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For my disaffected friends: facing this moment requires embracing conflicting paradigms.
Published onMay 03, 2022

Well, fuck.

I don’t have much to add to today’s expected, but devastating, news, except a reminder: multiple conflicting paradigms can coexist. Must coexist.

As soon as I heard the news today, I could predict with stunning accuracy which of my friends would react by blaming Democrats on social media. And you know what? You’re not wrong. Democrats have been horrible at using the power we’ve given them to protect the rights our parents and grandparents fought for.

But while we’re unleashing the circular firing squad, the New Right is using your vocal, visible online disaffection to build a movement for a nationalist, white supremacist plutocracy. If they succeed, overturning the status quo in favor of anything me and my radical friends prefer — from sweet solarpunk anarchy to FALC bliss — will be much, much harder.

In the meantime, we’re literally two Senators and a few held House seats away from fixing at least some of this mess. Yes, yes, I can hear you scream at me that you can’t trust the lousy corporate Democrats to fix anything. And the problem isn’t even Democrats, it’s capitalism in general, which Democrats exist to protect.

Well guess what? You’re right. Which is exactly why multiple paradigms need to coexist. In one, the one we live under today, voting for Democrats is the best, if highly flawed, way to preserve and strengthen the rights we still have. In the other, the radical one we’re working towards, Democrats, and the entire statist apparatus they rode in on, are the problem.

We can live with both at the same time. In fact, we live under both right now, and they’re increasingly bumping into each other. Your understandable disaffection is evidence of this, as is the growth of the New Right, which shares many of your critiques (though none of your solutions). The problem is that the right is perfectly willing to allow these conflicting paradigms to coexist, wielding their power over the status quo to bring about a new one they prefer.

The vital question is, are we on the left capable of doing the same?

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