The Last Days of the US in Afghanistan

There has been many megabytes of pixels spilled, writing about the US exit from Afghanistan. The tragedy, if there is one, is that the US knew for decades that it was eventually going to have to leave, but hung around spending money and ruining lives, because of fear of embarrassment. That’s right: the response to fear of embarrassment was to embarrass ourselves fucking more. Brilliant.

[Read more…]

Cause For Optimism?

Content Warning: Religious Violence

I’m not going to wade into the discussion surrounding Rebecca Solnit’s opinion piece [sol] that argues we should be optimistic, because the right-wing activity we are currently seeing is an extinction burst – progress is being made, yadda yadda. Mano comments on it over at his blog, [mano] and Crip Dyke weighs in over at Pervert Justice [pj]. To me, it’s just parochial – the US, the world’s economic and military super-power, is struggling over its internal rifts but mostly it’s still the smug self-congratulatory shitberg it’s always been. Arguing about whether a country founded upon slavery and genocide remains more or less fascistic is to be wearing rose-colored glasses so opaque you could use them to protect your eyes while welding.

[Read more…]

In Defense of Nihilism

One of the most influential books in my life has been Robert Paul Wolff’s In Defense of Anarchism [stderr] [wc]. It clarified my politics, to me, and made me able to understand why it was that I was so suspicious of politicians of all stripes. Taken along with Popkin’s History of Skepticism from Savanarola to Bayle [stderr] [wc] it made me feel as though I suddenly understood some things differently and in a more powerful way: skepticism, nihilism, and anarchism are all an alternative to politics or philosophy as usually practiced. That’s a dramatic claim but please let me try to justify it.

[Read more…]