What do Left Twitter pundits believe? Taking them at their word, they tend to believe that free speech is a fascist ideal, or only fetishized by reactionaries…until they, the correct leftists, need it, that is. They have an absurdly reductive view of the First Amendment, which holds that only state censorship is meaningful, and individual institutions have the power to shut down and censor speakers…until one of their sacred cows, like the comical George Ciccariello-Maher, gets placed on academic leave. Then, the hypocrisy of the right is somehow evidence that the left was the real supporter of free speech all along. Cynical, lying opportunists abound.
“No more performative shit!” Cries a latinx antifa woman at a white antifa man, whom she accuses of not being radical enough to punch a Nazi in the jaw. But, really, it’s all performative shit. All of it. None of you have scraped even one single filing of white off the spine of capital. The beast you declare to be a skeleton encompasses every single one of your actions, and taking out your impotent fury on middle-aged dough-faced Neo-Nazis is the only emotional catharsis you have in face of the knowledge that in all the years of leftist theory-making, not one of you fucks has found anything approximating an alternative to capital.
Why does the emperor turn the circus against him? In conventional narratives of authoritarianism, sports are a tool of reinforcing uncritical patriotism and keeping entertainment wedded to the heights of performative nationalism. Yet Donald Trump, a man seen as representing the ruddy faces of America’s red state white male fathers, who all tune in to sports to avoid politics, has made the players of the sport a symbol of counterculture. Colin Kaepernick, now dozens of others, have made kneeling for the national anthem a symbol of the players against the masters, the black men asked to blow apart their bodies on the field instead turning toward the flag and rejecting its false promises. How did we get here?
“Don’t believe everything you read.” Pitter patter. Rain dots the windowsill. I lick and leaf the page. Why wouldn’t I believe every word? When I read, the same voice that I think with speaks the very words I am reading. I am only repeating thoughts inside my own head, letting them wriggle their way in, letting them play and tingle with the spindling hairs curled in my pink-knots, where the memories are.
They should instead say: “Don’t believe everything you think.” That would be far more honest. People are happier to believe a book than to believe their own thoughts. A book puts thoughts in order. Thinking day-to-day twists thoughts apart, and shows contradiction, seeds and stems. The crystalline kush is the book. Reading sedates you.
I believe that hip hop fundamentally is an extremely capitalist and anti-socialist medium, and it is paradoxically fascinating that rap is considered the voice of the oppressed when it is so clearly in love with the oppressing influence of capital.
It is no coincidence that rap’s worship of wealth, women and success have led the medium to idolize Donald Trump right up until the moment of his Presidency. You don’t get to praise Lucifer until he achieves the throne, and then act like he’s betrayed you. Donald Trump, in the pages of hip hop lyricism, would be considered a mythical hero by an alien race observing the history of that lyricism up through the 90s.
Why? Well, because rap is in love with capitalism. Simon Reynolds wrote: “To ‘get real’ is to confront a state-of-nature where dog eats dog, where you’re either a winner or a loser, and where most will be losers”.
So much has happened. And yet, brain-damaged at the end of history, I remain a faithful observer, until the final hour. Will I become a cybernetic spider eating rot and rust in the Daedalus Pile? Maybe if I am lucky.
Friedrich Nietzsche once described himself as ‘the bitterest pill’. Today, communities of ultra-right transhumanists consider themselves to be black-pilled. The truth about the world, really, is a furnace. God’s face is a furnace.
I found myself ruminating on the dark night of the soul, and the explanation that the revelation of God is so bright that it burns our sensitive eyes and blinds them, casting total darkness upon the human being. Perhaps that has something to do with our human weakness. Perhaps it has something to do with light.
“All our problems are related” reads the Occupy Wall Street poster I have seen in a half dozen college dorm rooms. Indeed, all our problems are swirled into one massive enterprise, a beast by a thousand names, and so every strand of fur or piece of claw is an opportunity to attack the entire thing. Manspreading, private health insurance, catcalling, drone war, the toppling of confederate statues and intense poverty are all opportunities to rail against the now, to rise up, to create the revolution on the basis of any expression of inequality in any human domain at any time.
Given that, I think it’s a simple declaration of fact that the left is waging a spiritual war. The idea that every foundation of modern civilization is corrupted by the same factor – capitalism – is not a political doctrine, but a mythological one. Capital is the face of the beast of revelation, the antichrist, the traitor to humankind. How could it be anything else? It is the creator of all inequality, thus the source of all unjust suffering, thus occupying the very role of the fall from paradise in the Marxist narrative of history.
There’s a new realignment taking place in American politics. Because of shit like this, this, this and this, being socially liberal is now the authoritarian and in-group socially policing position that being conservative once was.
The new conservative kids, if they think conservatism has any future at all, have to adopt a neutral stance toward social issues – live and let live. Trans people? Their choice. Free speech? Absolute. Abortion? Again, your choice.
Even if the conservatives aren’t here yet, this is clearly the only coherent social view remaining in America. The young right knows this. They are pouncing upon the opportunity. And here’s the problem: through the culture wars and anti-SJWism, conservatives have lied and pretended to be the ‘new punk’.
It is no secret now that the United States is accelerating toward the dissolution of its founding principles. The contradictions, so blatantly obvious at the moment the foundation was set, have failed to resolve.
I, like, many others, dismissed the battle between Antifa and the alt-right as a kind of cosplay, a fake politics conducted outside of the traditional political sphere, in a new and illusory world of glory, righteous power, and the victory and spoils of war. This sphere of blood-in-the-streets activism is still Hell on Earth. It still moves us not one inch forward to a world worth living in.
I have responded initially to the murder of Heather Heyer in the way that was right in that moment. But now, I only want to understand what will follow. The act of writing, in the end, can only serve as a tool of the faithful witness to understand. Writing can change nothing. It can only clarify what is.
“The philosophers have interpreted the world. The point is to change it.” -Karl Marx
“This whole act’s immutably decreed. ’Twas rehearsed by thee and me a billion years before this ocean rolled.” -Captain Ahab