Category History and Politics

Radio Without Money Episode 5: Brevity Is the Soul of Wit

In this exceptionally brief (for us!) episode of Radio Without Money, the official WritersWithoutMoney.com podcast, Ross Snider and Aloysius VI try to put lipstick on a pig by discussing Daniel Levine’s disappearance, user analytics, the budget, Wikipedia, propaganda, Facebook’s new fact-check alerts and the conflation of “neutrality” with “objectivity,” journalism in general, the aborted Republican health care legislation, and the conflation of neoliberalism with traditional, progressive liberalism.

Notes from a Millennial: In Defense of Decency

A state religion is nothing out of the ordinary in human history, and even if a nation does not have a state religion de jure, they will almost certainly have one in practice. This applies even to supposedly secular societies, even the society administered to by the “world’s first secular government.” In America, however, a different worship took root: in a land made secular in order to accommodate all the religious beliefs of its populace, many of them religious refugees, a unified religion came to be understood by Americans, one defined by indulgences specifically proscribed against by their “true” religions.

A Man Called Ove: Celebrating the Use of Space in Swedish Cinema

What are we beyond our memories? It was just after having a petty argument with the florist, an ignorant teen as she was that Ove first exposes the dimensions of his existence. Grieved by the death of the only love of his life, Sonja, we see him dissipating his space by magnifying his trivialities. A […]

Mediocrity, Propaganda and Trump

THE INTERNET IS ITS OWN ECONOMIC SYSTEM AND IDEOLOGY History seems to move faster at certain times than others. Now is one of those times. Karl Marx, thinking about industrialization, claimed that a newly emergent economic force/system was actually revolutionary in the sense that it reshaped all the territory and politics it touched. 100 years […]

How is the New Fascism Different?

Fascism has been frequently defined as “the merger of state and corporate power.” This phrase is commonly attributed to Mussolini, though there’s no evidence he said it. Regardless, this soundbite has resonated exists as the most common coherent definition of fascism and works well as a still object against which I can attempt to measure society’s current […]

The Fake News Panic is a US Media Credibility Crisis

On November 13th of 2016, every major media outlet in the United States of America ran front page articles centered around a newly invented term. “Fake news“, papers papered and online distributors distributed, was a serious and modern and unique problem being faced by the nation. Specifically, mainstream media outlets equivocated all alternative sources of […]

Framing the Violence Narrative

In the past few months the term “fake news” has come into the mainstream in a major way. A cursory definition based on its usage would have you believe it’s just an updated synonym for the old standby “propaganda,” but is this true? Yes and no. Our full assimilation into the information age has drastically […]

Free Speech Extremism and the New Neo-Nazis

The foundations of liberal (small R) republican (small d) democracy depend on a variety of presumptions. Some of these were never actually in place, but we were hopeful they’d eventually come together. Some of these were in place but have unraveled. And some of these are suspiciously similar to the presumptions undergirding the largely theological […]

A Quick Note on The Deep State

Yesterday General Michael Flynn was forced to resign from his post due to leaked information showing that he lied about the nature of his contacts with the Russian government before the election. This evidence of treason seems to point back to Trump being compromised by the Russians and most speculation on the subject so far […]

Free Speech Isn’t Free

Back in 2003 one of my neighbors used to have a display in front of his house he called his “9/11 Wall.” United States flags, MIA flags, reminders that we should “never forget,” it was typical of the kind of patriotic display you would see during the Bush years. On the back of his car […]