Link Roundup: October 29

Happy Monday, Floodlings! I’m pleased to report that we finally got our shit together and recorded a Floodcast episode this past Saturday, so I will try my best to edit it and get it up for your listening pleasure later this week. Sorry for the delay. The episode is great though! We talk about our terrible job experiences and why NGOs are fucked, among other things. Also why the Labor Party is terrible. Bet you didn’t see that last one coming. Anyway, onto this week’s links …

BOLSONAROOOOOOO. Holy shit. OK, we have another Floodcast planned to talk about the recent elections in Brazil and the rise of the global right more broadly, so stay tuned for that, but it would certainly be remiss of me not to mention it here as well. Here are some of Bolsanaro’s most terrifying statements. If that wasn’t terrifying enough then here are even more. Here is an essay on what his election means. And here is a piece exploring whether he is a neofascist.

Now for some news which makes us all very proud: original investigative research by Flood Media contributor and editor Max (who is also the Greens candidate for Griffith, full disclosure etc.) uncovered a new Australian political donations scandal, which broke in the Guardian yesterday. Read all about it here. Relatedly, the social media manager for Bupa is probably getting fired today. RIP.

Regular link roundup readers may have picked up on the fact that I have a particular hatred of anything that invokes ‘innovation’, ‘the gig economy’, and/or the words ‘lean’, ‘agile’ and ‘startup’. Well, finally someone has written a piece on ‘Innovation Under Socialism’, dedicated to busting the myth that technological progress is made possible only by capitalism. This is THE thing to read, print out, and carry around in your back pocket for the next time you encounter a “capitalism built your iPhone” tech bro at a party. If you’re interested in the topic, it’s explored further in a recent(ish) Radio Reversal show, hosted by three Flood contributors.

I am sure many of us were suitably horrified by the Elizabeth Warren DNA test business. My take on the whole thing can probably be reduced to a anguished howl of ‘WHYYYYYY’, but hey, here’s a better analysis. Warren’s invocation of race science, writes Brian Ward, “was very different from how Indigenous Nations understood identity before invasion. Many Nations included people who used to be from other Nations, runaway slaves and even runaway Europeans … As socialists, we understand that race is socially constructed, but we also know that it has material consequences for people. We should understand this discussion in terms of the issue of self-determination.”

My day job is in something unmentionable, but in my spare time I write a little for various publications. Anyway, I identified with this article on ‘The New Reading Environment’ to an uncomfortable degree. “The burden of clarity is now entirely on the author, which makes for dull and repetitive arguments — and a demand that certain people come to represent, unambiguously, certain arguments. One’s cards must all be laid on the table, faceup, and one’s position must be unified. But the rise of misreading doesn’t give permission not to mean what you say.”

And now for something completely different: Here is a real estate listing which demonstrates conclusively how beyond fucked the private rental market is in this country. $175/week for a cave with internal concrete poles, outside toilet, and what REALLY looks like blood running down one wall! Competitive free markets deliver superior products, right? Anyway, have a good week, and death to all landlords.


Photo of an anti-Bolsonaro protest, via Wikimedia Commons