Saturday, November 12, 2016

Resources for Organizing

Since the election of Trump, I've been getting a lot of people reaching out asking how to get involved in the resistance against him and his fascist acolytes. While I have on occasion been giving out the names of organizations for people to tap into, I've also been pushing people to organize the heretofore apolitical spaces that they frequent (work, school, church, synagogue, union, etc.). My reasoning is two-fold. First, it's really easy to plug into a bunch of organizations and burn out taking on too much work. Second, there is no guarantee that under a Trump presidency, any organizations - whether they be the Democratic party, minor socialist parties, or even small community groups - will continue to exist under a Trump national security state.

To this end, I am compiling a list of resources to help the novice activist get started to organize where they're at. In this guide, you will find the resources you need to push your colleagues to political action, run meetings, and plan a political strategy.

Happy organizing!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Political Economy of Fascism Syllabus

In the wake of the election of an outright racist, sexist homophobe, now seems as good a time as any to debut my Political Economy of Fascism syllabus. This course is designed to take students through the complex of political theories that were grafted together in the early 20th century to become the doctrine of fascism. After familiarizing students with the historical developments leading to fascism, the basic principles of fascist thought are explored.

Given the compelling nature of fascist anti-rationalism, students are provided critical texts to disabuse them of the rabbit holes that fascism builds to pull people in. Instructors using this syllabus are strongly encouraged not to take this lightly. As per the syllabus, students should be instructed to do secondary source readings and debrief readings before reading the primary source (fascist) texts. Please instruct students that if they do not intend to do the secondary source and debrief readings, they should not dip into the primary source texts.

You can download the syllabus as a PDF using the Dropbox link here
Syllabus

The readings are separated by week in this Dropbox folder along with a text list of readings accessible online here
Readings

Instructors feel free to use this syllabus and reading list, but please let me know in the comments below. If you would like to modify the syllabus, I would be happy to provide the source LaTeX file the syllabus was written in.

Friday, July 22, 2016

All Your Faves Are Problematic

One of my favorite magazines, Orchestrated Pulse, published a piece by Ray Valentine critical of the viability of lone wolf tactics in building a broader left.

While I don’t dispute any of the facts presented in the article, to my mind, there are some omissions that I think calls into question the absoluteness of Valentine’s moral thesis. The failure to consider the material realities of security policy and liberal politics, in my estimation, weakens Valentine’s argument that the left (or perhaps, more appropriately, society from a leftist perspective) cannot benefit from condoning independent acts of mass violence.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Oh What, We're Not Gonna Strike?

You know me. Why would I ever pass up the opportunity right? It should probably come as no surprise that I am asking my fellow workers in the City University of New York to vote 'no' on the proposed pay cut and power grab from Governor Cuomo, Bill De Blasio, and Chancellor Milliken.

So a union is supposed to fight for worker power, right? To get a better living standard, worker control, and worker democracy, that's not happening right now. The union leadership tell us that this was the best they could get.

CUNY workers should have their suspicions.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sam Hyde Will Never Be Responsible For A Mass Shooting

Sam Hyde is the co-host of a questionable anti-comedy & prank show called Million Dollar Extreme and he is not responsible for a shooting today at UCLA. As with most publicized US shootings for the past year or two, neo-nazis are once again intentionally trying to muddy the information pouring out of developing news stories.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Full Amnesty

This week, I wrote a post on the New School Economic Review blog advocating for a complete abolition of immigration restrictions. Here's a sample:

From my interactions with Branko both in person and online, I'm fairly certain that he has absolutely no desire to embrace racism and would likely rebuke it at any opportunity. However, the geopolitical paradigm he crafts here makes such a result nearly inevitable. By essentializing historically fluid categories such as national culture and language, Milanovic sets up a framework in which migration is an invasive force. By treating geographic income disparities as historically neutral and sacrosanct, he sets up a Paretian world in which changes are only permissible insofar as they are immediately beneficial to everyone involved. In other words, Milanovic's assessment of migration creates a paradigm in which only the wealthy should be allowed to migrate.

For Milanovic, migrants bring nothing but their monetary endowments to their new host countries. Anyone migrating without her own wealth, according to this reasoning, will merely drain the system. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, studies show that more often than not, migrants end up in forms of employment that create the opportunity for the creation of new higher-skill job in complementary sectors. All of this amounts to the strengthening of the very systems which Milanovic claims they will destroy.

Far from being idle surplus population, migrants provide an overwhelming economic boon where institutional systems support it. Historically, this institutional support has not led to the destruction of national culture and language, but rather its expansion. When flocks of Jewish and Slavic migrants fled the Ottoman and Austrian persecution in Milanovic's native Serbia in the latter part of the 19th century, they brought with them cultural and linguistic traditions that have since become so sewn into the fabric of this country as to go without notice.

Read the full post here

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Why 'Expert Hackers' Can't Write the Code

In a recent letter to the Financial Times, associate professor of the University of Hong Kong John Ure asked why if Apple could theoretically write code to bypass the iPhone message encryption service for the FBI why the expert hackers Apple warns of couldn’t do so as well. This speaks to a fundamental misunderstanding of how end-to-end encryption works.

This misunderstanding is completely understandable. Admittedly, before switching to Whisper (an open-source encryption service put out by the makers of Twitter) and doing some research, I probably would have had the same misunderstanding. While the actual workings of encryption itself are fairly complex, I think I can make them understandable by means of an analogy.