identity politics

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Stay in your Lane: the oxymoron of ‘authentic fiction’ (Part I)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 22/10/2020 - 3:01am in

A ‘not mandatory’ question

I recently noticed a question in the guidelines of a prestigious short-story prize run by a respected left-wing Australian journal. This question asks entrants to declare if their story ‘takes up the voice or experience’ of marginalised or vulnerable identities and, if it does, if the entrant personally identifies with who and/or what their story depicts. (The journal wants to know, for example, if a story about a refugee has been written by a refugee.) While the guidelines state that it is ‘not mandatory’ for entrants to answer this question, they also emphasise how ‘agonising’ it is for judges to decide whether a story is ‘appropriate’ for publication when ‘experience or identities are assumed or guessed’ and an author’s ‘cultural authority’ is unknown. Though the editors say they will ‘uphold the integrity of the blind judging process’, they nevertheless explain that judges can request this volunteered, identity-specific information during the selection process. I haven’t named the competition or journal here because it’s irrelevant; what is relevant is how this question illuminates the forces that are increasingly shaping the reading, writing and publishing of fiction in Australia and beyond.

As a fiction writer, I find this ‘not mandatory’ question deeply troubling. Though it might be voluntary to answer it, this question immediately communicates a warning about cultural appropriation: that is, it warns me that the judges will not only be judging the inherent qualities of my work but might also be judging whether my particular story is dis/allowable (‘appropriate’) for me to write—and, by extension, dis/allowable for people to read. Being covert, this question provokes authorial confusion and anxiety because it is unclear which rules determine this appropriateness, who decides what these rules are, and what the punishments might be if these rules are broken.

Are these judges, I wonder, genuinely concerned about cultural appropriation? Or are they actually concerned about the accusations of cultural appropriation that are likely to result (via social media) if they award and publish a story that turns out to be written by someone who doesn’t identify clearly and directly with their subject matter?

If the latter is true—and I suspect it is—then it is very worrying that such a respected and experienced journal should allow the selection of their fiction to be dictated by fear rather than by the quality of submissions.

A fact: all fiction is appropriative

Concerns about cultural appropriation, and the related phenomenon of ‘cancel culture’, are not new. See Guy Rundle’s recent Arena article for a discussion of current Australian debates. Without diminishing the social injustices against which these complainants protest, Rundle points out that ‘those artists who argue for a robust ban [of appropriative texts] face the paradox that it clearly trends towards not a political aesthetic but an anti-aesthetic—a moral ban on representation altogether’. (This trend towards obliteration seems epitomised by Michelle Law’s recent swerve from condemning others’ apparently appropriative texts to condemning her own via the disturbing, but increasingly common, ‘I am ashamed’ mea culpa ritual on social media.) Rundle’s point suggests that, if one wants to ban culturally appropriative texts, then ultimately all fiction must be banned.

Two experienced fiction writers—whose positions on other matters probably diverge—would likely agree with Rundle, here. In her inaugural speech to the 2016 Brisbane Writers’ Festival, Lionel Shriver argued: ‘the ultimate endpoint of keeping our mitts off experience that doesn’t belong to us is that there is no fiction… All that’s left is memoir’. Zadie Smith elaborates, relating the necessarily appropriative nature of fiction to the necessarily appropriative nature of personal and social psychology:

Our social and personal lives are a process of continual fictionalization, as we internalize the other-we-are-not, dramatize them, imagine them, speak for them and through them. The accuracy of this fictionalization is never guaranteed, but without an ability to at least guess at what the other might be thinking, we could have no social lives at all.

Selves, in other words, are constituted by other selves—both in the mind and on the page—through a wildly inaccurate imaginative process of reckless consumption and (re)creation. Smith focuses attention on the value-laden concept of ‘cultural appropriation’ itself, suggesting that this notion is useless for understanding fiction:

What would our debates about fiction look like…if our preferred verbal container for the phenomenon of writing about others was not ‘cultural appropriation’ but rather ‘interpersonal voyeurism’ or ‘profound-other-fascination’ or even ‘cross-epidermal reanimation’?

Similarly, Shriver argues that fiction is a rude, disrespectful, prying, voyeuristic and kleptomaniacal vocation by its nature. Both writers see fiction as fundamentally presumptuous, and would agree with Rundle’s assertion that, if one wants to ban culturally appropriative texts, then all fiction must be banned.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied walked out of Shriver’s speech, protesting against what she saw as a colonial attack on minority identities. In her counter-attacking article, Abdel-Magied accuses Shriver of presenting a ‘tirade’ that mocked those who want writers to ‘seek permission to use their stories’. She sums up Shriver’s speech as ‘a celebration of the unfettered exploitation of the experiences of others’. Shriver never made the (ambiguous) demand that ‘the right to identity’ should be ‘given up’ by anyone, and Abdel-Magied largely ignores Shriver’s core concern that fiction is inherently appropriative. Abdel-Magied thus seems to react to the context of Shriver’s speech, confusing or conflating Shriver’s self-proclaimed ‘smartass’ manner (which may well express beliefs and prejudices beyond her words) with the wider context of prejudice and systemic discrimination. As Abdel-Magied states: ‘How is it that…[a] straight white woman will profit from an experience that is not hers, and those with the actual experience never be provided the opportunity?’

This is a pertinent question—but its object of concern is not the general phenomenon of cultural appropriation (or the specific phenomenon of fictional appropriation) but the wider reality of social inequality. Fiction writer Claire G. Coleman recently drew attention to how this wider reality is the key to understanding debates about appropriation, tweeting:

it is not what is written that determines what we have available to read, it is what is published. It is not what is written that determines, to a degree, what is well known, it’s what is reviewed. Publishers are responsible for ensuring #OwnVoices are published.

#OwnVoices is a movement that, to use Coleman’s words, asks mainstream writers to ‘take a back-seat’ and ‘allow’ minority groups ‘to have a go at writing their identities’. If all writers had equal access to (and respect within) the cultural conversation, however, then #OwnVoices might—happily—become redundant. As Smith asserts, ‘a variety of portrayals’ is key to fighting a literature that traps people in ‘distorted mirrors, monstrous cliché, debasing ridicule’ and ‘false containment’.

All of these writers respond to a terrain of public discourse where the fight for social justice increasingly collides into, and becomes conflated or confused with, specific questions about writing and identity. This terrain is signified—but never actually described—by notions of ‘cultural appropriation’. It’s no wonder that publishers are worried about how their fictional texts will be received in this emotionally charged, confused—and confusing—environment. Their understandable anxiety does not, however, change the very simple fact that, if they genuinely object to cultural appropriation, they must not publish fiction. If publishers are, in actuality, wanting to fight wider, systemic discrimination (which may, or may not, be enacted via cultural appropriation) then the single most powerful intervention they can make is affirmative action.

Significantly, affirmative action focuses attention on how identities relate to power structures. Unfortunately, publishers and commentators—wary of the turbulent debates ostensibly about ‘cultural appropriation’—anxiously fixate on the wrong object: that is, on how an author’s identity relates to their subject of writing. This fixation suggests a common but misguided belief that an author’s (claim to) a particular identity somehow ‘authorises’ them to write particular stories that—presumed to be ‘authentic’—are then immunised against charges of appropriation.

Part II of this essay will be published on the 29th of October.


The Anti-Aesthetic of Cancel Culture

Guy Rundle, 8/8/2020

The implicit politics of the present—in which the deep left aim of creating a society of universal self-flourishing is rendered as a society of universal ‘safety’, in an expanded sense—trends towards a ban on representation, since any representation of suffering or wrong can be taken as exploitation or aggression.

The White Black Nationalist Color Revolution

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 29/07/2020 - 9:49pm in

So, the White Black Nationalist Color Revolution (“made possible in part by GloboCap”) appears to be going extremely well. According to Foreign Policy magazine, the Trump regime is clinging to power, but it’s only a matter of time until the identitarian moderate rebels drive the Putin-backed fascists out of office and restore democracy to the Western world.

Yes, that’s right, just when it looked like the corporate-sponsored, totally organic, peaceful uprising against racism was over, and the Russo-fascist Trump regime had survived, the Global Capitalist Anarchists of Portland and other militant “Resistance” cells have launched a devastating counter-attack against assorted fascist building facades, fascist fences, and stores, and so on, and are going mano-a-mano in the streets with heavily-armed Putin-Nazi goon squads.

According to The Guardian, and other elements of the underground “Resistance” media, peaceful protesters in Portland have been attacking the fascists with rocks, bottles, improvised explosive devices, and various other peaceful anti-racist projectiles. In Oakland, they peacefully set fire to the courthouse. In Austin, Texas, a peaceful protester armed with an AK-47-style rifle was shot to death by a suspected fascist whose car was peacefully swarmed by a mob after he “tried to aggressively drive past protesters.” In Los Angeles, peaceful anti-racism protesters have been whipped up into such a frenzy of righteous anti-fascist fervor that they are performing flying tackles on the cops, who then promptly beat the snot out of them. And so on … I think you get the picture.

Portland, Oregon (where just under 6% of the population is Black) has of course been at the vanguard of the revolution, as it has since the Russians stole the election from Hillary Clinton in 2016 by “influencing” gullible African-Americans with a handful of ridiculous Facebook ads, and then installed Donald Trump and the rest of the Putin-Nazi Occupation Government in office. Not only have local Antifa militants been tirelessly fighting gangs of neo-nationalist boneheads you’ve probably never heard of more or less around the clock since then, Portland is also the headquarters of most of the militant Antifa intelligentsia (characters like Alexander Reid Ross, an anti-fascist geography lecturer who inculcates kids with his paranoid theories about the international Duginist-Red-Brown conspiracy to take over the whole world and mass-murder the Jews. So, naturally, Portland is now the epicenter of the White Black Nationalist Color Revolution.

But this isn’t just the usual Portlandia silliness. This White Black Nationalist Color Revolution has been in the works for the last four years. Since the moment Trump won the Republican nomination, the global capitalist ruling classes have been fomenting racialized polarization, Putin-Nazi paranoia, and other forms of mass hysteria, in anticipation of the events of this summer. The propaganda has remained consistent. Both the liberal corporate media and the alternative left media have been predicting that Trump is going to go full-Hitler, impose martial law, proclaim himself Führer, and perpetrate some sort of racialized holocaust … for reasons they’ve never quite been able to explain.

He hasn’t, of course, so the global capitalist ruling classes had no choice but to unleash a shit-storm of civil unrest to goad him into overreacting … which, no surprise, he was stupid enough to do. Ordering the goon squads into the streets might delight his hardcore right-wing base, but it will alienate the majority of “normal” Americans, who aren’t especially fond of goon squads (unless they’re doing their thing in some faraway country). Most importantly, it will motivate all those non-Clinton-voting Obama voters to go out and vote for “Slappy” Joe Biden, or whichever corporate puppet the Democrats have replaced him with by November 3. That seems to be the general strategy.

Now, regardless of whether they can pull this off (and whatever your feelings about GloboCap as a de facto hegemonic empire), you have to at least admire their audacity. The part where the mayors of major cities stood down and otherwise hamstrung their cops, and let the “peaceful protesters” run amok, was particularly audacious, in my opinion. That was a serious gamble on GloboCap’s part. Trump could have resisted the urge to go totalitarian and called their bluff. He could have made a speech explaining to Americans exactly how these color revolutions work, how this one is going right by the book, and why he wasn’t going to take the bait, and left the cities in question to their own devices (until the mayors were forced to restore order themselves). But no, tactical genius that he is, he had to order in the goon squads, which, of course, is exactly what the “Resistance” wanted. Now he’s got cities like Philadelphia threatening to order their police to confront and attempt to arrest the federal agents … I assume you see where this is heading.

The other part that was particularly tricky was segueing from the original protests following the murder of George Floyd by the cops, most of which were authentic expressions of frustration and outrage by actual Black people about systemic racism and police brutality (both of which are very real, of course) to the orchestrated civil unrest that followed, most of which is being coordinated, funded, and carried out by White people. That was also an extremely bold move, but, as the generous folks at The Ford Foundation put it in July of 2016, when they announced that they would be overseeing the funneling of $100 million to organizations in the Black Lives Matter movement:

“We want to nurture bold experiments …”

Oh, and speaking of bold experiments, what better setting could there be for a White Black Nationalist Color Revolution than a fake apocalyptic plague that has wrecked the economies of most Western countries, terrorized the masses into mindless obedience, and destabilized whole societies to the point where fanatical, GloboCap-brainwashed brownshirts are macing people in the face for not wearing masks at outdoor picnics and wishing death on entire families if the mothers won’t put masks on their kids?

No, credit where credit is due to GloboCap. At this point, not only the United States, but countries throughout the global capitalist empire, are in such a state of mass hysteria, and so hopelessly politically polarized, that hardly anyone can see the textbook color revolution that is being executed, openly, right in front of our faces.

Or … OK, actually, most Trump supporters see it, but most of them, like Trump himself, have mistaken Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and the Democratic Party and their voters for the enemy, when they are merely pawns in GloboCap’s game. Most liberals and leftists cannot see it at all … literally, as in they cannot perceive it. Like Dolores in the HBO Westworld series, “it doesn’t look like anything” to them. They actually believe they are fighting fascism, that Donald Trump, a narcissistic, word-salad-spewing, former game show host, is literally the Return of Adolf Hitler, and that somehow (presumably with the help of Putin) he has staged the current civil unrest, like the Nazis staged the Reichstag fire! (The New York Times will never tire of that one, nor will their liberal and leftist readers, who have been doing battle with an endless series of imaginary Hitlers since … well, since Hitler.)

I’ve been repeating it my columns for the last four years, and I’m going to repeat it once again. What we are experiencing is not the “return of fascism.” It is the global capitalist empire restoring order, putting down the populist insurgency that took them by surprise in 2016. The White Black Nationalist Color Revolution, the fake apocalyptic plague, all the insanity of 2020 … it has been in the pipeline all along. It has been since the moment Trump won the election. No, it is not about Trump, the man. It has never been about Trump, the man, no more than the Obama presidency was ever about Obama, the man. GloboCap needs to crush Donald Trump (and moreover, to make an example of him) not because he is a threat to the empire (he isn’t), but because he became a symbol of populist resistance to global capitalism and its increasingly aggressive “woke” ideology. It is this populist resistance to its ideology that GloboCap is determined to crush, no matter how much social chaos and destruction it unleashes in the process.

In one of my essays from last October, Trumpenstein Must Be Destroyed, I made this prediction about the year ahead:

“2020 is for all the marbles. The global capitalist ruling classes either crush this ongoing populist insurgency or God knows where we go from here. Try to see it through their eyes for a moment. Picture four more years of Trump … second-term Trump … Trump unleashed. Do you really believe they’re going to let that happen, that they are going to permit this populist insurgency to continue for another four years? They are not. What they are going to do is use all their power to destroy the monster, not Trump the man, but Trump the symbol. They are going to drown us in impeachment minutiae, drip, drip, drip, for the next twelve months. The liberal corporate media are going to go full-Goebbels. They are going to whip up so much mass hysteria that people won’t be able to think. They are going to pit us one against the other, and force us onto one or the other side of a simulated conflict (Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis) to keep us from perceiving the actual conflict (Global Capitalism versus Populism). They are going to bring us to the brink of civil war …”

OK, I didn’t see the fake plague coming, but, otherwise, how’s my prediction holding up?

#

CJ Hopkins
July 29, 2020
Photo: CrimethInc.

DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, or Volume I of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, feel free to contact him directly.

GloboCap Über Alles

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 20/07/2020 - 9:45pm in

So, how are you enjoying the “New Normal” so far? Is it paranoid and totalitarian enough for you? If not … well, hold on, because it’s just getting started. There is plenty more totalitarianism and paranoia still to come.

I know, it feels like forever already, but, in fact, it has only been a few months since GloboCap started rolling out the new official narrative. We’re still in the early stages of it. The phase we’re in now is kind of like where we were back in February of 2002, a few months after the 9/11 attacks, when everyone was still in shock, the Patriot Act was just a few months old, and the Department of Homeland Security hadn’t even been created yet.

You remember how it was back then, when GloboCap was introducing the official “War on Terror” narrative, don’t you?

OK, maybe you do and maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re too young to remember, or you were caught up in the excitement of the moment and weren’t paying attention to the details. But some of us remember it clearly. We remember watching (and futilely protesting) as GloboCap prepared to invade, destabilize, and restructure the entire Middle East, as countries throughout the global capitalist empire implemented “emergency security measures” (which, 18 years later, are still in effect), as the corporate media bombarded us with official propaganda, jacked up The Fear, and otherwise prepared us for the previous “New Normal” … some of us remember all that clearly.

Personally, I remember listening to a liberal academic on NPR calmly speculating that, just hypothetically, at some point in the not-too-distant future, we might need to sacrifice our principles a bit, and torture some people, to “keep America safe.” I recounted this to other Americans at the time, among my many other concerns about where the post-9/11 mass hysteria was heading. Most of them told me I was just being paranoid, or that they didn’t really care, because we needed to do whatever was “necessary” to protect Americans, and, in any event, “the terrorists deserved it.” Shortly thereafter, I started making plans to get the hell out of the country.

I mention that, not to signal my virtue — leaving the U.S.A. didn’t achieve anything, except for improving my standard of living — but to jog your memory, and maybe prompt you to compare that period to the one we are in now. The parallels are overwhelming. The “state of emergency.” The propaganda. The mass hysteria. The mob mentality. The exaggeration of the actual threat. The police-state atmosphere. The suppression of dissent. The constant repetition of the new official narrative. The exhortative catchphrases and meaningless slogans. The confusion. The chaos. The existential fear. And so on. It is all so very familiar.

I’m referring to the simulated pandemic, of course, but also to the racialized civil unrest and identitarian polarization that GloboCap has fomented throughout the United States, and, to varying degrees, the rest of the empire. I’ve been covering the War on Populism and GloboCap’s “Trump-is-literally-Hitler” propaganda since 2016, so the civil unrest isn’t terribly surprising. But, I confess, I did not see the fake plague coming. Running the two psy-ops together was brilliant. The effect on people has been devastating. Everyone is either depressed or enraged, or in some stage of paranoid paralysis. Some have been so thoroughly terrorized that they are literally refusing to leave their houses. Others are lining up at gun shops. White people are getting down on their knees and publicly washing Black people’s feet in “symbolic demonstrations of forgiveness.” Condiments are changing their names. It’s like we’re all trapped in a gratuitously didactic Netflix zombie-apocalypse series set in the world of The Handmaid’s Tale, written, directed, and produced by Spike Lee.

The official propaganda could not be more Orwellian, nor could people’s willingness to go along with it. It doesn’t even have to appear to make sense. Doublethink has taken over. For example, most of the developed world has been in some form of totalitarian lockdown, and subjected to other police-state measures (like being beaten and arrested for not wearing a mask), for no justifiable reason whatsoever, for going on the last five months, but, according to the corporate media (and the millions of people they have apparently brainwashed), it’s only now that Trump has sent his Homeland Security goons into Portland that, suddenly, “democracy is under attack!”

But wait … no, I take it back, the Orwellianism gets even more Orwellian. According to GloboCap and its sanctimonious minions, that sentence I just wrote about Portland is racist, because nearly everything you can imagine is racist, or is a potential threat to the public health. Calling riots “riots” is racist. Silence is racist. Free speech is racist. Refusing to wear a mask is racist. The BLM protesters are immune to the virus, but other large gatherings (which, it goes without saying, are probably racist) all have to be banned. Normality, as Americans knew it, is over, and it is never, ever, coming back, because white supremacy caused the pandemic. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland (where life has been going on without mass hysteria) do not exist. They have never existed (and, if they ever did, they were probably racist). Talking on public transportation is deadly. Interacting with children is potentially deadly, as are most other forms of human interaction … unless you’re tearing down a racist statue, or burning down a local family business, while wearing a designer anti-racism mask.

Seriously, though, just like in 2002, when GloboCap was still rolling out the “War on Terror” narrative, the facts are all available for anyone who cares. The falsification of Covid statistics and hospital capacity figures, the unreliability of the tests, and so on … it has all been repeatedly documented. Anyone with a positive test result who later dies of any cause (including a fatal motorcycle accident) is counted as a “Covid death.” Anyone admitted to a hospital for anything who tests positive for the virus is a “Covid hospitalization.” And, I’m sorry to disappoint my liberal friends (assuming I have any left at this point), but systematic racism and police brutality did not suddenly begin in 2016.

What suddenly began in 2016 was a concerted effort on the part of GloboCap to put down a growing populist backlash against global capitalism and its soulless ideology. Yes, most of that backlash is neo-nationalist in character, but it also includes a significant number of old-fashioned lefty-types like myself, and a lot of other un-woke folks who aren’t quite ready to embrace their new identities as interchangeable human commodities.

We are experiencing the culmination of that effort (or what they hope is the culmination of that effort) to put down this motley populist insurgency, and ensure that it never happens again. GloboCap is teaching us a lesson. The lesson is:

“This is what you get when you fuck around with GloboCap. This is what voting for Trump, Brexit, and all the rest of that ‘populist’ nonsense gets you … global pandemics, civil race wars, riots, lockdowns, economic depression, societal collapse, chaos, fear. Go ahead, fuck around with us some more. We will make you wear ridiculous face masks forever. We will paint little arrows and boxes on the floor to show you where to walk and stand. We will bankrupt your businesses, shut down your schools, psychologically torture your children. We’ll inject them with any fucking thing we want. There is nothing you can do about it. We will make you get down on your knees and apologize for fucking with us, or we will stigmatize you as a ‘racist,’ sic our mobs of fanatics on you, and ‘cancel’ you and your entire family.”

This, essentially, is the message that GloboCap is delivering to disobedient populists (left or right, it makes no difference; GloboCap doesn’t care which political labels we cling to or slap on each other). It is our final warning to quit playing grab-ass, get with the global capitalist program, and start behaving and thinking as we’re told … unless we want to get locked down again, and ordered to wear things on our faces, and be otherwise ritually humiliated.

See, the so-called “New Normal” (i.e., the new ideological narrative that GloboCap is rolling out) is actually not that new at all … or, OK, the pathologization part is (and I’ll be paying close attention to that aspect of it), but, basically, it’s just plain old totalitarianism. It isn’t state-totalitarianism, because our world isn’t ruled by nation-states. It is ruled by global capitalism. We are being reminded of that fact at the moment … and being shown what happens if we start to forget it.

Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. My hunch is, it is only going to get worse until they can get Trump out of office, which Americans are liable to help them do, simply to make the whole nightmare stop. Once he’s gone, they’ll probably retire the fake pandemic, call off the riots, and stage some sort of international celebration of the Rebirth of Democracy, after which they can get finally back to the business of ruthlessly destabilizing, restructuring, and privatizing the planet, sanitizing history, curing humanity of racism, hate, and other pathologies, and otherwise enforcing rigid conformity to global capitalist ideology.

Maybe they could get the Hamilton composer to write them a hip hop Deutschlandlied to use as a supranational anthem. They could call it GloboCap Über Alles … it kind of has a ring to it, doesn’t it?

#

CJ Hopkins
July 20, 2020
Photo: Coca Cola/Ad Age

DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, or Volume I of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, feel free to contact him directly.

Ethno-Nagleism is the Idpol of fools

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/07/2020 - 1:26am in

image/jpeg iconbpanews_c5b4fbc5-b206-4f7e-8cb5-e3aab15374ca_1.jpeg

Comrade Motopu is not a fan of nationalism and did not enjoy the latest article by Angela Nagle.

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The Worst Literal Hitler Ever

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 10/06/2020 - 10:06pm in

So, the GloboCap-Resistance Minneapolis Putsch appears to have not gone exactly to plan. Once again, Trump failed to go full-Hitler, despite their best efforts to goad him into doing so. They gave it quite a good shot, however. It was more or less a textbook regime-change op, or “color revolution,” or whatever you call it. All the essential pieces were in place. All they needed Trump to do was declare himself dictator and impose martial law, so the generals could step in and remove him from office.

Unfortunately for the Resistance, Trump didn’t do that. Instead, he did what he usually does, which is make a total ass of himself on international television. Which … OK, was cringeworthy, but didn’t quite provide the GloboCap gang with the pretext they needed to perp-walk him out of the Oval Office. Which, needless to say, was incredibly frustrating. After four long years of propaganda foreplay, there we were, finally at the moment of truth, and Adolf goes and loses his erection.

This guy is the worst literal Hitler ever.

Still, as far as regime-change ops go, and given that this one was a domestic operation, so trickier than the usual foreign version, I’d give the Resistance a B+ for effort.

Now, before my “conspiracy theorist” readers get too excited about where I’m going with this column … no, this was not a “fake” uprising. There was an authentic uprising at the center of it. There’s always an authentic uprising at the center of every regime-change op, or at least the type that GloboCap has been carrying out and attempting recently. Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, the Ukraine, Bolivia, Venezuela; these things go pretty much by the numbers.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how that works.

First, you need your civil unrest, large-scale protests, rioting, looting, indiscriminate violence, and so on. Any number of “trigger events” will be sufficient to get this going. Once it is, you can grow it and focus it. A lot of this unrest needs to be authentic, so it’s best to conduct an overwhelming multi-year propaganda campaign to delegitimize and demonize your target as some sort of treasonous Hitlerian monster who’s responsible for every major problem in the country. That way, no matter which trigger event gets things going, it will be his fault.

You will want your local government officials to allow this civil unrest to go on until it reaches the point where rioters and looters are rampaging through the hearts of cities, raiding both high-end corporate chain stores and local mom-and-pop-type businesses, and brutally assaulting their defenseless proprietors. This does not mean that these local officials have to restrain or stand down their cops. On the contrary, you want them to unleash their cops, on the protesters, rioters, and TV reporters (during their “live” reports, if possible), and just generally beat the living crap out of everyone. The goal is to generate as much hatred as possible against the regime you are trying to change, and to pressure your designated Hitler-target into losing his patience and overreacting, so you want things to get extremely ugly.

Then, you unleash the power of the media to whip folks up into a mindless frenzy of rage against your designated Hitler. You have your “respectable” pundits publish articles calling for his removal from office. You get the military (and former military) to start making noise about how your Hitler is out of control and on the brink of fascism. Then you wait for your Hitler to overreact and attempt to call in the military and impose some form of martial law, at which point you can safely depose him, and pretend that democracy has won the day.

The media is essential here, because you need to convince the majority of the public (i.e., not just the people protesting and rioting) that things have gotten so out of control, and your imaginary Hitler has gotten so dangerous, that a military coup is the best solution.

What you’re looking for are headlines like these:

“We are teetering on a dictatorship” — CNN

“‘Words of a dictator’: Trump’s threat to deploy military raises spectre of fascism” — The Guardian

“Donald Trump is Trying to Start a Race War” — Rolling Stone

“Remove Trump Now” — Slate

“The Trump Presidency is Over.” — The Guardian

“Trump Must Be Removed” — The Washington Post

Also, while the media are doing their thing, you want to get any former members of the intelligence community (or the secret police) to issue public statements like this:

“There should be no place in American society, much less in our government, for the depravity being demonstrated daily by Donald Trump. Members of his Cabinet who enable such behavior are betraying their oath of office by supporting an increasingly desperate despot.” — John Brennan, former CIA director

Then you bring the politicians and the military in. This kind of language will usually do it:

“The fascist speech Donald Trump just delivered verged on a declaration of war against American citizens. I fear for our country tonight and will not stop defending America against Trump’s assault.” — Senator Ron Wyden

“These are not the words of a president. They are the words of a dictator.” — Senator Kamala Harris

“‘There is a thin line between the military’s tolerance for questionable partisan moves over the past three years and the point where these become intolerable,” a retired general said.” — The New York Times

“We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution … We can unite without [Trump], drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.” — General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, former Secretary of Defense

Once the generals have started in growling, you get the media to hype that, hard. Headlines like these will get people’s attention:

“Revolt of the Generals” — The Washington Post

“The Officers’ Revolt” — Slate

“President Donald Trump is facing an unprecedented revolt from the elite corps of ex-military leaders and presidents …” — CNN

“The US president’s desire to act the strongman poses urgent questions that America’s generals, voters and allies must all answer” — The Guardian Editorial Board

If you can, it is always a really nice touch if you can drum up … oh, let’s say 280 former national security officials who are really concerned about the state of democracy and “the misuse of the military for political purposes,” and get them to spontaneously call each other up and decide to write a letter together accusing your Hitler of “dividing Americans,” which the media can then disseminate, widely.

And, of course, what you need for the “educated classes” is an official propagandist like Franklin Foer (who broke the big story about the non-existent “Trump-Russia server” back in 2016 and was rewarded for his service to GloboCap with a lucrative staff writer position at The Atlantic) to come right out and explain that what’s happening is a textbook regime-change operation (because you don’t have to dupe the “educated classes,” most of whom will already be on your side). Something more or less like this:

“Twitter’s decision to label Trump’s posts as misleading was a hinge moment … once Twitter applied its rules to Trump — and received accolades for its decision — it inadvertently set a precedent … a cycle of noncooperation was set in motion. Local governments were the next layer of the elite to buck Trump’s commands. After the president insisted that governors ‘dominate’ the streets on his behalf, they roundly refused to escalate their response. Indeed, New York and Virginia rebuffed a federal request to send National Guard troops to Washington, D.C. Even the suburb of Arlington, Virginia, pulled its police that had been loaned to control the crowd in Lafayette Square. As each group of elites refused Trump, it became harder for the next to comply in good conscience. In Sharp’s taxonomy, the autocrat’s grasp on power depends entirely on the allegiance of the armed forces. When the armed forces withhold cooperation, the dictator is finished.”

As I said, it went pretty much right by the book.

After four long years of official propaganda designed to convince the Western masses that Donald Trump is literally Hitler, GloboCap, the liberal Resistance, and the corporate media all did their best to harness the authentic protests and rioting that routinely follow the murder of an unarmed Black person by the cops, and use it to remove him from office. It would have been a spectacular catharsis, a fitting climax to the War on Populism, but Trump refused to play his part … so, OK, maybe he’s not as dumb as I thought, or at least not totally suicidal.

No matter, it’s still a big win for GloboCap. Forcibly removing Trump from office is, and has always been, gravy. The main goal of the War on Populism is to delegitimize and demonize him, and everyone who voted for him (and Jeremy Corbyn, and even Bernie Sanders, and everyone who voted for them). Trump is just a symbol, after all. It’s the dissatisfaction with global capitalism (and its smiley, happy, valueless values, and its post-ideological ideology) that GloboCap is determined to crush, so they can get back to the unfinished business of restructuring the entire Middle East, and anywhere else that’s not playing ball, and dissolving what is left of national sovereignty, and transforming the world into one big marketplace, where there will be no fascists, no evil Russians, no religious extremists, no racist statues, no offensive movies, or books, or artworks, no more unauthorized ass-clown presidents, and everyone will be “contact-traced” with their digital health-certificate implants, and the children will stand inside their little “social-distancing” boxes and circles and sing the Coca-Cola theme song through their anti-virus masks at school …

Sorry … I got a little off-track there. I forgot that this was strictly about racism, and police brutality, and nothing else. I’ll try to stick to the script from now on, but it might be difficult, given my “privilege.” Maybe, if I wrapped myself in kente cloth and got down on my knees in public, that might help me get my mind right. Or, I don’t know. What do you think?

#

CJ Hopkins
June 10, 2020
Photo: AP/John Minchillo

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnail

DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, or Volume I of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

The Minneapolis Putsch

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/06/2020 - 11:46pm in

Well, it looks like the Resistance’s long-anticipated “Second Civil War” has finally begun … more or less exactly on cue. Rioting has broken out across the nation. People are looting and burning stores and attacking each other in the streets. Robocops are beating, tear-gassing, and shooting people with non-lethal projectiles. State National Guards have been deployed, curfews imposed, “emergencies” declared. Secret Servicemen are fighting back angry hordes attempting to storm the White House. Trump is tweeting from an “underground bunker.” Opportunist social media pundits on both sides of the political spectrum are whipping people up into white-eyed frenzies. Americans are at each other’s throats, divided by identity politics, consumed by rage, hatred, and fear.

Things couldn’t be going better for the Resistance if they had scripted it themselves.

Actually, they did kind of script it themselves. Not the murder of poor George Floyd, of course. Racist police have been murdering Black people for as long as there have been racist police. No, the Resistance didn’t manufacture racism. They just spent the majority of the last four years creating and promoting an official narrative which casts most Americans as “white supremacists” who literally elected Hitler president, and who want to turn the country into a racist dictatorship.

According to this official narrative, which has been relentlessly disseminated by the corporate media, the neoliberal intelligentsia, the culture industry, and countless hysterical, Trump-hating loonies, the Russians put Donald Trump in office with those DNC emails they never hacked and some division-sowing Facebook ads that supposedly hypnotized Black Americans into refusing to come out and vote for Clinton. Putin purportedly ordered this personally, as part of his plot to “destroy democracy.” The plan was always for President Hitler to embolden his white-supremacist followers into launching the “RaHoWa,” or the “Boogaloo,” after which Trump would declare martial law, dissolve the legislature, and pronounce himself Führer. Then they would start rounding up and murdering the Jews, and the Blacks, and Mexicans, and other minorities, according to this twisted liberal fantasy.

I’ve been covering the roll-out and dissemination of this official narrative since 2016, and have documented much of it in my essays, so I won’t reiterate all that here. Let’s just say, I’m not exaggerating, much. After four years of more or less constant conditioning, millions of Americans believe this fairy tale, despite the fact that there is absolutely zero evidence whatsoever to support it. Which is not exactly a mystery or anything. It would be rather surprising if they didn’t believe it. We’re talking about the most formidable official propaganda machine in the history of official propaganda machines.

And now the propaganda is paying off. The protesting and rioting that typically follows the murder of an unarmed Black person by the cops has mushroomed into “an international uprising” cheered on by the corporate media, corporations, and the liberal establishment, who don’t normally tend to support such uprisings, but they’ve all had a sudden change of heart, or spiritual or political awakening, and are down for some serious property damage, and looting, and preventative self-defense, if that’s what it takes to bring about justice, and to restore America to the peaceful, prosperous, non-white-supremacist paradise it was until the Russians put Donald Trump in office.

In any event, the Resistance media have now dropped their breathless coverage of the non-existent Corona-Holocaust to breathlessly cover the “revolution.” The American police, who just last week were national heroes for risking their lives to beat up, arrest, and generally intimidate mask-less “lockdown violators” are now the fascist foot soldiers of the Trumpian Reich. The Nike corporation produced a commercial urging people to smash the windows of their Nike stores and steal their sneakers. Liberal journalists took to Twitter, calling on rioters to “burn that shit down!” … until the rioters reached their gated community and started burning down their local Starbucks. Hollywood celebrities are masking up and going full-black bloc, and doing legal support. Chelsea Clinton is teaching children about David and the Racist Goliath. John Cusack’s bicycle was attacked by the pigs. I haven’t checked on Rob Reiner yet, but I assume he is assembling Molotov cocktails in the basement of a Resistance safe house somewhere in Hollywood Hills.

Look, I’m not saying the neoliberal Resistance orchestrated or staged these riots, or “denying the agency” of the folks in the streets. Whatever else is happening out there, a lot of very angry Black people are taking their frustration out on the cops, and on anyone and anything else that represents racism and injustice to them.

This happens in America from time to time. America is still a racist society. Most African-Americans are descended from slaves. Legal racial discrimination was not abolished until the 1960s, which isn’t that long ago in historical terms. I was born in the segregated American South, with the segregated schools, and all the rest of it. I don’t remember it — I was born in 1961 — but I do remember the years right after it. The South didn’t magically change overnight in July of 1964. Nor did the North’s variety of racism, which, yes, is subtler, but no less racist.

So I have no illusions about racism in America. But I’m not really talking about racism in America. I’m talking about how racism in America has been cynically instrumentalized, not by the Russians, but by the so-called Resistance, in order to delegitimize Trump and, more importantly, everyone who voted for him, as a bunch of white supremacists and racists.

Fomenting racial division has been the Resistance’s strategy from the beginning. A quote attributed to Joseph Goebbels, “accuse the other side of that which you are guilty,” is particularly apropos in this case. From the moment Trump won the Republican nomination, the corporate media and the rest of the Resistance have been telling us the man is literally Hitler, and that his plan is to foment racial hatred among his “white supremacist base,” and eventually stage some “Reichstag” event, declare martial law and pronounce himself dictator. They’ve been telling us this story over and over, on television, in the liberal press, on social media, in books, movies, and everywhere else they could possibly tell it.

So, before you go out and join the “uprising,” take a look at the headlines today, turn on CNN or MSNBC, and think about that for just a minute. I don’t mean to spoil the party, but they’ve preparing you for this for the last four years.

Not you Black folks. I’m not talking to you. I wouldn’t presume to tell you what to do. I’m talking to white folks like myself, who are cheering on the rioting and looting, and are coming out to “help” you with it, but who will be back home in their gated communities when the ashes have cooled, and the corporate media are gone, and the cops return to “police” your neighborhoods.

OK, and this is where I have to restate (for the benefit of my partisan readers) that I’m not a fan of Donald Trump, and that I think he’s a narcissistic ass clown, and a glorified con man, and … blah blah blah, because so many people have been so polarized by insane propaganda and mass hysteria that they can’t even read or think anymore, and so just scan whatever articles they encounter to see whose “side” the author is on and then mindlessly celebrate or excoriate it.

If you’re doing that, let me help you out … whichever side you’re on, I’m not on it.

I realize that’s extremely difficult for a lot of folks to comprehend these days, which is part of the point I’ve been trying to make. I’ll try again, as plainly as I can.

America is still a racist country, but America is no more racist today than it was when Barack Obama was president. A lot of American police are brutal, but no more brutal than when Obama was president. America didn’t radically change the day Donald Trump was sworn into office. All that has changed is the official narrative. And it will change back as soon as Trump is gone and the ruling classes have no further use for it.

And that will be the end of the War on Populism, and we will switch back to the War on Terror, or maybe the Brave New Pathologized Normal … or whatever Orwellian official narrative the folks at GloboCap have in store for us.

#

CJ Hopkins
June 1, 2020
Photo: Nike (George Floyd commercial)

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnail

DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, or Volume I of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

Marxism and Sexuality

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/05/2020 - 8:17am in

image/jpeg iconlycaenion-buland.jpg

Contradictions at the heart of the capitalist mode of production affect human relations at the level of the superstructure. The ideological, cultural, linguistic, and organisational forms prevalent in contemporary society are not independent of the social and economic structure of our society, and are bequeathed to us from previous modes of production. Sexuality, like other spheres of human activity, is not exempt from this.

As Marxists, our framework is different. We do not believe in conflicting rights, we do not seek a sensible equilibrium.

CWO-ICT

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