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Dispatches From the Culture Wars – September 12, 2023

Are corporations a woke conspiracy?

  1. The Patriarchs’ War on Women
  2. Why is Music Getting Sadder?
  3. The Anti-Education Agenda
  4. How We Oppose Antisemitism
  5. When Doctors Go Union
  6. Mutual Aid: Organizing Community Care
  7. Rating Cities For Safety
  8. Marketing the Power of the Market
  9. Boycotting “Woke Capitalists”
  10. Leonardo Leo and the Free Speech Hustle


The Patriarchs’ War on Women

By Zoe Marks and Erica Chenoweth

Around the world, patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. The connection between sexism and authoritarianism is not coincidental, or a mere character flaw of individual misogynists-in-chief. Assaults on women’s and LGBTQ+ rights constitute a backlash against feminist progress expanding women’s full inclusion in public life.

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Why is Music Getting Sadder?

By Ted Gioia
The Honest Broker

I’m told that the top search term at Spotify among teens is “sad.” And it’s more than music. Sadness is so widespread among youngsters (especially teen girls) that the Centers for Disease Control is now tracking it. So we shouldn’t be surprised that music and cultural indicators reflect the same reality.

The Anti-Education Agenda

Las Vegas Sun

There is a war being waged across the country by conservatives seeking to rewrite history, distort fact and eliminate free and independent thought. The GOP’s agenda represents a shocking and nearly unprecedented attempt to use the state to control the lives of Americans and what they can say, think and do. 

How We Oppose Antisemitism

By Rebecca Ruth Gould
Middle East Eye

A definition of antisemitism which treats it as a mental attitude inevitably infringes on free speech, due to its focus on ideas and attitudes rather than actions. But antisemitism, like anti-Black racism and Islamophobia, is about much more than hate. It is rooted in structural inequality and is perpetuated by those who benefit from injustice. 

When Doctors Go Union

By Harold Meyerson
The American Prospect

It may have taken nearly 175 years for a clear majority of American physicians to become the “paid wage laborers” that Marx and Engels saw as their future, but that has now come to pass. Indeed, it’s really only in the last decade—with an almost mind-boggling speed—that the medical profession has lost its autonomy to corporate control.

Mutual Aid: Organizing Community Care

CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute

Although every organization is different, a large number of mutual aid groups offer assistance around food because food is an essential part of collective survival and wellbeing of the community. When existing systems fail to meet those essential needs in crisis, mutual aid delivers those needs to the community. 

Rating Cities For Safety

By Megan Brenan

U.S. adults’ partisanship greatly affects their views of the safety of most of the cities included in the July 3-27 Gallup poll. With the exception of Dallas and Miami, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are substantially more likely than Republicans and Republican-leaning independents to perceive each city as safe.

Marketing the Power of the Market

By Kyle Paoletta
The Baffler

The hotshots of Beverly Hills seem convinced that, since hundreds of millions of people have spent their hard-earned money on sneakers, snacks, and smartphones, a large portion of them must also be interested in learning how their consumer preferences came into being, particularly those whose purchases are part and parcel of their identity.

Boycotting “Woke Capitalists”

By Emily Stewart

From Bud Light to Target, right-wing anger at “woke capitalism” is scaring corporate America. The right is energized and focused. While there have been calls for boycotts of companies in recent months that have not been so successful (Chick-fil-A, Miller Lite, etc.), activists have been able to get people to coalesce around a handful of specific actions and brands.

Leonardo Leo and the Free Speech Hustle

By Ed Pilkington
The Guardian

A Trump advisor and co-chair of the Federalist Society, Leo's commitment to free speech might be more complicated than he professes, and more self serving. If all American citizens are equal in front of this vital element of the US constitution, could it be that some people – notably Leo himself – are more equal than others?