Israel’s Violence Isn’t Extraordinary, and That’s Terrifying

As anyone who has the misfortune of following me on Twitter knows, I’m pretty critical of the Israeli government. I’ve been particularly disturbed by the recent unfolding of Operation Protective Edge, an airstrike campaign in reaction to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens.* This campaign has killed scores of Palestinians, the bulk of whom have been civilians, and many of whom have been children. This recent attack on Gaza is reprehensibly disproportionate in a manner unfortunately typical of Israeli military campaigns. As such, it has rightfully reignited a great deal of outcry from various peace groups and critics of Zionism. One charge I see repeatedly, though, bothers me; not infrequently, one hears fervent anti-Zionists compare Israel to Nazi Germany. This comparison strikes me as highly irresponsible for a few reasons.
Continue reading

Posted in Left-wing Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chomsky-Foucault Cage Match

Chomsky-Foucault Cage Match

I had some lo-fi, folky-type recordings sitting around, so I shuffled them into an EP of sorts. Click the enormous album cover above to listen.

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Problem of “Inequality”

The lead-up to and aftermath of the Great Recession spawned a great deal of research on economic inequality. Some of this work (contributions by Bartels, Wilkinson and Pickett, Alesina and Glaeser) is excellent and well worth reading. Among even the best contributions to the discourse, however, the same dull, liberal conclusion prevails: the solution to rising inequality is a set of more effective redistributive measures. Such a solution draws a slew of predictably derisive comments from cranky leftists like me, who consider social democratic reforms inadequate. Capitalism with a human face, we diligently repeat, is still capitalism.

Continue reading

Posted in Left-wing Politics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeremy Mill Goes to Work

I doodle compulsively. Generally, I will doodle a specific thing. Several months ago, I started drawing anthropomorphic rabbits. More often than not, I found myself drawing a despondent-looking rabbit in a business suit. I named him Jeremy Mill. Jeremy, I decided, works as an administrative assistant at a financial firm based in Chicago. He doesn’t understand what his company does, or exactly what his function in the company is supposed to be, but it doesn’t really matter. He just shows up every day, pretends to work, then goes home. Continue reading

Posted in Comics | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pairs of Lenos

A few months ago, I made a little cartoon called “Pairs of Lenos,” which consisted of four short segments in which Jay Leno converses with a copy of himself. I decided to add a couple extra segments and put it up on YouTube for the world to enjoy. WARNING: Video may contain some NSFW Leno-on-Leno action.

Video | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Liberalize Your Economy

Here you are, the leader of an underdeveloped country, plodding along your merry way, when all of a sudden you’re hit by hyperinflation, shortages, or some other Very Bad Thing. Now all of a sudden your economy is reeling, your usual prescriptions aren’t taking effect, and you’re not sure what to do. Out of desperation, you ask an esteemed economist from the developed world for advice. Alternatively, the esteemed economist might barge through your country on a very large parade float and yell his advice at you through a megaphone. In any case, he tells you that you just need to liberalize your economy. If you open your country to the capricious whims of global capitalism, you will be rewarded most handily with a steady rate of absolute growth. These words puzzle you. “Liberalize my economy?” you ask, your mouth agape. “But how?” The esteemed economist patiently lays out the process you must follow. Continue reading

Posted in Left-wing Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dilemma of the Petty Bourgeois Radical: A Disclaimer

What does it mean to be a “radical” in the United States? Does it mean anything? Many self-styled “radicals” in the US are petty bourgeois, myself included. How should the petty bourgeois radical approach revolutionary writing? Should they approach it at all? How can the petty bourgeois radical (or PBR for short) be in a position to critique capitalism when they profit from the exploitation of third world labor; when they own Apple laptops and use Facebook; when, just by existing, they tacitly support countless amoral, multi-national corporations? Can PBRs call themselves radicals in any true sense? Can they advocate any anti-capitalist agenda without collapsing into self-parody?

Continue reading

Posted in Left-wing Politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment