Link Roundup: July 30

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. 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. 

The intro to this interview with Barbara and Karen Fields - which mentions "the illusion of race, the dead-end of "whiteness," and the need to revive class politics" - lit up all the pleasure centres in my brain at once. The interview itself did not disappoint. Here's Barbara on the enshrinement of 'race' as a natural category: "Part of it has to deal with the liberal anti-racists evacuating the class content of American society. So they can talk about race and racism in a vacuum. As soon as you do it that way you are in a self-defeating cycle because then you have people you’ve identified as a race who are permanent targets and victims, but they have no access to politics — you don’t even conceive it as a political situation."

It's my new official policy to include at least one link about Sorry to Bother You in each link roundup, so here we are! Gene Cameron's review in The Baffler has made me EVEN MORE EXCITED to see the movie. Relatedly: Boots Riley is a communist, although the New York Times, true to form, insists on putting 'anti-capitalist' in its headline.

More and more I've been thinking that interrogating notions of blame and guilt is an effective way of getting to the heart of any political ideology. On that note, this article on 'Why the Right Loves Privilege Politics' is actually from 2015, but remains relevant, powerful, and spicy. "Right now," writes Connor Kilpatrick, "Americans are inundated with a variety of liberal politics that try to turn what should be political reckonings against the truly powerful into an epidemic of guilt and complicity in which a huge portion — or, sometimes, nearly all of us — are to blame." 

Now for some shameless cross-promotion: in preparation for a radio show I did last week, I came across Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron's classic essay 'The Californian Ideology'. It was written in NINETEEN NINETY-FIVE but is incredibly prophetic and insightful on what's now become Silicon Valley: "The prophets of the Californian Ideology argue that only the cybernetic flows and chaotic eddies of free markets and global communications will determine the future. Political debate therefore, is a waste of breath. ... Abandoning democracy and social solidarity, the Californian Ideology dreams of a digital nirvana inhabited solely by liberal psychopaths." 

In Overland, Lucas Grainger-Brown offers a thought-provoking, moving essay on 'friend simulators', diving into the emotional (and other) types of labour performed by online streamers, and the way they both constitute and emotionally sustain the growing precariat class. "I can only imagine what it’s like to be my seventh-best friend. Locked into his computerised hamster wheel-within-a-wheel ... This poor man, hopefully not a harbinger, is surely the precariat’s precariat." 

And now for something completely different: Ardent followers of Flood Media's Twitter account (we know you're out there) may have already seen this, but for the rest of you, please feast your eyes on this Karl Marx vegetable sculpture. To hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, sculpt vegetables after dinner - this is the future we fight for.

Until next week!