Bernard Shaw: 'There is a new movement being born right now.'

This. Very much this.

I wish I could buttress this with practical assistance, but all I have is my moral support for this essential effort, which I give freely and with a salute for all those level-headed hard-working disciplined people who are doing the work of administering a twenty-first-century nation state (as it convulses through the transition to Whatever Comes Next, but let’s save that for another time).

But what I have today are sad anecdotes about rage and such, which I post here both from personal grief (Minneapolis is my home town) and from hope of tamping down certain bad behaviors.

Some of my well-intended, good-hearted, leftist-credentialed activist friends keep posting the same kind of links to the same kind of articles about [tragedies in progress], over and over.

Spread the news, yes, vital.

Spread the same news over and over, insistently? And largely to the same people, the same audience? (Not to say unmixed: sometimes monoculture, sometimes clash of opposites, sometimes variegated)

What we get is increased rage but no commensurate increase in … efficacy.

Leading to a lot of vigorous agreement about Bad Things and the need to try and inform anyone who has not yet heard about the Bad Things, because we’re not getting efficacy so try harder.

That’s level one.

In level two, someone (for instance) writes a Facebook post about the most recent Bad Thing.

Other people then write comments, of course. Sometimes this leads to what I consider productive results. Other times not.

One typical situation I deplore is Roleplaying The Enemy.

In Roleplaying the Enemy, people write little roleplaying scenarios about the Enemy.

When there is a Very Bad News Story about a blow to Our Side, write little dialogs about how the hated Enemy must be celebrating, oh wicked to party at time like this!

When there is a Very Good News Story about Our Side getting one against the Enemy, write little dialogs about how the Enemy is gnashing its teeth in fury.

And by “little dialogs”, I mean the imaginary equivalent of what a responsible journalist might research on 4chan and quote after careful discussion of context.

What I see, frankly, is a lot of people playing Dungeons and Dragons on Facebook or wherever. Grownups acting out teenage boy fantasies.

Except instead of imagining how they will slay fictional villains and monsters, they play imaginary death games with real names of real people in real locations.

Sometimes they roleplay what they would have do to [name of real people] at [real tragedy] at [real date and time] near [real chalk line on sidewalk]. At length. “Grind him into a red paste.” I could name names.

I see it all over.

Left, Right, everywhere.

It’s not Party politics

It is the fever of the entire body politic.

America is burning.

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Does their need to be “leaders” for a movement to be effective? Leadership and hierarchy can often be detrimental to movements, in fact.

And Ella Baker… some one who lived the leaderless democracy she preached.


Yeah, totally.

THIS! Look what happened to the Black Panthers after the leaders started tearing each other down. Cults of personality are always bad.


J? (couldn’t help it… so unnecessary)

Edit: Guess the comment got deleted while I wrote this.


Did you read that twitter thread I posted? You should. The answer is shit because the reality is shit. I’m sorry if it doesn’t lend itself to simple solutions.

One of the fundamental problems is that the definition of “police misconduct” is determined by courts. Who have declared that, for instance, the cops stealing your $10,000 coin collection while searching your house isn’t “established” as a crime. So you can pass all the legislation you want targeting police misconduct and take the violating cops to court, but when the courts say, “Under qualified immunity, cops can murder someone for fun,” and the cop goes back to work, you haven’t accomplished anything. The fact of the matter is, during the Obama administration, there actually was a concerted effort, in most states, to pass laws about use of force in policing. Yet here we are. That’s not to say that legislation isn’t important - it’s just not going to solve the problem by itself. (Especially if your local police force is full of white supremacists who shield each other.)

Also the idea that states have control over law enforcement is… not how things work. They may set standards of training, but in some states even that has been largely ceded to local agencies. (Which is why the quality of local, rural forces is often… disturbingly lacking.) We’ve got over 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the country. They’re incredibly diverse in how they operate. Some states retain archaic rules that allow just about anyone, with little to no oversight or training, to start their own semi-private police forces, for example.


Even someone who’s been dead 70 years knows that something huge is about to happen.


That oughta be one of the Rules of the Internet

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This sounds like the journalistic playbook
2020-06-05 headlines:
Republicans are reeling as Trump comes under fire
‘Bunker boy’ Trump thinks he can edit reality like a TV show
Trump stokes division in his own party as he rages at Senator Lisa Murkowski

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