Link Roundup: August 13

Welcome to Flood Media’s link roundup! Each week, we bring you fresh Flood-approved content from around the web, covering current events, debates, and hot takes.

First up this week: Cecelia Palmeiro writes, arrestingly, about why feminism is the most important social movement in Latin America today. In gorgeous, electrifying prose (I experienced multiple chills), she outlines the constellations of Latin American feminist organisations and the growing solidarity between them, at a moment when the continent is undergoing the many violences of 'economic restoration'. Feminism is, she writes, a vector for the new Latin American resistance "precisely because it is a form of politics connected to life, to an ethics of desire, to the body as a political category — an arena of struggle between the pain born out of the repression needed to extract value from our bodies, and the pleasure that we politicise as a right we won’t negotiate away." 

If you follow US politics at all, you've probably noticed an explosion in the use of the term 'democratic socialism', and an accompanying explosion of confusion at (and misuse of) the term. In particular, democratic socialism often seems to be conflated with broad social democratic measures (in US parlance, 'New Deal liberalism') around high wages, major public investment, and a robust welfare state. Here, Jacobin writer and Democratic Socialists of America member Meagan Day breaks down the difference between social democracy and democratic socialism, and outlines some of the immediate demands and long-term goals (hint, one of them is 'overthrowing capitalism') of democratic socialists. 

I will click on anything by Simon Copland (hi Simon, if you're reading this) so of course I inhaled his most recent essay about the 'racist speaking tour' of Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern. He notes that the 'standard response' of the left - labeling everyone who attended these events a bigot or a racist - engages with neither the underlying reasons for the appeal of right-wing racist ideas, nor the possibility of drawing people away from them. "The reality is," he writes, "that the fears many people have about our world are real: the future does look uncertain, many people are really struggling, and most people feel atomised ... While the answer [Molyneux and Southern] provide is racist, that does not mean that the fears themselves inherently are." (For another essay about race, economic insecurity, and political ideology, please accept my shameless self-promotion of an article I wrote for Overland earlier this year.)

How often have you heard someone dismiss a genuine left-wing candidate by claiming that they're "not electable"? From Current Affairs (a publication whose incredibly boring name belies its excellent content), comes an essay about the self-fulfilling prophecy of 'electability'. It's a bit US-focused, but still broadly relevant in its dismantling of the claim that the political world is "static and fixed", that "electability" is something that can be divined in advance (see: Trump), and that capitulation to the lowest common denominator in politics is simply necessary pragmatism. "Can Candidate X win? Wrong question. The question is: What are you going to do to make sure Candidate X does win?"

If you're in the mood for an extreme longread about the FBI, diet clinics, fitness models, money laundering, and hitmen, please see this story from The Intercept. "Operation Bo-Tox [yep] is indicative of the FBI’s increasing willingness to rely on aggressive sting tactics ... to target potential white-collar criminals, including those ... who were not known to be committing significant offenses until the FBI put together an elaborate trap to make their crimes possible." It's incredibly juicy, convoluted, outrageous, fascinating, and terrible. And long. This should take up a nice chunk of your workday. Enjoy.

And now for something completely different: Liz from Leeds is literally a communist. No, I'm not tired of that meme yet, thank you for asking.

Until next week!

Post-script: It's worth noting that Flood editors and contributors hold diverse opinions on a range of topics. Many of the articles we link to will represent points of debate or disagreement within our editorial team and the Left in general. We don't shy away from this diversity of views - in fact we think it makes our project more interesting, and we invite our readers to reflect and engage alongside us.

Photo of the 8M March, reused via Wikimedia Commons. Sign reads 'Clandestine abortion is state femicide.'