Bundism and Identity Politics

Gal Beckerman writes in the New York Times: “In some ways, Mr. Sanders is a Bundist, one of those Jewish but universal-minded socialists who valued their own culture but were fiercely secular, rejecting Zionism in favor of making a more equitable and just home for themselves — whether in Poland or America — through solidarity…

Cultural Appropriation is an Incoherent Concept

Cultural appropriation has bled out of the academic left into the mainstream. As a notion, it is nonsensical. All culture is an appropriation and adaptation of cultures of the past and elsewhere. The idea of cultural appropriation assumes an ethnically essentialist ownership over cultural phenomena. Coldplay and Beyonce are the latest to spark protest among some.…

The protofascism of Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam

There seems to be considerable historical amnesia out there regarding the National of Islam, reflected everywhere from the guests on Democracy Now through to most of my vocal left friends. Let’s be clear, NOI is a protofascist organization (as Adolph Reed observed in his old book Class Notes which has a chapter entitled “The Rise…

Facebook and proto-fascism: Modi meets Zuckerberg

This is how the NYT headlined its piece yesterday on Modi’s pilgrimage to Silicon Valley: Note how the headline presumes to have telepathic knowledge of Modi’s intentions. His goals are assumed to be humanitarian: he seeks to ease his nation’s poverty. Of course we could just as easily suppose his goal is to enhance the fortunes…

Politically Correct Messiness: Seinfeld and the Backlash

The corporate web media inhabit a different ecological niche than the staid old print and television formats. Their editorial lines are different, and often more progressive. And more tabloid. The comments of Jerry Seinfeld attacking PC culture provided a solid week of backlash fodder for the internet. It was an odd reaction. Nothing about Seinfeld’s comments…