Link Roundup: February 25

Good morning, and welcome to this week’s link roundup. Apologies for last week’s lack of link roundup, I was traveling for work and was thus unable to spend Monday morning in my usual fashion, trawling the internet for fresh and pleasurable content. But I am back now and ready to perform my solemn duty.

Of course, the news of the moment is B*rnie S*nders and his 2020 pr*sidential r*n. If you haven’t watched his announcement video, well, I don’t mind sharing that it brought a lump to my throat. Through an accident of circumstances I actually hold US citizenship, and can vote from overseas, and I am beyond excited to vote for Daddy Bernie, bitch! Here are a few links on the topic.

  • It’s Still Bernie. “Partisan isn’t a dirty word,” writes my favourite contrarian, Amber A’Lee Frost, “it’s nice out here (on the right side of history), and if you keep sitting on that fence you’re gonna get splinters in your ass. So hop aboard the Bernie train (choo-chooooo)! We got ourselves a winner. It’s Bernie, bitch, and it’s the only game in town.”

  • There is Still Only One Clear Way to Get Rid of Trump. With Bernie’s nomination, the left has pragmatism firmly on its side, argues Nathan Robinson in Current Affairs. “The phrase “Bernie Would Have Won” can be a bit of a nasty, unhelpful taunt, but it seems to be the case … If Democrats are to win in 2020, they don’t just need someone with high favorability ratings, they need someone people will show up for, because they care enough about that person’s victory to actually go to the polls.”

  • Why Organised Labor Must Back Bernie Sanders. “Working people saw Democratic Party operatives rigging caucuses, watching the authentic pro-labor candidate be unfairly displaced by that party — a party that took huge amount in contributions funded by their own union dues dollars … Yet those same workers were expected to show up and to work for that candidate, who was clearly not “one of them” and oblivious to their life circumstances, to defeat the Republican who was deemed far less viable than even Sanders.”

  • Of course as soon as Bernie announced his run, American libs on Twitter began losing their minds. Here are some highlights - on Bernie’s flagrant theft of campaign strategies; his refusal to denounce centrists getting owned online; and the triggering fact of his very existence. Sorry, all these links will poison your brain, but if you’re even remotely tempted to click on them it’s probably too late for you anyway.

Briahna Gray, Senior Politics Editor at the Intercept, offers consistently insightful and good takes on American politics. Here she is on universal redistributive programs and their relationship to racial inequality: “Voters should be clear that “recognizing” disparities and doing something about them through aggressive, redistributive policies are not the same thing. To achieve results, it’s important for black voters to focus on material interventions and the ways in which they are tailored to address racial disparities — not just symbolic recognition.”

The left debate about gun control is something I’ve been getting more and more interested in lately, so I was excited to read this piece by Cameron Hughes on ‘What Leftists Get Wrong About Guns’. “If we understand that jurisprudence is disproportionately meted out based on race, then clearly we should also understand that new laws - especially those which call for enhanced sentencing, like most gun control legislation does - would disproportionately be applied to people of color and the poor … We should reject the glorification of firearms that so often occurs on the right, while also rejecting the revulsion and ignorance that is simultaneously offered by liberals.”

Pivoting closer to home for a minute, the latest episode of Living the Dream features Dave Eden and Alexander Brown chatting about the anti-nuclear movement in Japan. Alexander talks about the role nuclear power plays in Japanese society, the pre-Fukushima influence of the New Left, the freeter movement and alter-globalisation struggles, the impact the Fukushima disaster had, the tactics and strategy of the movement, its links with the global wave of ‘squares’ and ‘Occupys’, what’s happening now and the increasingly importance of solidarity in East Asia. 

Checking back in with our friends in the yellow vests, Alèssi Dell’Umbria has written an excellent and quite stirring analysis of the Gilets Jaunes in French social and political context. “To use a term that is far from innocent, it could be said that this movement is an essentially provincial one, and in a way that is entirely unprecedented … [The yellow vests’] wandering through Paris was more like hooligans on a stroll through enemy territory than a traditional trade union demonstration. Contempt for small provincial people, so typical of the Parisian national elites, finally receives a reply.”

Until next week!