Outside the Panopticon

“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.”
Panopticon, Wikipedia

But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed…That will disclose…What everybody knows – Leonard Cohen


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On anti-Zionism and Antisemitism: A Response to Mark White’s Article in Plebity

ARTICLE

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to Mark White’s blog in Plebity arguing that anti-Zionism is not antisemitism. I take up some but not all of Mark’s arguments. But Mark’s analysis is off base both conceptually and factually in several places.

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On anti-Zionism and Antisemitism: A Response to Mark White’s Article in Plebity

No, Anti-Zionism does not Equal Antisemitism

ARTICLE

Juden Raus (Jews Out!) board game from the 1930s - Wiener Holocaust Library
When Jews discourage debate about Israel and Jewish identity, they prevent open conversation and legitimate criticism of Israel, which leaves the field open for real antisemites to use anti-Zionist language to promote and spread their actual antisemitism.

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No, Anti-Zionism does not Equal Antisemitism

A Story of Fake Photojournalism: The Book of Veles, Real Euros for Fake News

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The city of Veles, Macedonia This fake news story begins in Veles, a small city of 40,000 people in Macedonia. Veles became widely known in the Trump election of 2016 as a production center for false information websites. Presumably, there were hundreds of fake news websites developed by some people in Veles that generated income from ads.

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A Story of Fake Photojournalism: The Book of Veles, Real Euros for Fake News

Surveillance has been Normalized but so has Self-Censorship

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Presidio modela - panopticon prison in CubaRevelations like those from Snowden and the Pegasus Project have this same unexpected and counterintuitive effect. Instead of rejecting the control, we increasingly learn to adapt and self censor. The panopticon effect lies exactly in this acceptance of the new normal. Afraid to say the wrong thing, we self censure our discourse and the allowable range of ideas becomes more and more narrow. Those who fail to ‘check their words’ are cancelled and provide an example for the rest.

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Surveillance has been Normalized but so has Self-Censorship

Breaking up the Tech Giants is not Enough

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MonopolyMonopoly used to be understood in a kind of one dimensional space, how a company may have gained dominance in its industry. However, today’s tech monopolies exist in multidimensions; they monopolize and control our data, they decide when and if to censor our speech, and they purchase government officials, the same ones charged with reigning them in. But our old conception of monopolies is totally inadequate to describe or understand the significance of today’s big tech companies.

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Breaking up the Tech Giants is not Enough

McCarthyism, Political Courage and High Noon

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Anti-reds posterWitch hunts in various forms are one of those recurring themes of human history. One variation, known as McCarthyism, has returned recently, at least in the lexicon. The word McCarthyism has been thrown around a lot lately. Like ‘fascist’ or ‘marxist,’ it is a part of the word arsenal deployed in our current culture wars.

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McCarthyism, Political Courage and High Noon

Anti-Oppression Politics is a Red Herring to Divert Our Attention from Empire, Inequality, and Class Solidarity

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Why are the rich so much better at uniting around class issues than the plebes? Outrage is a sentiment that feels so pure and so right. When it is pointed at injustice and burns bright inside of us we are reaffirmed as the moral beings that we believe ourselves to be. That our strongly held sense of righteousness could be a useful tool for others and even redirected to serve their purposes may seem impossible and even unbearable.

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Anti-Oppression Politics is a Red Herring to Divert Our Attention from Empire, Inequality, and Class Solidarity

Hey English Instructors – ‘Take a History Class and Learn about Free Speech’

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University of Oklahoma teachers workshop:Recently, Oklahoma University contributed their own stark example of how the core values of free speech and critical thinking are being misunderstood and misapplied in the spheres of what we call ‘higher education’.

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Hey English Instructors – ‘Take a History Class and Learn about Free Speech’

Hyperbole on the Loose! The Left Cries Wolf and is Unprepared to Recognize the Real Thing

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Boy Who Cried WolfWhen you’ve branded every dissenting voice–no matter how mild, with the harshest possible labels, what vocabulary do you have available to point out the actual wolf when it comes out of the forest?

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Hyperbole on the Loose! The Left Cries Wolf and is Unprepared to Recognize the Real Thing