So Trump has almost certainly been pressuring the FBI to focus on investigating antifascists for years now, via replacing leadership, DOJ edicts, etc. No doubt there are at least a dozen open deep investigations of various groups. And Trump wants a public show before Nov 3rd.
I have been assuming for four years now that mass raids to enable public show declarations about the horrible "criminal" antifa menace will come this month.

On the other hand the FBI rank n file are going to object "but we don't have much, we need to keep surveilling"
The FBI obviously wants to destroy the anarchist movement, they're not honorable or progressives, they'll happily lie and use clearly absurd overreaches of power against us. However. They're educated and long-term about it. They see themselves as apolitical re elections.
The last thing the FBI lifers want is to *themselves* become politically contentious. They don't want news articles and uncomfortable conversations with friends. This is part of why grand jury resistance has any teeth whatsoever against them, bad press makes them uncomfortable.
The FBI will happily do things like threaten local cops with corruption charges unless they blatantly violate the constitution & beat anarchists bloody, but the FBI agents want to remain out of frame. Their goal is to dismantle our movement while maintaining agency prestige.
If the FBI lifers had their way they'd wait until after Biden takes office and then do some sharp repression of anarchists & antifascists here and there, largely under the radar of freshly zoned-out liberals and paired with some "both sides" repression of fash.
This is however completely at odds with the interests of Trumpworld, who are desperate to keep Trump in office and thus retain immunity and pardons.

Trump losing the election is an existential risk to them like no other, and demonizing antifa is popular af.
Trumpworld is going to pull out all the stops to retain power. Encouraging mass shooting events on election night? Sure! Anything goes. They're audacious, desperate, and have zero conscience.

The next month will just be a stream of shit like this:
So *obviously* Trumpworld has been ordering/incentivizing/encouraging investigations of every anarchist or antifascist group or crew they can find. And just as obviously they're going to try to make sure there's some showy "reveals" from such investigations this month.
There are two big issues for them. The first is, as covered, the FBI's default reticence to do show arrests and show pressers for the election.

The second is that obviously there's no Soros or centralized funding, nor particularly salacious crime, and many antifa are relatable.
It's actually in many cases far more beneficial for Trumpworld to NOT expose secret antifascists because taking the mask off most folks would remove the demonized abstract other and suddenly it's like, oh shit, antifa are eg normie teachers and construction workers.
(Obviously the fact that many antifascists would do well in front of cameras is not sufficient reason for antifascists to take off their masks. Since their goal is to stop fascists and not get murdered by them, not win public relations for "antifa.")
However. There are some benefits to Trumpworld in raiding antifascists. The first is that liberals have said some ignorant shit, and it's easy to prove there are highly organized antifa groups and also that most are (shock horror, grab your fainting chair) *anarchists.*
The second dynamic is that, duh, anarchists engage in struggle and have been at the heart of the george floyd uprising, so there's very little effort that's needed to be like "ORGANIZED CRIMINALS!! They're ORGANIZED! They've COMMITTED CRIME!! ORGANIZED!!! CRIMINALS!!!!"
Part of the problem with this however is that they've already kinda shot their load. The pitter-patter small arrests of minor crime might provide feed to the Andy Ngo grift/hype machine, but it's not Election Show Trial level. It doesn't win the media cycle.
Nationalist scumfucks who've paid more attention emphasize the need to round up more formal and tightly organized antifa groups, because they think that show raids / pressers of eg Torch might help, but the problem is how widespread "antifa" has become as identity/ideology.
There's also a catch-22 in that the antifascists who are most likely to be caught committing any CRIME!!1!! are also least likely to be the ones involved in the most tightly organized and professionalized groups. Like research nerds don't throw molotovs.
By the conventions and logic of the liberal state and its legal system it's basically impossible to successfully prosecute antifascist groups. And being in the same milieu/movement isn't a fucking RICO case. You can't prosecute the whole of "punk" as a criminal organization.
But of course this doesn't really matter because 1) lol, "law", and 2) getting *successful convictions* is like the very last thing that Trumpworld cares about.

What matters is the show! The frog marched enemies of state!
The FBI has certainly been backdooring some anarchists' phones, archiving their Signal threads, recording their near-device conversations, etc. And there's probably some juicy joke or security culture misstep that in a pinch could get a bullshit warrant and an election show.
But like, can Trumpworld even communicate meaningfully down the FBI/etc chains right now while distracted by COVID? And there seems to be little chance of analytic Trump-sympathetic FBI folk transmitting "hey we can roll this group but it'll look bad for you" back up the chain.
If Trump regime apparatchiks have been appointed direct control over the investigations then they might be smart enough to evaluate strategy, plus they'd be autonomous and self-direct enough to know "gotta wrap up investigations in October and raid everyone then"
The informational chaos is interesting. Because like a Trump appointee might be like "hrm, Biden's favored to win, I should focus on standing with the agency to keep my job afterward" not realizing that there's another apparatchik stealing Pennsylvania's votes for Trump.
Plus you know, there's the issue where the people loyalest to Trump are also the most ignorant and slow motherfuckers in existence. So like actual honest to god DOJ leaders think antifa is Soros run and get their "intel" from Andy's twitter sewage.
So basically we face a spectrum between 1) just an uncoordinated spattering of raids of individuals for one off things, 2) raids of a few specific organizations designed to try to win the media cycle the moment the COVID stuff can be pushed off the front page, 3) everyone raided.
(The latter I haven't really gone into as it's less likely and only really on the table if Trumpworld is consciously into retaining power via paramilitary mobilization and RWDS shit. That's civil conflict shit where most of the FBI retreats and local cops side with Trump.)

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More from @rechelon

6 Oct
Jurassic Park is far less a critique of capitalism than engineering (and civilization). Wu is very clear that he's not an inquirer or discoverer, he's an engineer. Arnold and Nedry are engineers. Malcolm critiques science and civ explicitly, but his first enemy is engineering.
The only *scientists* in Jurassic Park are Grant, Sattler, and Malcolm. They're brought in to examine the failures of those who engineered the creatures and the park.

And while the profit motive helps spur the park, the specific failures it had are from *engineering* hubris.
Everyone remembers the one scene of criticism they allowed Malcolm in the film's version where he complains about the rapid commodification of nature, but this was a rewriting of his critique into a very different form people were used to. And it's promptly undermined by Hammond.
Read 7 tweets
6 Oct
I admit I called this wrong.

The Crime Nerd thought Sarah could win, and I simply didn't expect ANY Ted voters in the primary to flip to Sarah. I expected 35% Sarah, 60-65% Ted, 1-5% Teressa.

I must now update my priors & prepare to pay out a bet.
wweek.com/news/city/2020…
For Ted to collapse from ~50% of the vote in the primary to 30% is very surprising to me. I expected more class consciousness from middle class liberals, I probably assumed too much political awareness. I thought Ted was so toxic by the primary his remaining base was unswayable.
In trying to correct for the fact that I'm embedded in left circles I tend to take pamplin, nextdoor, and reddit as representative of huge chunks of portland. And everything I saw indicated the city's normie middle classes HATE Sarah (and Chloe).
Read 4 tweets
5 Oct
I think this is a clearheaded evaluation from Gelderloos. Although his aside against antifa is eyeroll-inducing, and there's no real discussion of eg RWDS door-to-door extermination campaigns.
crimethinc.com/2020/10/04/pre…
"The framework of antifascism" is not "pan leftist unity" that papers over the danger from auth leftists and the managerial organizer class it's vigilant and unpopular conflict with much of the left. Long term antifascists HATE tankies and protest managers.
And while Gelderloos emphasizes the success of antifascists at holding the streets contra fascist attacks, I think there's a chance we'll enter a space that looks nothing like what antifa has succeeded against so far. RWDS shit requires different mobilization/organization.
Read 4 tweets
4 Oct
The break around, "but what if inaccurate models make me happy?!" I think highlights the difference between "anarchy as instrumental value" and "anarchy as terminal value."

I'm not an anarchist to make people happy, but to increase freedom (which will make many unhappy).
There are a number of people who identify as anarchists because they believe anarchist struggle or modes of society will achieve some sort of OTHER more ultimate goal, like saving the environment or increasing happiness.

This makes them *contingent* anarchists.
I often find these values to come in a vague cluster with contradictory & conflictual relations. This is, after all, the default state of humans. We often treat desires as random happenstance emergence in chaotic conflict, so why not continue to leave deeper values in such state?
Read 14 tweets
4 Oct
Models of the universe can be more or less accurate. Accuracy is necessary for informed consent and agency. Self-delusions can be momentarily advantageous in limited contexts but in the long-run they're impediments to freedom.
Yes, religion isn't *just* a set of ontological claims or models. But the other things the lumpy concept historically comprises: community, identity, ritual, tradition... are ultimately bad too. They infringe upon and impede fully active individual agency.
We are all -- as limited creatures -- forced into pragmatically engaging with some level of reactionary bullshit, but that shouldn't blind us from our ultimate goal of unshackling ourselves from such and becoming more aware, reflective, rational, or agential.
Read 6 tweets
14 Sep
"Saying a slur isn't as bad as other bad things in the world, so I'm gonna do it" is a perennially favorite whataboutism, but it's worth engaging with the damage of the act.

There are a few good reasons we don't ever tolerate slurs in anarchist or leftist spaces...
1) Obviously slurs like microaggressions et al directly impact some oppressed people in terms of broad psychological overhead, etc. But there's also the issue of signaling who's at home in certain spaces.
This is quite obviously why certain dipshits love throwing around slurs -- they want to aggressively vice signal that "only those with thick skins who don't care" are welcome, their crowd. And it only takes a few getting away with it to make that the default.
Read 9 tweets

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