Link Roundup: December 3

Good morning, it is December. WHAT the fuck. Still, there are plenty of links out there just waiting to be rounded up, so let’s get to it …

First of all, of course, the weekend’s biggest and best news: George H.W. Bush is dead. *blows party horn* But wait, in case you were feeling too good about the death of a war criminal, libs on the internet have responded with predictably cursed content:

Sorry, if you clicked on even one of these articles you probably have brain cancer now. Here, read this from The Intercept to cure yourself. Happy belated George H.W. Bush death-day! The world is a better place.

Has your morning been peaceful so far? Easing into the week, drinking a cup of coffee, looking out the window at the sunshine and chirping birds? Well, unfortunately I must inform you that Angela Nagle has written an essay called ‘The Left Case Against Open Borders’. It is obviously a bad, almost willfully ignorant take, but I still recommend everyone reads it for the sake of keeping up with intra-left arguments, I mean intellectual debate and rigour. To cleanse your palate afterwards, here’s one of many rebuttals, from Justin Akers Chacón, at the Socialist Worker.

In France, protests by the gilets jaunes have spurred the greatest unrest seen in a decade, issuing a decisive challenge to Macron’s centrist technocrat politics. Like many, I am not entirely sure what to make of the movement, but here’s a good primer from Jacobin. “The gilets jaunes’ situations are complex and multiform,” writes Aurelie Dianara, “but they express a real discomfort. For the political left to participate in the movement poses many difficulties, but it can at least try to intercept this discomfort, to give it useful slogans, and to prevent it from being recuperated by the far right.”

In one of my Alternative Life Fantasies, I got an English Literature degree and went on to become an academic specialising in some very esoteric corner of the literary world, objectively irrelevant but cared about passionately by approximately twelve people. That didn’t happen, needless to say, but I still enjoy reading the literary internet. Anyway, I was excited to see this article from Lit Hub on British socialist fairy tales during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century! Featuring a fairy tale from 1910 that will chill you to your BONEZ.

Speaking of chilling tales: I lived in the US a few years ago and was shocked to see how normal it was for everyday people to carry huge amounts of personal debt (private student loans, credit cards, and car payments, as well as mortgages) with crazy interest rates. Of course, in Australia household debt is also skyrocketing, but I think it is not quite as extreme - or as culturally accepted - as it is there. Anyway, here is a truly terrifying account of personal debt, which makes it extremely clear* that capitalism is eating us alive.

*I think maybe unintentionally? it is on an investment tool website and there is a lot about “responsibility” which you have to ignore as the neoliberal garbage it is.

This roundup has been a bit bleak so far, so let’s finish things up with some optimism and hope for the future! Last Friday saw tens of thousands of school students walking out of class to protest the government’s inaction on climate change. My very own ~political education~ began in earnest with the 2007 Walk Out Against Bush so I am fully into this activism from the new generation. Here are some of the best signs from the day. Up the kiddies!

Until next week!