Discover more from Singal-Minded
Win A Copy Of "American Resistance," A Book About, Well, American Resistance
What You’ve Missed Recently If You’re Not A Paid Subscriber, In Rhyming Form
Some Lingering Thoughts On Cancellation, Whatever That Is
I learned recently in The New York Times
that I had been convicted of a very vague crime.
My articles and tweets, as Problematic as can be,
led to several people ‘cancelling’ me.
This Potentially Society-Destroying Party Game Blew My Mind And You Should Play It
The game I played last Friday eve
made me so uncomfortable, at times, that I wanted to leave.
(But in a good way, I swear — it lent some insights
about human beings and our dumb petty fights.)
Three More Gender-Dysphoria Stories, Three More Sources Of Misinformation
If reporting on GD doesn’t improve, and soon
I shall launch myself into the sun with a hot-air balloon.
Book Giveaway: American Resistance: From the Women's March to the Blue Wave
Trump! Remember that guy? If you don’t, he’s the president of America. He won even though he lost the popular vote by three million (though, to be fair, that margin consists entirely of undocumented immigrants, many of them terrorists, smuggled to polling places in George Soros’s fleet of dirigibles). This led to… problems. But a lot of people organized to fight back against him, and Dana Fisher, a wonderful sociologist who studies social movements and protest, has written a new book about the anti-Trumpsters efforts.
I just did a Q&A with her for ArcDigital. An appetizer for the book:
SINGAL: On the other side of the ledger: Feel free to skip naming names — or maybe name away, since it will only help this article get eyeballs! — but what are the sorts of things you see from activist groups that give you pause, because they strike you as potentially ineffective or even counterproductive?
FISHER: In many ways the experiences of the national Women’s March organization provide a cautionary tale about how too much control from the top can be divisive in this era of distributed organizing.
The many challenges and obstacles that plagued this group have been well documented in the media. Although the controversy surrounding the group’s leaders’ supporting Louis Farrakhan and his remarks received the lion’s share of the attention, there were many more organizational challenges that stem from different philosophies about leadership and organizational structure. In contrast to the many Resistance groups (including Indivisible) that share their name and their logo freely through Google Drive, etc., with very limited barriers to access, the National Women’s March Group took a number of steps to “protect its brand.” Efforts to control who used the name of the group, its logo, as well as reports about it limiting access to activist Slack channels that it coordinated are all indications of a top-down leadership philosophy.
Research has found that this type of centralized control can be effective in certain circumstances. However, my research from the American Resistance project over the past few years provides ample evidence that participants in this movement are uncomfortable with these kinds of constraints; they do not respond positively to being told what to do or how to do it.
I’ve got three copies to give away to United-States-based readers who are subscribed to either the paid or free editions of Singal-Minded. As always, one copy is reserved for a paid subscriber, which effectively increases your odds if you take that plunge. DISCLOSURE: Columbia University Press, the publisher, threw a little salon thing when the book was published, and I attended and drank their wine and ate their vegetarian sushi and met Dana in person for the first time. But I’d been following her work for a long time, and drew upon it heavily for a 2016 piece for New York Mag’s website I’m still quite pleased with, so I feel decidedly unbribed (though the sushi was good).
Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘resistance’ by 5:00 pm Eastern, Friday night. If you’ve won, you’ll hear from me by the end of the weekend.
Also, while we’re on the subject, watch this.