Happy, er, Tuesday! Coming in a day later than usual on the link roundup, but hopefully the stellar content below will make up for it. Let’s round up those links …
Did you follow the US midterm elections at all? I did, a little, although mostly the high-profile races where Jim Crow-style voter suppression tactics appeared to be in full swing. A fun fact about me is that I am a US citizen and registered US voter - but in California, where nothing matters ever. (The only thing I cared about this time around was Measure B, which got pummeled, so sad.) I usually vote anyway, just for fun, and I DID get to vote for Bernie in the 2016 primary, so that was kinda worth it? Anyway, some links: here is Meagan Day on the midterm results, the (increasingly divergent) politics of Democrats, and the need for a bold left agenda. Here is an interview with Thomas Ferguson on the influence of corporate money on US politics. And here is Katherine Krueger on why we need better left thirst traps.
It’s a new post at The Word from Struggle Street: a fascinating interview with Nick Southall about his experiences in the Wollongong Young Communist Movement during the 1970s. “We thought of the party as a family. Not just was this about organising political struggle, but these were relationships of care. That was crucial to why I wanted to be more involved with the party, but also why the party worked so well in a place like Wollongong and why it was so powerful and influential. Because care was really crucial to the way we related to each other and the way we related to the class in general.”
It’s the one-year anniversary of marriage equality being passed in Australia! One of the very first essays we ever published here on Flood was Anni McAllen’s blistering take on the same-sex marriage plebiscite, the mainstream LGBTI movement’s reaction to it, and the questions this raised about democracy, defeatism, and power. To quote: “The dominating liberalism of organisations such as Australian Marriage Equality sees its position as that of the lobbyist, begging for scraps from the table of representative (read: bourgeois) “democratic” institutions and their politicians. The current that feeds off this dominant trend is that of a liberal identity politics, focused on self-care and safety at the expense of building a revolutionary movement and offering a real alternative to the majority of people – a true minoritarian perspective, for a movement that seeks to keep itself in the minority.”
A few weeks back I promised that we would be posting select audio recordings from the Anti-Poverty Network Queensland’s inaugural ‘We Deserve A Living’ conference, and today I am very happy to fulfill this promise. On our Soundcloud you can find two excellent listens: first, the main panel discussion on poverty in Australia today (featuring Melissa Lucashenko, Tilde Joy, Bill Storey-Smith and Andrew Beitzel), and second, Dave Eden’s talk on capitalism and the reserve army of labour. Both are certified bangers.
Now, on a much more serious note - there is currently another brutal, bloody slaughter going on in Gaza. At this point, any mention of Israel/Palestine reduces me to a quivering mass of equal parts heartbreak and white-hot fury, so I am going to appropriate the eloquence of Floodcast contributor Liam Flenady, who wrote: “Israel won’t be happy until Gaza is reduced to rubble. If you still think that this is somehow a ‘conflict’ in which both parties are equally in the wrong, I would strongly urge you to reconsider. This isn’t a conflict. This is slaughter, genocide, and apartheid. Palestinians like everyone deserve to live in peace and freedom on their lands - and that’s all they are asking for. What we need now is uncompromising condemnation of Israel’s aggression and apartheid regime, and to build international pressure to end it.” Here is one movement exerting such pressure, which you may wish to read about and support.
Finally, I’m sure I am not the only one out there who feels a little frisson of joy and anticipation every time I come across a review (restaurant, movie, book) described as ‘scathing’. So it is with great pleasure that I present Andrea Long Chu’s very scathing review of She Wants It: Desire, Power, and Toppling the Patriarchy, by galaxy-brained liberal darling Jill Soloway. I don’t even know which part to quote, the whole thing is such a fucking DELIGHTFUL takedown of Soloway’s writing, her ideas, and her entire personality. OK, here’s the final paragraph: “The only conclusion to be drawn from this very bad book, which puts the “self” in “self-aware,” is that Jill Soloway has an unstoppable, pathological urge to tell on herself … If the question is, “Can women and queers be pretentious assholes?”, She Wants It holds the answer.” (PS: if this wasn’t enough, I can verify that Soloway’s TV adaptation of I Love Dick, one of my favourite books of all time, was mostly trash.)
Until next week!