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Adorno in America — Crooked Timber
In an afterward to The Authoritarian Personality that was never published, Adorno wrote of Myrdal:

> The gist of Aptheker’s argument is that the Negro problem is [in Myrdal] abstracted from its socio-economic conditions, and as soon as it is treated as being essentially of a psychological nature, its edge is taken away.

The Aptheker in question, of course, is Herbert Aptheker, the Marxist historian of slave revolts. That Adorno would find a sympathetic critic in Aptheker suggests not only how resolute he was in his effort to meld economics and psychology (“the concept that there is economy on the one hand, and individuals upon whom it works on the other, has to be overcome”) but also the connection he saw in the question of anti-Semitism and European fascism, on the one hand, and racism and American authoritarianism on the other. That connection has recently been taken up quite a bit in histories of the Nazis (most notably in the work of James Q. Whitman), but Oberle reveals a whole discourse in the 1940s that was very much concerned with the same problem. A discourse that got shut down during the Cold War, when the attention of the American state shifted from fighting fascism to fighting communism.

But while that discourse was live, it insisted, as Adorno did, not on sequestering the psychological, the way so many contemporary accounts of racism do, but on mixing the material and the psychological.

As Oberle shows, that discourse from the 1940s now reads almost like the lost tractates of an ancient civilization. And yet, as Oberle also shows, it still speaks to us, calling out what we have yet to learn. As Ralph Ellison put it in an unpublished review of An American Dilemma from 1941:

> In our culture the problem of the irrational, that blind spot in our knowledge of society where Marx cries out for Freud and Freud for Marx, but where approaching, both grow wary and shout insults lest they actually meet, has taken the form of the Negro problem.

So it remains today, where discussions that attempt to relate the question of race to the organization of capitalism are dismissed and reduced to the mocking rubric of “economic anxiety.”
psychology  marxism  adorno  authoritarianism 
11 hours ago by jfbeatty
Maria Ressa, one of the Philippines' most high-profile journalists and a vocal critic of Duterte, served with an ​arrest warrant in the ​Philippines.
Maria Ressa, a high-profile Philippine journalist and vocal critic of the country’s president, was arrested Wednesday in connection with “cyber libel” charges against Rappler, the news site she oversees.
authoritarianism  fourthEstate 
3 days ago by joeybaker
Google is now censoring results in Russia, critics accuse Google of pushing state censorship
The search giant deleted about 70 percent of the blacklisted sites, according to a local newspaper in Russia.
censorship  authoritarianism 
6 days ago by joeybaker
Macron slides into authoritarian territory with new “anti-thug” law
Dubbed the “loi anti-casseur”, or “anti-thug law”, the text aims “to reinforce and guarantee law enforcement during protests”.

“Concealing one’s face without a legitimate motive” will, under the anti-thug law, be sanctioned by one year in prison and €15,000 in fines, he said. Anyone arrested will have to prove they had a good reason to be masked. The law also provides that “thugs” who break things will have to pay for them – even if they have not been obliged by a court to do so.

So let’s recap: any protester attending a march would, under this new law, be considered a potential suspect. Covering one’s face at a march (even as protection against tear gas) could result in a prison sentence. Breaking a window or a road sign could result in blacklisting on a list for wanted criminals. And representatives of the French executive branch will have the power to remove a citizen’s right to free assembly for a month, without any prior court decision.
france  politics  authoritarianism  police  law 
7 days ago by juliusbeezer
Nazis and the layers of shame – Popula
It is essential to identify and condemn language that is rooted in false dichotomies, whether deliberately or out of ignorance. Alt-Right and Alt-Left do not exist on the same plane.

The events of Charlottesville, and Trump’s comments following the events, made me realize that the neo-Nazis with tiki torches were not pretend Nazis. They were real. Their arms raised in the Nazi salute were real. Their contorted faces as they chanted “Jews will not replace us” and “White Lives Matter” (another false dichotomy, with “Black Lives Matter”) were also real.
authoritarianism  nazism  history 
10 days ago by corrales
A Tiny Screw Shows Why iPhones Won’t Be ‘Assembled in U.S.A.’ - The New York Times
Another frustration with manufacturing in Texas: American workers won’t work around the clock. Chinese factories have shifts working at all hours, if necessary, and workers are sometimes even roused from their sleep to meet production goals. That was not an option in Texas.

“China is not just cheap. It’s a place where, because it’s an authoritarian government, you can marshal 100,000 people to work all night for you,” said Susan Helper, an economics professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and the former chief economist at the Commerce Department. “That has become an essential part of the product-rollout strategy.”

Ms. Helper said Apple could make more products in the United States if it invested significant time and money and relied more on robotics and specialized engineers instead of large numbers of low-wage line workers. She said government and industry would also need to improve job training and promote the development of a supply-chain infrastructure.
manufacturing  economics  authoritarianism  Apple  China 
13 days ago by dwalbert

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