State of the Left: Election edition

Consider the GOP war on voting, the innovations in political workplace intimidation under Citizens United, and Mitt Romney’s remarks about the 47% of Americans he proudly revealed he was not worried about. Think about the common constituencies targeted by these discourses and policies. It is difficult to avoid coming to the conclusion that there stands before us a country increasingly incapable of veiling its seams, of keeping demographic tensions hidden beneath the classless American vernacular. Modern democracy takes most the overt violence out of politics, but it does not take out the war out of it.

The dangers of viewing work as play

In the contemporary capitalist order, two exemplars of unceasing devotion to work can be found in the shared martyrdom of commercial hip hop’s affluent street hustler and Wall street’s investment banker, figures who glory in sacrificing themselves in pursuit of the higher cause of capital, but brandish the fruits of their labor in the most conspicuous manner possible. When Lil Wayne uttered, “Only history I know is Benjamin Franklin,” through the $100,000 platinum and diamond grill covering his teeth, he was revealing an attitude toward wealth and life that the mentioned autodidact and serial inventor was likely not fond of.

Do not trust people who write as often as they think

I write right now in protest of writing. My entire generation of journalists – the blogging generation – has been groomed to write quickly, intuitively, and to disregard the consequences of the matter they’re discussing. Most the blogging class loves chatter for the sake of it; they shoot from the hip, and they don’t look where they aim.

On facing a year in jail for protesting Stop-and-Frisk

New York City teacher Jamel Mims faces up to a year in prison for nonviolently protesting the most controversial racial profiling policy in America today. Here’s what he has to say.

State of the Left, 10/19

Signs of the times: Pharmaceuticals as a solution to poverty – Walmart insurrections – How racial profiling can get you promoted – Google wants to be part of the dinner conversation


Logistical odds and ends were being sorted — New post this Friday.

State of the left

Signposts for the times: Stewart and Colbert are flaccid; China is in revolt; the presidential candidates didn’t debate; India’s mico-finance suicide epidemic.

Introducing: The information theses

The beginning of The Neoprogressive’s theses. The first argument to be advanced is that the latest explosion of information technology in the past few decades has caused a concomitant erosion in the distinctions between information, knowledge and enlightenment.

Against watching presidential election coverage

Alongside observing patterns in the flight of birds, daily horoscopes and tarot cards, I find watching coverage of the presidential election initially amusing, occasionally intriguing, a hypnotic waste of time, and ultimately an unforgivable assault upon rational society. [Essay]

S17 and the future of Occupy

One year ago, a park in New York was taken over by a band of urban survivalists driven mad by wealth inequality in America. This week, the movement it began celebrated its one-year anniversary in New York City. A report on the events of S17 and Occupy’s prospects.