Richard Wolff Gets Zucked

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Feb 162021

A warning for the segment of the left demanding these unaccountable Silicon Valley oligarchs have the final say over speech… You are spreading reactionary views, ones held by only the most extreme members of the right wing: even most libertarian-capitalists don’t think monopolists should have complete latitude like this. Not to speak of the way that Facebook and Twitter effectively operate as part of the public square now

Wolff’s post highlighted an Indypendent story on the recent strike by workers at the Hunts Point Produce Market and in his caption he approvingly noted, “US political winds are shifting left. Key example is Hunts Point food market for New York City. First labor union strike since 1986: strong, solid, supported by socialists and much public opinion. Victorious and widely celebrated.” … When Wolff’s Facebook followers went to click on the article, they were redirected. When they went to share it, they received this notice:

facebook notice "You cannot share right now. To prevent any misuse, we have temporarily restricted your account."

Facebook Blocks Sharing of the Indypendent’s Coverage of Hunts Point Produce Market Strike

No One Could Have Predicted This

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Feb 152021

Shortly after sunrise on Jan. 15, FBI agents descended with guns drawn on a squat, red-brick apartment complex here, broke open the door of one of the units and threw in a stun grenade, prompting the frightened property manager to call 911.

Inside the apartment, furnished with little besides books and a sign declaring “THE REVOLUTION IS NOT A PARTY,” the agents found their target: a 33-year-old U.S. Army veteran and self-described “hardcore leftist” who had posted a flier on social media threatening to attack “armed racist mobs WITH EVERY CALIBER AVAILABLE.”

The man, Daniel Baker, hardly fit the profile of those who had been expected to cause trouble in the run-up to President Biden’s inauguration. After a mob of Donald Trump supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in hopes of preventing Biden from taking office, the FBI had warned that far-right extremists were plotting armed marches in Tallahassee and other state capitals, as well as in D.C.

But Baker represents the flip side of that threat: As a far-right extremist movement wages an assault on American government and institutions, experts say an unpredictable battle is brewing, fueling potentially legitimate threats of violence from the opposite fringe of the political spectrum.

Baker’s friends said he had a bombastic social media presence that he stepped up to match inflammatory right-wing rhetoric. … The FBI agents who had been monitoring Baker’s social media posts since October described him as being on a “path toward radicalization.” … On Jan. 25, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Frank agreed that Baker posed a potential threat and ordered him held without bond, writing that the former soldier had “repeatedly endorsed violent means to advance the political beliefs that he espouses.”

The corporate establishment media is doing their job and continuing to manufacture consent for a new PATRIOT act, this time aimed (more so) at crushing internal dissent. One thing to note in the language the Democrats have used around this—they never say right wing “extremism,” it’s always just “domestic extremism.” Considering that fascism and capitalism are totally compatible, and some might argue neoliberalism is quite similar to fascism, it should be no surprise that the “right wing extremism” is being used (again, if anyone recalls the 90s) as a pretense for passing laws that are squarely aimed at the dissident and socialist left.

Unfortunately the mainstream “left” have been subject to an unhinged propaganda campaign over the last five years, and consists in reality of mainly conservatives if not outright reactionaries at this point, many of whom are cheering on these developments instead of recoiling in horror as they ought to.

January 6th is the new 9/11, only with far less justification. The state and its media organs have convinced the mainstream left to demand draconian prison sentences for people essentially charged with trespassing (using laws the left once correctly decried as criminalizing protest!), to call for strengthening the police state, to demand expansion of unconstitutional domestic surveillance programs, to demand that private actors censor on behalf of the state (as if a public-private partnership to sidestep the Constitution is justifiable, and worse using extreme right wing capitalist-libertarian views on free speech rights that in earlier times were only held by reactionary nutjobs like Pat Buchanan and Moral Majority types), to live in fear that their neighbors are extremists who would eat their children and murder them in their sleep for being good liberals were it not for the fear of an all powerful state apparatus of violence keeping them civilized…