Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

1

Increasingly we see power stripped naked, no longer protected by the veneer of legitimacy. Legitimacy, or what Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci called hegemony, is always provisional. Rather than coercion, it requires voluntary submission, which lasts only as long as it is consented to. This naked power was personified in Kavanaugh’s sputtering rage at being called to account. A similar lifting of façades is apparent in [...] deep tax cuts for the wealthy alongside a staggering outlay for military expenditures. The emperor wears no clothes.

—p.1 The Illegitimacy of the Ruling Class by Thea Riofrancos 3 weeks ago

Increasingly we see power stripped naked, no longer protected by the veneer of legitimacy. Legitimacy, or what Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci called hegemony, is always provisional. Rather than coercion, it requires voluntary submission, which lasts only as long as it is consented to. This naked power was personified in Kavanaugh’s sputtering rage at being called to account. A similar lifting of façades is apparent in [...] deep tax cuts for the wealthy alongside a staggering outlay for military expenditures. The emperor wears no clothes.

—p.1 The Illegitimacy of the Ruling Class by Thea Riofrancos 3 weeks ago
1

As power and legitimacy become untethered, it has become more and more untenable for establishment institutions to maintain the illusion of distance from violence and domination. In theory, the military and police have the right to mete out violence to protect law-abiding citizens from the threats posed by “enemies, foreign and domestic,” as the U.S. Army’s Oath of Enlistment puts it. It’s not murder when the police kill someone, or terrorism when the state drops a bomb, the logic goes.

But that logic is cracking. A seemingly endless War on Terror, rampant police brutality and sprawling mass incarceration have made the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate violence increasingly difficult to maintain. Through those cracks, it’s revealed that the state often uses violence for an entirely different reason: to shore up the class hierarchy. In the relentless search for profits and productivity, capitalism inevitably creates “surplus populations” of unemployed people.

—p.1 The Illegitimacy of the Ruling Class by Thea Riofrancos 3 weeks ago

As power and legitimacy become untethered, it has become more and more untenable for establishment institutions to maintain the illusion of distance from violence and domination. In theory, the military and police have the right to mete out violence to protect law-abiding citizens from the threats posed by “enemies, foreign and domestic,” as the U.S. Army’s Oath of Enlistment puts it. It’s not murder when the police kill someone, or terrorism when the state drops a bomb, the logic goes.

But that logic is cracking. A seemingly endless War on Terror, rampant police brutality and sprawling mass incarceration have made the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate violence increasingly difficult to maintain. Through those cracks, it’s revealed that the state often uses violence for an entirely different reason: to shore up the class hierarchy. In the relentless search for profits and productivity, capitalism inevitably creates “surplus populations” of unemployed people.

—p.1 The Illegitimacy of the Ruling Class by Thea Riofrancos 3 weeks ago
1

The state, however, is by no means monolithic. All states, and particularly liberal democracies, are a terrain of struggle between different groups, in which social movements of the exploited and the oppressed can contest or even capture power. The events surrounding Kavanaugh’s appointment were enmeshed in an unusually frank conversation about sexual assault, and gave new momentum to an increasingly militant and rebellious feminism, one that sees patriarchy as part of a regime of social and economic oppression. Reverberating through Ford’s statement, as in so many recent public acts of protest and testimony, is this tremble of hegemony fracturing.

—p.1 The Illegitimacy of the Ruling Class by Thea Riofrancos 3 weeks ago

The state, however, is by no means monolithic. All states, and particularly liberal democracies, are a terrain of struggle between different groups, in which social movements of the exploited and the oppressed can contest or even capture power. The events surrounding Kavanaugh’s appointment were enmeshed in an unusually frank conversation about sexual assault, and gave new momentum to an increasingly militant and rebellious feminism, one that sees patriarchy as part of a regime of social and economic oppression. Reverberating through Ford’s statement, as in so many recent public acts of protest and testimony, is this tremble of hegemony fracturing.

—p.1 The Illegitimacy of the Ruling Class by Thea Riofrancos 3 weeks ago
1

Fracture, however, is not a sufficient prerequisite for social change. In the context of lives stretched thin by economic precarity, political instability can also be met with apathy. When you are working two jobs to make ends meet, it’s hard to find energy for political engagement or to discern a meaningful difference between candidates when government always seems to provide more of the same. One can argue that the prior hegemonic order was sustained less by widespread faith in its virtue than by widespread disengagement, a resignation that elites are all too happy to abet.

The future is uncertain. Will the disaffected find the collective agency, capacity and leverage to push in an emancipatory direction? Or will elite forces reconsolidate around an authoritarian-repressive social order? The latter is on full display in several countries, from Hungary to Brazil. In the context of the planetary havoc being wreaked by global capitalism, the stakes are not only high but existential. We need to orient to these fractures and contradictions. They are openings and avenues through which processes of radicalization potentially unfold. The emancipatory path requires dedication and struggle, and the terrain is uneven. And we on the Left are still finding our organizational and strategic footing. But the moment is auspicious for transformation.

—p.1 The Illegitimacy of the Ruling Class by Thea Riofrancos 3 weeks ago

Fracture, however, is not a sufficient prerequisite for social change. In the context of lives stretched thin by economic precarity, political instability can also be met with apathy. When you are working two jobs to make ends meet, it’s hard to find energy for political engagement or to discern a meaningful difference between candidates when government always seems to provide more of the same. One can argue that the prior hegemonic order was sustained less by widespread faith in its virtue than by widespread disengagement, a resignation that elites are all too happy to abet.

The future is uncertain. Will the disaffected find the collective agency, capacity and leverage to push in an emancipatory direction? Or will elite forces reconsolidate around an authoritarian-repressive social order? The latter is on full display in several countries, from Hungary to Brazil. In the context of the planetary havoc being wreaked by global capitalism, the stakes are not only high but existential. We need to orient to these fractures and contradictions. They are openings and avenues through which processes of radicalization potentially unfold. The emancipatory path requires dedication and struggle, and the terrain is uneven. And we on the Left are still finding our organizational and strategic footing. But the moment is auspicious for transformation.

—p.1 The Illegitimacy of the Ruling Class by Thea Riofrancos 3 weeks ago