In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen hears the quiet part out loud.
Marco is co-author of the N+1 essay The Best of a Bad Situation.
Todd will be talking about a protest wave against new laws on overtime pay, court centralization and university privatization.
Aaron wrote the article The Whitest News You Know for The Baffler.
Molly is co-author of the new book Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights from Verso.
Clare is a co-founder of the movement Extinction Rebellion.
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
"Some men are intimidated by strong women." This has been a glib, empty, un-self- aware dose of pabulum on the left for at least the last thirty years. A moment's reflection reveals its nonsensical nature. A moment's reflection is something frowned upon on the left, unless it's reflection of an acceptable dogma or bland agreement. Yes, strong people intimidate weaker people. But you're not being woke or clever or anything remotely laudable by pointing it out. Capitalism exacerbates that dynamic, incidentally. Your strength is both increased and rendered more intimidating by capitalism. Consider that, if you can.
Yes, I'm intimidated by strong women. Why shouldn't I be? Like strong men, they can reject me socially, hurt me physically, humiliate me, or merely exert power over me to my detriment. I'm supposed to feel ashamed of being intimidated? Blow me. I've got enough negative feelings just being intimidated, I'm not going to judge myself for it. Especially not by your criteria.
Yes, I've intimidated others, and I'm not proud of it. There are ways to defuse the intimidation dynamic, if you want to, if it's important to you, but it takes work, and some humility on your part. You have to be secure in yourself. And yet humble at the same time. That's the burden of the strong. That's how you see beyond your privilege.
Don't worry, I'm not very good at it either.
This is the duty, in my opinion, of everyone with privilege, whether white, male, rich, beautiful, or otherwise gifted, exalted, or accomplished. The people who understand this are incredible, you know them when they reach out from their strengths and lift you up simply through the act of reaching. Not everyone has the ability, and even fewer want to have it. It's a singular strength, the ability to be humble and open about one's strengths, because we live in a culture that rewards bullying and egoism and not caring. Winning. We're all about winning, and we have a very narrow definition of victory.
But in some ways, that's the kind of animals we are. We jockey for prestige, we cultivate the best people as friends, we learn the tricks of making ourselves useful and helpful, or trusted, or admired, or highly regarded. And if we fail at these things, we lose. We become poor or lonely. In short, as a species, we are cliquish a-holes.
We also congratulate ourselves on not being the types that are... read more
John is the author of the forthcoming book Keywords: The New Language of Capitalism from Haymarket Books.
Brian is a co-author of the article How the US Left Failed Brazil for Brasilwire.
Dylan wrote the article What Is Trump? for the New Left Review.
Tony is author of Russia Without Putin: Money, Power and the Myths of the New Cold War from Verso Books.
Michael will dig into brewery closings, the hops bubble and a general decline in beer drinking - Chuck isn't contributing to that last thing.
Chuck picks his 18 favorite books from the 100+ he read for the show this year:
Johann Hari / Interview
Patrick J. Deneen / Interview
Julie A. Wilson / Interview
Reni Eddo-Lodge / Interview
Radha D'Souza / Interview
Gerald Horne / Interview
Samuel Moyn / Interview
David Graeber / Interview
Virginia Eubanks / Interview
Jason Hickel / Interview
Elizabeth Rush / Interview
Anna-Lisa Cox / Interview
Asad Haider / Interview
Howard Bryant / Interview
Lilian Calles Barger / Interview
Bruce E. Levine / Interview
Pavlos Roufos / Interview
Sarah Churchwell / Interview