Thursday, September 17, 2020

Manifestantes violentos nos EUA condenados a 20 anos de prisão?

Attorney General Bill Barr Encourages Federal Prosecutors To Charge Violent Protesters With Sedition, por Christian Britschgi (Reason):

Barr, according to a story published today by The Wall Street Journal, encouraged prosecutors on a conference call last week to charge violent protestors with federal offenses wherever possible. The attorney general encouraged the use of sedition charges even in contexts when state charges would apply, reports the Journal, which spoke to several people familiar with the call.

Federal sedition law makes it a crime for two or more people to "conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force" the U.S. government, and it comes with a potential penalty of 20 years in prison.

The invocation of rarely used sedition laws to go after protestors is raising alarm among civil libertarians and some legal experts.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Vaga de esterilizações nos campos de detenção do "SEF" dos EUA?

Provavelmente não - parece tratar-se de um médico que está a defraudar o ICE executando (?) procedimentos desnecessários e depois cobrando ao ICE.

"OK, Boomer"

Esta sequência de posts no twitter de Noah Smith, dizendo que afinal os maiores apoiantes de Trump não são os "boomers" (nascidos algures entre 46 e 64), mas sim a ala conservadora da "Geração X" (nascidos para aí entre 65 e 80), fez-me lembrar algo que há muito tempo estava a pensar escrever (este post estava nos rascunhos desde dezembro, ou seja, comecei a escrevê-lo ainda antes dos "boomers" entrarem na lista de espécies ameaçadas da WWF; depois deixei-o de molho exatamente porque o assunto tinha largamente sido abandonado).

É que desde para aí uns dois anos,  parecia ter havido uma inversão quase total dos estereótipos ideológicos tradicionalmente associados à geração "boomer".

Isto é, de há uns tempos para cá, surgiu a ideia que os "boomers" seriam uma geração particularmente conservadora (exemplo) - quando eu passei toda a minha juventude a ouvir falar que a "geração de 60" (a geração de Gloria Bunker e Michael Stivic, e também a de Steven e Elyse Keaton) era A GERAÇÃO PROGRESSISTA por excelência, não apenas mais progressista que as anteriores (o que é normal) mas até que as posteriores (era esse o ponto da série "Quem sai aos seus..." - o contraponto entre a progressista "geração de 60" e a conservadora "geração de 80")

Já agora, cá em Portugal eu passei a minha adolescência com as escolas secundárias dominadas pela JSD, e na primeira campanha eleitoral que dei nota, o liceu estava a abarrotar de autocolantes "P'rá Frente Portugal" - embora em Portugal houvesse a peculiaridade que a geração "progressista" não era tanto a dos nosso pais, mas sim  mas sim um misto de tios mais novos, primos afastados mais velhos e professores no principio de carreira (o pessoal na casa dos 30 anos, que tinha sido jovem nos nossos "anos 60" - 1974 e 1975; pelo menos uma prima afastada minha, então com 30 e tal anos, consta que ex-simpatante do PRP e típica "progressista nos costumes", era fã de uma série que havia na altura que era "Os Trintões" e dizia que representava bem a geração dela; essa série era por vezes descrita como o contraponto a "Quem sai aos seus...").

Sinais da mitificação da "geraçao de 60": ainda me lembro de há muitos anos (para aí em 1990) ter lido um artigo (penso que do João Martins Pereira, o já falecido ex-marido da Fátima Bonifácio... - ou será que mesmo isto é um exemplo da mudança do que se espera dum boomer?) que algures dizia "todos as pessoas entre os 30 e os 60 anos tendem a descrever-se como da geração de 60, grande abrigo anti-sismico mais seguro que as de 50 e de 70"; e alguém se lembra de por volta de 1973 ter surgido (com o impacto que teve) algum filme similar a "Os amigos de Alex", mas a evocar os anos 50? (o mais parecido seria o American Graffiti, mas muito longe - nem que seja porque o período que evoca é já o principio dos anos 60).

Isto talvez seja uma especificidade da chamada "Geração X", mas nós crescemos a ouvir associar a geração de 60 à geração dos contestatários e dos progressistas (sempre que havia um protesto de estudantes nos anos 80, alguém falava em "regresso aos anos 60?"), pelo que agora me dá alguma dissonância cognitiva a conversa do "OK Boomer"; por outro lado, també é verdade que "boomer" não é sinónimo de "geração de 60" - se adotarmos a definição de "nascido entre 1946 e 1964", isso incluirá também muitos dos então tão atacados yuppies dos anos 80 (mesmo o Alex P. Keaton era suposto, in-universe, ter nascido em 1965, logo só não seria um boomer por um ano).


Nota 1: suspeito que nestas coisa de conservadorsmo versus progressismo por gerações, há também 
uma grande mistura entre a função e a derivada, ou talvez até a segunda derivada...

Nota 2: tenho também uma ainda maior desconfiança face ao conceito de "geração X" (tenho também um post nos rascunhos sobre isso), que em Portugal abrangeria tanto a geração "Prá Frente Portugal" como a "geração rasca", largamente opostas; eu suspeito que há uma diferença marcada entre as pessoas da minha idade ou mais velhas (a típica geração de 80), e as mais novas que eu (a "geração rasca", e também a do grunge e, em Portugal, do rap).

[Post publicado no Vias de Facto; podem comentar lá]

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

"Cuties"/"Mignonnes" e o #CancelNetflix (II)

Cuties is Not What You Think, por Emina Melonic (Splice Today):
Maïmouna Doucouré’s directorial debut, Cuties (French: Mignonnes, 2020) has been consistently under attack since Netflix released it on September 9. Netflix’s promotional poster and trailer primarily includes a group of 11-year-old girls dancing in a sexually suggestive manner, and it’s caused an uproar. The rage has extended beyond mindless, uninformed noise. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) have officially filed a letter to Attorney General William Barr to investigate Netflix for the distribution of child pornography. (...)

Setting aside the absurdity of this controversy, Doucouré’s film is an exploration of the difficulty young girls face growing up in today’s demanding society. The story centers on Amy, a Senegalese 11-year-old girl, who’s caught between two cultures: her fundamentalist Muslim upbringing and the disordered, libertine culture of France. This is already a problem for a young immigrant girl, but the added issue of the Internet culture that forces girls into a hyper-sexualized image creates an even bigger interior conflict for Amy. (...)

Amy does make a choice. She leaves the metaphysical and cultural stage of destructive reality that the overly secular society imposes on her. In her room, the skimpy outfit she wore during the dance competition and the traditional Senegalese dress she’s supposed to wear at her father’s wedding are left in the room. Now, she wears simple jeans and an elegant sweater, as she leaves the apartment complex and jumps rope with different neighborhood girls. It’s Amy’s face that is finally affirmed.

O radicalismo político como forma de fugir ao tédio?

Going to political extremes in response to boredom, por Wijnand A. P. Van Tilburg e Eric R. Igou (European Journal of Social Psychology):

Boredom makes people attempt to re‐establish a sense of meaningfulness. Political ideologies, and in particular the adherence to left‐ versus right‐wing beliefs, can serve as a source of meaning. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that boredom is associated with a stronger adherence to left‐ versus right‐wing beliefs, resulting in more extreme political orientations. Study 1 demonstrates that experimentally induced boredom leads to more extreme political orientations. Study 2 indicates that people who become easily bored with their environment adhere to more extreme ends of a political spectrum compared with their less easily bored counterparts. Finally, Study 3 reveals that the relatively extreme political orientations among those who are easily bored can be attributed to their enhanced search for meaning. Overall, our research suggests that extreme political orientations are, in part, a function of boredom's existential qualities.
Uma coisa que isto me fez pensar foi no livro "Admirável Mundo Novo", de Huxley; pessoalmente, acho a parte "subjetiva" (as motivações dos personagens) da história mais interessante que a parte "objetiva" (a descrição da sociedade e da tecnologia): isto, o tipo de sociedade apresentado no livro não me parece ter grande relevância para os dias de hoje, mas suspeito que a psicologia de personagens como Bernard Marx, o amigo publicitário ou o Selvagem explica muito a psicologia de "descontentes" em vários contextos sociais - sobretudo o desejo de ter uma grande causa a que se dedicar, em vez de uma vida banal "narrada por um idiota".

Teoria da ferradura (variante "vamos tomar conta do estado daqui a uns meses, mas queremos acabar com ele")?

Pondo no google (sem aspas) um frase de 1920 de Mussolini contra o estado, a primeira coisa que aparece é "O Estado e a Revolução", de Lenine (onde este, em 1917, também defende que o estado deve começar a desaparecer).

Vaga de esterilizações nos campos de detenção do "SEF" dos EUA?

‘Like an Experimental Concentration Camp’: Whistleblower Complaint Alleges Mass Hysterectomies at ICE Detention Center, por Jerry Lambe (Law and Crime):

Several legal advocacy groups on Monday filed a whistleblower complaint on behalf of a nurse at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center documenting “jarring medical neglect” within the facility, including a refusal to test detainees for the novel coronavirus and an exorbitant rate of hysterectomies being performed on immigrant women. (...)

Multiple women came forward to tell Project South about what they perceived to be the inordinate rate at which women in ICDC were subjected to hysterectomies – a surgical operation in which all or part of the uterus is removed. Additionally, many of the immigrant women who underwent the procedure were reportedly “confused” when asked to explain why they had the surgery, with one detainee likening their treatment to prisoners in concentration camps.

“Recently, a detained immigrant told Project South that she talked to five different women detained at ICDC between October and December 2019 who had a hysterectomy done,” the complaint stated. “When she talked to them about the surgery, the women ‘reacted confused when explaining why they had one done.’ The woman told Project South that it was as though the women were ‘trying to tell themselves it’s going to be OK.’”

Monday, September 14, 2020

2020?

Há uns tempos, no princípio do confinamento, escrevi algures num comentário do Facebook que de certeza que a epidemia e o confinamento iriam aparecer, daqui a uns anos, como pano de fundo ou tema de vários filmes.

Mas depois comecei a duvidar disso, já que as gripes asiática e de Hong Kong mataram muito mais gente e penso que a única marca que deixaram na cultura popular foi uma história do Pato Donald, que inclui também motins nas ruas e extra-terrestres*.

*diga-se que, além da história de hoje da fosfina venusiana, há vários meses que andam a correr notícias, na imprensa de referência e/ou com fontes institucionais, relacionadas com OVNIs.

O fim do moderno conservadorismo "liberal na economia, conservador nos costumes"?

Talvez um pouco em sentido contrário ao post anterior...

The Failure of Fusionism, por Grant Wyeth, na Quillette:

Conservative parties throughout the West are in crisis. This may not be fully understood by simply looking at recent election results, as conservative parties have continued to win elections. But these parties are currently in a state of ideological flux, and their commitment to existing liberal democratic principles and institutions are in noticeable decay. The conventional perception of conservative parties as steady and secure governing hands has made way for a more volatile and agitated form of politics. Parties that have routinely positioned themselves as defenders of the established order have instead become actively hostile to it. Conservative parties, the Economist noted last year, are now “on fire and dangerous.” (...)

The forces of freer markets; their unanchored spontaneous order, their economic and social creative destruction, and their inherent cosmopolitanism have deeply affronted those of a conservative disposition. With conservative parties accelerating these forces, Fusionism became an ideology in constant conflict with itself, failing to create a harmonious set of ideas to advance, and instead fostering a sense of discord and disorder for these parties’ natural constituents.

A história do moderno conservadorismo norte-americano

The Long New Right and the World It Made [pdf], por Daniel Schlozman e Sam Rosenfeld

Um aspeto interessante é a referência que os autores fazem ao "pequeno grande capital" - que a base da chamada "nova direita" tem sido as pessoas e famílias que são "ricas" a nível local e regional, não tanto o "grande capital" a nível nacional, e que será isso que explica como a combinação de liberalismo económico e populismo cultural aguentou estas décadas todas (já que o pequeno grande capital se identifica tanto com o liberalismo económico como com o populismo cultural).

Mas acho que se calhar o trumpismo desatualiza um bocado isso (mesmo sendo um paper de 2019); a mim parece-me que o movimento que os autores descrevem no artigo corresponde largamente aos apoiantes de Ted Cruz nas eleições de 2016 (que não a lado nenhum), e que está a surgir uma nova "nova direita" que largamente põe o liberalismo económico na gaveta.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Ainda sobre "discurso de ódio"

French book I Hate Men sees sales boom after government adviser calls for ban, em The Guardian:

Pauline Harmange’s Moi les hommes, je les déteste explores whether women “have good reason to hate men”, and whether “anger towards men is actually a joyful and emancipatory path, if it is allowed to be expressed”. Its small French publisher, Monstrograph, called it a “feminist and iconoclastic book” that “defends misandry as a way of making room for sisterhood”.


Ralph Zurmély, a special adviser to France’s ministry for gender equality, called it an “ode to misandry”. Zurmély, in an email obtained by Mediapart, told Monstrograph that “incitement to hatred on the grounds of gender is a criminal offence”, and asked the publisher to pull the book from publication “on pain of criminal prosecution”.
A respeito disto, Jesse Walker escreve: «This is both a "Hate speech laws will be used against the left too" story and a "Censorship can make things more popular" story.».

Como as leis contra o "discurso de ódio" acabam por atingir a esquerda

In Europe, Hate Speech Laws are Often Used to Suppress and Punish Left-Wing Viewpoints, por Gleen Greenwald, no Intercept:

If hate speech laws existed in the U.S., their prime targets would be pro-Palestinian groups, Muslims, atheists, Black Lives Matter activists, and antifa. (...)

 An excellent Guardian article on Monday by Julia Carrie Wong examines the implications of the growing liberal/left desire for “hate speech” to be restricted — either by the state wielding the power of “hate speech” laws or by private tech executives prohibiting the use of their platforms to disseminate what they regard as “hateful ideas." (...)

Many Americans who long for Europe’s hate speech restrictions assume that those laws are used to outlaw and punish expression of the bigoted ideas they most hate: racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny. Often, such laws are used that way. There are numerous cases in western Europe and Canada of far-right extremists being arrested, fined, or even jailed for publicly spouting that type of overt bigotry.

But hate speech restrictions are used in those countries to suppress, outlaw, and punish more than far-right bigotry. Those laws have frequently been used to constrain and sanction a wide range of political views that many left-wing censorship advocates would never dream could be deemed “hateful,” and even against opinions which many of them likely share.

France is probably the most extreme case of hate speech laws being abused in this manner. In 2015, France’s highest court upheld the criminal conviction of 12 pro-Palestinian activists for violating restrictions against hate speech. Their crime? Wearing T-shirts that advocated a boycott of Israel — “Long live Palestine, boycott Israel,” the shirts read — which, the court ruled, violated French law that “prescribes imprisonment or a fine of up to $50,000 for parties that ‘provoke discrimination, hatred or violence toward a person or group of people on grounds of their origin, their belonging or their not belonging to an ethnic group, a nation, a race or a certain religion.'”
Uma coisa peculiar a respeito do "discurso de ódio" é que frequentemente as mesmas pessoas que acham que a polícia e o sistema judicial são racistas, estão dispostas a atribuir a esse mesmo sistema judicial o papel de poder decidir o que se pode ou não dizer.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Sobre Twitter e blogues

The World That Twitter Made, em The Scholar's Stage:

In many ways the twitter experience of the user with a low follower account is somewhat similar to the experience of the old blogosphere. Many of my readers came to the internet in the 2010s; before I proceed with this point it is probably sketching out just what the internet was like in the world before them. That internet was organized differently. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Medium, Reddit, and Instagram either did not exist then or were the preserve of teenagers and university age students. Those platforms were for flirting and goofing off and gossiping behind your parents back. People who wanted to discuss bigger things—culture, art, history, science, business, politics, or what have you—went to the blogs. Well, the blogs and the forums.

There were two aspects of this older internet ecology that set it apart from the current get up. The first was its clear division into hundreds of separate communities.(...)

 This leads to the second big difference between the internet of the aughts and the internet of the 2010s: the standards for participation were different—in some ways the barrier to entry was both higher and lower than on twitter. In the old days people used to say "if you don't like it, make your own blog!" That directive was easy to follow. It is near impossible for someone de-platformed from twitter to create some new twitter to replace it; in contrast, anybody really could create their own blog (and forums were not hard to stand up either).

But if writers were to have people read their blogs, then their blogs had to be good. This was the price of participation. On twitter, anybody who can think up a snarky 140 characters retort can contribute to the "conversation." In the blogosphere, you had to create your own blog and write up your thoughts in long-form.(...)

The twitter user with 500~ followers in some ways exists in a world similar to the blogosphere of old. She is part of a small, self-selected community. Her followers chose to follow her because they are sympathetic with her ideas or at least interested in them. It is not difficult to have open and honest exchanges when you swim in safe waters. Most people in her network know her, and she knows most of them, so there is little incentive for mischief.

This changes with scale.
Um dia deste, se calhar vou experimentar essa coisa do Twitter (mas por outro lado, pelo que tenho lido, desconfio que já está na fase do declínio).

Friday, September 11, 2020

‘Cuties’/Mignonnes e o #CancelNetflix

Pelo que eu percebo, a mensagem do filme é capaz de ser muito semelhante às opiniões dos supostos críticos do filme.

The people freaking out about ‘Cuties’ should try it. They might find a lot to like, por Alyssa Rosenberg, no Washington Post:

It’s a real shame that so many conservatives are condemning “Cuties” when they might find a great deal to like about the movie — and no, I don’t mean they harbor a secret taste for twerking preteens.

This is very much a film about what happens to kids when their parents aren’t physically or emotionally present in their lives. It’s highly skeptical of social media platforms and what sexualized mainstream culture teaches children about what behavior is normal or desirable. Though its characters post provocative dance videos and wear revealing costumes, “Cuties” doesn’t present their actions as liberated or admirable: Instead, the movie repeatedly shows other characters reacting with sadness or disgust when these girls try to act like grown women.
AD

The triumphant climax of the movie isn’t a dance competition, but when Amy returns to age-appropriate clothes and games, finding an authentic version of herself in acting like the gummy-bear scarfing, giggly girl she was earlier in the film. In that moment, Amy is not bound by the religious and cultural traditions she found so constraining, but she’s not trying to live up to a different and equally restrictive idea of what it means to be a girl, either.

Os EUA à beira de uma insurreição? (II)

A respeito disto, eu imagino 4 situações que possam dar origem a uma revolta armada nos EUA nos próximos tempos:


a) Biden ganhar o voto popular mas Trump o colégio eleitoral, sobretudo se a "vitória" de Biden no sufrágio individual for por uma margem maior que a de Hillary

b) Haver alguma polémica (estilo Florida em 2000) decisiva para o resultado, e um decisão do Supremo, com todos os juizes "liberais" votando contra, dar a presidência a Trump

c) Biden for eleito, mas, antes da tomada de posse morrer ,algum juiz do Supremo Tribunal (RBG?) e os o presidente e o senado cessantes nomearem à pressa um conservador para o lugar

d) Trump ser reeleito e decretar alguma "ordem executiva" procedendo ao que na prática sejam mudanças constitucionais, como o número de imigrantes ilegais deixar de contar para a distribuição de lugares no congresso (bem, ele já tentou isso, mas talvez tentando mudar uns detalhes) ou os filhos de imigrantes ilegais deixarem de ser automaticamente cidadãos (ainda mais se isso for conjugado com com a) ou b))

e) Biden ser eleito e os Democratas terem a maioria no Senado e na Câmara e aproveitarem isso para fazer mudanças constitucionais de facto, como aumentarem o número de membros da Câmara dos Representantes (o que diminuiria o peso dos pequenos estados no Colégio Eleitoral - e até na própria Câmara, devido à regra que cada estado tem que ter no mínimo um representante), promoverem Porto Rico ou a cidade de Washington a estados ou aumentarem o número de membros do Supremo Tribunal (o que signficaria que os novos membros seriam Democratas) - tudo coisas que podem ser feitas por legislação ordinária sem mexer na constituição, mas que mudariam significativamente as regras do jogo

Neste cenários, só no último imagino uma rebelião vinda da direita; em todos os outros seria vinda da esquerda.

Ver também o post de 2012, Cenário para um guerra civil nos EUA.

Os EUA à beira de uma insurreição? (I)

One of the world’s leading counterinsurgency experts is alarmed by what he sees.

David Kilcullen is one of the world’s leading authorities on insurgencies. For decades he has studied them. As an infantry soldier in the Australian army and an adviser to the U.S. Army, he’s fought against them. His latest scholarly work has focused on their role in urban conflicts.

So when Kilcullen says that America is in a state of “incipient insurgency,” it’s worth sitting up, taking notice, and trembling just a little.
America in 2020: “Insurrection” or “Incipient Insurgency”?, por David Kilcullen (Fundation for the Desense of Democracy):
Thus, as this month’s disorder fades, the main long-term impact may be its radicalizing effect on a tiny minority of participants who join more violent groups as a result. It is commonplace in insurgencies for guerrilla talent spotters to identify recruits through street violence, inducting them into armed, organized groups over time. More broadly, the military concept of insurgency –subversion plus violence, intended to seize, nullify, or challenge political control – may be more applicable here than insurrection.

A centralização e a Revolução Francesa, vistas por Marx e Engels em 1850 e 1885

Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League (Março de 1850):

...The democrats will either work directly towards a federated republic, or at least, if they cannot avoid the one and indivisible republic they will attempt to paralyze the central government by granting the municipalities and provinces the greatest possible autonomy and independence. In opposition to this plan the workers must not only strive for one and indivisible German republic, but also, within this republic, for the most decisive centralization of power in the hands of the state authority. They should not let themselves be led astray by empty democratic talk about the freedom of the municipalities, self-government, etc. In a country like Germany, where so many remnants of the Middle Ages are still to be abolished, where so much local and provincial obstinacy has to be broken down, it cannot under any circumstances be tolerated that each village, each town and each province may put up new obstacles in the way of revolutionary activity, which can only be developed with full efficiency from a central point. A renewal of the present situation, in which the Germans have to wage a separate struggle in each town and province for the same degree of progress, can also not be tolerated. Least of all can a so-called free system of local government be allowed to perpetuate a form of property which is more backward than modern private property and which is everywhere and inevitably being transformed into private property; namely communal property, with its consequent disputes between poor and rich communities. Nor can this so-called free system of local government be allowed to perpetuate, side by side with the state civil law, the existence of communal civil law with its sharp practices directed against the workers. As in France in 1793, it is the task of the genuinely revolutionary party in Germany to carry through the strictest centralization....
Nota de Engels em 1885:
It must be recalled today that this passage is based on a misunderstanding. At that time – thanks to the Bonapartist and liberal falsifiers of history – it was considered as established that the French centralised machine of administration had been introduced by the Great Revolution and in particular that it had been used by the Convention as an indispensable and decisive weapon for defeating the royalist and federalist reaction and the external enemy. It is now, however, a well-known fact that throughout the revolution up to the eighteenth Brumaire c the whole administration of the départements, arrondissements and communes consisted of authorities elected by, the respective constituents themselves, and that these authorities acted with complete freedom within the general state laws; that precisely this provincial and local self-government, similar to the American, became the most powerful lever of the revolution and indeed to such an extent that Napoleon, immediately after his coup d’état of the eighteenth Brumaire, hastened to replace it by the still existing administration by prefects, which, therefore, was a pure instrument of reaction from the beginning. But no more than local and provincial self-government is in contradiction to political, national centralisation, is it necessarily bound up with that narrow-minded cantonal or communal self-seeking which strikes us as so repulsive in Switzerland, and which all the South German federal republicans wanted to make the rule in Germany in 1849.