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American Politics

Mike Davis’s Specificities

Mike Davis’s Specificities

Repetitious and reductive appeals to the universal never satisfied him

The US working class was forged, for Davis, through its compounded historical defeat, which gave it a distinctive contradictory, battered, and lumpy form that could not be evened out through appeals to abstraction. Most importantly, the cycle of defeat and accommodation had separated the official labor movement from the Black working class, which he saw as the only possible “cutting edge” for socialist politics.

Migizi Will Fly

Migizi Will Fly

The Indigenous-led movement to stop Line 3

It felt insane leaving our comrades in the ditch like that. In the hands of the police. In the dry and desecrated earth, under the anger and irritation of the police and the workers and hecklers. Treating us like we’re crazy, and useless, and dangerous, too.

Fighting from Inside

Fighting from Inside

Prison litigation as a conduit for resistance

On paper, legislators passed the Prison Litigation Reform Act to halt what congresspeople erroneously called an epidemic of “meritless” prisoner-initiated lawsuits clogging court dockets. But the law’s effect — crushing imprisoned people’s access to the courts and limiting the federal courts’ power to remedy heinous prison conditions, especially via population control orders — was to severely narrow a key terrain of struggle for imprisoned people fighting not only for relief from abusive treatment and inhumane conditions, but also against the expansion of an intensifying regime of racialized mass imprisonment.

The Burglaries Were Never the Story

The Burglaries Were Never the Story

Punctuated by Watergate, the Nixon Administration has been evacuated of its historical import

The historical insights of one era have been lost to the journalistic instincts of another. Whereas we understand how a growing country in the late 19th century could be brought together by open collusion of business interests, we give little attention today to how changing commercial opportunities during the Vietnam War might have torn apart the political accommodations that followed World War II. Watergate’s place in this history today is but a hairline fracture to the New Deal Order; a symbol rather than a decisive moment.