Category Archives: Discourse

Giveaways from Last Night’s Republican Primary Debate.

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If immediately after turning off your television you didn’t feel like you were being quick-talked into buying a borderline “quasi-legal,” investment package that sounds too good to be true because it relies upon unspoken yet overly optimistic and highly theoretical “growth” projections, then perhaps Marco Rubio’s assertion that we need “less” philosophers is telling. If that is indeed the case, I also have some stock in Accu.so I’d like to sell.  And as much as I’d rather sit in a closed room with Donald Trump for an undetermined amount of time, listening to him list different synonyms for the word “worst” as they can be used to describe what and how specific people, events, and contracts, have been the worst things in “history,” I have to give Fox moderator, Maria Bartiromo, credit for pressing Ted Cruz about his tax plan. Continue reading

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Joking with Clenched Teeth: The Politics of Modern Alienation in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground

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Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s literary style separates yet unifies fiction and non-fiction literary genres in order to critique modern political discourse.  It does this from the point of view of modern alienation in the voice of the Underground Man.  By situating the novella in the space of pure imagination, Dostoyevsky encourages students of politics and literature to contemplate the origins of both modern political philosophy and it’s alienated other in terms of abstraction and imagination.

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Protesting Too Much

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It’s hardly a secret that the AccuSo staff have a picky palate when it comes to media outlets. So it stands out acutely when one of our favorite publications stoops to shoveling propaganda for the powers that be, like we see in a Foreign Policy opinion piece just yesterday:

[P]art of the goal: restoring Russia as a leader of world opinion after the reputational damage it suffered in Ukraine, muscling in as a power broker that needs to be consulted in important crises far from its borders and sphere of influence […] But even members of the reliably shrill pro-Kremlin chorus seem to admit that nobody but Russia likes this configuration — and that Russia, like Pushkov said, doesn’t really need this at all.

Sadly, FP is beginning to sound a little “shrill” itself in its careful and side-mouthed denunciations of Russia’s Syria intervention. In policy and opinion pieces language is everything. Articles like this, or their recent attempt to paint Syria as a US-Russian proxy war, spend more time rhetorically impugning Russian motives and capabilities than they do building a historical or evidentiary case for that position.

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The Last Debate

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Burning

Mike Wallace sits ramrod straight in his chair. His eyes twinkle. A hint of emotion plays at the edge of his mouth; it’s not humor, it’s not hunger. Raw anticipation, not free from malice but fueled by something grander.

His limpid lounge-singer’s eyes half-lidded gaze upon the stage of stiff, almost martial competitors. ‘Tonight,’ he thinks. ‘Tonight will be the night.’ Not just another facile primary debate. Tonight he would put an end to it all.

“This next question,” he begins, and pauses. Wallace licks his lips, obviously in anticipation. “This next question, is for all of the candidates.” Continue reading

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Lies and the Right-to-Work

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Right-to-work advocates allege that union contracts fundamentally infringe on workers’ rights and prerogatives. In response, R2W legislation would prevent any union from requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

Were union contracts handed down by fiat from a tyrannical central authority then these bills would be landmark achievements in securing personal liberty. The simple fact though is that there is no free market being preserved here, only the perverse and unsustainable fantasy of the stock broker who charges no fees.

More from AccuSo staff writer, editor, and para-laureate Will Parke, on the dishonest agenda of the right-to-work movement and how it endangers a truly free market, at Rebel News.

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Journalism as Activism

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[P]ersonalized delivery of modern media has provoked criticism of ideological journalism. Media watchdog groups like FAIR, Media Matters, or Accuracy in Media – themselves staking out ideological positions – were formed to confront misleading and counterfactual claims by biased news organizations. However, the standard plea for an ideologically objective journalism is fundamentally and absolutely flawed […] Feigned neutrality fundamentally misconstrues the purpose of journalism: journalism is a form of activism.

Staff analyst, ne’er do well, and busybody Wm. Parke on the nature and necessity of advocacy journalism, at Rebel News.

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Literacy: the Price of Liberty

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Y’all need to stop reading the news.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the effort. You should want to be informed and involved. That’s what I want for you, to pay attention.

Your news is garbage though. I mean read Reuters. Read UPI. Read AP, Interfax, and CBC. Please. Sift newsfeeds as if there really was gold in those sandy hills.

But don’t read the news. When you read outlets like HuffPo, when you read the Wall Street Journal or USA  Today or the New York Times you’re just going to end up reading repackaged establishment tripe courtesy of some rattle-headed mouthpiece like David Brooks.

The same way we don’t need you people smoking crack and thinking it’s coffee we also don’t need you reading David Brooks and mistaking that for the news.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about this asshole. Let’s talk about David Brooks.  Continue reading

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Constructivist Theory of American Federalism: Propositional Weaknesses in the Idea of Self-Governance, Then and Now

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American federalism faces as many (if not more) challenges today as it did during the time of the founding. Certain critical topics, such as national security, are easily identifiable through study of the discursive practices surrounding American federalism. Others, while not directly (some might say explicitly) addressed during the Constitutional debates, still require detailed attention filtered though a lens sensitive to American federalism concerns—such as environmental protection and disaster relief. There are no easy solutions to any of these issues; thus, reliance on any a priori ideological formulas for action will certainly exacerbate the problems and frustrate both the American public and its government agencies, at all levels. This natural outgrowth of partisan-political discourse places party interest above that of the public and surely endangers the welfare of American citizens, jeopardizing the fruits of their labor, fueling mistrust in American political institutions, and compromising the integrity of the American republic anytime an unforeseen circumstance materializes.

∞Confusion thus ensues∞

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Say What(?)…Say When…Say Uncle…When Fear is Sovereign: Torture as the End of Liberal Regimes…?

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What is most revealing about torture?  The truth—according to some theories.

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Scientific Jouissance and What Lies Beneath the “Pleasure Principle”

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“An ego thus educated has become ‘reasonable’; it no longer lets itself be governed by the pleasure principle, but obeys the reality principle, which also, at bottom, seeks to obtain pleasure, but pleasure which is assured through taking account of reality, even though it is pleasure postponed and diminished”

Freud.

The cover of the March issue of National Geographic Magazine suggests that there is a “War on Science.”  The title of the feature article asks “Why Do Many Reasonable Doubt Science?”   I think the question should ask “why do so many unreasonable people doubt science.”  Or what makes them believe they are even capable of the task. When reasonable people “doubt science” we don’t ask why(?).  We call it the peer-review process, the healthy habit of scientific skepticism whereby scientists’ findings are meticulously put through the tests of rigor, of falsifiability and verification through reproducible results.

Indeed, in the article it is suggested that scientists even find a kind of professional pleasure in skepticism, in pointing out to their colleagues where their  studies may have faltered.  On the topic of “pleasure” Freud was one of the most famous to theorize that people (yes, even scientists) instinctually seek biological (material) and psychological (social.professional) pleasure and avoid pain therein.  Thus it’s not unreasonable, in a Freudian sense, for scientists to find pleasure in their professional, critical role; some might argue that its even a crucial part of the “success” of science.

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