Several friends of the blog are in the running, and if you read this site perhaps you are familiar with their work.
1. Corey Robin’s Revolutionaries of the Right: The Deep Roots of Conservative Radicalism is up for the award. Full disclosure, I nominated this entry – I’ve found this view of how the conservative mind works compelling. And the book, which that post partially summarizes, is fantastic.
I haven’t linked to this review of the book by Connor Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick’s opening gets this perfect:
The first rule of debate: Never accept your opponent’s characterization of his own position. But for decades, liberals–in their perpetual Nerf-war against conservatives–have done just the opposite. While conservatives bloviate about traditionalism (Buckley), skepticism (Burke), sobriety (Taft), and order (Mill), liberals are the first to bobblehead in agreement. “Yes,” they say over paté and pinot at Davos, “That’s you.”
Yet no matter how many laws they break or billions they loot, how many phantoms they conjure, how many social ties they sever, how many innocents they imprison, torture and execute, no matter how many foreign monsters they champion, no matter how much they scream that two-plus-two equals five, and no matter how much they double-down on crazed schemes while swearing it’ll all be different this time, the liberal–dutiful little poodle that he is–still wags his head. “Yes, yes. Calm, measured, skeptical conservatism.”…Robin’s thesis is simple: ignore the Right-wing taxonomy. Conservatism–despite the seemingly incompatible respective ideologies of free-marketeers, slavers, neocons, neofascists, Buckleys, Federalists, Bloombergians, traditionalists, Tea Baggers, Randians, McCarthyists, libertarians, Birchers, Goldbugs, Jesus Freaks, J .Edgars, pro-lifers—has been, in reality, firmly united behind a single mission since the French Revolution: the creation of new regimes of privilege and domination in the face of democratic threats.
2. Peter Frase’s Anti-Star Trek: A Theory of Posterity is also nominated. I understand the terribleness of using the “it’ll change your life” phrase, and I understand replacing “The Shins” with “Keeping property, class and wage structures in place with replicator technology available” should invite more quizzical looks, but seriously, Anti-Star Trek will change your life.
Frase’s blog should be on your must-read list; his recent post on partisanship and ideology is equally good.
3. Aaron Bady of zunguzungu: “The Grass Is Closed”: What I Have Learned About Power from the Police, Chancellor Birgeneau, and Occupy Cal is nominated. Zunguzungu should be on your must-read list anyway.
Aaron’s Possible Futures post on Occupy Oakland is a great summary of themes he had been developing for a while at his site.
4. Lili Loofbourow at The Awl: The Livestream Ended: How I Got Off My Computer And Onto The Street At Occupy Oakland.
A lot of on-the-ground coverage of Occupy has been by people who were ready for activism to take off, and as such there’s a lot of “here’s why the movement is fundamentally about this stuff that I think is important” writing out there. Lili wrote about the events in the streets of Oakland as someone skeptical of the whole thing, and you can see how the movement brought her in as things escalate into police violence.
5. Ezra Klein’s giant article, Could this time have been different? is also nominated. I think it is important that Ezra grounded the economic critique of the Obama administration in firmer soil than the “he should give a better speech” or “executive willpower” approach that tends to dominate a lot of elite liberal discussion. My recent Nation article reviewing the economy in 2011 and the administration’s ideas that brought us here is in part a response to the way Ezra has setup the debate. Now to build that out into a larger theory of how Obama worked within and against the ideological framework of our times…
What else is on the list that I should check out?