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Yes, Freddie has a great essay on this, about how all the Socialists want to do is institute top-down change ... yet none of them want to write a constitution, nor review labor regulations, they just say 'we'll just rip all the capitalism out of the current ones.'

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Got a link? Because I'm pretty sure Freddie has never said anything remotely like this.

I'm the dude who whines in the comments that socialism is vaporware, with no actual plans for how to run things once they take over.

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This one for starters. I'll post another link, on my phone right now, kinda hard for research

https://freddiedeboer.substack.com/p/to-popularize-a-

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"I’ve said to socialists that the addiction to being a comedy troupe rather than a political movement is killing us, that generations of young lefties have become convinced that the way to do politics is to shitpost and dunk and gif and meme and mock, and this is powerfully contrary to the goal of gaining power. Sometimes I have sympathetic audiences when I say this. But I’m always swimming against a strong tide, which is that the people who engage in this form of “politics” simply double down on it when its limitations are pointed out. That is, they respond to the impotence of dunks and jokes by dunking and joking."

https://freddiedeboer.substack.com/p/perhaps-yo

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Your link appears to be cut off.

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https://freddiedeboer.substack.com/p/to-popularize-a-movement-there-needs

Yeah, I was trying that from my phone, didn't work out so well.

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Removed (Banned)Jun 12, 2022
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When most of your grade is for homework and attendance, high grades in college are almost an anti-indicator of actual intelligence and ambition.

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Sadly, it sure seems like effectively 'everyone' is cheating even on the (very easy) homework. I remember being shocked, and disgusted, by how rampant it was when I was in school, and I don't think it was nearly as bad as it's become.

This was very eye-opening for me: https://crumplab.com/articles/blog/post_994_5_26_22_cheating/index.html

I'm actually impressed with the teacher (and author of the post), but I think he was very wrong to bend over so far (or, really, at all) to accommodate the terrible behavior of his students. I suspect tho that he understands something I didn't – this is routine, normal, and basically everywhere, at every level.

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Damn, that article blew my mind. When I was in college "cheating" was a guy being caught by the Proctor with a little piece of paper or notes on his hand being removed from the testing center and heading to Administration to sign his expulsion papers. Since then, cheating seems to have become downright industrial!

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Yes – I'm inclined to support anyone suggesting that we just stop pretending and literally give everyone any degree 'for free', and maybe even just for asking. PhDs for everyone!

That might wreck academia – but that's plausibly a feature anyways!

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William Deresiewicz, "Excellent Sheep". When I read this book in 2015, I knew this was one of the core issues that led to this juggernaut. Highly performing automatons with no creative capability; no ability to question prevailing narratives; lemmings. This describes our elites to a tee these days.

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Woke discourse is structured so that any non-approved opinion can barely be uttered, much less defended. Unless one is properly intersectional, the very act of expression itself is aggression, or at least arrogance--after all, the ideas of those more intersectional than you must be centered! If you try to point out that some of those ideas are just dumb, well, everyone knows that impartiality and an emphasis on the written word are aspects of white supremacy culture. If you manage to get a word in edgewise, you'll undoubtedly be told you are speaking from privilege and to stay in your lane. Object to any of this and you are displaying white fragility.

How the hell do you say anything when these are the rules of discussion?

(BTW, I have seen verifiable POC told they are displaying white fragility. It's mind-boggling.)

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Removed (Banned)Jun 13, 2022
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This is my take. Children. My biggest question throughout this whole period has been: Where are the adults in the room? Why isn't anyone setting a healthy boundary against these antics?

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"Internalized whiteness", they call it. If a PoC gets REALLY uppity towards a Woke, they'll be called "Coon" or "Oreo", also. It's pretty hilarious when you see a fat 20-something white woman slinging racial slurs at a black guy in the name of "Social Justice"!

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I find it sad and disgusting. They did it to Senator Tim Scott - called him horrible racial slurs - simply for asserting that America is not a racist country. I'm no Republican but I thought it was crass and embarrassing. He is a sitting, duly elected Senator and deserves respect regardless of whether you agree with his policy positions.

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Yes. They have articulated flaws in every conceivable argument that can attack them. It's brilliant in a sickening sort of way.

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You fight these wokesters in the place where they cannot touch you: The voting booth.

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I would say the recent successes in union organizing across the country are the left politics Freddie is talking about.

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Your point was that the left only functions in the realm of wokeness. The push for unionization across the country is a simple refutation of that belief.

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I suppose you can continue to assert the least charitable reading of what I said.

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So, how many businesses do you own?

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founding

You're completely side stepping the point being made. Leftists actually believe that unionization benefits all of us, economically, and that activity isn't driven by wokeness. So Freddie's point stands, as pointed out by r. edward.

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I would like to point out that all conversations around unionization should first start by categorizing public sector vs private sector employment. These are fundamentally different groups.

Private sector unions: people who have not had sufficient job mobility to allow natural market forces to reinforce good employment practices so they organize and force change. Happy bell sound. 🔔

Public sector unions: people who work for the government and are forced to donate parts of their wages to unaccountable entities who inevitably spend all of the money on Democrat party campaigns far away from their members, often going so far as to specifically lobby for fringe political ideologies like transgenderism and various woke stuff that would make people’s blood boil if they bothered to pay attention, which most Democrats would probably oppose but they can’t opt out of regardless of what you might have read about a certain SCOTUS decision. Diarrhea sound. 💩

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Public sector employee unions are completely unnecessary in a democracy. The government is not supposed to be an oppressive employer with bad working conditions and low wages, and if they are, there's an obvious recourse available to public sector workers that isn't available to their private sector counterparts - vote the bastards out.

That fact that many of the most successful (in terms of longevity and power) unions are for public-sector employees should make the rest of us highly suspicious that most unionization efforts happen in places where the employees actually already have a good deal of power and privilege in the first place and want even more.

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Jun 12, 2022·edited Jun 12, 2022

The great irony is that the loudest proponents of social justice politics are usually the same people who insist that everything, absolutely everything, from your taste in art to where you buy tires to the smell of your farts, is political. Of course that claim is mostly deployed against political opponents (in the circles I move in, it's the go-to counterargument whenever anyone even slightly conservative grumbles about TV and movies being too "political"). When it comes to their own views, social justice politics types snidely insist that anything they want is just politeness, and what kind of monster would disagree with politeness? No politics here! Not at all, and doesn't it prove how dumb and stupid anyone who disagrees with them is? Sneer, sneer, sneer, mutual high-fives and back-slappings abound.

...I've had a lot of bad experiences with this. Can you tell?

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This all reminds me of that saying, "everybody wants to be a gangster until it's time to do some gangster sh*t." Today it's, "everybody wants to be political until it's time to make a compelling argument for your preferred policies."

It's much easier to yell and scream about how every other viewpoint is illegitimate than it is to make an affirmative case for your own beliefs.

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I thought it was just "Everybody wants to rule the world" (Tears for Fears) ;-)

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The term for this shit is post-politics https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-politics

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I read your comment as it being 'shit-post politics' at first! (I think that's _much_ more apt!)

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Don't troll too hard!

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And the strongest advocates seem to be born on third base privileged people of mediocre talent trying to leverage social justice to maintain status.

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Jun 12, 2022·edited Jun 12, 2022

That tracks with my experience – a lot of highly-credentialed post-college types who don't otherwise stand out from all the other highly-credentialed people around them, engaged in a furious scramble for status and acclaim. I.e. the craftier the put-down of political enemies, the more clout that comes with it.

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Bingo!

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None of this dreary navel-gazing, none of these interminable debates over how many LGTBQXYZPDQ can dance on the head of a pin, none of this ends the stupid wars or changes the way the pie is sliced.

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From the perspective of the <s>rich assholes</s> people who run the government and the media, that is a feature, not a bug.

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You can be sure the pie is still being sliced on the behalf of the elites. The way it always has since the beginning of time.

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The Iron Law Of Oligarchy is far from old school lefty orthodoxy, but I find that it accurately describes and predicts observable reality, regardless of any ideology.

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Ironic, no? I would say this is because the extremes of this ideology are driven by affluent white elites - the very people, as someone else on this board mentioned, that have the least to lose. That's why academia, media, publishing, politics, social media, nonprofits are so infected. These are their stomping grounds.

However, it was with great relief and glee that I read this article today: https://theintercept.com/2022/06/13/progressive-organizing-infighting-callout-culture/

The worm is finally turning.

Serves them right. I have no sympathy for this implosion. They brought it on themselves. And I'm glad that reality is finally having an impact on the nasty, little tantrums and pouting sessions that have been allowed to decimate most of the institutions in this country for the past 7 years (at least). And I say this as someone sympathetic to their goals (in part, at least - not so down with equal outcomes, but definitely down with equal opportunity).

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V.I. Lenin had some things to say about power.

A lot of goodthink liberals don't really want power because once you have actual power, you have to do something with it. Unless you are a god-emperor, that means tough choices, priorities, marshalling resources, tactical alliances with the impure and having to say "no" to friends and to worthy causes. If you avoid power, you can stay clean, support the current thing, and collect sweet donor checks without cheezing off the wrong people.

Huey P. Long also had some observations about power. Say what you want about his goals (and he was no politically correct), and his methods were often by his own admission unseemly, but he was a Man Who Got Things Done. "Things" as in "concrete, material benefits" for the average frustrated Louisianan. He got so much done so quickly that humans named their kittens after him and for generations to come, the Long name alone was enough to get a candidate elected in Louisiana.

The other problem with power is that it attracts sociopaths the way catnip attracts cats.

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All of these observations are excellent. I had heard the one from Lenin before. You can't be a radical if you are "The Man." I think that humans will need to evolve our consciousness before we will be able to get to a place where we don't abuse power. I don't see this happening for a few generations at least.

And yes, sociopaths. Good people are aware that power will corrupt them and to maintain their morality intact, they avoid holding outsized power. I think it's one of the reasons it's so hard to find good leaders. Only in crisis will good people step up. The irony is, that if good people don't step up in non-crisis periods, crisis will be fomented by poor leadership.

BTW, by good people, I mean those who don't have an innate need to dominate or coerce or steal. Those who are mature adults and who have honed their own tolerance for pluralism.

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frist ps0t

But also, my kvetch about the Adler-Bell essay is the same as my critique of Ben Burgis "Give Them an Argument". There's a whole genre of this stuff in which "wokeness" or "cancel culture" gets critiqued on the purely instrumental grounds of persuading the normies, while assuming that everyone ought to agree with the actual issue positions at issue. Which is goddamn ridiculous. Of course people sometimes disagree on substance rather than style -- that's just politics.

The problem being, as you point out, that lots of people with left-leaning views or in liberal institutions disagree on substance. But somehow it's some biiig victory that we're now allowed to critique the style.

My suspicion is that insofar as "wokeness" is an institutional politics, it's basically an aesthetic radicalization of liberal technocracy. It's just Clinton 2016 all over again, or Harris 2020 if you prefer referencing the most recent election.

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The transpositions in the first line made me think something was also wrong with "kvetch" and I processed it as "ketchup" (ketchv?)

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I have kvetchup on my Ben Burgeris.

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I had a similar reaction to the Adler-Bell piece: I agree with him on his critique of the communication methods, but obviously disagree on substance, and disagree with his characterization of the two groups of opponents -- as if the only people who disagree on substantial grounds are conservative. That's a politically useful categorization which is factually incorrect (unless someone has suddenly redefined people like Freddie and like me and like many others as conservative, despite disagreeing with conservatives on a whole lot of grounds).

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I agree with this. A third group I feel like I see a lot of are people who are genuinely progressive - not the establishment Democrats he describes, but people whose positions on things like labor, social welfare, and police reform run fairly far left - who do not think the conversation is helpful to those causes. There's a quiet, growing group of them in the nonprofit and direct-services world, people ducking the rhetoric in the interest of getting things done in their everyday advocacy. They're less loud than pundits on Twitter or establishment politicians because they're... well, getting things done.

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I think you're right; he's grouping a whole lot of people under either "conservative" or "liberal / Democrat but whose political visions are incompatible with woke visions." However, rereading that piece of the Adler-Bell article, I think I mischaracterized him; I think he does admit a significant difference in substance among the left / liberal cohort: "Their critiques of our political strategies are impossible to disentangle from the incompatibility of our political visions." In my defense, his arguments around the Democratic group are not well articulated outside of his popularist point about elections.

In any case, I view the article as an encouraging sign, though some of the points it makes like "it should, I think, be obvious why such habits are destructive to our goals," one can only goggle at, given how frequently these points have been made to the woke, who apparently do not find them obvious. If they were obvious, why would this only be acknowledged, and why would all behavior bely this obvious truth?

Hopefully, Adler-Bell's next piece will be a plain language, persuasive piece on social just politics.

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Well it would certainly be great if SOMEBODY would tell us normies what the actual socialist endgame is. Because from Marx on, nobody has bothered.

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Mondragon but with the commanding heights of the capital markets nationalized. Bam.

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Politically useful - bingo!

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As a companion to Adler-Bell's critique (and to Freddie's) I recommend giving Nellie Bowles' recent Atlantic essay a read. It's about the decline and fall of San Francisco. I see it as a real world critique of the results of social justice politics ruining a city.

I'll add: I'm sooooo glad to see Chesa Boudin recalled. It gives me hope that my 2 favorite west coast cities, Portland and Seattle, can be saved.

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I live outside of Portland. I wouldn’t hold your breath. Seattle I think may pull itself out of their mess, their business community matters to them. Portland is a different breed and I think we’re in for a good long stint of crap.

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"Crap," literally and figuratively....

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I'm so sad about that. I visited Portland a few times long ago and I thought it was a wonderful city. I also know at least a few people still living there (AFAIK) and I'm extra sad that they, and many others, seem to be trapped in a bleak 'political equilibrium'.

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I'm from Portland but left in 2016 for the Peace Corps. I saw it for the first time again last year and goddamn: downtown is a wreck. And I used to live across the street from a youth shelter, so I know it was never idyllic and there have always been homeless dudes shooting up behind Aldi. But man, it looked bad.

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I spent 42 years living in Oregon and still consider it home, though I no longer reside there. I have so many fond memories going to Portland for "big city" fun, going to Blazer games, or concerts, and dining out at so many good restaurants, or just hanging out downtown. When I saw it recently, I almost broke down and cried. I'm not exaggerating.

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You must have missed the new talking point RE: San Francisco. Get this - San Francisco is actually super conservative! All of the apparent failures there aren't because of Social Justice politics, but are of Conservatism! "Real Social Justice Politics have never been tried yet!" Utterly predictable. We've been hearing this beat for almost 100 years now.

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Sigh....but of course, anyone criticizing the social justice left.....is now branded a conservative.

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Yes, there was never a New Deal in San Francisco because it was a Republican city then, so there’s no working class and Afro-American base there. Damn that Hoover!

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Which begs the question - if San Francisco is such a reactionary hotbed, then what better place do the SJ Warriors propose to enact their policies in?

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It seems pretty clear that the Wokes have abandoned any notion of pushing their ideas on the public via democratic means. That's why they tried to sneak CRT into schools on the down low. They knew nobody would ever vote for stupid shit like that.

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The San Francisco failing stuff seems completely detached from reality to me. Yes, drug addiction and homelessness are up. The first is a nationwide phenomenon, and the second is highly correlated with expensive real estate. Property crime is also an issue, although violent crime rates seem ok. The city overall has been growing steadily both economically and in population. It has its problems, but people trying to cast it as a failure are pandering, IMO.

The one true self-own lately seems to be the school board. Luckily, people are on that, and it seems like it will get better.

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Population has been growing? The last I've read, the population dropped by over 6%. I think I've also read that this was the sharpest decline in any major metropolitan city.

I live here, so I follow pretty closely. But if you have different evidence, please share!

That said, I thought her article was interesting and relevant and about half-true. She describes a hellscape in the Tenderloin and a semi-abandoned, camp-ridden downtown. Both true. But what she overlooks is there is still a vitality here. I mean, all she'd need to do is walk down different parts of Market than the parts of Market she highlighted, maybe go to Dolores Park or Duboce Park or Alamo Square or the Panhandle, walk around in a bunch of different neighborhoods... there is plenty of vibrancy here. My life here has not substantially changed.

But there still have been changes to the city, for the worse. Not as bleak as the article portrays, but bad nonetheless. The nonprofit I work for has offices in the Tenderloin and in the Mission. I avoid the TL office now because the atmosphere there has really, really gone downhill; many of my female Asian colleagues do the same because of the level of safety they feel is very low; the open drug-dealing & people just passed out on sidewalks is way over the top, in comparison to years past. But the Mission office? Go there all the time. Except for the increase in encampments, there remains a lot of the same energy: people just living their lives. They don't seem like miserable folks living in hell, whether it is Latin families who've lived there for generations or young tech folks who resisted the urge to move.

Valid points made by an author who does love SF, but its semi-gloating, catastrophizing, point scoring was frequently over the top.

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I meant over the last few years. I'm sure there was a drop during Covid, although I haven't been following the details, but I would bet that rebounds fairly quickly.

Your last point highlights one of the big problems with discourse about San Francisco. It's all either dunking or denying there's a meaningful problem. We need more deep analysis of the problems to come up with better solutions. After reading about the new meth, I wonder if people are underestimating the impact of drug addiction specifically. https://dynomight.net/p2p-meth/

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Most of SF is shockingly beautiful and you're definitely right that it's a few small areas, but the amount of money they're wasting while literally sentencing these people to death by fentanyl is absurd. I visit there often and give me the Sunset all day and night.

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THERE ARE FIVE LIGHTS

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Discourse around Boudin’s recall has been an abject intellectual failure.

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Portland is a TALL order, lmao.

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I find myself sort of frustrated by the dichotomy that we have a social justice movement that has beautiful ends and no means. And then like an operative political movement that seems to have no ends to speak of beyond like hey we're going to tinker with this or that movement.

The class first left have a clear program at least that they can say hey tax these people at this percent, seize this and that. But if you give me a choice between a very significant multiple on my income or never ever having to deal with abusive prejudices I'd take the second one every time.

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Jun 12, 2022·edited Jun 12, 2022

It's not really either/or. The class first socialists aren't advocating for keeping prejudice around. If anything, they seem to have the only actionable strategy for ameliorating it. Part of it is just that a more equitable distribution of goods would help to break down the kind of segregation that allows bigotry to flourish.

Part of the analysis is that much of the impetus for racialization is dividing labor, having two groups of workers to pit against each other, and that capital benefits from having a large, mostly stable group of disenfranchised workers. Think prison industries. Think people with no opportunities whose choices are 'do this horrible job for crap pay or starve'. Or the desire to keep unregistered immigrants unregistered, so they're at threat for deportation if they complain, attempt to organize, or go somewhere else.

While socialism isn't a panacea and we'll still need a notion of protecting people from racism or sexism or queerphobia or whatever, it at least removes many of the structural factors that make racism so enduring.

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In theory I agree with the idea that we should be able to do both. But most socialists I hear are like shut up yelling at people for their rape jokes and worry about the earnings of the people who made me the butt of those jokes. The class first people to me are basically telling me the aspect of politics I should be excited about is making sure my abusers get more money and then maybe through some sort of magic we'll make sure people don't get abused in those ways.

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Jun 12, 2022·edited Jun 12, 2022

I wonder how much of this comes out of frustration.

I know, for me, I don't have a problem changing the git default branch from 'master' to 'main' (to use an example.) It's not like 'master' was a particular good name anyway. However, it feels like something of a consolation prize. We didn't radically reform the police and curtail the impunity with which they just execute people in the street, but we changed the name of something. I think some people you might be running into might just be frustrated by the feeling that no change seems to be on the table except changes in language.

Also part of it might be misunderstanding. Personally, I can get and understand someone not liking rape jokes and I think "Don't tell rape jokes." is a reasonable social norm to want. (I know I get particularly angry when someone makes some jokey wish of prison rape on someone when their sentencing makes the news.)

I am surprised to hear you're more interested in language issues than economics issues. It's just not what I would have expected. For me the problems of precariousness, access to health care, the horrible conditions of eldercare, and all that seem so overwhelmingly bad and important that I had always sort of assumed the focus on language was more a result of defeatism than actual preference.

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I feel like language is sort of orthogonal to what I'm talking about.

I was assaulted enough in school, and in my gap years working in restaurants that it really is for me the area that's the most salient. When I say rape jokes I mean basically threats that they're going to rape me for being bi/efeminante/weird but they just say that was just a joke. So I've spent a lot of life in cultural politics of being super left culturally and it was sort of side show in politics till Trump came along and made everything about making sure we talked about it all the time.

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Well, that makes sense, thank you for expressing it in a way that makes it easy to understand your point. I still think we can have both, but I can at least understand your frustration.

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The woke don't advocate for eliminating abusive prejudices. They advocate for simply mirroring them.

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There's a quick sand problem to this as we can probably point to a bunch of completely cross cutting examples. I thin there's a ton of bullshit and awful behavior that cotravels with the idea of being woke.

However, I find the emphasis on disparities and not just interpersonal meanness to be very illuminating and find calls for equity today to be inspiring in a way that the kind of 3rd way politics really were not.

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Great piece, Freddie.

This whole movement wants the respect that comes with being a political project, without any understanding or appetite for actual politics. Especially once there was a degree of institutional capture beyond college campuses, and the infamous military industrial complex started pretending like it's all in.

I don't know what you'd call this - it seems something like an unholy fusion of naivete, opportunism and stupidity to me, but I'm deeply cynical like that.

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Social justice politics are doomed. The woke make no effort to convert anyone to their causes, they don’t pivot to meet the moment and their heroes are primarily assholes. They insist that Chesa Boudin lost because of right wing activists. They think Gavin Newsom would be an excellent presidential candidate (read that this morning), they see nothing wrong with the leaders of BLM spending a little money on themselves, and they have zero problem with death threats against Supreme Court justices and their families. They never admit error, they just shriek louder.

Meanwhile, we’re spending an extra $500 a month on gas, our children haven’t been ok in two years, and violence is suddenly everywhere. But please, tell me how the Washington Post is oppressing you over a bad joke.

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I love how quickly the American left pivoted from "we're going to flip Florida, Arizona and West Virginia blue!" to "San Francisco is too right wing for us to win".

America's thermidor reaction has been underway for a while, but these people will see how serious it is soon enough.

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I think it may be worth noting that the problem exists on the other side of the political spectrum as well. Screaming about single gender bathrooms, grooming, and piling on super restrictive abortion laws, show as much tunnel vision as the woke folks. With maybe just a little less shrieking.

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Removed (Banned)Jun 12, 2022·edited Jun 12, 2022
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So I think we agree on the substance, just not the approach. I think the right, and I consider myself center-right, has taken the groomer thing too far. Talk about parents’ rights, curriculum review, the insane power of teachers unions, and even CRT, but a groomer is a pedophile who prepares a child over time for abuse. I think the language is extreme and could backfire with moderates, and some hard right conservatives are now using it for anything they disagree with. Target has a gay pride tshirt? Groomer! Elementary school hired a gay teacher? Groomer! It’s the Twitter-led world we live in, everything must be taken to the extreme.

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It seems to be a natural reaction to being sold a bill of goods that said "What two adults do in the privacy of their own bedrooms is nobody's business" and then just a few short years later being told that not sending their 6-year old to Drag Queen Story Hour means that they are a bigot.

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On the other hand, when you find out what's actually going on in actual schools, it's hard not to think that "grooming" is an appropriate term for it. https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2022/06/09/scottsdale-unified-accused-of-using-unitown-club-as-cover-for-gender-identity-propaganda/

I voted Republican for the first time in my life last Tuesday, because the Republican party is the only organized resistance to this.

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founding
Jun 13, 2022·edited Jun 13, 2022

Discussing human sexuality and gender identity with high schoolers who volunteer to join an optional, extracurricular club, as the linked to article fails to mention, can, in no meaningful way, be described as grooming.

Maybe you wouldn't feel the need to join the right wing if you didn't constantly fall for their bad faith framing...

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The is all happening in elementary schools (all the way down to pre-K), not just high school. Does the "gender unicorn" poster look like it's aimed at high schoolers to you? Spoiler alert: it's not.

Maybe you wouldn't feel the need to defend the indefensible if you learned more about what is acrtually going on first.

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Totally agree. Unfortunately, I doubt this will backfire on the Right like "defund the police" did for the Left (and to a lesser extent, "every white person is racist"). I wish though. The Santis Right is definitely overdue for a backfire.

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DeSantis is president in 2024 unless the Democrats really pull their heads out. And, sad to say, I'll be voting for him. But hey, I'm just another "transphobe" who thinks that make rapists shouldn't be able to just "identify" into women's prisons. And I live in woke paradise CA; it's already happened here.

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You are a single-issue voter?

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I think most people in the US at this point would just like to vote for someone who’s not a fucking wackadoo regardless of actual political leaning

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Citation needed

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Policy does matter, just not more than basic sanity.

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Jun 13, 2022·edited Jun 13, 2022

These things are not mutually exclusive.

The first of the two legacy parties to take a moderate to realistic social stance with a moderate to realistic economic stance and end the stupid wars will be nigh unstoppable.

Say what you want about Huey Long and his goals, and his methods were often by his own admission unsavory, but Huey P. Long delivered results.

Not hope and change, not triggering the libs, but results in the form of concrete material benefits (roads, bridges, schools, literacy classes, hospitals, jobs, voting rights, bank regulation, etc.) for the average frustrated Louisianan.

And Long did so in the face of a corrupt political establishment not shy about using fraud, bribery, blackmail and outright violence when necessary. Not only that, but Long was never endorsed by the KKK, which in Jim Crow era Louisiana, was like winning wars without the Pentagon.

Long not only got things done, he got so much done, he transformed Louisiana in only a few years. For generations after his death, people named their children after Huey Long, and the Long name was enough to get a politician elected in Louisiana.

The problem is that the donor class would shit a brick.

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AMEN.

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They had the chance in California with Michael Shellenberger. He actually has practical solutions to California's crises, and he comes out of the prog left. He got 3.8 percent of the primary vote.

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Um, Shellenberger's big accomplishment was running the campaign to keep open the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, which is built right on top of an earthquake fault that was only discovered after its construction. As someone who lives 100 miles downwind of Diablo Canyon (and who has a PhD in physics), I'm here to tell you that is fucking insane.

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I have no information to judge the safety of the plant from an earthquake. But it's also fairly insane to switch off a reliable steady source of power in a place already plagued by blackouts.

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"I have no information to judge the safety of the plant from an earthquake." Well I do. Maybe you should read up.

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> which is built right on top of an earthquake fault that was only discovered after its construction

How common are these faults? Is it like prostate cancer in old men where you can always find some if you look close enough?

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They're not that common. This one was a surprise (duh, because you don't build a nuclear power plant on top of a fault!). The California State Senator for that district, at the time of the fault discovery, was by an amazing stroke of luck a PhD geologist. I met him. He said that a detailed seismic study was needed to determine just how dangerous the fault was to Diablo Canyon, and he pushed to get funding for the study. It was never done, which is fucking pathetic. The powers that be have simply decided that it's "safe", without doing the study, kinda like Fukushima was "safe" from a tidal wave that was not too big. Oops.

And don't get me started on the open-air rod cooling pools at Diablo ... or the whole nuclear-waste storage problem ... hey, where are those YIMBY's when you need them? Can we bury the waste in Shellenberger's back yard??? Works for me.

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What I think is insane is that your Tesla is powered by fracking and big coal. I'm not advocating opening up Diablo Canyon, but anybody advocating for clean energy who is unwilling to discuss nuclear is kidding themselves.

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He is (or I guess was) running this year too – as an independent. Did I already miss the race this year?

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Yup. California's zoo primary was June 7.

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Thanks!

I'm usually behind on my 'news feed' by at least a few weeks, and mostly about 30 days. I only ever 'see' Freddie, a few other sources, and whatever I can't 'escape' or avoid elsewhere.

I don't have any strong opinions about Shellenberger's candicacy, but I was surprised by his characterization of the 'homeless encampments'. I had, apparently, a much simpler, and much more naïve, model of what they were/are.

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Team Not-a-Fucking-Wackadoo 2022!!

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I dont know that you can say there's less shrieking on the right. Accusing any random teacher in the country of raping their students it about as wildly ridiculous as you can get.

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But since they've been basically banned from mainstream media, we don't hear their crazy every single day, unless it's from yet another shrieking, privileged, educated, rich wokester on any traditional media source, which is why we're relegated to the corner in substack.

And even though they're a bunch of religious nutters, I'll take the National Review over the bloated corpse of the NYT.

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You must have forgotten that Fox News is the most watched news network, which would make it about as mainstream as you can get. Joe Rogan is the most popular podcast in the world and he has plenty of right wingers on there.

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No forgetting necessary; Rogan wanted to vote Bernie, FFS. Once woke media decided that they had enough power that they didn't even need facts, the true revolution was at hand; and people like you, who gaslight others in their name (whether consciously or not) are sending them into their arms. When professional wokesters couldn't tweet substack out of existence, they joined en-masse to harass anybody who still held any actual liberal or libertarian values.

I hate liars, I hate bullies, and I hate virtue-signaling rich kids who, instead of advocating for the poor and working class, crap on them from their penthouse apartments and call them racist, because paying people a decent wage no longer matters in post-fact America. Amazingly, virtually everybody else hates these people too! Looks like I'm in good company. The fact that you can name two people who are cancellation-proof means nothing in the larger context. There's no way to convince you of anything, but maybe somebody else who is reading this can see through your bad faith arguments and gaslighting and know that they are no longer alone.

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This is one of the strangest responses to a comment I've ever seen on here. Which is really saying something!

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I'm _kinda_ a 'rightist' myself. I still vaguely self-identify as a 'libertarian'.

But I stopped following all 'news' sources, tho the last of those was Reason (a libertarian magazine) I think.

I have been mostly successfully avoiding things like, e.g. Fox News, for almost two decades now, and I just don't think I could stand following them any closer than the very indirect remove from which I am now.

I really feel for everyone tho – people are hurting! I wish everyone would at least do a little more to actively calibrate their beliefs by engaging with the real physical world. There IS a LOT of bad, everywhere – but still a LOT of good too! And, maybe most sad, I still think almost all people want good things for each other.

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I am very well aware that the Right has a lot of its' own problems. That does not prevent me from wanting to fight the (literal, honestly) war against the woke, first.

The woke threat is existential. Other than admittedly Trump's coup attempt (which the Left only care about because it wasn't them doing it) and the QAnon/Bitchute fringe, there is nothing coming from the Right at the moment which is as long term dangerous.

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Wokeness is an existential threat but obliterating the 4th amendment, outlawing abortion with sights on outlawing homosexuality, empowering police and corporations to act with impunity, halting any possible progress on climate change action, and book banning happening in majority red states are what?

None of that's as important as a teenager putting pronouns in their instagram bio?

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"None of that's as important as a teenager putting pronouns in their instagram bio?"

*sigh* If you've been folowing this debate at all, then you know it's a much bigger issue than "a teenager putting pronouns in their instagram bio". And if you are honestly uninformed, then you can start here: https://lacroicsz.substack.com/p/by-any-other-name

But! Haven't you radicals been telling us normies for decades that "there isn't a dime's worth of difference" between the two major parites? (That was Ralph Nader in 2000, when he swung the election from Gore to Bush.)

Didn't you radicals all sit on the sidelines in 2016, telling us it didn't matter who would be making SCOTUS appointments, Hillary or Trump?

And now, suddenly, it matters after all which major party is in charge?

ROFLMAO!

As for me, since both major parties are now totally illiberal, I've decided that I'd rather be ruled by christianist fascists than woke totalitarians.

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Oh they will spare me, because I can fake being a christianist much easier than I can fake being woke. That's a big part of my calculation in deciding which side to back.

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The empowerment of corporations to act with impunity, and halting action regarding the environment, are the only two of the issues that you have listed, that I care about.

At least in the form of political or activist entities, I regard both women and gays as adversarial, and view them as being engaged in the same persuit of power over others that virtually everyone else in this society. I do not see them as victims, but rather as people who attempt to use their perception of victimhood, as a means of obtaining political and social dominance.

Using victimhood is a feminine means of obtaining power over others; war in physical terms is the masculine form. In both cases, however, the motivation and the end goal is the same.

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This is some deranged shit, buddy.

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No, it isn't. It's an opinion that you disagree with.

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I think it is a two way street. I don't see much effort on the far right to convert people either. It seems to be the nature of our media that honest dialogue and critique doesn't get enough clicks. It is much easier to fire up some display of the worst of the bad guys and sit smugly at home knowing the 'other team' are all a bunch of loons. I think the advantage is still to the Social Justice Politics crowd as long as young folks can be indoctrinated at universities. I don't see that stranglehold going away anytime soon.

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I think you’re absolutely correct.

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I agree with you, but the issue is that the woke left is just repulsing people and turning on their own while the Right, while not necessarily recruiting, is, at least, making a decent argument on a couple of obvious fronts.

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Yea, verily.

To give but one example, not stopping workers from unionizing would result in greater concrete material benefits to brown and black and yellow and LGTBQXZYPDQ people (and cishet white males) than all the diversity committees ever formed, all the allyship statements ever penned, all the rainbow flags ever sold.

But nobody talks about that.

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^^^This. You sound like the old left - which focused on economics. You know, the one that no longer exists but which I still believe in.

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I am just a cat and I try to avoid ideology as it prevents clear thinking.

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cattus inepta (silly cat)

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HL, I hope SJ politics is doomed, but that hope ignores the fact that the public schools, nationwide, thanks to the teachers unions, are becoming ever-more radical political indoctrination factories. Every half-generation sees a greater portion radicalized with accelerating radicalism. Think Hitler Youth.

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"What underlies all this is the phlogiston of contemporary progressive politics: the immense condescension with which racial politics are treated. To the extent that America’s racial politics have become more emotional and linguistically radical, they’ve also become wrapped in a layer of pandering and head-patting on the part of benevolent white liberals who have little need for material change (as they’re already affluent themselves) and much to lose from appearing not to kowtow to social justice norms (as their lives are unusually dependent on reputation."

I have mentioned this before, but my local Koreatown has a creation myth. When Korean immigrants first arrived and started settling themselves there was a lot of pushback from the local black community. Eventually tensions reached the ignition point and the matter was settled with a massive brawl involving dozens of combatants on each side. They met in a parking lot armed with clubs, knives and fists. The Koreans were victorious, drove the other side off and after that they were able to establish a community unmolested.

The worst part about the woke view of race is that it views blacks, Orientals and Hispanics as natural allies. On what basis? There is no shared culture, or language, or experience. What they are is not white, and if you yourself are white that is likely to be the biggest distinguishing factor.

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Jun 12, 2022·edited Jun 12, 2022

Most Democratic ideas are based on assumptions that nothing will change, that people will not respond to perverse incentives created by bad policy, seek to game the system and make things worse. Why would illegal immigration surge if we say we’re going to enforce it less harshly? Why would crime increase if we don’t punish it? Why would companies seek tax shelters if we raise tax rates? Why would some unethical woman exploit the new norm of being believed no matter what? Why would homeless drug users flood into a city that facilitates their drug use? Who could have expected these consequences??

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Yes. The whole thing is highly impractical. I have found myself grateful that the real world is trumping their narrative. This may bring the whole thing crashing down to earth at some point. If religion has proven anything over thousands of years, it's that high-minded narratives can't completely corral human behavior.

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Pretty sure Democratic primary voters supported Joe Biden specifically to stick it to the other candidates for being too woke.

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lol lmao. I'm sorry, but there's just no possible civil discourse between someone who thinks Joe Biden has "governed slightly to the left of Stalin" and someone who lives in the real world.

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At the risk of being bombarded with links to right wing sources, I'll answer truthfully as some actually to the left of Stalin.

Biden is a centrist Democrat who has, unfortunately, continued the economic, health, and foreign policies of his predecessors (Republican and Democrat) but also adopted, occasionally, the language of DEI/woke-ism. His actual accomplishments and actions have been slight and incremental.

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And yet...

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Side note: thank goodness Biden is an old straight white guy. As it is the media carries his water to an absurd degree, but at least calling him out as the doddering old fool he is doesn’t invite charges of racism or sexism.

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Yep. I noticed this, too.

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It's a canard that suits their virtue signaling.

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This is a contest between true vs false against good vs. evil. Many people adopt a morality as good and believe it to be true. And because it becomes a moral issue, anyone who points out it isn't "true" is immoral.

Most people like to place their disagreements into morality rather than truth. A cousin recently talked to me about a legal dispute he is in. He is an extremely bright individual who made a foolish choice and now us suing to fix it. Under true/false analysis, he is correct and deserves to win. However, he wants to place it morality terms and claims the other side is uniquely evil and immoral. He struggles to even hear anything different.

Woke is almost 100% moralizing. It cannot even consider they others don't share their newly found morality. When people flaws in their morality, they get angry and seem unable to process even basic arguments to the contrary.

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Agree with everything you said. I'd just add that a politics that treats other people as intrinsically unworthy of voicing an opinion on what our collective life should be (because they're white, cis, hetero, etc.) is at a profound level un- or anti-democratic. It's not strategically wise, for all the reasons you said, but it's also immoral from a democratic perspective. It seems reasonable to me to ask people who have had great good fortune in life (perhaps because of their race or gender) to be thoughtful about how to participate in the discourse, and how and when to wield whatever outsized power they may possess, but it's not okay to tell anyone to shut up when it comes to important issues of our common political life. Not if you believe in democratic principles, in any case.

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But the woke DO NOT believe in democratic principles! They've been shouting that from the rooftops all along: https://www.politico.com/interactives/2019/how-to-fix-politics-in-america/inequality/pass-an-anti-racist-constitutional-amendment/

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I think it's really important to distinguish between the hardcore activist-types, many of whom don't believe in democratic principles, and the people who are either swept up in the moment, but aren't hardcore ideologues, or who have qualms but are afraid to articulate them, often even to themselves. My educated guess is that these latter two groups, which are likely much vaster in terms of numbers than the hardcore, mostly do believe in basic democratic principles, but haven't been pushed or given the opportunity to consider the ways in which social justice principles are in tension or conflict with liberal democratic principles. I mean, isn't that the whole point of Freddie's post, that we have to assume that people who don't agree with us right now are potentially persuadable? It's true in both directions, or all directions. I don't think one wants to waste much time trying to persuade the real ideologues, the people who've really thought through the ideological implications of asking people to subordinate themselves based on race/gender/sexuality and are okay with it. But I think it's a huge mistake to assume that many or most people who are currently propping up woke consensuses actually have done that kind of thinking. Most people don't arrive at their politics that way, and a hefty chunk of most people's given commitments at any one time are not that deeply held. That's why wokeness has been able to achieve such power with such stunning speed, and also why it's much less stable than it seems.

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"I think it's really important to distinguish between the hardcore activist-types, many of whom don't believe in democratic principles, and the people who are either swept up in the moment, but aren't hardcore ideologues, or who have qualms but are afraid to articulate them"

I completely agree. That's why I think it's important to repeat over and over what the ideologues actually think, at least when they speak plainly, as Kendi did in his proposed Constitutional "amendment" that would functionally repeal pretty much the entire Constitution. I'm pretty sure most people (of all races) would not sign up to be ruled by the absolute authority of the unelected "Department of Anti-Racism". And people need to know that's what they're signing up for when they keep quiet.

On the other hand, I'm looking forward to all the new White and Asian basketball players in the NBA, once the DOA corrects the racist policies that have led to an inequitable number of those highly lucrative positions going to Blacks.

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I reject just about everything in the woke package, but it starts with this. I would never sign onto a political project that carries as one of its primary tenets that I should shut up and not get a say. Why would anyone? By definition it doesn’t represent me.

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It's a type of dehumanization. They are just enjoying the 'turnabout is fair play' revenge ethos that they are currently getting away with - which, of course, won't solve anything. But, it sure feels good. There is nothing that feels as good as self-righteous superiority.

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You taught me a new word: phlogiston. By which I think you meant something that self- combusts? Anyway, thanks.

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I was never good at understanding chemistry. Thanks for this.

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I think he's using it a metaphor for something believe exists, but doesn't.

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I love all the chin scratching these people do when they're struggling to understand the lack of popular support around a movement that barely has any coherent political messaging at all beyond "fuck all normies".

Really hard to explain why that isn't catching on outside of very elite circles! Someday, we may figure it out.

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They do have a coherent message beyond "F- all normies." ... they have the ever popular "Burn It All Down."

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“Why don’t people like this thing we’ve bullied them into?”

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That reminds me of some people posting about being accosted during the 'BLM' protests, e.g. sitting at a restaurant and being socially coerced into literally spouting slogans by someone that approached them on the sidewalk.

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The thing is, Voldemorting often works great on a micro level, in the short term at least; that’s part of the reason it’s so popular. Politics in my town are dominated by leftist Democrats who use the “stay in your lane, bigot” approach to great effect. They have routed the Democratic moderates and pretty much get to do what they want. The local shenanigans contribute to backlash on the state and national level, but they don’t seem much concerned about that.

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I'm really curious as to which town this is ...

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This describes about 90% of towns and cities by population in the Acela Corridor.

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I'll settle for one specific example that I can google.

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I would _think_ you could just pick any 'suburb' of any major city in the NE, e.g. D.C., Baltimore, NYC, or Boston. (I'm less sure of Philly actually, but not sure why beyond a gut feeling.)

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If nobody can name one, I can only assume that none exist.

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The original commenter _refused_ to name their town, but that's at least some evidence (however weak) that one exists.

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I can see why someone not around here would think this, but nah. I’m on Long Island - the definition of a major suburb - and there isn’t any place that you could say “oh yeah, that town/school district/whatever is totally woke”. Pretty close to the opposite.

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I would be surprised if this was literally true, i.e. of every town/city on Long Island, but, yeah, Long Island seems very much like (mostly) a 'conservative hinterland' of the NYC metro area. (Staten Island seems similar too in that way.)

I'm _mildly_ familiar with a few places in Long Island and I wouldn't be surprised if _one_ or even a _few_ were (relatively) 'woke'.

But I'm far less sure that there aren't any 'woke' towns/whatevers north of NYC in NY, or in neighboring parts of Connecticut or New Jersey.

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People are using a lot of words to avoid naming anywhere on a map

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It describes a fair number of college and university towns all across the country too, I’m guessing.

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