Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
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Feminism is my politics... Feminism, politics around sexuality, and freedom around sexuality and gender, these are very important aspects of my own politics and the politics of the left I think, because it's an attempt to break through what is a tradition or system that precedes capitalism by a long shot. Right? And again, I don't wanna say it's universal because you have formed a patriarchy in say, West African culture where it's slightly different. It's not necessarily monogamous, it's based on female-headed households within a patriarchal structure. And then you also have situations within all kinds of cultures, indigenous cultures, in which you don't have two genders, right? Iran's a good example. We had multiple genders until the imposition of Western culture said ‘you can't do that, you can't have multiple genders, you have to have two.’ Right? So that's already built in. So feminism is about trying to break out of that and produce a kind of freedom that is fundamental to all of us, even those of us who may not share the same class.

Historian Robin D. G. Kelley returns to This is Hell! to talk about his essay titled, “Buried History: The Death and Life of Donald S. Kelley” Part of a collection of essays called “After Life: A Collective History of Loss and Redemption in Pandemic America." (Haymarket Books).

Robin is a writer and professor of history at UCLA. His most recent book is "Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination"…-dg-kelley/


Image of Robin D.G Kelley and his grandfather, Rev. Rafe Kelley



Posted by Alexander Jerri

I have been incubating nothing. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Incidentally, sitting on eggs to keep them warm is called “brooding.” In the 16th C, in Nurnberg, there was a cobbler, choir singer, and habitual writer of plays, songs, and poems, named Hans Sachs, who among his other works wrote a short comic Fastnachtsspiel, a play for Shrovetide, or Carnival, called Das Kalberbruten. At University of Michigan, Professor Martin Walsh, now Lecturer Emeritus, introduced it to me in translation as “Brooding Calves.” It begins with a peasant sitting on a large wheel of cheese, out of which he believes cattle will hatch.

That’s exactly what goes through my head when people ask me, “Where do you get your ideas?” They emerge spontaneously, like calves out of cheese.

When chickens brood, they don’t crush their eggs, because their butts are feathered and fluffy, their bones light and porous, and the albumen and yolk inside the shells pushes back against the pressure of the chicken’s weight.

Now, I possess about as peach-like a butt as a middle-aged white man can boast, but it is by no means fluffy. And a hollow egg has nothing inside it to support the shell by pushing against my weight. So brooding nothing is not an easy thing for someone with my gender and age handicaps.

But do I get special consideration? Nope.

You know who gets special consideration for brooding their ideas? The Conservative Political Action Committee. They had this great idea to partner with Viktor Orban, autocratic leader of Hungary, and apparently a conservative movement hero. They held their recent convention of global whining and xenophobic tantrums in Hungary. And fascist strongman Orban, the conservative hero, delivered the keynote speech.


Ring any bells? Any Jews, gay people, communists, Catholics, Poles, or Roma have surviving memories of Hungary? My neighbor when I was growing up had a tattoo on her arm from a Hungarian concentration camp.

Now, CPAC, the international fundraising and organizing wing of the GOP, had this great idea to announce how fascist they are in Budapest. CPAC's organizers picked anti-democratic, autocratically-led Hungary because they consider it "one of the bastions of the conservative resistance to the ultraprogressive 'woke' revolution," according to CPAC's website.

This represents the most obvious symptom of the... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

I understand that no one listening to this, assuming anyone ever does, is one of those who, upon learning of the shooting in Buffalo and the shooter’s political leanings, said to themselves, “Darn it, another stain on the reputation of neo-Nazi ideology, which is otherwise a force for social good.” Nonetheless, it is to those magical and absent intellects I address the following.

You pilled people will try to get us to believe with a straight face that all the violence today emerges from three non-rightwing sources:

  1. A culture of Black people raised to behave antagonistically toward the cops, who are only trying their best to help keep order among a self-victimizing underclass created by JFK and LBJ

  2. Muslims, Mexicans, and other foreigners

3. Antifa

Even if any one of those were the true source of violence in the world, here in the USA there are enough actual neo-Nazis excessively laden with firearms and lunatic conspiracy theories to guarantee that, at least several times a season, a neo-Nazi will commit a mass shooting and leave behind a white nationalist “manifesto” explaining clearly their Nazi reasons for what I call, “going prenatal.” “Going postal” was always unfair to the hundreds of thousands of postal workers who never take out their legitimate grievances on their coworkers in a paroxysm of flying lead. I call it “going prenatal” because Replacement Theory is what a fetus would believe at fifteen weeks if it actually had an operational human brain. It’s like “infantile” but even less mature.

The Bard, or as the groundlings know him, Shakespeare, famously theorized that if a million monkeys were given a million typewriters and an eternity to clackety-clack away, they would eventually write his entire catalogue, including the sonnets, plus a John Grisham novel where the hero defeats his antagonist by collating document pages and applying monster clips to keep them from falling into disarray.

By the same token, if you give enough primates enough firearms and poison them with 24-hour radio, TV, and online indoctrination into swallowing a conspiracy to replace white Europeans like Barney Google and Snuffy Smith with people of color like Jim Thorpe and Jesse Owens, the odds themselves make it statistically necessary that one or two will periodically shoot up a Black church, a synagogue, or a grocery store,... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri


Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is an arrogant liar. In this he takes after his dead mentor on the SCOTUS bench, Antonin Scalia, a man with neither a conscience nor an optimally-working pancreas. Now, there is no shortage of flatulent losers on the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett are the two most recently-added passengers in that clown car, and they seem like token placeholders in a battle to turn the court into a stamp mold for decisions based on radical rightwing Catholicism. The court represents radical rightwing Catholicism more than any other faith, and it rules according to radical rightwing Catholic dictates, a fact that calls into question the court’s integrity as a body reflecting the aims of the secular or deist framers of the Constitution to which it gives poorly-informed lip service in its many partisan opinions.

Let us remember what Bill Donohue, the president of The Catholic League, said about secular Jews, lest we misunderstand how much Catholic radical fascism owes to the Nazis. “Secular Jews hate Christianity,” he contended. “They like anal sex and abortions.”

Alito, in his leaked and leaky draft (and drafty) opinion, spends his time debunking the notion that there is anything in the Constitution supporting a woman’s right to end her pregnancy. He glibly elides, or glides over, the Ninth Amendment, in which rights not enumerated in the Constitution are reserved to the people. Sounds like Alito just didn’t want to hear what the Constitution was saying. In any case, his real project is overturning Roe vs Wade, which doesn’t rely on the Ninth Amendment to guarantee said right. So, despite what the Ninth says, Alito, according to his masturbatory logic, needn’t address it.

Alito wants abortion made illegal. He contends the nation is split on abortion. It’s not, and he knows it. The vast majority of us supports free, safe, legal access to abortion, particularly in the first and second trimesters. Alito, throughout his opinion, uses the phrase “unborn human being,” signaling where his allegiance lies: with the misogynistic rightwing minority in the nation.

Because he is an abortion choice antagonist, and an overall antagonist of whatever he thinks the “left” is (n.b. Donohue, above), Alito briefly feigns concern for the experience of the mother (but

only out of vague obligation), and... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
Skeleton gathering

“Materialism is a beautiful and compelling view of the world, but to account for consciousness we have to go beyond the resources it provides.” – David Chalmers, Professor of Philosophy and Neural Science at NYU

We are human. At least that’s what I’ve always been told. You might have been told the same thing. Humans talk about themselves a lot. Humans find people endlessly intriguing. All stories are about people, even the stories about animals. Even science fiction stories, in which not a single human might appear, are all about people. One might understandably conclude by this that humanity is a consummately narcissistic species.

At any time in history, and even before history, there have been humans who have considered it their destiny to dominate the other animals, the plants, non-binary organisms such as fungi and slime molds, and the Earth itself. Even as astronomy has inflated our observable sphere from geocentric to heliocentric to galactic and beyond, and our commonly understood objective reality has broadened by billions of light years, there remain swaths of the population whose deeply- held conceit that humans are the center of importance in the cosmos has only hardened. Maybe they fear reality’s unfathomable expanse. Perhaps their desire to shrink it to the size of the Earthbound human sphere is driven by insecurity rather than the ever-fashionable narcissism.

Then again, doesn’t narcissism comprise a varied palette of emotions, poised like sentinels to guard the ego? And isn’t protecting the ego from the full force of comprehending the vast meaninglessness of existence the imperative that has always driven human behavior? All humans tell themselves, “Humans are more than insignificant dust in an apple-skin-thick biosphere shrink-wrapped over a lonely planet without a purpose, flecks of grit in a cosmically inutile tissue of chemical and mechanical activity surrounding a soft-boiled ball of minerals and metal! We matter, if not to ourselves or each other than at least to some supernatural character we made up for the purpose.”

Isn’t that the true subtext of every proverb, aphorism, bromide, pedagogy, philosophy, theology, and great work of literature? I’d say it is. I’d be interested in a remotely persuasive rebuttal to such an analysis. But don’t rush it. Take some time and really torture yourself over... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst you can drink!

I assume we’re all familiar with the concept of fake shortages. They are always paired with arbitrary price hikes. In a capitalist wonderland such as ours, there’s very little constraining the capitalist from charging whatever he, she, it, or they want.

“Whatever the market will bear.” That is, the highest price one can charge and still move product: that is the only price limit. That is the limit on the capitalist’s avarice. And if the poor people in the market can’t bear it, too bad for them. That’s why Martin Shkreli decided he could raise the price of an AIDS-related pneumonia drug about 650%. He figured insurance companies can’t deny their policy holders the drug. If you need a medicine, you need it. The sufferers who have bad insurance policies or otherwise can’t afford it, well, they’ll find the money or lose a lung. And what skin is it off Skhreli’s entitled behind if a few luckless losers die? He wanted that delicious money. Savory money, hot off the grill, dripping with loser blood.

Shkreli’s special expertise, besides driving stock prices down by pounding them with a barrage of negative rumors in order to collect on short sales, was buying the rights to sell certain drugs whose patents had lapsed, for which there was not yet a generic version being sold, and jack up the price astronomically. He had various methods to choke a competing drug’s distribution, quash generic alternatives, obtain regulations targeted to make his inflated option the only option.

Imagine if your job was to get up every morning and find a way to drive up health care costs for your own benefit, without a thought to whose lives would be destroyed. There’s nothing illegal about it. It’s a perfectly valid career choice under our system. Shkreli’s in jail now, but not for pharmaceutical extortion. See, he also enjoyed committing securities fraud. But don’t worry, he’s expected to be released this coming November, even though he was caught with a contraband cell phone with which he was still running his company from prison. You’re not supposed to do that, but we won’t increase your sentence, just take your phone away and make you promise

never to do it again. No punishment. Same as if you’re caught running your business from the Oval... read more