2 dogs, a German shepherd and a Malinois. We were part of a larger search and rescue operation that had teams from almost every county in Northern California, several hundred individuals. Each morning, we were sent out to our assignments after signing in, listening to a 7 am briefing and after checking out various pieces of equipment which included a radio, a gadget called a nano that would track our whereabouts all day and through which we could send an emergency signal if necessary, a can of red spray paint to mark areas that were searched and a complete K9 first aid, trauma kit.
A search and rescue experience in the apocalypse of California’s wildfires
Vincent Mignerot is an independent researcher located in Lyon, France. He is founder of the organization Adrastia, dedicated to studying and spreading awareness about the collapse of the environment and human civilization. He is a frequent speaker in front of university audiences in France where his views on capitalism and human nature get him into hot water with some on the left. Whether you agree or disagree with some of Mignerot’s arguments you will see that he is a careful, logical thinker who builds his arguments brick by brick. He compares what humans have done to the earth to a burned cake in the oven, which can never be reconstituted into its original ingredients. The damage is irreparable but there are ways we can prepare and adapt ourselves to what is coming.