Hashtag politics: 4 key ways digital activism is inegalitarian

Many believe that the internet has made it easier for us to participate in political activism. But is that really true?

  • Protesting in person is costly in terms of money and resources; some people have children to take care of, jobs that can't be away from, or may not have time to attend a planning event.
  • The internet was supposed to be a way to sidestep this barrier to political activism. But this doesn't consider the other barriers preventing poor and working-class folks from participating in digital activism.
  • In particular, these people lack ASETs: access to computers, the skills to use them, the empowerment necessary to feel that using Twitter or other social media is for them, and the time to make use of digital platforms in an effective way.
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Why Slavoj Žižek is a communist, kind of

We know he is on the left, but why? And how left is left anyhow?

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  • Slavoj Žižek is perhaps the world's best known Marxist.
  • He has frequently argued for the replacement of capitalism with a new system.
  • His suggestions for what we do about capitalism are milder than you'd think though.
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Insiders and outsiders keep democracy alive: Whistleblowing, civil disobedience and discourse

From the Revolutionary War, to Rosa Parks and #MeToo, whistleblowing and civil disobedience are in America's DNA.

  • The first U.S. whistleblower protection law was passed unanimously in 1778 in response to the misconduct of Navy Commodore Esek Hopkins.
  • Whistleblowing and civil disobedience are tools of discourse that keep elites honest and protect democracy.
  • The difference? Whistleblowers are insiders who expose improper conduct to the authorities or to the press. Civil disobedience starts with outsiders whose actions slowly gain popular support, which then catalyzes change.
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Finally, white nationalists are being called terrorists. We need this to continue.

Over the weekend, Pete Buttigieg warned of the dangers of white national terrorism. Officials in El Paso agree.

Photographer: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • At a conference in Las Vegas, Pete Buttigieg said white national terrorism is being condoned at the highest levels of the American government.
  • Officials in El Paso are treating the recent mass shooting as a case of domestic terrorism.
  • Voices ranging from the NY Times Editorial Board to conservative author David French are calling for white nationalists to be labelled terrorists.
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Herve GLOAGUEN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

What does it take to overthrow a dictator? Reflecting on this question in exile, Leon Trotsky wrote in History of the Russian Revolution (1930):

There is no doubt that the fate of every revolution at a certain point is decided by a break in the disposition of the army … Thus in the streets and squares, by the bridges, at the barrack gates, is waged a ceaseless struggle – now dramatic, now unnoticeable – but always a desperate struggle, for the heart of the soldier.
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