Link Roundup: June 18

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. 

First up, a link for the real world: Are you in Brisbane this Wednesday evening? Do you want to hear about difficult art and the radical political potential thereof? If so, you're in luck: Brisbane Free University is hosting a conversation on just that, featuring Friends of Flood Media and Certified Dank Musicians Liam Flenady and Hannah Reardon-Smith. Head down to Bunyapa Park in West End if you're interested - as always, it's free and open to everyone. 

Recently I've started trying to get some kind of a working understanding of Chinese politics. Oh, you too? Well, here's an interesting article about the 'Eight Young Leftists' recently persecuted by Guangzhou police. (Their crimes included holding a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist reading group and dancing in the plaza with cleaning staff at their university campus.) The article gives a good background on the case and features a translation of an open letter by one of the eight, Huang Liping. "I have never worshipped Mao Zedong," Liping writes. "It is reality and the conditions of the workers that forced me to believe." 

And you may ask yourself: "What is intercommunalism, anyway?" The short answer is that it's a theory developed in the 1970s by Huey P. Newton, a founding member of the Black Panther Party. The long (and I do mean long) answer is here, in full, for the first time. "Dialectics would make it necessary to have a universal identity," Newton writes. "If we do not have universal identity, then we will have cultural, racial, and religious chauvinism, the kind of ethnocentrism we have now ... And we struggle for a future in which we will realize that we are all Homo sapiens and have more in common than not. We will be closer together than we are now." 

Have you had a debate about identity politics recently? If so, congratulations: you're in the Left. Julia Serano's article 'Leftist Critiques of Identity Politics' is a response to those who dismiss 'identity politics' in favour of a reductionist focus on 'economic class'. "Intersectionality is difficult in practice," she writes, "but necessary if we are sincere about helping all marginalized people, rather than a select few."

Erika Price's article, 'Laziness Does Not Exist' has been getting lots of interest from academics and activists alike. Price focuses on the 'unseen barriers' leading to behaviour that might seem irrational or unproductive. "When you don’t fully understand a person’s context — what it feels like to be them every day, all the small annoyances and major traumas that define their life — it’s easy to impose abstract, rigid expectations on a person’s behavior." 

Part Two of Living the Dream's series on #MeToo is now up! Dave Eden talks with Tanya Serisieron about limitations to the notion of consent, the continuing importance of 1970s feminism, feminism's relationship with politics and power, and contemporary industrial struggles. Phew, got that? OK, good, now listen to it here

And now for something completely different: For those of you who, like me, indulge in a regular annual reading of The Secret History, I call this piece to your attention. Angela Qian takes a brutally honest look at the petty-bourgeois aspirational intellectualism that underlies both the notion of a liberal arts education and The Secret History itself (the novel is “like a secret handshake … you get me, we’re both literary, we appreciate this sort of thing.”) Qian weaves this into a beautiful essay about trying, and failing, to change.  

Until next week!


Photograph of the 1970 Black Panther Convention, reused via Wikimedia Commons.