The Angle 10/16/2018

One of the gloomier American narratives of our time is the possibility that Millennials will not prosper as their Boomer parents have. We assume that the obvious question in response to this is “Why?” as if Millenials are the paltry exception to a trend of ever increasing prosperity. But what if the question is “Why not?” as if the inevitability of their situation weren’t already baked in before they were born?

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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.

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The High Cost Of Free Speech In A Postmodern Age

Goods and rights are regulated in completely different ways. Regulating rights as if they were goods—subjecting them to what looks like the market forces of supply and demand—can lead to suppressing or marginalizing them if enough people or interests (the market) are against them. In this way the postmodern position can transform into the neoliberal position with little slack. Free speech isn’t a right at all, but a commodity, its value rising and failing as the marketplace of ideas dictates. Our “incredulity towards metanarratives” is assuaged by how natural and right neoliberal frameworks seem.

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“Black Privilege” And The Twilight Of The Negro Whisperer

The Negro whisper benefits from convincing black people and reassuring white people that “the system” is running exactly as it should. That exceptional blacks did it on their own while poor and struggling blacks are where they are because of bad choices. Therefore, politics becomes essentially personal and entrepreneurial, the means by which we change individual behavior and thought to fit the logic of the marketplace. It’s not about changing how society is organized and distributes public goods.

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Playing For Empty Chairs (Notes On Trump Puppets, or “Trumpets”)

With so many traditional Republican voices taken down a notch or two because they could neither “evolve” towards Trumpism, nor make forceful and compelling arguments against it, Trump loyalists and surrogates like McEnany and Hughes are not only positioning themselves as chief cheerleaders should their candidate win, but also in the front row of Hillary haters should he lose.

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