It’s so disheartening to hear of the passing of Michael Brooks today. Of the contemporary media on the Left, he stood out to me and thousand others with his intellectual curiosity, a firm internationalism, and his personal interest in synthesizing spirituality and politics.
I’m separating the Asides category, along with Links, from the main feed of this blog. Asides are more informal, ephemeral posts that don’t make sense between other things I’ve been writing about. The RSS feed still aggregates everything.
I didn’t take my own advice from last year and installed the iOS14 beta on my phone for a few days. I’ve now learned my lesson and have a fully functioning phone after spending the morning getting everything back to normal.
I’ve been sensing more clearly that expressions like bismillah, alhamdulillah, allahu akbar, and subhanallah vibrate on a higher frequency. When we say it, we tune in to those frequencies. They also double as affirmations. A lot of this New Age spiritual “manifestation” culture has existed for centuries in the Qur’an.
Going down the rabbit hole of leftwing tendencies is enlightening. Before today, I didn’t know what council communism or who Anton Pannekoek was, but ultimately it is an exercise in futility. The left fractures, and the reactionaries cohere much more easily. The project of keeping things the same or traditional lends itself to cohesion, whereas radicals and people for change have their own ideas of the future and readings of the past of what went wrong and right.
I’ve been thinking about this tension within the concept of a vanguard party, espoused by Marxist-Leninists, or dual power and mutual aid groups, preferred by anarchists. I’ve historically though myself more in favor of decentralization, but when confronted with the problem of climate change, perhaps a centralized project is worth considering. 🤷🏼♂️