Ok not gonna throw in on the Jacobin/Sarah Kendzior thing, other than to recommend this and this by Freddie DeBoer, who is always at his best when the topic is Twitter mobs. Even if you don’t agree with him, I think his pieces are a good jumping off point because they are well-reasoned and contain links to all the other opinion-havers, including, of course, Kendzior. I think there are layers to this particular dustup that Freddie doesn’t explore but that’s cool because I think it’s probably best not to dwell on this shit too long.
Update: There is a very good account in this witty infographic as well
I’m posting this because this blog is, among other things, a mausoleum for ‘The Left’ — and therefore an appropriate place to entomb tweets in which David Graeber and Joshua Foust close ranks in bad faith around Kendzior, someone each man — curiously, when taken together — considers a like-minded colleague and friend. (more text below tweets)
If people are going to discuss this, I would like them to stay focused on what they think is going on in this odd trio, particularly with Graeber. I am interested in understanding how Foust, Kendzior and Graeber all intersect. Foust and Kendzior are colleagues at registan.net, a news site about Central Asia. I know very little about the site or their work for it, and unfortunately the Wikipedia entry for it was deleted last night. I don’t know how Graeber and Kendzior fit together at all.
I do find it odd that Graeber referred to Kendzior yesterday as a radical, since I don’t think she even sees herself that way. Indeed, for someone very certain of Kendzior’s brilliance, Graeber’s recent remarks do not suggest a high degree of familiarity with anything she does or with whom she does it. Kendzior has worked with Foust since at least 2003, yet in a tweet to me yesterday, Graeber claimed to not know who Foust is. Graeber also claimed that Kendzior has “no position on Ukraine“, when, in fact, she has written and tweeted about it quite a bit.
So what’s going on here?
I am emphatically NOT interested in haggling over the merits of Kendzior’s complaints against Jacobin. I find Twitter beatdowns uniformly disgusting, mostly for reasons entirely separate from whatever points of view are being contested. I therefore won’t indulge anyone attempting to reproduce anything remotely similar here. I do want to express solidarity with Amber A’Lee Frost, Megan Erickson and Elizabeth Stoker since, even if one thinks it is ever useful or warranted to rake people of very modest influence over the coals for several days on Twitter, I don’t think any non-asshole would consider it reasonable in this case. This beatdown is so larded up with bad faith and sexism — for all the talk of male violence, it is demonstrably a smear campaign against three women — that I cannot retain respect for any person uncritically aligning with it, and that includes David Graeber. I say this without endorsing or repudiating Frost’s piece, nor to invite a discussion of same.