Racing to the Bottom: The Poverty of “Privilege”-Shaming

Most of us have probably seen this comic explaining white privilege, or have read similarly-themed comics, articles, listicles, blogs, posts, and memes imparting basically the same line of thinking. I tend to be of two minds when it comes to this material: I think it’s important to have these kinds of discussions, and yet, almost…

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The Passion of the Antichrist

There are many parallels between the films The Passion of the Christ, by Mel Gibson, and Antichrist, by Lars Von Trier. Both films are the product of Catholic directors, and give expression to a particularly Catholic worldview—a worldview which has a peculiar relationship with pain, suffering, and violence. Both films received mixed reviews on the…

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Support Abortion

The conflict over abortion is perennial here in the states, but since we are in the middle of a Republican primary race, the issue has become more salient, and people are digging in their heels. In response to conservative politicians promising to defund Planned Parenthood, many women have gone on social media, sharing their experiences…

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Who is Rational? Public Reason and it’s Discontents

“Common sense,” Einstein was purported to say, “is actually nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind prior to the age of eighteen.” As both products and agents of society, there is so much information that we absorb from birth to adulthood, which calcifies, becoming the basis for how we end…

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Racism as a Function of the State

“Capitalism obviously doesn’t work without state power,” said N.D.B. Connolly on a Who Makes ₵ents? podcast on September of last year. “But then what is the state? That’s where race gets right, front, and center, because what you see happening through the era of post-emancipation through the South, through the period of the pre-war and…

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Property is an Institution—Not a Right

For many of capitalism’s critics, it is the political dimension of the capitalist system that is it’s most salient. In a socialist’s mind, there is no categorical distinction made between, for instance, a corporate merger that results in mass layoffs, and the police repression of the laid-off workers and activists who are demonstrating against the…

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On Utopias and Birds—or Lenin vs. Dostoevsky

Lenin vs. Dostoevsky In the 1860’s, Nikolai Chernishevsky wrote the manuscript for the novel A Vital Question: What is to be Done? while sitting in prison. Published in 1864, it became to some one of the most important works of the 19th century—notably, to Vladmir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by his pen name Lenin, who…

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