Rad Geek People's Daily

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Shameless Self-promotion Sunday

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 14 years ago, in 2010, on the World Wide Web.

Happy Sunday y’all. Time to get down, get down, get down, get Shameless.

This week I’ve mainly been working, and gardening[1] and writing, and, lately, spending a lot of time arguing elsewhere about Rand Paul. Not because I like Rand Paul — I think in the interview he proved himself to be both mendacious and ignorant; I have other, preexisting reasons for thinking of him as a ridiculous conservative tool. I’m arguing about it, rather, because I do like the sit-in movement, and the rigged debate between Paul’s side and Maddow’s has completely obliterated what that movement actually did, by means of grassroots direct action, without the assistance of federal antidiscrimination laws, Equal Opportunity bureaucracies, or Title II lawsuits.

Here as elsewhere, both conservatives and progressives have shitty arguments that presuppose that free markets mean only stereotypical forms of commerce and cash exchange, while politics means only organized attempts to achieve goals through government lawsuits or government legislation; but if those are the options, where does that leave grassroots social movements? Thus we are given the counterfactual and patronizing claim that without white Democratic politicians handing down a federal Civil Rights Act, the grassroots social movement to dismantle Jim Crow could not have gotten anywhere–in spite of 6 years of repeated grassroots victories for the sit-in movement before the Civil Rights Act even existed. If so profound a transformation cannot easily fit into traditional categories of thought, e.g. market or political, it is not because these categories do not apply but because they are not big enough: the Freedom Movement bursts through them.

And you? What have you been up to this week? Write anything? Leave a link and a short description for your post in the comments. Or fire away about anything else you might want to talk about.

  1. [1]We just picked our first vine-ripened tomato–a nice, midsized Roma from a volunteer plant that grew up after I mashed a few too-mushy Food Not Bombs tomatoes into the ground.

10 replies to Shameless Self-promotion Sunday Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Jon

    How about a photo of your lovely garden?

  2. dennis

    Congrats on your tomato, I am thinking of planting basil, taragon, chervil, and rosemary. As for this whole Rand Paul thing, or more specifically the conversation that has evolved around it, the CRA strikes me as a cunning instrument through which the state has co-opted the Civil Rights Movement. The emphasis moved from achieving social equality to winning symbolic victories (like Affirmative Action or MLK Day) which don’t really do much for actual African Americans, but (in the case of Affirmative Action especially, provide rallying points for ethnic entrepreneurs of every race.) Once the conversation takes place within, or is oriented around the political power structure and not throughout society itself, its just part of a bullshit power game and the conditions of actual human beings become unimportant to those in the conversation. I could say a bunch of bad things about Rand Paul, but Maddow and what she represents is the greater problem.

  3. chris

    Hypocrisy Over Preferences? challenges the notion that “non-prefix” libertarians don’t try to sneak in their own attached values while at the same time arguing against “thick” libertarianism.

    You Can’t Take Back What You Never Had is a criticism of the Tea Party’s/other statists’ attempts at taking back the government.

  4. Neverfox

    I wrote my own bit about Rand Paul (and some of your comments were a big part of it).

  5. Darian

    I also wrote a little about Rand Paul and civil rights in a post. I explained why I think sit-ins and similar actions should not be condemned on property grounds. http://darianworden.com/blog/2010/05/harsh-criticism/

    I did a Center For a Stateless Society piece on the recent US primaries and its implications for anarchists. http://darianworden.com/blog/2010/05/us-primaries-and-government-disassembly/

    I also did an excellent Thinking Liberty broadcast with Xaq Fixx as a guest. Thinking Liberty now has a Fr33Agents.net page too. http://darianworden.com/blog/2010/05/thinking-liberty-5-18-2010/

    That’s cool that you have tomatoes growing. They are one of my favorites to grow. I suggest doing cherry tomatoes also.

  6. bosco

    I blabbed a bunch on the Thinking Liberty radio show. Made a new Thinking Liberty promo. Attended a huge public employee union rally to hand out free market education flyers. I went to an AnCap picnic in NY and talked about Rand Paul, pacifism and Kropotkin.

  7. jad

    I’ve been trying my hand at podcasting whilst biking around town (mostly to and from work). I also generate show notes and an accompanying post.

    The website is http://jad-davis.com and the most recent episodes are to do with the Rand Paul bruhaha. I linked to your comments @ AAEmpire to provide an outline of a real free-market response.

    I’d appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

  8. Natasha Petrova

    Looking to start my blog again! Glad you posted something on Civil Rights….

  9. Laura J.

    Got back from Japan with plenty of cheap second-hand textual and technological loot! I shall be enjoying nostalgic comicbooks and Super Famicom games for months to come, and sharpening my reading skills in the process.

    I have also just today sewn some seeds in tiny pots containing a mixture of store-bought potting soil and homemade compost. I look forward to seeing some cilantro, basil, rosemary, and catgrass come up in the next few weeks.

· June 2010 ·

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2010-06-20 – Ridiculous Strawman Watch (Part 4 of ???):

    […] GT 2010-05-23: Shameless Self-promotion Sunday (on Rand Paul Vs. Rachel Maddow) […]

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