The Daily DeX: News, Notes, And Quotes For 05/06/2019

"Take American empire seriously. It's the most complex artifact civilizations have thus far developed. Its grim, awe-filled beauty is that the very idea has always been more powerful than our tanks, carriers, nukes, legions, and the almighty dollar combined. Still, the age-old story of how empires rise and fall has only one iteration. Empires rise because they’re ambitious, then fall because their reach exceeds their grasp. What were once assets become liabilities. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for reality to settle in. We’re still badass. And I’d rather live in a real empire than a former empire like Great Britain or a fake empire like Russia. But no one I take seriously believes America is still rising. Indeed, it’s a significant feat for an empire to simply stay afloat at such a late stage after two world wars."

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The Billionaire Bean Roaster Cometh: Howard Schultz, Centrism, And Why Democrats Are Going Bonkers

Perhaps Howard Schultz and today’s Democratic Party are symptoms of the same condition. Both the billionaire and the party with a lot of billionaires want to restore an era, a politics, and a political culture that seem increasingly foreign with each new tweet from the White House.

Project LinX: Class Warfare Is OK When It’s Waged By American Oligarchs

While GOP commercials defending both the Government Shutdown and the manufactured crisis at the Southern border would’ve been absurd given recent polls, how is it that the Democratic Party didn’t go for the jugular with commercials juxtaposing Wilbur Ross', Larry Kudlow’s, and Laura Trump’s comments with unpaid government workers at food pantries?

The AXis 12/03/18

"We live in a strange time in which technical expertise and political animus are both in abundance. Indeed, both are distributed along ideological vectors in such a way that the weaknesses and failures of each are still considered acceptable to their affinity groups when compared their polar opposites."

The CruX 11/17/18 — All Your Engines

“Because the industry has such a voracious need for capital, and capital costs money, fracking could not have taken off so dramatically were it not for record low interest rates after the 2008 financial crisis. In other words, the Federal Reserve is responsible for the fracking boom.”

The Politics Of Cruelty And Cruelty As Politics

"“White identity policing” is an instance in which a white person reports the actions and behavior of a black person to the police that (s)he would not report were the same actions those of  a white person. I’ve suspected that the frequency and tenor of white identity policing is a knock-on effect from the curious way that Black Lives Matter receded from the spotlight of a very specific cultural, political, and media moment."

Kanye West And The Double Hustle

Kanye West is a small player in a sprawling, decades old play that’s seldom seen for what it truly is. The Double Hustle’s features are 1) real and genuine oppression; 2) mass, mostly justified grievances; 3) white hot media fascination; 4) obsession with celebrities who use their “platforms” to speak on behalf of the movement; 5) black politicians following instead of leading; 6) the inevitable wane and disappointment; and, lastly, 7) "non-commensurate victory conditions," when “winning” for black people has a higher bar and a higher cost than it does for any other groups with which we claim solidarity.

Project LinX 10/06/2018 — Gas Mask

A lot more people think they’re middle-class than actually are. This is because “middle-class” is as much an ideology as it is a salary range. By “ideology” I mean a “way of thinking” that justifies how one thinks and acts. It’s interesting that neither “lower-class” nor “upper-class” are ideologies. Neither has need for it. Both understand the true nature of class warfare. It's crucial that the middle class remains oblivious.