I read these two tweets from someone recently and they struck me as a form of progressive writing that bothers me and I was trying to figure out why. Because I agree with parts of them.
In the first one about Alberta politics:
Shock doctrine 101. Exploiting a burnt out & disoriented populace to ram through commodification of public goods. Expanding duplication of programming via private operators using public funds furthers competition model of education which ultimately fragments society.
I disagree with the idea that the shock doctrine applies to Alberta’s current state or that the Premier needs it in order to pursue such goals. Kenney doesn’t need a pandemic to do this. If anything, the pandemic has slowed down conservative premiers from doing anything like this. Conservative politicians have been forced to act compassionately during the pandemic, because no one wants to lead a province with dead people filling hospital hallways.
In the second one:
One year ago today, hate rooted in white supremacy + misogyny took the lives of 6 Asian women and 2 bystanders. This was a fatal act stemming from long standing erasure, objectification, and entitlement to Asian women’s bodies. Know their names. May they rest in power.
This was a terrible event that should be remembered. But this tweet is a left wing laundry list of issues: white supremacy, misogyny, erasure, objectification, know their names, rest in power. I know that there are limits with what you can tweet: it’s just that tweets like this limit the effectiveness of what you are trying to communicate.
I wish progressive thinkers knew how to preach to others outside the choir. I wish progressive writers could talk to people other than hectoring them. I wish they were more doubtful about it all. It leaves me in the back pew, wishing for a better sermon and looking for a reason to step outside.
I don’t mean to pick on the person who wrote these tweets. These are just two examples. There are thousands of such tweets like this out there every week. Plus websites, like The Jacobin, are full of such writing.
Thanks for reading this. I am just trying to work out why such writing bothers me and how I can think of it better. Maybe my thinking is woolly and wrong headed. It wouldn’t be the first time.