Canceling Natural Health

There’s now a large silencing campaign against the natural health / parenting community. I’m not a fan but it’s insane that these utterly inoffensive people would be banned on FB and hounded in the media.

I’m not going to link but there’s a huge hit piece on natural-parenting moms accusing them (on the basis of silly personal anecdotes) to be QAnon and, hence, terrorists. The only thing the natural parenting crowd and the Q have in common is that these are slightly kooky yet utterly harmless people with a theory that explains everything in a somewhat unusual way.

The reason why natural health / parenting folks are being hounded is pretty obvious. They stand outside the reach of the medical establishment and are impervious to biopolitics.

Words to Retire

Conservatives (Republicans, right-wingers, whatever) should retire the word “socialism” for at least a decade.

Liberals (leftists, Democrats, whatever, I’ve had it with your minute shades of difference, people) should retire the word “fascism” for at least a decade.

Both sides use these words incorrectly and as a result never achieve anything good.

If you can’t make your argument without appealing to socialism / fascism, there’s something wrong with the argument.

When we teach students how to write, we tell them to use the context search in Word and delete all “basically, totally actually, like, very, so, and like totally.”

People should do the same with socialism and fascism. And communism, God.

Sweet Unfreedom

People often mistakenly think that during Stalinism everybody lived in terror. But that’s not true.

Stalinism was s very happy time for the majority. A very, very happy time. A lot of great stuff was happening. Technological advances, the quality of life improved dramatically. People were having fun.

This idea about a terrorized population, cowering in fear of being dragged to the GULAG, it’s all a fantasy. Nobody expected to be dragged away because that only happened to bad people who deserved it.

If you ever had a chance to talk to regular people who lived during the Stalin era, you’d see that the talk of labor camps and torture chambers leaves them sincerely befuddled. “Yeah, well, maybe a few people, but they were bad!”

What Stalinism took away is what most people are glad to relinquish. The main power tool of dictatorships isn’t pain. It’s pleasure. They press the pleasure buttons that turn us into obedient, happy cattle and relieve the load of responsibility.

When the Soviet Union fell, after an initial spell of excitement I can’t tell you how many people wished for it to come back. The plentiful food and pretty clothes didn’t compensate for the loss of the sweet, sweet lack of freedom.

I’m not saying there will be Stalinism in the US. There won’t be. But there will be sweet, sweet unfreedom.

The Best Pot Roast

I have stumbled upon the best pot roast recipe in existence. I’d tried the Mississippi roast that everybody says is the best, the one with the ranch dressing in a packet and pepperoncini, and it’s nothing special.

But the one I made today is divine. I made it in a slow cooker, and first you put in all the usual stuff: beef stock, carrots, mushrooms, and the meat itself. And then you add a tablespoon of Swad Coriander Chutney.

It makes all the difference in the world.

Our Fulbrighters

If you, folks, could see how well we treat our Fulbright scholars, it would gladden your heart. The transportation from the airport, the housing, the meal plan – everything is provided. These days, everybody has to quarantine, so hot meals are delivered directly to their apartments. There’s a care package expecting every new arrival.

I’m so proud of my university for organizing this so well. I have a Yoruba instructor arriving from Nigeria, and the university is really trying to make him feel welcome.

The instructor from Kuwait isn’t coming, unfortunately, but that’s because there were visa issues.

I’m thinking of reviving our Russian program, and bringing in an instructor of Russian through the Fulbright program. They have the most interesting languages. Swahili, Tajik, Turkish, Ukrainian. But I won’t find enrolment for them.

What a great program this is.

Back to Liquid Capital

People look at what’s happening and assume that the future is a collapse of the economy and widespread hunger.

But they are mistaken.

Markets reacted extremely well to lockdowns. Markets want lockdowns. Because the capital today is liquid capital. It wants us to get out of the way. It wants to be freed from the constraints of place and physicality. It wants to soar and soar. It wants to move freely and with lightning speed. No, faster, a lot faster than that.

Capital today doesn’t need that many workers. It doesn’t want to be tied to these small businesses that occupy an office or a have a physical location. Almost half of all small businesses have been wiped out, and it’s not even a blip.

The main characteristic of capital is that it wants to grow. And it’s not just any growth. It wants to grow as fast as possible. And that means going digital and transnational. Capital wants to inhabit a world without borders. And increasingly, without workers.

The future is like that cartoon of obese people glued to screens and unable to move or think. Can anybody find it for me? It’s been on Twitter a lot recently.