sarahpessin@sarahpessin.com

Highlights

Some other things to consider as we work to make sense of rising tides of Anti-Democracy…

Note: I explore thinkers based on one or both of two criteria: Their anti-democracy ideas are (1) in the public record (publications, talks, credible interviews, etc.) and/or (2) being referenced (described, analyzed, etc.) in credible scholarship or news sources as actively influencing contemporary anti-democracy efforts. While I myself find anti-democracy dangerous, it does not follow that someone who explores anti-democracy is dangerous: It is possible that they are or that they are not; but regardless of their intentions, it is possible that their ideas generate dangerous possibilities that they did not envision.

Accelerationism:

  • A Manifesto by Williams and Srnicek here (Critical Legal Thinking (CLN), 2013)
  • Ben Noys’ critique of accelerationism as a form of neoliberalism here (2010)
  • Jose Rosales on “Deleuze and the Accelerationists” here (Critical Legal Thinking (CLN), 2014)
Find a fact sheet here.
Reader from 2014 on Amazon here.

Christianity and Alt-Right (1.1.18, C-SPAN) (1.1.18)- (My thanks to Jerome for helping direct me to some of the materials below and to helping me better grasp some of the issues at play; any errors in interpretation or otherwise are of course my own)

There are both Christian and anti-Christian dimensions of the phenomenon and scholars and interpreters need to be attentive to both and how they play off one another.”

Dr. Jerome Copulsky (19:24 minute marker in Christianity and Alt-Right, 1.1.18)

New strains of anti-democracy from ‘New Catholic’ Right (Vanity Fair, 4.20.22)

An Excerpt:

Also, Thiel is funding Blake Masters (Arizona) who connects God and guns; and he makes clear that he means guns for killing people, not hunting deer. Watch the commercial this pic is from, and read more here.

[Peter] Thiel has given more than $10 million to super PACs supporting the men’s candidacies [i.e. J.D. Vance, running for the Republican nomination in Ohio, and Blake Masters in Arizona], and both are personally close to him…These three—Thiel, Vance, Masters—are all friends with Curtis Yarvin, a 48-year-old ex-programmer and blogger who has done more than anyone to articulate the world historical critique and popularize the key terms of the New Right. You’ll often hear people in this world—again under many layers of irony—call him things like Lord Yarvin, or Our Prophet”

“This New Right is heavily populated by people with graduate degrees, so there’s a lot of debate about who is in it and whether or not it even exists. At one end are the NatCons, post-liberals, and traditionalist figures like Benedict Option author Rod Dreher, who envision a conservatism reinvigorated by an embrace of localist values, religious identity, and an active role for the state in promoting everything from marriage to environmental conservation. But there’s also a highly online set of Substack writers, podcasters, and anonymous Twitter posters—“our true intellectual elite,” as one podcaster describes them.

This group encompasses everyone from rich crypto bros and tech executives to back-to-the-landers to disaffected members of the American intellectual class, like Up in the Air author Walter Kirn, whose fulminations against groupthink and techno-authoritarianism have made him an unlikely champion to the dissident right and heterodox fringe. But they share a the basic worldview: that individualist liberal ideology, increasingly bureaucratic governments, and big tech are all combining into a world that is at once tyrannical, chaotic, and devoid of the systems of value and morality that give human life richness and meaning—as Blake Masters recently put it, a “dystopian hell-world.”…”

– James Pogue, “Inside the New Right, Where Peter Theil is Placing His Biggest Bets,” Vanity Fair, 4.20.22