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Patriotism needn’t be negative – but it has to be honest | Gary Younge | Opinion | The Guardian
Patriotism is very much in the eye of the beholder – a web of arbitrary values, easily distorted, that not everybody claims even when they hold them. Nonetheless, over the past few weeks several Labour politicians have claimed the party must become more patriotic if it is going to win back the traditional strongholds it lost last month. Leadership contender Rebecca Long Bailey has called for a revival of “progressive patriotism rooted in working life”; former cabinet minister Liam Byrne evokes a “radical patriotism [that lights] up [a shared future] with a pride in our favourite bits about our shared past”. And Labour’s housing spokesman, John Healey, insists that “the most successful movements of the left have shown pride in the national flag”.

Each points out theirs is not your common-or-garden patriotism. It “needn’t be rooted in nostalgia” (Healey), should avoid “immigration or citizenship policy” (Byrne) and be “internationalist” (Long Bailey). But ultimately they all smack of strategic desperation, ideological vacuity and racial pandering.

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Refusing to cede the ground to the right on patriotism is a fine idea so long as you have tilled the soil first. But that has not been done. A YouGov survey from 2014 showed that 59% of Brits felt the empire was something to be proud of rather than be ashamed of (19%). Celebrating all the workers’ struggles in the world won’t rid British history from the stench of colonialism – a word that does not appear in any of these rallying cries to progressive nationhood. We need a story that is hopeful. But it also must be honest.

Which brings us back to Stormzy. What would these “progressive patriots” make of a young black man who personifies a positive story about what is possible in Britain, and articulates the banal if brutal reality that prospects for advancement among those who look like him are limited and the country is in denial about it? Would they hold him up as the trailblazing pioneer for an evolving and inclusive culture who would appeal to youngsters; drop him as the foul-mouthed, race-baiting ingrate who talks down his country and scares their grandparents; or would they hold him at arm’s length, happy for him to be seen, hoping he’s not heard?
UK  politics  patriotism  Stormzy  racism  identity  nationalIdentity  nationalism  fascism  colonialism  honesty  dctagged  dc:creator=YoungeGary 
7 weeks ago by petej
A massive shame RLB has launched her leadership campaign under the sign of 'progressive patriotism'. This is a really bad thing to do, for 3 main reasons, broadly moral, intellectual & strategic
A massive shame RLB has launched her leadership campaign under the sign of 'progressive patriotism'. This is a really bad thing to do, for 3 main reasons, broadly moral, intellectual & strategic
UK  politics  LabourParty  leadership  Long-BaileyRebecca  patriotism  identity  nationalIdentity  nationalism  dctagged  dc:creator=NivenAlex 
7 weeks ago by petej
The Future Of The Culture Wars Is Here, And It's Gamergate
The default assumption of the gaming industry has always been that its customer is a young, straight, middle-class white man, and so games have always tended to cater to the perceived interests of this narrow demographic. Gamergate is right about this much: When developers make games targeting or even acknowledging other sorts of people, and when video game fans say they want more such games, this actually does represent an assault on the prerogatives of the young, middle-class white men who mean something very specific when they call themselves gamers. Gamergate offers a way for this group, accustomed to thinking of themselves as the fixed point around which the gaming-industrial complex revolves, to stage a sweeping counteroffensive in defense of their control over the medium. The particulars may be different, and the stakes may be infinitely lower, but the dynamic is an old one, the same one that gave rise to the Know Nothing Party and the anti-busing movement and the Moral Majority. And this is the key to understanding Gamergate: There actually is a real conflict here, something like the one perceived by the Tea Partier waving her placard about the socialist Muslim Kenyan usurper in the White House.

There is a reason why, in all the Gamergate rhetoric, you hear the echoes of every other social war staged in the last 30 years: overly politically correct, social-justice warriors, the media elite, gamers are not a monolith. There is also a reason why so much of the rhetoric amounts to a vigorous argument that Being a gamer doesn't mean you're sexist, racist, and stupid—a claim no one is making. Co-opting the language and posture of grievance is how members of a privileged class express their belief that the way they live shouldn't have to change, that their opponents are hypocrites and perhaps even the real oppressors. This is how you get St. Louisans sincerely explaining that Ferguson protestors are the real racists, and how you end up with an organized group of precisely the same video game enthusiasts to whom an entire industry is catering honestly believing that they're an oppressed minority. From this kind of ideological fortification, you can stage absolutely whatever campaigns you deem necessary.

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The above quote, captured by The Escapist, is perfect troll logic, as pure a distillate as you'll find of the 4chan hivemind. There are notes here, too, from a hymn book that predates the internet: self-pity, self-martyrdom, an overwhelming sense of your own blamelessness, the certainty that someone else's victimhood is nothing more than a profitable pose. All culture wars strike these same chords, because all culture wars are at bottom about the same thing: the desperate efforts of the privileged, in an ever-pluralizing America, to cling by their nails to the perquisites of what they'd thought was once their exclusive domain.
gamergate  culture  politics  journalism  media  misogyny  harassment  threats  gaming  identity  privilege  victimhood  cultureWar 
november 2019 by petej
How online surveillance is killing private conversations | World news | The Guardian
“Our discourse around privacy needs to expand to address foundational questions about the role of automation: to what extent is living in a surveillance-saturated world compatible with pluralism and democracy? What are the consequences of raising a generation of children whose every action feeds into a corporate database? What does it mean to be manipulated from an early age by machine-learning algorithms that adaptively learn to shape our behaviour?”
communication  surveillance  leaks  hacking  DarrochKim  privacy  ambientPrivacy  honesty  frankness  control  JohnsonBoris  FarageNigel  reputation  identity  dctagged  dc:creator=HernAlex 
july 2019 by petej
One of the most damaging fallouts of Brexit has been the media creation of the Leave/Remain dichotomy as an identity of two extremes, when opinion on the EU is a spectrum. It’s easier to shift views on a spectrum: but when you cast it as a war of identi
One of the most damaging fallouts of Brexit has been the media creation of the Leave/Remain dichotomy as an identity of two extremes, when opinion on the EU is a spectrum. It’s easier to shift views on a spectrum: but when you cast it as a war of identities, people hunker down.



I have lots of problems w/ EU, but voted Remain, and think the biggest problems within the EU are right wing govts, & Britain itself. I’m dead against Lexit cos Brexit is a far right project & leaving the EU will do nothing but harm the UK. But I get called a Lexiter constantly.
UK  EU  Brexit  division  polarisation  Leave  Remain  identity  Lexit  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=FosterDawn 
march 2019 by petej
The Religion of Workism Is Making Americans Miserable - The Atlantic
The economists of the early 20th century did not foresee that work might evolve from a means of material production to a means of identity production. They failed to anticipate that, for the poor and middle class, work would remain a necessity; but for the college-educated elite, it would morph into a kind of religion, promising identity, transcendence, and community. Call it workism.
USA  work  labour  hours  overwork  Keynes  DWYL  identity  passion  religion  healthcare  employment  millennials  debt  students  socialMedia  pay  wages  competition  welfare  freeTime  economics 
february 2019 by petej
Brexit and Europe from the perspective of a citizen of nowhere | Richard Seymour on Patreon
A brisker way to put this is that capital can't be a citizen of nowhere, because it is loyal to what exists. The name for ‘nowhere’ used to be utopia, literally a non-place. To be a citizen of nowhere is to be a utopian, to have loyalties to a country that doesn't yet exist. And it may be the only space from which the apparent choice between Europeanism and racist nationalism is apprehensible as a double-bind.
Europe  identity  mythology  history  migration  borders  Frontex  refugees  Mediterranean  Turkey  Brexit  Leave  Islamophobia  UK  politics  territory  capitalism  dctagged  dc:creator=SeymourRichard 
february 2019 by petej
Free Markets Don't Create Free People: Bitcoin's Tech Success Masks Its Failure - CoinDesk
A future where every transaction, financial or social, public or private, is irrevocably encoded in a public ledger which is utterly transparent to those in power is the very opposite of a democratic, egalitarian crypto utopia. Rather, it is the reinstatement of the divine right of kings, transposed to an elevated elite class where those with the money, whether they be state actors, central bankers, winner-takes-all libertarians or property-absolutist anarcho-capitalists, have total power over those who do not.
cryptography  encryption  communication  security  WorldWarII  PGP  government  ZimmermannPhil  Clipper  privacy  policing  distribution  money  KublaiKhan  authority  centralisation  creditCards  ChaumDavid  Cypherpunks  surveillance  control  technoUtopianism  blockchain  ledger  NakamotoSatoshi  identity  sacrifice  names  nyms  pseudonymity  Bitcoin  energy  sustainability  trust  politics  community  dctagged  dc:creator=BridleJames 
january 2019 by petej
It was never about Europe. Brexit is Britain’s reckoning with itself | Fintan O’Toole | Opinion | The Guardian
Paradoxically, this drama of departure has really served only to displace a crisis of belonging. Brexit plays out a conflict between Them and Us, but it is surely obvious after this week that the problem is not with Them on the continent. It’s with the British Us, the unravelling of an imagined community. The visible collapse of the Westminster polity this week may be a result of Brexit, but Brexit itself is the result of the invisible subsidence of the political order over recent decades.
UK  EU  Brexit  identity  nationalism  nationalIdentity  England  GoodFridayAgreement  indyref  Scotland  welfareState  democracy  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=O'TooleFintan 
january 2019 by petej
The fear that lies behind aggressive masculinity | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian
The age-old mistake, which has stunted countless lives, is the assumption that because physical hardship in childhood makes you physically tough, emotional hardship must make you emotionally tough. It does the opposite. It implants a vulnerability that can require a lifetime of love and therapy to repair and that, untreated, leads to an escalating series of destructive behaviours. Emotionally damaged men all too often rip apart their own lives, and those of their partners and children. I see both physical fitness and emotional strength as virtues, but they are acquired by entirely different means.
masculinity  identity  aggression  fear  decline  emotion  mentalHealth  dctagged  dc:creator=MonbiotGeorge 
january 2019 by petej
Sad by design | Eurozine
Sadness expresses the growing gap between the self-image of a perceived social status and the actual precarious reality. The temporary dip, described here under the code name ‘sadness’, can best be understood as a mirror phenomenon of the self-promotion machine that constructs the links for us. The mental state is so pervasive, the merging of social media with the self so totalizing, that we see the sadness complex as a manifestation of an ‘anti-self’ stage that we slip into and then walk away from. The anti-climax called sadness travels with the smart phone, it’s everywhere.
socialMedia  mentalHealth  identity  emotion  sadness  melancholy  design  anxiety  compulsion  engagement  manipulation 
january 2019 by petej
How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation
Those expectations encapsulate the millennial rearing project, in which students internalize the need to find employment that reflects well on their parents (steady, decently paying, recognizable as a “good job”) that’s also impressive to their peers (at a “cool” company) and fulfills what they’ve been told has been the end goal of all of this childhood optimization: doing work that you’re passionate about.
millennials  mentalHealth  stress  burnout  work  overwork  insecurity  instability  money  debt  precarity  education  parenting  DWYL  passion  jobs  employment  socialMedia  Instagram  identity  performance  branding  exploitation  acquiescence  women  culture  politics  lateCapitalism 
january 2019 by petej
Labour’s refusal to oppose Brexit is becoming a historic error
The attitude of Corbyn loyalists is that Remainers have nowhere else to go besides Labour. If Labour enable Brexit, this will have no noticeable impact on how Remainers vote in any general election. They dismiss a poll that suggests Labour could lose a large number of votes by attacking the poll: it was funded by the People’s Vote campaign, and “who believes polls?” A more thoughtful criticism is that you are bound to get a large number in any question who highlight Brexit, but general elections will be fought over many issues. In short, Remainers on the left will always vote Labour.

I would agree that one poll tells you little about any future general election, but what it does reveal is the intensity of feeling over the Brexit issue. I think many among the Labour leadership and Corbyn loyalists fail to understand this. They prefer instead to misplace Remainers as the centrist enemy, and see attacks on Corbyn over Brexit as just one more means by which the centre and right of Labour attack Labour. This is a serious mistake.
UK  Brexit  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  generalElection  Leave  Remain  PeoplesVote  referendum  identity  migrants  freedomOfMovement  dctagged  dc:creator=Wren-LewisSimon 
january 2019 by petej
Going native: Populist academics normalise the anti-immigrant right
One of Eatwell and Goodwin's key moves is to define 'racism' so narrowly that the populists mostly escape. It should be confined, they say, "to the erroneous and dangerous belief that the world is divided into hierarchically ordered races, to anti-Semitism which plays more on conspiracy theory, and to violence and aggressive attitudes towards others based on their ethnicity". But that's it. "Where the disparagement and fear of different cultural groups is not linked to this form of systematic thinking" they prefer the term 'xenophobia'.

No serious survey would conclude that "systematic thinking" defines racism. The elaborate, pseudo-scientific hierarchies of Nazism and apartheid are outliers in the history of generally more ad-hoc, inconsistent prejudices and discriminations. That's been the case throughout modern history, but it is particularly the case now that what the authors call "blatant racism" has been delegitimised.

A more coherent definition is that racism is constituted of ideas and practices which express hostility towards population groups, however these groups are defined by perpetrators. Xenophobia, for example against Mexicans or East Europeans, is no less a form of hostility than colour prejudice and anti-semitism and often part of the same toxic mix. In reality, racism is generally pragmatic rather than intellectually coherent. It easily tolerates one out-group while attacking another, especially when it operates in a democratic political environment. When you have such a narrow definition of it, it is unsurprising that you cannot identify it when you stares you in the face.
politics  nationalism  populism  nationalPopulism  GoodwinMatthew  EatwellRoger  immigration  xenophobia  racism  normalisation  farRight  identity  dctagged  dc:creator=ShawMartin 
november 2018 by petej
The rising tide of national populism: we need to talk about immigration | openDemocracy
Two broad academic interpretations have emerged to explain these developments. The first stresses economic change and its effects on ‘the losers of modernisation’/the ‘left behinds’. The second, and more common, approach holds that the key driver has been cultural. The rise of parties like the National Front began well before the onset of recession, and some of the strongest can be found in rich countries like Austria. For the culturalist approach, support is fired by opposition to immigration and by linked themes like law and order.

However, this polarised debate glosses over an important further factor – namely, attitudes towards mainstream parties and liberal democracy generally. Liberal economic and political elites are frequently blamed for the onset of recession and austerity in many countries. There is also a widespread belief that mainstream politicians have failed to conduct an open discussion about immigration, that they have even lied about numbers and impacts.
UK  politics  immigration  nationalism  identity  culture  Brexit  democracy  liberalism  dctagged  dc:creator=EatwellRoger  nationalPopulism 
november 2018 by petej
Tommy Robinson and the far right’s new playbook | World news | The Guardian
The real challenge posed by the far right is its success at spreading anti-Muslim and xenophobic attitudes in society at large. The best defence is a political movement that has anti-racism at its core and seeks to give people greater democratic control over the way their society is organised and run. But this is about more than politics as a professional occupation: it involves all of us, and it is a matter of culture and institutions as much as elections or parliamentary debates. The leading far-right activists understand this, and the campaign around Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is just one symptom of a bigger problem – which must be challenged, locally and internationally, before it starts to do serious damage.
UK  politics  farRight  extremism  Islamophobia  RobinsonTommy  racism  xenophobia  EDL  contemptOfCourt  freedomOfSpeech  immigration  multiculturalism  BannonStephen  Breitbart  Internet  RebelMedia  FLA  DFLA  BNP  FrontNational  culture  9/11  warOnTerror  victimhood  media  publicity  authenticity  class  identity  austerity  exclusion  deindustrialisation  decline  dctagged  dc:creator=TrillingDaniel 
october 2018 by petej
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