Over the other side of the big water, there’s been a lot of Trump inspired ‘freedom’ flaff about not wearing masks when asked, or indeed, doing anything that might reduce the spread of Covid-19. Brilliant way to explain why some rules and limits are good:
Protests over the murder of an unarmed black man at the hands of a white police officer have reached every single US state, in a level of nationwide demonstration not seen since the 1968 assassination of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Curfews are in place across dozens of cities and National Guard troops have been deployed to back up an already heavily militarised police in at least 23 states.
The arrest on Friday of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged with third-degree murder in Floyd’s case, has not quelled the demonstrations which look set to enter their seventh night in some areas.This Is How Absolutely Massive The George Floyd Protests Are Across The US
You get the feeling that the cops in the USA just aren’t held accountable to any reasonable standard.
Is anyone really surprised the pot boiled over?
Power granted must be limited, if not, it will destroy that which it draws power from.
In Trumpistan, Yonatan Zunger had a guess at how things might play out (https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/what-things-going-wrong-can-look-like-400f84a0cc3a#.yyni3tha1):
On a recent post I made about how President Trump marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, one of my readers asked a good, but hard, question: Why did this regime single out some particular groups (e.g., Muslims, Latinos, Black, and Trans people) as their main targets, and not others?
The post which sparked this.
I tried to answer his question, and while what I wrote is necessarily incomplete, I think it at least gives some directions. That led to adding some notes about how things are likely to develop over the next few years for each of the respective groups.
I decided to repost this here, but I want to give you fair warning right now: This is not going to be a pretty thing to read. It will not have any reassurances in it. If you’re looking for an argument that we’ve been exaggerating the threat and everything is going to be alright, or that Trumpism is really great after all, stop reading now: you are in the wrong place. Go look at some cute animals instead.
No, it’s not pretty, but provides some solid food for thought.
Marsha Gessen wrote a set of six rules for surviving an autocracy back in November 2016 ( http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/11/10/trump-election-autocracy-rules-for-survival/ ). Well worth a revisit in light of recent events, they’ve stood the test of the last few months anyway. Sample:
I have lived in autocracies most of my life, and have spent much of my career writing about Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I have learned a few rules for surviving in an autocracy and salvaging your sanity and self-respect. It might be worth considering them now:
Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable. Back in the 1930s, The New York Times assured its readers that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was all posture. More recently, the same newspaper made a telling choice between two statements made by Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov following a police crackdown on protesters in Moscow: “The police acted mildly—I would have liked them to act more harshly” rather than those protesters’ “liver should have been spread all over the pavement.” Perhaps the journalists could not believe their ears. But they should—both in the Russian case, and in the American one. For all the admiration Trump has expressed for Putin, the two men are very different; if anything, there is even more reason to listen to everything Trump has said. He has no political establishment into which to fold himself following the campaign, and therefore no reason to shed his campaign rhetoric. On the contrary: it is now the establishment that is rushing to accommodate him—from the president, who met with him at the White House on Thursday, to the leaders of the Republican Party, who are discarding their long-held scruples to embrace his radical positions.
This is a fascinating and delightful article by Katie Notopoulos, with its detail on classic Mod Dramas:
Things have gotten bumpy for the alt-right online movement since the election. It’s facing an identity crisis (what does it mean to be the “alt” if you’re getting what you want?) and grappling with certain fundamental questions like “Are we OK with Nazis?” (Even if its very name was coined by, well, Nazis.) The handful of leaders who emerged over the last year or two are at odds with each other over those and other questions, forcing helpless anime-avatared Twitter trolls caught in the middle to choose sides.
The kerfuffle surrounds the DeploraBall, a black-tie-optional party in DC the night before the inauguration. There has been nasty and public fighting among the organizers. Stick with me here: Mike Cernovich, a lawyer who became an alt-right leader after taking up the GamerGate mantle, feuded with a fellow leader (and former BuzzFeed employee) who goes by “Baked Alaska” and announced that Baked Alaska had been removed from headlining the event because he had said anti-Semitic things on Twitter. Another leader, Bill Mitchell, announced he was no longer part of the alt-right after they started using the racist hashtag #WhiteGenocide. And just recently, Baked Alaska accused (and sources confirmed to BuzzFeed News) one of the DeploraBall organizers of planting a “rape Melania” sign at an anti-Trump protest in an attempt to make protesters look depraved. In the latest surreal twist, a popular alt-right podcaster and founder of the website The Right Stuff was revealed to have a Jewish wife, which sent his fans into a tailspin.
At first, this disarray might seem surprising. After all, the alt-right claims to be an unprecedented political phenomenon that memed a president into office. But if you want to understand what’s happening there, it’s helpful to think about it as an internet-first creature. While it’s possible — and necessary — to view it through the lens of political or social thought that it echoes, the other way of making sense of it is to look at it as a digital community, regardless of its politics. And if you view it as an online community rather than a political movement, its trajectory starts to look very, very familiar.
What we have here is a classic case of “mod drama.”