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@alyaza@beehaw.org cover

internet gryphon. admin of Beehaw, mostly publicly interacting with people. nonbinary. they/she

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alyaza Mod ,
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in this case: no, they're just Filipino, and it seems to just be a contraction of Jupiter or something similarly banal. i think it would be prudent in the future to do a bit of double checking before we start accusing people of Nazis; you can easily check your assumption by just visiting their mastodon page, linked in the description of their kbin account.

The Lesser of Two Genocides

I voted for Biden in 2020. This was despite the fact that he is one of the main architects of modern American slavery through his crime bill which made the US the nation with the highest proportion of its own citizens imprisoned by far, who are quite literally slaves according to our constitution. This was despite him...

alyaza Mod ,
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in my mind voting in our current system is just pretty straightforward utilitarian calculus (and can't be anything else): you should vote for the option which will do the least harm and has the highest probability of winning. even if you, say, accept that Biden and Trump are equal on I/P, that just means you should look to other issues on which they are distinct--and they are distinct on basically every other issue in a way that clearly suggests Biden to be the best choice you can make here.

take just the Autocracy Tracker, which makes it unambiguous that Trump, if he wins, is planning a sweeping authoritarian wave of deportations, purges, restrictions of civil rights, and repression of minority groups and ideological groups he disagrees with. much of this is, in a sense, already happening here and already a form of genocide against some groups (trans people most prominently--it is now de facto illegal to be trans and legal to bring harm to trans people in large portions of the US). a Trump win will probably ensure there is no safe place for such groups in this country anymore.

on a moral level: i am just not sympathetic to the idea that voting for Biden constitutes blood on your hands in a meaningful way. i think if you accept this line of argumentation, you would ultimately have to bite the bullet that this could also be said of paying taxes[^1]--and i certainly don't begrudge people for paying their taxes even as this lines the pocket of the war machine, so then why should judge them for voting? in general: by virtue of existing within a state, you will always be complicit to some degree in the crimes of that state, regardless of what you do to extricate yourself from supporting them. so i just don't think that abstention from voting or voting for a more morally defensible alternative actually cleans your hands of the blood being perceived here.

separately, and more pragmatically: there is no compelling third party with anywhere near a possibility of winning or even scoring a "symbolic victory." a vote for a leftist third party right now is, in a real sense, a vote wasted--because these parties are incompetent, fractured, and full of people who are not serious candidates. even with the Green Party (by far the most electorally advanced of them) nobody has ever trembled at their influence and in practice they mostly seem to exist to waste a lot of the money given to them on quixotic presidential candidates. imo: any actual movement challenging the power--your DSAs, for example--is going to be built from the ground up and not imposed through the presidency, and is only going to use electoralism as one of its several political arms.

[^1]: arguably, it's even more true of paying taxes than of voting: votes may make no difference in whether something happens or not, but taxes actively make them possible

alyaza Mod ,
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What has me considering the deontological position on this specifically is that, for utilitarian purposes, I have voted to allow our entire federal government to continue to drift right. When choosing the lesser of the two evils every time I did, I think I failed to consider that my permissiveness would embolden the lesser of the two evils to become increasingly evil as they were aware I wasn’t voting for them but against their opponent.

i guess my problem is, if you acknowledge this possibility: does it not logically follow that, likewise, allowing someone running as an open fascist to win might have the same or worse impact as you're trying to avoid? because i would personally consider the argument "if Trump wins, fascism will be given a greenlight" more likely than the argument "if Biden wins, genocide will be given a greenlight" for a variety of reasons, and i would consider it more harmful if it occurred too. that's for a few reasons: the overall shift in the party has been to the left and i think that's far more likely to continue than a shift to the right; there's a flourishing left-critical tendency within the Democratic Party; the overall American left the strongest it's been in a long time, etc.

but i think most immediately it's because i would contest the logical validity of the second argument at all. the contemporary US is a post settler-colonial society and most of its land area was acquired through genocidal processes given sanctity by the legal system. to me Biden is neither establishing a new norm nor deviating from an old one—he's just a part of a long-normalized string of presidents like this.[^1] in my mind trying to break the cycle by punishing him might be cathartic but will be politically fruitless and unlikely to produce the introspection you're seeking. by contrast: i would argue we have not really had a fascist president—authoritarian, racist, white supremacist, truly evil? probably yes, but not fascist[^2]—and so Trump winning would be a catastrophic normalization of that political tendency which we've to this point avoided. it would have extreme ramifications both domestically and globally, especially for the left.

and i will reiterate that i believe it entirely likely that you're going to get a larger, more sweeping genocide from Trump and his followers than is happening in Palestine if he is given the power to do that. (it's also obvious he's going to continue that one based on his positioning since October 7.) we're already seeing efforts in places like Arizona to make it de facto legal to murder undesirables like undocumented immigrants--the dehumanization needed for widespread killing to begin is clearly high in some parts of the Republican Party. in all of this space, i just don't see very many compelling arguments for why the utilitarian perspective of harm reduction should be discarded here.

[^1]: indeed i think you could charge nearly every president since the US's inception as being complicit in or directly responsible for at least one genocide.
[^2]: i also have a hard time fitting most contemporary presidents into these categories in terms of governance even though i think these descriptors are accurate for most of them. i think Reagan is probably the most explicit offender in this regard, but even so i think it's obvious there is a lot of distance in outcome between how he governed and how Trump has/wants to.

Tumblr and Wordpress to Sell Users’ Data to Train AI Tools ( www.404media.co )

this could not be timed worse for Tumblr which is in huge hot water with its userbase already for its CEO breaking his sabbatical to ban a prominent trans user for allegedly threatening him (in a cartoonish manner), and then spending a week personally justifying it increasingly wildly across several platforms. the rumors had...

Megathread for Reddit Blackouts and News - Rest of the Week(?)

hey everyone. if you want to post links or discuss the Reddit blackout, its aftermath, and what's happening going forward, please localize it to this thread in order to keep things tidy! thanks! we'll see if we need to cycle the thread again before the end of this week, but i don't know that we'll need to

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