[3], Angela Nagle grounds her critique of the left in her book Kill All Normies on Fisher's essay. Cut and dried, finished, condemned. Say: don’t be hasty, we have to think more deeply about this. Mona Eltahawy Feminist author, commentator and disruptor of patriarchy. The whole tone was horrifyingly high-handed, as if they were a schoolteacher marking a child’s work, or a psychiatrist assessing a patient. I’ve long been an admirer of Brand – one of the few big-name comedians on the current scene to come from a working class background. In the febrile McCarthyite atmosphere fermented by the moralising left, remarks that could be construed as sexist mean that Brand is a sexist, which also meant that he is a misogynist. [2], Michael Brooks' book Against the Web pulls heavily on concepts from "Exiting the Vampire Castle" to highlight the limits he observes in the tactics of the left. Dorothy Fortenberry, playwright and writer on The Handmaid’s Tale, talks about gender and politics, the work women do, the importance of institutions, the #Resistance, and more. Be part of the show! Trump and Pence claim that industrial jobs are “booming” under their leadership. Her latest book ‘The Seven Necessary Sins For Women and Girls’ took her disruption worldwide. New articulations can always be created. The first law of the Vampires’ Castle is: individualise and privatise everything. James. They call themselves left wing, but – as the Brand episode has made clear – they are in many ways a sign that the left – defined as an agent in a class struggle – has all but disappeared. Help us hold our leaders to account and plan for a future after lockdown. (This last claim could only be heard by the cloth-eared petit-bourgeois narcissistic ‘left’ as Brand saying that he wanted to lead the revolution – something that they responded to with typical resentment: ‘I don’t need a jumped-up celebrity to lead me‘.) The interests of the working class are the interests of all; the interests of the bourgeoisie are the interests of capital, which are the interests of no-one. Though I am unfamiliar with the particular comedian and the imbroglio that was the impetus for the article, it certainly seems to ring true. In Lordstown and Indianapolis, local labor organizers tell a different story. The #EndSARS protests have done what so many political leaders have failed to do: unite the citizens of Nigeria behind a common cause. Ben Fletcher, once one of the most important black labor figures in the United States, has faded into obscurity. Earlier this year, there were some high-profile twitterstorms, in which particular left-identifying figures were ‘called out’ and condemned. The petit bourgeoisie which dominates the academy and the culture industry has all kinds of subtle deflections and pre-emptions which prevent the topic even coming up, and then, if it does come up, they make one think it is a terrible impertinence, a breach of etiquette, to raise it. Ian Bassin Co-founder and executive director of Protect Democracy, legal experts working to prevent the corruption of the elections. The Vampires’ Castle specialises in propagating guilt. I’ve noticed a fascinating magical inversion projection-disavowal mechanism whereby the sheer mention of class is now automatically treated as if that means one is trying to downgrade the importance of race and gender. The VC’s pious moralising has been a feature of a certain ‘left’ for many years – but, if one wasn’t a member of this particular church, its sermons could be avoided. Some of these working class types are not terribly well brought up, and can be very rude at times. Brand makes people feel good about themselves; whereas the moralising left specialises in making people feed bad, and is not happy until their heads are bent in guilt and self-loathing. Humour isn’t serious, by definition, right? But it’s the next move which is the kicker. Be part of the show! If this seems like a forbidding and daunting task, it is. Exhausted through overwork, incapable of productive activity, I found myself drifting through social networks, feeling my depression and exhaustion increasing. The third law of the Vampires’ Castle is: propagate as much guilt as you can. The second libidinal formation is neo-anarchism. Fisher argues that a largely-online style of identity-based leftist discourse grounded in "witch-hunting moralism" halts productive leftist discourse and undermines class politics. But such questioning should take place in an atmosphere of comradeship and solidarity, and probably not in public in the first instance – although when Brand was questioned about sexism by Mehdi Hasan, he displayed exactly the kind of good-humoured humility that was entirely lacking in the stony faces of those who had judged him. The Antifada podcast has aparently created a vampire-centric spin-off inspired, in part, by this article as well. It’s OK to be class-privileged if you feel guilty about privilege and make others in a subordinate class position to you feel guilty too. (Many of what we call ‘conspiracies’ are the ruling class showing class solidarity.) [2] Fisher saw the turn from class and materialism towards identity as a move from objective outward-facing goals to subjective inward goals that result in fragmentation of the left's efforts and community. We need to learn, or re-learn, how to build comradeship and solidarity instead of doing capital’s work for it by condemning and abusing each other. Born and raised in the Midlands, Fisher was formatively influenced in his youth by the late-1970s post-punk music press, particularly papers such as NME which crossed music with politics, film, and fiction. As an alternative to the condemnation and alienation common among leftists of the Castle, Brooks proposes a "cosmopolitan socialism" building on the works of Cornel West, Amartya Sen, and C. L. R. There’s also a shocking but revealing aside where the individual casually refers to Brand’s ‘patchy education [and] the often wince-inducing vocab slips characteristic of the auto-didact’ – which, this individual generously says, ‘I have no problem with at all’ – how very good of them! It must be remembered that the aim of our struggle is not recognition by the bourgeoisie, nor even the destruction of the bourgeoisie itself. A massive round of Disney Parks layoffs is acutely felt in Florida. Notice the tactics. With voter suppression an established fact, legal challenges to the result likely and violence disturbingly possible, we are bringing together some of the best minds in law, activism and journalism to find out where we are, and where we are headed. The problem that the Vampires’ Castle was set up to solve is this: how do you hold immense wealth and power while also appearing as a victim, marginal and oppositional? The danger in attacking the Vampires’ Castle is that it can look as if – and it will do everything it can to reinforce this thought – that one is also attacking the struggles against racism, sexism, heterosexism. We also discuss the aftermath of the viscous austerity imposed by the Troika, […], Jamie and Sean continue the discussion of historical and contemporary left communism by addressing listener questions from Discord, Twitter, and elsewhere. Sadly, the right act on this insight more effectively than the left does. So the VC has recourse to all the infernal strategies, dark pathologies and psychological torture instruments Christianity invented, and which Nietzsche described in The Genealogy of Morals. The structural conditions shaping care work are highly exploitative—and are profoundly linked to the high degree of COVID-19’s spread within both long-term care facilities and the communities that supply their labor force. This isn’t some colonial bureaucrat writing about his attempts to teach some ‘natives’ the English language in the nineteenth century, or a Victorian schoolmaster at some private institution describing a scholarship boy, it’s a ‘leftist’ writing a few weeks ago. I kept hearing again and again about this 2013 essay on some of the socialist podcasts I subscribe to– The Majority Report family of podcasts, but also Chapo Trap House, and Best of the Left too. There must be no lightness, and certainly no humour. A political history of the present moment. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we must always agree – on the contrary, we must create conditions where disagreement can take place without fear of exclusion and excommunication. Be part of the show! The Vampires’ Castle was born the moment when the struggle not to be defined by identitarian categories became the quest to have ‘identities’ recognised by a bourgeois big Other. It forgets, or perhaps is genuinely unaware of, the Labour Party’s role in nationalising major industries and utilities or founding the National Health Service. What’s important is that the post was symptomatic of a set of snobbish and condescending attitudes that it is apparently alright to exhibit while still classifying oneself as left wing. Remember: having convictions is oppressive, and might lead to gulags. You do some good works for the poor, too, right? […], Happy Mischief Night! While in theory it claims to be in favour of structural critique, in practice it never focuses on anything except individual behaviour. It is the class structure – a structure that wounds everyone, even those who materially profit from it – that must be destroyed. Someone passed me a post written about Brand on Facebook. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we must always agree – on the contrary, we must create conditions where disagreement can take place without fear of exclusion and excommunication. A discussion about “Fiasco: The Battle for Boston,” the weird and wild 1970s, and Ronald Reagan’s path to victory. It is driven by a priest’s desire to excommunicate and condemn, an academic-pedant’s desire to be the first to be seen to spot a mistake, and a hipster’s desire to be one of the in-crowd. The goal is not to ‘be’ an activist, but to aid the working class to activate – and transform – itself. Remember: condemning individuals is always more important than paying attention to impersonal structures. The solution was already there – in the Christian Church. While fluidity of identity, pluraity and multiplicity are always claimed on behalf of the VC members – partly to cover up their own invariably wealthy, privileged or bourgeois-assimilationist background – the enemy is always to be essentialized. More importantly, however, it offers us a chance to think about how … There’s a strange implicit rule here: it’s OK to protest against what parliament has done, but it’s not alright to enter into parliament or the mass media to attempt to engineer change from there. For some of us, Brand’s forensic take-down of Paxman was intensely moving, miraculous; I couldn’t remember the last time a person from a working class background had been given the space to so consummately destroy a class ‘superior’ using intelligence and reason. X has made a remark/ has behaved in a particular way – these remarks/ this behaviour might be construed as transphobic/ sexist etc. Our struggle must be towards the construction of a new and surprising world, not the preservation of identities shaped and distorted by capital. Exiting the Vampire Castle. I’ve been speaking now at left-wing, anti-capitalist events for years, but I’ve rarely talked – or been asked to talk – about class in public. The second law of the Vampires’ Castle is: make thought and action appear very, very difficult.

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