"Meet the New New Left: bold, fun, and stupid, " in TNR

Gordon Fitch gcf at panix.com
Thu Apr 20 18:45:10 PDT 2000

Michael wrote:
> > Well, if the Washington Post, apparently, is leaning towards "sympathy",
> > for the protests, the New Republic, is fulfilling it's usual role of
> > policing the parameters of acceptable discourse, all in it's trademark,
> > smirky style.

> I particularly liked these paragraph from the article.
> "Nobody at last week's protests better encapsulated the left's evolution than
> Dave Solnit. Dressed like a French mime in a green-and-white striped t-shirt,
> Solnit was spray-painting cloth banners in a Washington alley when I met him.
> Like many of the posters at the demonstration, his didn't completely make
> sense. Underneath an image of corn, he stenciled resist. A picture of a cat
> got the slogan RISE UP!"
> Heh. It seems they're policing the acceptable parameters of discourse by
> inducing the writer to feign complete ignorance, in the hope that it catches
> on. If it didn't make sense to the journo, well, I guess then it didn't
> make sense to anyone.
> "The problem is that mainstream anarchists--in order to avoid sectarian
> conflict, and as a result of their laissez-faire, decentralized spirit--won't
> condemn the violence of their bandanna-wearing fellows. They might agree that
> violence is a problem tactically, but they're too steeped in relativism to
> condemn fellow protesters and too ignorant of ideology to construct a moral
> case for nonviolence. In short, they're unable to do what the mainstream
> labor and civil rights movements did: disavow people who share their enemies
> but compromise their moral integrity."
> That one, I didn't laugh.
> Angela

I think it would be good if the bourgeois media were really as out of it as the TNR article indicates. However, I began noticing during the War in Vietnam that ruling-class bullshit is divided into layers, where layer _n_ knows that it is imparting bullshit to layer _n+1_ but believes the bullshit it receives from layer _n-1_. (I oversimplify, but you know what I mean.) It's difficult for me to believe that anyone who can get to write for TNR for money would be unaware of anarchist history in America, or that there is a huge amount of anarchist literature in print and on the Net, of every sort of quality. Hence I believe there is a fair chance that the article is simply a piece of fraudulence aimed at a certain layer of the public, and more sophisticated psywar materials are being or will be constructed for the less credulous.

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