political outcomes

Trump’s Big Loss

The demise of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act is hardly the end of the story. Donald Trump will not let this loss stand.

Since its inception in 2010, Republicans made the Affordable Care Act into a symbol of Obama-Clinton overreach – part of a supposed plot by liberal elites to expand government, burden the white working class, and transfer benefits to poor blacks and Latinos.

Ever the political opportunist, Trump poured his own poisonous salt into this conjured-up wound. Although he never really understood the Affordable Care Act, Trump used it to prey upon resentments of class, race, ethnicity, and religiosity that propelled him into the White House.

Repealing “Obamacare” has remained one of Trump’s central rallying cries to his increasingly angry base. “The question for every senator, Democrat or Republican, is whether they will side with Obamacare’s architects, which have been so destructive to our country, or with its forgotten victims,” Trump said last Monday, adding that any senator who failed to vote against it “is telling America that you are fine with the Obamacare nightmare.”

Now, having lost that fight, Trump will try to subvert the Act by delaying funding so some insurers won’t have time to participate, not enforcing the individual mandate so funding will be inadequate, not informing those who are eligible about when to sign up and how to do so, and looking the other way when states don’t comply.

But that’s not all. Trump doesn’t want his base to perceive him as a loser.

So be prepared for scorched-earth politics from the Oval Office, including more savage verbal attacks on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, more baseless charges of voter fraud in the 2016 election, more specific threats to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, and further escalation of the culture wars.

Most Americans won’t be swayed by these pyrotechnics because they’ve become inured to our unhinged president.

But that’s not the point. The rantings are intended to shore up Trump’s “base” – the third of the country that continues to support him, who still believe they’re “victims” of Obamacare, who are willing to believe Trump himself is the victim of a liberal conspiracy to unseat him.  

Trump wants his base to become increasingly angry and politically mobilized so they’ll continue to exert an outsized influence on the Republican Party.

There is a deeper danger here. As Harvard political scientist Archon Fung has argued, stable democracies require that citizens be committed to the rule of law even if they fail to achieve their preferred policies.

Settling our differences through ballots and agreed-upon processes rather than through force is what separates democracy from authoritarianism.

But Donald Trump has never been committed to the rule of law. For him, it’s all about winning. If he can’t win through established democratic processes, he’ll mobilize his base to change them. 

Trump is already demanding that Mitch McConnell and senate Republicans obliterate the filibuster, thereby allowing anything to be passed with a bare majority.

On Saturday he tweeted “Republican Senate must get rid of 60 vote NOW!” adding the filibuster “allows 8 Dems to control country,” and “Republicans in the Senate will NEVER win if they don’t go to a 51 vote majority NOW. They look like fools and are just wasting time.”

What’s particularly worrisome about Trump’s attack on the processes of our democracy is that the assault comes at a time when the percentage of Americans who regard the other party as a fundamental threat is growing.

In 2014 – even before Trump’s incendiary presidential campaign – 35 percent of Republicans saw the Democratic Party as a “threat to the nation’s well being” and 27 percent of Democrats regarded Republicans the same way, according to the Pew Research Center.

Those percentages are undoubtedly higher today. If Trump has his way, they’ll be higher still. 

Anyone who regards the other party as a threat to the nation’s well being is less apt to accept outcomes in which the other is perceived to prevail – whether it’s a decision not to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or a special counsel’s conclusion that Trump did in fact collude with Russians, or even the outcome of the next presidential election.

As a practical matter, when large numbers of citizens aren’t willing to accept such outcomes, we’re no longer part of the same democracy.

I fear this is where Trump intends to take his followers, along with as much of the Republican Party as he can: Toward a rejection of political outcomes they regard as illegitimate and therefore a rejection of democracy as we know it. 

That way, Trump will always win.

i just had a moment where i was like “wait this doesn’t make sense this is not possible to happen”  but then like……… i remembered…….. that i have unlimited power over this universe and i can do whatever the fuck i want……..

I’m surprised that so many of these “Punch a Nazi”/AntiFa activists don’t even see their own parallels to the actions of the Sturmabteilung. Create chaos in the streets in attempt to strike fear of those that would dare ‘step out of line’, disrupt meetings & gatherings of groups they oppose, use of intimidation in order to sway political outcome, and even the design of propaganda that misrepresents events in attempt to gain sympathy. No one else sees the connections to the Tax Day rally in Berkley, with the AntiFa woman picturing herself as some Native American warrior stereotype that’s going to bring back “100 Nazi scalps” only to be punched in the face when she attacks, and the following? 

“In the Nazi campaigns, propaganda and terror were closely linked. In Berlin, Nazi Party leader Joseph Goebbels intentionally provoked Communist and Social Democratic actions by marching SA [Brownshirt] storm troopers into working-class neighborhoods where those parties had strongholds. Then he invoked the heroism of the Nazi "martyrs” who were injured or killed in these battles to garner greater public attention. Nazi newspapers, photographs, films, and later paintings dramatized the exploits of these fighters. The “Horst Wessel Song,” bearing the name of the twenty-three-year-old storm trooper and protege of Goebbels who was killed in 1930, became the Nazi hymn. The well-publicized image of the SA-man with a bandaged head, a stirring reminder of his combat against the “Marxists” (along with other portrayals of muscular, oversized storm troopers), became standard in party propaganda. In the first eight months of 1932, the Nazis claimed that seventy “martyrs” had fallen in battle against the enemy. Such heroic depictions – set against the grim realities of chronic unemployment and underemployment for young people during the Weimar period – no doubt helped increase membership in the SA units, which expanded in Berlin from 450 men in 1926 to some 32,000 by January 1933.“

From State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, by Steven Luckert and Susan Bachrach, pp. 48-50:

anonymous asked:

Tobirama angst, dawg.

Tearing into Tobs is one of my favorite pastimes. Also love writing Tobirama in political drama, whether it be AU or Canon, I don’t care, let’s fuck it up. This is def more relationship angsty towards the end. Also you should read it, bc I might continue this.

Originally posted by shisuithegreekgod

Standing silently, you stared down the man in front of you, combatting the unforgiving glare he had been giving you ever since the pair you had returned from the council meeting. You knew very well that he was angered at you, and he had very right reason to be. You had attacked his decisions as a Hokage right in front of the entire council, something that was unprecedented under Tobirama’s leadership. It was something that anyone with even a miniscule amount of healthy fear of Tobirama wouldn’t have done, but you had never been one to fear the man in front of you, and for what he was proposing, he deserved to be put in his place.

Lifting your chin up slowly, you raised an eyebrow at him, “You wanted to speak to me privately, sir?” you inquired, aware that the following moments were not going to be a pleasant experience between the two of you.

Bearing into you with those sharp eyes, Tobirama didn’t waste any time getting to the point of the matter, “You undermined me in that meeting. You were disrespectful and placed uncertainty in a plan that would was acceptable in our society.” he accused.

“I didn’t undermine you, Tobirama. I corrected your mistakes; mistakes that would have been costly to the village.” you refuted calmly, defending yourself. “I wasn’t trying to demean you, rather instead protect the village.”

Yet even with your attempt at an explanation of what had happened less than an hour ago, you could see him tensing up the more you spoke against the matter. Coming at you again, he cut into your character. “You’re being ignorant. Y/N. My decision had justifiable causes and should not be in question at this very moment. Stop trying to protect every individual and start being an actual leader for once and making the sacrifices required to have a prosperous village.” he snapped.

Taking a deep breath, you shook your head. Tobirama was a logical man, truly he was, but sometimes there was a point of being too logical where disastrous decision making could occur unless it was balanced out with a reasonable force, and he was quickly approaching that point in his leadership. Remaining level headed, you began trying to realized with the stubborn man, “I understand you’re trying to define your legacy within this village and create what you think is most profitable future, and me speaking out against you went against what you are trying to establish-”

“Then why did you do it?” he cut you off coldly.

Narrowing your eyes at his disrespect towards you, your response was snapped out harsh. “You cannot ostracized an entire clan, because of your bad blood, Tobirama! I don’t care what you feel that Uchiha have done to you or the village, you cannot place such a social barrier on them! That is setting the entire village up for a civil war down the road!” you barked out the potential consequences.

His glare just seemed to continuously harden, “Why are you turning a blind eye to them? No matter what side of the issue you look at it from, they are an unstable and untrustworthy clan. Have you forgotten all the injustice that they have caused? Forgotten the family that both of us lost because the Uchiha?”

“Don’t bring the Warring States Era up! That was a time of war and political dishevel- where all clans were against each other! My clan and your clan were against each other just as you were against the Uchiha. We did not lose family just to the Uchiha! You of all people shouldn’t try to play that against my reasoning, Tobirama!” you hissed. “The Senju- you specifically is the reason my sister’s dead, so using that era against me is unjustifiable!” you broke his accusations.

For a moment he fell silent, not yet having a response to the truth that had been buried deep in the history of you two.

Pursing your lips, you shook your head at him again. “Tobirama, I am not trying to do anything to destroy your legacy or administration; I understand you are doing everything you can for the village, but I am trying to stop you from making a poorly executed decision that will have terrible political outcomes. This is no longer just world of trying to protect ourselves and make it to tomorrow. With the formation of the village came the formation of a political game that must be played very carefully.” you spoke calmly, trying to rid some of the tension in the air.

“I already realized that, Y/N.” he said, attempting  to contain his anger a bit more now seeing that you were trying with him.

“Then you should realize that limiting a clan that is very powerful and has so much potential if guided correctly will not end nicely. Placing such a social barrier on them will only further strengthen the problematic tensions that are already there, which will just lead to revolt later on down the line. I know that the Uchiha do not have the cleanest slate, but give them a chance at redemption. This village is new, a clean slate for all of us, it should be for the Uchiha too. It is not the entire clan that has done wrong; there is hope in that clan-” you tried again, but he cut you off.

“This optimism is insulting to your intelligence, Y/N.”

Narrowing your eyes at him for saying such thing, you still tried to remain collected though there was a crossness to your voice, “So you’re telling me that you see the same hate and darkness in Kagami as you saw Madara. You see that same vicious hatred in that twenty two year old who nearly died taking a hit for his teammate in order to protect this village? You are willing to place irrevocable limitation on your best pupil, because with your potential plan; you will be limiting the most skilled shinobi with the most potential you have on your team, solely because of his clan.” you laid out the harsh reality of what his plan held for the future. “I am not defending Madara and his actions against us, but I am protecting ones like Kagami- your student- who embody the future that this village needs.” you defended.

Though this did seem to bring some light to the potential repercussions of his plan, it was not enough, “So be it. I am not willing to even allow the risk of this village having to suffer through what the Uchiha are capable of. Even if there are ones like Kagami, there are still ones like Madara, and that is enough for us to have protective measures against them.” he affirmed, not giving into you.

Frowning, you delivered a defeated sigh, “Fine, but without my blessing, the council will not follow through with it. You may be Hokage, but I have the most political insight, and if they do not have the faith that I give, then they will not agree with it.”

And suddenly all that anger that had seemingly been diminishing was back as he threatened you. “Know your place, Y/N. You are simply an advisor, and I can take away the privilege as easily as I gave it to you. You do not have acting power, I do, and it is my decision that will happen within this village. Your optimism and ignorance is not going to cost this village the protection that it needs.” he hissed at you.

“Excuse me-” you interjected him, “Do not dare place yourself above me. Do not dare forget that you married me for political gain. Do not dare forget that it was me who got you to this point!” you snapped right back at him, the same viciousness that he had towards you. “Without me, you would be nothing, Tobirama! I made you who you are and brought you into the position that you are in! There is no way in hell that you should even remotely think that you are above me in any way, shape, or form. I am has much of driving force in the creation of this village as you!” you yelled. “Without me forgiving you and covering up the Senju’s massacre of my family, then the public would be looking at you and all the Senju as they are looking at the Uchiha now! It was me who allowed you into the place that you are right now! You have no right to have a condescending attitude towards the one you owe everything to!” you screamed the truths that he had hid for years.

Though all he did was hardened his glare towards you for insulting his pride. “You understood what you were doing, and this is the future you chose.”


And this time, he remained silent.

Inhaling sharply, you stated your resolution, “In the end, I will stand by this village and what it needs to survive in the future- whether it goes against you or not, and if our marriage is sacrificed to ensure the future of Konoha, then so be it, Tobirama.”

anonymous asked:

What do u mean it's reverse gears of war I'm confuse

I hope I don’t step on toes in saying this. But in simple terms

Warhammer 40k is an incredibly deep series that involves strong and complex political outcomes. However often gets boiled down to shooty man space boys

Gears of War is a shooty man gun boy game, which was given a lot of credit (especially the third one) for being an emotional story. When in reality just one of the character dies. Like I’m sure that meant a lot to people, but it was played up as this big thing, when I would hardly call it an emotionally complex opus.

This isn’t be ragging on it either. It was popular for a reason. It’s a fun shooty man game. It’s satisfying. But it isn’t a narrative masterpiece. Few games come close, let alone Gears of War

Comey hearing: FBI chief questioned on Russia
FBI Director James Comey strongly defended Wednesday his decision to alert Congress just days before the 2016 election about his agency's investigation into emails potentially related to Hillary Clinton's personal server, telling senators while the idea of impacting the election made him "mildly nauseous," he would not change what he did.
By Tom LoBianco, Manu Raju and Mary Kay Mallonee, CNN

“It was a hard choice, I still believe in retrospect the right choice,” Comey told senators at a judiciary committee hearing on oversight of his agency

“I can’t consider for a second whose political fortunes will be affected."Comey faced sharp questions from both sides of the aisle and is testifying the day after both the sitting US President and the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee sharply criticized him for his role in the outcome of last year’s presidential election.

He also said Russia to this day is actively involved in trying to influence US politics, emboldened after the outcome of last year’s election."I think one of the lessons that the Russians may have drawn from this is: this works,” Comey said.


This is the longest, most boring episode of Scandal I have ever seen. I am politically and emotionally fatigued, yet, I also know that’s exactly what they want.

We have been talking about Comey’s irresponsible behavior, Trump’s ties to Russia, and this cabinet’s inability to tell the truth since November, complete with periodic updates from the numerous official investigations into the election, and nothing has happened. We’re no closer to a resolution now than we were in November. We still haven’t found the definitive smoking gun that would unseat Trump. We’re still talking about what a disastrous campaign Clinton won, even though any person – let alone a woman as polarizing as Hillary – who wins the popular vote by three million can hardly be considered a disastrous failure.

We’re a third of the way through 2017 still trying to assess what exactly happened in 2016 because the GOP is playing the long game. They’re banking on our inability to focus for very long because politics in America is very Current. We’re all magpies distracted by the next shiny thing, but – and I’m super proud of us y'all – after the distraction, we keep coming back to undermining this administration’s credibility.

So I’m fatigued, but I'ma still pay attention. This orange toddler cheated and lied his way into the White House and I support any efforts to keep picking at the scab until someone draws blood.

Comey is a scab I especially want picked and thrown into the garbage.


The past week felt like a month: So many meetings, so many jaw-dropping, face-palm-inducing news headlines, so much sadness and confusion and anxiety jostling about inside this little human apparatus. Of course, it hans’t just been this week. In truth, i’ve spent a good deal of time this entire year paying attention to the many things that caused me to feel afraid, the many situations I described as “scary”. There have been a not insignificant number of them: uncomfortable conversations with family; unexpected political outcomes; uncertain romantic situations.

As someone who long ago decided to do whatever I could to surprise myself on the regular, noticing fear has become an invitation to step outside the bounds of my proverbial (emotional/intellectual) comfort zone. And this past week was a whole lot of that, with innumerable mugs of herbal tea (and my very first Facebook live chia pudding demo) interspersed throughout.

Read more and get the recipe here.

Note to US young adults: you can make a huge difference. Here’s proof.

A couple of developments over the past week tells us that activism and showing up to vote by young adults can make a huge difference in not just a political outcome, but in causing the political ruling class to pay attention. Here in the US it’s not as obvious because the republican party is more interested in preserving its power than in acting in the best interest of the country, and as a consequence, is acting arrogantly, with impunity, and ignorantly. But as 2018 gets closer, and if community activism remains loud and boisterous (or becomes more so), watch the republicans start to pay attention.

However, it appears to have made a significant difference in the recent elections in the UK. According to the Independent:

Young people voted overwhelmingly for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in the general election, playing a crucial role in denying Theresa May a majority, according to a new poll. A survey of 14,000 people after they had voted by former Conservative donor Lord Ashcroft found that two-thirds of 18- to 24-year-olds cast their ballots for Mr Corbyn’s party.

Meanwhile, more than half of those aged 25 to 34 opted for Labour.

Almost 250,000 young people registered to vote ahead of the deadline for Thursday’s election, up from 137,400 on the last day of registrations in 2015.According to Sky News data, the turnout for 18- to 24-year-olds was 66.4 per cent, up from 43 per cent two years ago.Sky gave similar estimates to Lord Ashcroft of how young people voted, showing that 63 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds voted Labour and 27 per cent Conservative.

Then there’s Russia. The mass demonstrations throughout the country yesterday were populated primarily by young adults. This observation by USA Today:

In Moscow and elsewhere in the country, young people and those still in school accounted for a significant portion of Navalny’s growing base through the use of social media. “Among young people, dissatisfaction and defiance is growing.“ Lev Gudkov, head of the Levada Center, said in an April interview published on the polling center’s website.

The protests on Tverskaya Street saw a large number of teenagers, some overheard on their cellphones telling their parents they were OK. Demonstrators mixed with Muscovites who had turned out for a Russia Day re-enactment festival that had Tverskaya blocked off. Participants — many dressed in historical costume — looked on with tension as riot police tried to corral protesters between the tents.

Some photos from the Russia demonstrations, from The Wall Street Journal or The Guardian:

anonymous asked:

Do you anticipate a Baltic conflict in the short term?

I don’t know. 

Your default assumption for the likelihood of conflict even in conflict areas should be low, perhaps 0.5 to 5 percent per year, depending on strategic conditions, but I have very low confidence in my assessments.

I cannot speak for the known unknowns, but Russia has strong, perhaps decisive tactical and strategic advantages. Depending on expected political outcomes and private agreements, the chances might be low (perhaps 1 percent per year) or very high (perhaps 15 percent per year).

To be conservative, I suppose I’d put the chances at 3 to 4 percent per year over the next 5 years, or about a 14 to 18 percent chance over that window, but perhaps I’m just paranoid, and the chance is closer to 1 or 5 percent over that window.

I’ll be waiting on events.

Maedhros and Maglor: The Saving Angels of the Earendilion?

This was originally a response to a similar post of belegg’s (I basically expounded upon hers with my own view), but then I decided that I wanted to make it into an essay of its own. So it has been adapted and edited to make it into a proper essay.

Disclaimer: First off, I’d just like to warn all readers that I don’t treat the Feanorians very kindly in this essay. It is definitely not my most objective piece, and you’ll see quite a bit of vehemence and emotion in it (probably because it was written in a fit of unhappiness with people who claim that Maedhros and Maglor are redeemed because of this one act). That being said, I would also like it to be known that Maedhros is actually my favorite of the Feanorians, as well as in the top ten of my favorite Tolkien characters. So it is not that this is meant as hate against him.

The idea in this fandom that Maedhros and Maglor were gracious little angels for “rescuing” Elrond and Elros makes me so furious. I mean, I really like the two of them (at least, a LOT more than I used to, because I used to despise Feanor and all of his brood). But their one act of “grace” honestly wasn’t even a true act of grace, when you look at it.

Some say that Maedhros and Maglor were saving the twins’ lives, but truth be told, that wasn’t the case. They knew that Cirdan and Gil-galad were coming for one thing. And even if they hadn’t known, then you can bet that they did know that some of the people of Sirion were still alive—were still alive and would look for the sons of Earendil and Elwing, their lord and lady. True they may have been concerned that some of their men might take the twins and do with them what they did with Elured and Elurin, but they kept the twins safe from their men in captivity, didn’t they? Why didn’t they leave them on the clifftop (bound even, to keep them from wandering), and command the retreat? Their men would have followed, and the twins would have been left waiting for someone from Sirion or Balar to come find them.

No. Their act of taking Elrond and Elros was not an act of grace. It was selfish and nothing else. Whether it was done in an attempt to find redemption themselves (for what they had done to this set of twins’ uncles, as well as Sirion and Alqualonde and Doriath), or else political, either reason was self-serving.

It was an act that did, character-arc speaking, bring about redemption—they saved this set of twins, whereas Maedhros (or his men, as he repented of it later) was the reason for their uncles’ deaths. It was Elured and Elurin again…with a different outcome. Yes it was an act of redemption, and I think it did likely sway both of their judgments a little…for in that at least they DID chose to spare the children, and not slaughter them as they could have. (Yet that still does not absolve them of their crimes. Merely adds a tick in their favor to their tally).

Most of all though, I would argue that the move was a political one—again, self-serving, and even more than that yet another move in their relentless quest for the Silmaril. The act was not one of moving away from their hatred and pursuit. Instead, it was a way to ensure that 1) if Elwing ever returned with the Silmaril, they would have leverage against her. Her twin sons—her only sons—in their hands would be the perfect bargaining chip; 2) they would ensure that, should Gil-galad ride against them, they would have the perfect hostages and, again, bargaining chips needed to ensure that the High King would not do anything rash. They were his kin after all, and the last remaining of his family, as well as of Thingol’s. No, holding Elrond and Elros as prisoners ensured that the remaining sons of Feanor would be in prime political standing, whatever the outcome.

And then one has to wonder—was this in some part recompense for Amrod and Amras’s deaths? According to at least one version of the legendarium, the red-haired twins died in Sirion. It is an old custom for a king to take wards (if a child was left an orphan, the king would take them in, and it is quite likely applicable in the Game of Thrones style as well, where a ward was taken by a victor as a way to ensure that the losers would not rise up and attack (I seem to recall that that is actually historically accurate, although I can find no backing in five minutes’ worth of googling)) (again politics, regardless of the manner in which we speak). But was it deeper even? Somehow some recompense, to take this set of twins from Sirion in payment for the twins taken from them?

It is true that “love grew between them, as little may be thought.” Tolkien states that. But Elrond and Elros were 6 years old when they were taken. They were children, even by pure Human standards, and they were more than half Elven. I am not at all surprised that they grew to love their caretaker, whether he was the one to slay their family and steal them from their home. And there is such a thing as Stockholm’s Syndrome, for those of you have forgotten.

So no. Maedhros and Maglor taking Elrond and Elros was not an act of goodness. It was selfish and self-serving, political and self-redemptive. It does not pardon them for their sins. In fact, if anything, while they spared them and raised them well (and there is no doubt in my mind that they raised the twins well, looking at how both turned out), it is as much of a mark against them as a mark for them. It was not done out of grace. It was not the act of angels.

And don’t you dare try to tell me otherwise.

Three ways in which capitalism limits democracy

I. Domains with broad collective effects removed from collective decision making

“First, by definition, ‘private’ ownership of means of production means that significant domains which have broad collective effects are simply removed from collective decision making.” Wright 2010, 82

Idea of democracy: collective decision about collective fate

  • “The idea of democracy is that people should collectively make decisions over those matters which affect their collective fate, not that all uses of resources in a society should be made through collective-democratic processes.” Wright 2010, 82

Private decisions of capitalist owners have collective consequences

  • “The key issue, then, is that the private decisions made by the owners of capitalist firms often have massive collective consequences both for employees and for people not directly employed in the firm, and thus the exclusion of such decisions from public deliberation and control reduces democracy.” Wright 2010, 82

More democratic society

  • Workers democratic control within firm
  • External democratic controls

II. Inability to democratically control capital flows undermines ability to set collective priorities

“… the inability of democratic bodies to control flows and movement of capital undermines the ability of democracy to set collective priorities even over those activities which capitalist firms themselves do not directly organize.” Wright 2010, 83

  • Local tax base depends on private investment
  • Limited power to decide how to allocate social surplus
  • Disinvestment constrains allocative decisions

“The issue here is not simply that many of these decisions are made outside of democratic deliberation, but that because investments are made privately, the threat of disinvestment heavily constrains all other allocative decisions within democratic bodies, even over those things in which capitalists do not make investments.” Wright 2010, 83

III. Concentrations of wealth subvert principles of political equality

“Third, the high concentrations of wealth and economic power generated by capitalist dynamics subvert principles of democratic political equality.” Wright 2010, 84

“The key to political equality is that morally irrelevant attributes should not generate inequalities in political power. Capitalism violate this condition.” Wright 2010, 84

Wealthy have disproportionate influence over political outcomes

  • “Wealthy people have a much greater ability to contribute to political campaigns. Powerful people in corporations are embedded in social networks which give them access to policy makers in government, and are in position to fund lobbyists to influence both politicians and bureaucratic officials. They have greater influence on the media, especially the private capitalist media, and through this they are able to influence public opinion.” Wright 2010, 84
  1. Contribute to political campaigns
  2. Access to policy makers
  3. Fund lobbyists
  4. Influence over media and thus public opinion

“While one-person-one-vote in electoral competition is a critical form of political equality, its efficacy in insuring broad political equality in capitalist democracies is severely undermined by the deep interconnections between political and economic power within capitalism.” Wright 2010, 84

SOURCE: Erik Olin Wright. 2010. Envisioning Real Utopias.

Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?

The same thing we do every night, Pinky: make a great show of our ostensibly principled refusal to participate in a political process whose outcome won’t substantively affect our lives anyway!

listen, i’m not gonna be one of those “you need to vote or you’re an asshole” people, but if you use “all politicians will lead to the same outcome” or “worse politicians will get us to revolution faster” as an argument, consider this:

  • there are political movements immersed in the deconstruction of specific oppressions who are very loudly stating that, yes, the outcome of political elections will affect the groups they represent greatly
  • ignoring those calls to action is inherently privileged
  • you don’t get to use the continued and magnified suffering of oppressed groups as a pawn for your idea of revolution
  • your idea of revolution is probably privileged nonsense in the first place
  • your farts do more to deconstruct oppression than you do, at least they stand a chance of somewhat inconveniencing a fascist

there’s a couple good reasons not to vote, like, idk, “i’m a member of a group who’s gonna get bombed by every one of the fuckers,” but leftist elitism isn’t one of them

People were recently searching for ‘Brexit’ more than they searched for 'porn’

Sometimes it takes a terrifying political outcome to cool your loins. Based on Google Trends, there were three times more search results for “Brexit” than there were for “porn” on the Friday morning following the vote. This contrast held true both globally and in the U.K. Surprisingly “Brexit” also topped searches for the Internet’s favorite it girl.

Follow @the-future-now


“Well I wanted to vote Conservative, but when I went into the voting booth I don’t know what happened…I just thought of Kate going into labour and seem to have ended up standing as the Labour candidate in the very election I wanted to vote Tory.”

“Your dad hires economists for intellectual cover, to prove his dynastic fortunes and political influence are the outcome of a complex, self-correcting mechanism with the mystical power to pluck the deserving out of the teeming mass of humanity and elevate them so they can wisely guide us. They have a sciencey vocabulary conceived of solely to praise people like your father. Like *job creator*. As though we need *jobs*! I mean, if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that I never want to have a job again. I do math because I can’t stop. Because I’ve found people who need my math to do something amazing.

"If you need to *pay* me to do math, that’s because a) you’ve figured out how to starve me unless I do a job, and b) you want me to do boring, stupid math with no intrinsic interest. A ‘job creator’ is someone who figures out how to threaten you with starvation unless you do something you don’t want to do.

"I used to watch you kids do your Communist Parties, when I was in default and pretending any of that shit mattered. I’d get so *angry* at you, beyond any sane response. It wasn’t until I walked away that I figured out why: because every time you broke into an empty factory and turned the machines on, you proved I was a plow horse whose poor lips had been scarred by the bit in my teeth as I pulled a cart for the man with the whip and the feedbag.

"That’s my point about the difference between the kind of meritocracy we have in the university and the bullshit the zottas swim in. When we say that Amanda is a better mathematician than Gretyl, we mean there are things Amanda can do that Gretyl can’t. They’re both nice people, but if there’s a really important math problem, you’re better off with Amanda than Gretyl.”

Limpopo’s voice ricocheted in Iceweasel’s mind. “But Amanda can’t do it all. Unless she’s working on a one-woman problem, she’ll have to cooperate with others. If she sucks at that, it might take a hundred times more work in total to get it done than if Gretyl – who’s good at sharing her toys and keeping everyone purring – were the boss. This isn’t anecdote – as you keep telling me, the plural of anecdote is not fact. Limpopo sent around this meta-analysis from the Walkaway Journal of Organizational Studies that compared the productivity of programmers. It broke out the work programmers did as individuals and inside groups. It found that even though there were programmers who could produce code that was a hundred times better than the median – one percent as many bugs, 100 times more memory efficiency – that this kind of insane virtuosity was only weakly correlated with achievement in groups.”

—  A passage from Utopia, the novel for adults that I’m working on