All posts filed under: Medium

political spectrum

Bipartisanism & Other Blunders in U.S. Political Consciousness

The United States today is a nation divided. We’ve all witnessed the way that both liberals and conservatives attack one another on social media at the first indication that someone upholds the opposing political stance. Considering that we exist in an age of post-truth, data harvesting, and infowars, this rift continues to widen and calcify. It has gotten to the point that a recent survey, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, suggests that Americans have “become radically split in their basic perceptions of reality.” The resulting damage can feel massively irreparable. Yet, perhaps this so-called polarization isn’t actually the root of our nationwide psychosis, but a symptom of something deeper. Our entrenchment in an atmosphere of American exceptionalism and historical amnesia deludes us into believing the falsehood that this polarization is based on a legitimate opposition of two political ideologies. In actuality, the divide between liberal and conservative has more to do with party branding than it does with concrete reality. While the policies and political history of the United States display relatively little systemic …

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On Catalonian Independence in an Era of Global Neoliberalism

Over the course of the last few months, news of the Catalonian Independence movement has been elevated onto the international arena. Yet, the European Union has repeatedly dismissed it as an exclusively internal affair to be dealt with by the Spanish government. In today’s globalized world, however, the situation does not exist in a vacuum. In his article titled, “Catalonia: Past and Future,” Luke Stobart says, “In all, throughout Catalonia’s modern history a general pattern can be identified: rather than Catalan national consciousness being a constant — ever-seeking to create or develop a national polity — it is a more variable reaction to the political and social limitations of the Spanish national project.” One of the most significant external forces to have a hand in the latest wave of Catalonian independent struggle is that of neoliberal economic policy, which has taken hold in Europe and beyond over the past fifty years. The European Union To understand how these forces are at play in the situation, it is necessary to zoom out and examine the trajectory of the EU in the …

Image: © R. Kikuo Johnson

Post-Truth & Late Modernity: Filling the Ideological Void

Post-Truth: a Crisis of the Intellectual Bourgeoisie In November 2016, just days after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, Oxford Dictionaries announced that its choice for Word of the Year was post-truth. There, it was defined as, “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion that appeals to emotion and personal belief”. Since the emergence of the term, there have already been numerous articles and even entire books written with sprawling commentary about why truth doesn’t seem to matter to people as it used to. Many of which are written by center-left intellectuals and journalists who lament the end of a time when fact was regarded with sanctity over opinion and veracity was revered. One of the central underpinnings to these analyses is the idea that the post-truthers helped to give rise to Trump, as sites like Breitbart and even the POTUS’s own words on Twitter have warped what is accepted into popular consciousness as valid grounds for basing our belief systems. The musings I’ve seen on the concept …

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On the Consumption of Current Events

Over the summer as I logged into the fourth dimensional reality that is Facebook, I noticed something I hadn’t before. As I watched my social network ride the wave from Harambe into the latest outrage about Brock Turner, I got to thinking about the point in Romeo and Juliet at which the impetuous Tybalt kills the clever and rye humored Mercutio in a duel at the height of a stifling heat wave. I began to wonder about the ways that this summer’s outrageous events functioned as a release for each of us to vent some of our own heat-induced neuroses. Fast forward through the stream of allegedly apocalyptic events to Trump’s election. It seemed that everyone with two thumbs and a blaring screen before them cared to weigh in on what happened. Most of the people on my feed took one polarized stance or another in what a more astute observer in my network likened to a Hobbesian trap. No doubt, a climactic sense of bitterness and resentment arose online between Trump’s supporters and his …