As a matter of pure coincidence, last month I wrote two very different pieces about good intentions and complicity with evil.
The first, appearing at the Hooded Utilitarian, focuses on Watchmen, Fail-Safe, and Eichmann in Jerusalem. It prompted a response from Ng Suat Tong.
The other essay concerned a local controversy about an FBI trainer who got involved in the civil-disobedience wing of the environmental movement, and somehow got his feelings hurt when people decided he was unwelcome there. You can watch the whole Vahid Brown saga unfold in four parts:
Part One: The Committee Against Political Repression (of which I am a member) published a brief blog post warning people about Brown’s background, with links to the evidentiary documents.
Part Two: Vice accuses CAPR of running a “witch hunt” (and quotes me).
Part Three: Willamette Week tries to have it both ways, saying that activists are right to be “paranoid” but wrong about Brown.
Part Four: I write an article for the Seattle Free Press, responding to CAPR’s critics and trying to clarify why it’s a mistake to try to liberalize the FBI by providing them information about the people they’re persecuting.
Of my two articles, I prefer the one about superheroes.
My Introduction to Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency was recently excerpted in Toward Freedom.
East Coast Tour
Over the next several days I will be touring a few cities on the east coast to promote Life During Wartime and discuss political repression. I will outline the basics of the counterinsurgency approach and consider the implications for social movements.
November 13 (Wednesday) — Buffalo, NY
7pm; Burning Books (420 Connecticut Street)
November 14 (Thursday) — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7pm; Wooden Shoe Books (704 South Street)
I’ll be joined by two of the book’s contributors, George Ciccariello-Maher and Layne Mullett. They’ll discuss counterinsurgency as it relates to the Occupy movement, and the ways that fighting repression can build stronger movements.
November 17 (Sunday) — New York, New York
7pm; Bluestockings (172 Allen Street)
November 19 (Tuesday) — Baltimore, Maryland
7:30pm; Red Emma’s Books and Coffee (800 St. Paul Street)
Discounts of 30% are available for study groups reading Life During Wartime.
Go to akpress.org and use code ”LDWGROUP.”