Category: Uncategorized

Dostoyevsky on Donald Trump And The 2016 Elections

Samir Chopra

Yesterday, I spent part of a gloomy, overcast day in the CUNY Graduate Center library, preparing for my classes today. In particular, I prepared for my class on existentialism by reading, yet again, Dostoyevsky‘s Notes From Underground. As I read sitting next to a large window, I heard chants emanating upward from Fifth Avenue; I looked out to see a large contingent of protesters heading uptown, presumably toward Trump Tower. (The Graduate Center Library is located at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, so I was only twenty or so blocks away from their intended destination.) I wished them a silent ‘good luck,’ and then turned back to my reading. In an email to my students over the weekend I had asked them to keep in mind that the Underground Man is engaged in a kind of ‘revolt.’ What was he revolting against? How is this revolt expressed? As…

View original post 505 more words

Steve Bannon’s #Fascist #WhiteSupremacist Agenda


(Originally posted on Facebook by Ben Tolkin, with a follow-up on Medium.)

so I just found out that steve bannon is going to be donald trump’s chief adviser and… I’ve been trying to avoid my usual level of self-promotional blather, to stay humble and not talk as much about things I don’t understand. but I do understand the alt-right. I really, really do. and I don’t mean to make anyone panic, but I also kind of maybe need to tell as many people as possible to find out who you can trust, save your money, connect with anyone you know who lives overseas, plan ahead, buy a gun, yadda yadda yadda. this is bad. this is so, so, so bad. you do not understand at all how bad this is. america is about to undergo four years (at best) of very calculated, extremely powerful propaganda designed to sway the population towards fascism and white nationalism. that’s not hyperbole, that is what is going to happen. I don’t know if it will work. I don’t want to cause panic or talk about shit that again, I don’t understand, and I don’t know what the future holds, but right now the president is a person of few convictions who is easily swayed, and the person swaying him the most is an extremely smart and cunning person whose convictions are very strong, and very horrifying.

some of you know that I try to spend time on alt-right and fascist sites to keep an eye on them; this started when I figured a bunch of people were misunderstanding stormfront and thought the simplest way to learn more was make an account, but it didn’t stop. that means I have been hearing about steve bannon for a long-ass time, because for years, the only time you would hear his name on the internet was from white nationalists who didn’t agree with him fully, but appreciated his skill in manipulating the media and pushing the window of acceptable discourse towards their aims. I urge people to start actively monitoring this shit; the good thing about the fact that this is all done online is that a lot of it is public, and that which is secret can be found out if you’re patient and willing to pretend. the white house is about to headfuck us into believing steve bannon isn’t a white nationalist and anyone who says he is is hysterical and unpatriotic. if you are watching them right now, this gaslighting is impossible. that is, at least until they start planning more misdirection to minimize the connections lest the media get suspicious (richard b. spencer, open and unrepentant white nationalist, said in a couple interviews a while ago that steve bannon is leading the way and shares his views, and immediately started denouncing them once bannon became prominent. expect more of this shit, and don’t settle for the surface level of how white supremacists talk in public.)

so like I said there’s a lot of things I don’t know about and there are a lot of people more qualified than me to talk about this; please seek those people out. however, I know enough about this shit that I at least know where things are headed, and I can’t just not share that as widely as I can. so here’s some very rough, very loosely organized things to watch out for:

1. this is about misinformation and chaos, not outright lying. trump can control the media indirectly with ease by just not appearing on outlets that disagree with him, since he couldn’t give less of a shit about the free press. the media will not say things that are untrue (usually) it will create bullshit narratives out of isolated facts. protesters who make things violent, people who lie about attacks from trump supporters, instances of corruption in other media outlets; these will all be real instances that happen, and you can’t get drawn into disputing the particular events. this isn’t a theory, this is how staffers at breitbart have long described their job: each story is part of a narrative, each article has a hidden agenda that ties it together with others to create a sense of reality. and I have no fucking clue how to combat this. it’s really effective. like, obviously try not to break the law unprovoked while protesting, but it will happen at least once anyway. I expect the answer involves things like constant filming and calling them out on their narratives ahead of time, but man, I am fully expecting the general mood of the country two years from now to be that all protesters are unpatriotic and violent. russia will hack the aclu and everything remotely looking like a scandal will take it down. false flag operations will breed distrust and confusion among activists. shit’s real bad.

vocabulary becomes hugely important. always focus on underlying meanings, rather than words; when accused of racism for trump’s comments against muslims, supporters fall back on “islam isn’t a race” and all that shit. seek out tangible data and make careful arguments. also, they love using the left’s vocabulary against them, and it’s really effective (breitbart’s written articles on how islam is a “rape culture” and uses plenty of concepts from racial minority resistance applied to white people.) this can be used against them, though, to at least hilarious effect: if someone tells you to fall in line and support president trump, call that “political correctness.” frame every protest, constantly and loudly, as an exercise of freedom of speech, of the first amendment, as something patriotic and american.

chaos and unreality are the chief tools of the alt-right; the sheer improbability of the movement shields it from being observed. remember when clinton criticized pepe memes, and the general public was laughing at how the crazy lady thought there were racist frogs? obviously, anyone who’s spent time on /pol/ knows that that’s pretty much accurate! the same will happen with bannon. people will be incredulous: surely the office of the presidency isn’t inciting a covert white nationalist movement! surely the president’s closest adviser isn’t an unamerican, antidemocratic professional propagandist! don’t let bannon’s presence be normalized, ever, do not let the office fool you regarding what he was yesterday and will be tomorrow, do not let the absurdity of what he’s trying to do convince you he isn’t doing what he’s doing.

perhaps the most important thing to understand is that white nationalists are not going to promote themselves directly, and the administration will always be able to distance themselves from it. a lot of people have (thankfully) been talking about the “overton window” in recent days, the term for the range of acceptable beliefs in a society. the alt-right has been talking about the overton window for a long, long time. they use the term constantly, and understand that the best way to promote fringe beliefs is not by persuading them directly, but by covertly moving the overton window until they are acceptable before openly supporting them. richard b. spencer will be on tv within the next few years promoting white separatism as a valid ideology, and the tv hosts will remind viewers that of course, of course they don’t agree with this, of course this is reprehensible, he’s providing the fringe view. doesn’t matter, he’s on tv. criticizing his presence will be seen as an attack on free speech; the concept of free speech will be used as a weapon, but only ever to push the window of acceptable discourse to one side. it’s not about *promoting* white nationalism, it’s about *normalizing* it: do not be fooled when the presidency says they disagree, as they’ve won just by becoming a position that you have to say you disagree with. which brings me to my next point:

2. this is not about donald trump. this is in no way about the person who trump is. steve bannon does not give two shits about donald trump. sure, the casual nihilist memesters of the alt-right (4chan /pol/) worship him as god-emperor, but the truly scary organized racists (some of 8chan /pol/ and boards beyond) recognize him well as a useful fool. they also want donald trump to fail, as long as he fails in a specific way.

be very careful how you criticize donald trump. a lot of people have been pointing out that he’s breaking his campaign promises, he’s just as corrupt as the people he’s replacing, he doesn’t really represent the american people. this is true, and important to say, but be mindful of the nationalist narrative: they want trump to fail, after pushing the overton window so far right they can take over. they want people to look at a failed trump presidency and think yes, it’s because he was one of the elites, just another one of the secret liberal cabal that must be destroyed (oh and did you hear his son in law is jewish hmmmm.) again, this is not a theory of mine, this is something that white nationalists regularly talk about. they want to take trump’s narrative further than he ever could. he’s already framing this as a working-class uprising against elites, but the alt-right is framing it as a white uprising against (((elites))), and it requires him to fail before an open white nationalist provides a solution. a lot of people think a failed trump presidency would inherently shift the country back to the left: once one side fails, people go to the other. remember the overton window. there is a side that is to the right of donald trump, and people could shift there instead, especially following 4 years of bannon’s psyops.

3. lastly, this is not about america. which I’m just throwing in because I hope this is the most effective strategy to inoculate against this shit? the alt-right is an absolutely international movement, and white nationalists firmly reject any other national borders. that’s why bannon contacted marine fucking le pen and then lied about it, why trump is going to get cozy with farage, how putin is having a fucking blast watching alexander dugin be read around the world. I bring this up not because it’s less well known, but because that, at least, can hopefully get through to some americans. why the fuck is trump meeting with farage at all? this is a rejection of fundamentally american values in favor of a coalition of global minority parties coordinating their efforts to flip governments one at a time. fuck them. they do not care about america. steve bannon does not care about america. steve bannon cares about tearing down an establishment of anyone who offers tolerance in favor of one that rewards aggression, violence, and ethnic nationalism. and he might be the most powerful person in the country.

again, I am really not trying to pontificate too much or jump too conclusions. there are a lot of people who know more than me. but this is all literally stuff I’ve seen over the past few years on the internet, on the chans and gab.ai and not so secret kik groups. I really do believe that america has strong institutions that are motivated to keep out these kinds of things, but I am also amazed and horrified that someone this ruthless and skilled at what he does will now be so influential in this country. we can’t rely on trump’s unpopularity to sway things back our way in 2018 or 2020. bannon is going to ratfuck democracy in any way he can, restrict voting access to the unworthy, and raise the kids who are currently 14 on an unending diet of skilled propaganda that the real enemy are the feminist, globalist, diverse, jewish elite.

keep on making art so good they have to empathize with you, not because you’ve caved to their demands, but because you’re undeniably real. remember that society really can shift, fast, away from norms we took for granted. remember that there are a shitload of people in this country, of all backgrounds, who do not like trump, and there are a lot of people in states that voted for trump that are able to be empathized with and looking for an alternative, for now, until this is normalized. be aware of the narratives being spun and call them out immediately. and like… I’m serious about saving money and finding who you can trust. I’m fucking scared as shit

Featured Image -- 543

Police Violence and the Discourse of (White) Fear

Media Diversified

by Margarita Aragon

Last month, police in Cleveland shot a 12-year-old boy as he played in a park. Perhaps, you have seen the CCTV footage. In the silent stilted images, Tamir Rice wanders aimlessly, pointing a BB gun in various directions, before sitting by himself on a bench. A police car speeds into view and the boy stands up, before falling to the ground, our view of him then blocked by the police car.

Tamir-Rice-Shooting

After shooting Tamir within two seconds (literally) of arriving on the scene, the police then tackled and handcuffed his 14-year-old sister as she came running, having been told by other children that the police had shot her brother. When their mother arrived a few minutes later, again summoned by children who witnessed the shooting, she was threatened with arrest if she did not ‘calm down.’ In the seven minutes of grainy footage released by the city…

View original post 1,998 more words

When Christianity Became About the Opposite of Social Justice.

Roll to Disbelieve

Love your neighbor as yourself. Give till it hurts.Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked and comfort the sick, imprisoned, and mourning. As you treat the least, you treat Jesus himself. Never fight back against persecution or resist the predations of those who mean you harm. If you’re hit in the face, turn the other cheek to your attacker’s hand. If you’re told to carry heavy stuff for a mile, carry it for two without complaint. If someone compels you to give them your coat, give them your shirt as well. Sell everything you own, if you’re convinced you’ve done everything else to keep the laws, and give the proceeds to the poor. Your King is a beggar, a stranger in his own land, who died the most humiliating death imaginable at the time, and a Prince of Peace rather than…

View original post 2,620 more words