Laws can always help fascists if they get in a position to exploit them

*Lack* of laws can *also* always help fascists if they get in a position to exploit that

The only actual solution is that you have to always fight fascists

The upshot is really just that you can't leave anything on autopilot and expect that institutions and norms will protect you from fascism in and of themselves

The simple existence of hate speech laws is no reason to relax and neither is the existence of a "free market of ideas"
I would actually be fine with the First Amendment fetishists' demand that state action always be off the table if they actually kept their promise to always oppose Nazis by every other possible means (public shaming, deplatforming, ostracism)
The problem is they don't

In fact they go the exact opposite direction - banning them from Twitter is "censorship", refusing to hire them for speaking engagements is "censorship", not buying their book is "censorship" - until it's too late to stop them at all

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More from @arthur_affect

11 Jan
There was huge drama between the Booths over this, like shortly after New York audiences "canceled" John over making a public anti-Lincoln rant Edwin had a huge fight with him in private and told him he was no longer welcome at his house
And then he went and got himself arrested on suspicion of sedition in St. Louis and had to spend a ton of money to get out of it and Edwin had to do the whole "Famous actor refuses to comment on estranged controversial brother" thing
The story goes that when the news of the assassination got out, Edwin Booth read the papers and blurted out to his family, "He's done it, he's ruined me, he's ruined all of us, our family name is destroyed"
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
For every one of him there's two or three cops who were joking around taking selfies with the attackers moments earlier and there's a dozen off-duty cops from all over the country who flew to DC to participate in the attack
I'm thinking of that awful paragraph in that article about a Black Capitol PD officer venting to one of his colleagues "You just let this happen!" and breaking down in tears
Goodman did what he did because the system he signed up to be a part of did not actually have his back and did not actually stand up for the values it claimed to exist to protect

I still remember a line from a speech that "heroism is always a failure of leadership"
Read 4 tweets
9 Jan
I think constantly about how there's right-wing bias built into the media - fundamentally built into our culture - and this is part of it

To many people fascists *feel* strong, their brand is built on these symbols of strength, no matter how weak their actions actually are
I've been thinking a lot about this, about how the whole left/right conservative/liberal whatever-you-want-to-call-it divide is built on this

People the culture just says intrinsically belong here, deserve to be here, are the kind of people who live here

And people who aren't
The big tough manly dude and his pretty innocent housewife and their adorable kids

The good Christian family, "all-American", blonde hair and white skin and Anglo names, red white and blue

Everyone unconsciously defers to them, gives them extra credit
Read 10 tweets
9 Jan
The name of the book isn't actually 1984, even though a lot of people write it that way and a lot of book covers use the numerals

It's #NineteenEightyFour (look at the first edition book cover I pasted)
I hate to be the gatekeeper but there's so many fake Orwell fans these days
I hate people calling 1984 a "big tech" dystopia

The only real Big Tech is the telescreens and they play a really small role in the plot - the point of the book is everyone is very poor and aside from the telescreens people live like it's the Great Depression still
Read 4 tweets
9 Jan
If you know ANY history it's really really fucking hard to find anything funny about the Capitol attack, even with inherently hilarious self-owns like the dude accidentally tasing himself
The anti-Chinese riots in LA in 1871, the Wilmington insurrection of 1898, the Tulsa Massacre in 1921
Scenes that at least some of the rioters were deliberately evoking

Symbolically attacking the Capitol building is the ending of The Turner Diaries

Running all the Black elected officials out of the state house is the ending of Birth of a Nation (based on the 1898 uprising)
Read 4 tweets
7 Jan
These chuds were parading around a noose and chanting "Murder the Media" - by which they mean him and his colleagues! - and he's so deep in his bubble of privilege and security he feels the need to dole out humanizing anecdotes

Like it makes any goddamn difference to them
I actually mean it when I say people have a duty to push back on the relentless humanizing of the right wing

That's the whole asymmetry here - they *start off more humanized*

The definition of being right wing is being the kind of person people reflexively think of as authentic
Normal, decent folk

Salt of the earth

Everyday old-fashioned red-blooded Americans

People with a picture postcard version of how the country should look in their heads, based on what they think is the country's history since its founding, and hate to see it change
Read 16 tweets

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