Sunday, June 07, 2020

Higgins, the pro-looter writer/editor with a graduate degree and a LinkedIn page, rt's the arrest of "one of Seattle's most avante garde [sic] hairstylist and... named Seattle's Best Hairstylist for 2018", for the crime of recording the macing of a little girl and posting it on Instagram.

Right below he rt's Brendan O'Connor, American, writer for Gizmodo, Gawker, Awl, New Yorker, NYT.
spontaneous, organic movements are beautiful and contain infinite possibilities. one of those possibilities is that people like this (i.e. liberals) can use a radical vernacular and aesthetic to guide everyone else down a dead end.
He doesn't even know he's spouting boilerplate, but he read it in a book somewhere. The people he's complaining about are just as bad. The hairstylist (Haircuts $115, Full Balayage $240, Bleach and Tone $255) makes no great claims.

In 2014 The New Inquiry published "In Defense of Looting", by Vicky Osterweil "writer, editor, and agitator". Now it's a book
A radical argument for why rioting and looting are our most powerful tools of dismantling white supremacy.

Looting–a crowd of people publicly, openly, and directly seizing goods–is one of the more extreme actions that take can place in the midst of social unrest. Even self-identified radicals distance themselves from looters, fearing that violent tactics reflect badly on the broader movement.

However, in this deftly argued corrective, Vicky Osterweil argues that while looting is often maligned in today’s society, it is, and has always been, one of our most powerful tools of dismantling capitalism and white supremacy. 
Bold Type Books, formerly Nation Books, an imprint of Hachette, the third largest trade publishing conglomerate in the world.

Lee Fang apologizes for hurting people's feelings. Zaid Jilani joins Wesley Yang in writing articles against identity politics for a Jewish identitarian journal.

Reactionaries now more than conservatives call out liberal hypocrisy on the protests and Covid-19. Romney marched, and earned a puff piece in the Atlantic. Bush and Colin Powell now say they're voting for Biden. The right-wing response to government action was defensive, moving inward, closing ranks. The new protests are moving outward. You can show the distinction by comparing cops and protestors. The cops are the ones who refuse to wear masks.

Fauci is worried about increased infections. Others are less so.  Greg Gonsalves retweets Noah Smith retweeting Mark Lipsitch: two epidemiologists and an economist. Smith does the "cost-benefit analysis" and says it supports the protests.

Gonsalves also retweets "Andrea Roberts, PhD @FreeBlackTX"
I never again want anyone to say theorizing doesn’t lead to change. Black feminist theory and intersectionality informed the creation of black lives matter. We’d never be this close to change without powerful black queer women organizing & theorizing.
Theory is form of literature. What matters is the people who have to time to indulge it.
Black Lives Matter is the new black bourgeois pushing for full representation, abetted by the earnest whining of whites and careerist intellectuals, and by others who are more simply fed up. It's anger of a community weakening as a community, as its members gain authority outside it. It's assimilation. Neoliberalism is open or just below the surface, also a narcissism as spoiled and absurd as any white slacker revolutionary.

The protests are becoming a mass movement, a religious movement in a time of crisis. It's a reaction. It's anti-fascist but not radical. The puritanism will fade along with the marches, but some things will change for good. White guilt about blacks, moralizing self-pity, is matching post-war guilt about Jews, including rituals of self-abasement by people who are still in fact anti-semitic and racist. But statues are being torn down by protestors or removed by authorities in the US and Europe. They're down for good. I'm not much for literal iconoclasm but 19th century academic monuments are low on my list; they always had more value as politics than art. That brings me back to bigger arguments.

Leiter and Adolph Reed, unable to see the bigger picture, or if they claim to see the bigger one they miss the largest. Leiter's a Zionist. Reed's spent his life in an American left where Jewish nationalism was accepted, and only specific actions here and there came in for meaningless criticism. Both see their own insular self-justifying politics as ideal, without elisions or gaps.

Pedants are always right about details; that's in the definition of the word. Reactionaries left and right indulge in nihilism for what they see as a higher truth. Their intellectual supporters among the pundit class would never practice what they preach.

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