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Emergent Strategy (2017) 1 star

In the tradition of Octavia Butler, radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help to shape the futures …

Review of 'Emergent strategy' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

Unprincipled, haphazard word salad. Her arguments would have been much, much stronger if she actually included much of the primary source from Octavia Butler that she reports considering having included.

To the extent that this is legible at all, it appears to be some random thoughts along her path from an authoritarian, self-centered “executive” director of a white male hierarchy to a slightly less authoritarian, somehow even more self-centered “executive” director of a more diverse hierarchy.

It’s often not legible, and essentially mystifies where it’s entirely unneeded to do so. It’s like a magician demonstrating bricklaying by waving a wand and then dropping a brick with a thud. Like ok, maybe let’s learn from bricklayers instead? She talks about fractals as a way to encourage non-hierarchical organizing, but why don’t we just look at the practical reality rather than some occult symbolism?

She also has quite a few quotes that …

The Conquest of Bread (2006) 5 stars

The Conquest of Bread (French: La Conquête du Pain; Russian: Хлѣбъ и воля, tr. Khleb …

Review of 'The Conquest of Bread' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

A classic, of course. Clear-eyed and practical, yet visionary; a a re-envisioning of a post-revolutionary society serving the needs of people from the bottom (of Maslow’s) up: first food, then shelter, then clothing, then everything else. Without the twin coercive expropriators of the capitalist and the state, there will be more than enough to create a pleasant society for all with minimal work and maximal leisure and pleasure. As a bonus, the lure of the above expropriators will be castrated because you can’t coerce and subjugate a populace whose needs are met.

White fragility : why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism (2018) 4 stars

Review of "White fragility : why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism" on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I’m torn on this one. She mentions early on that it’s meant to be descriptive, rather than prescriptive, in terms of actually ending or putting a dent in the racist status quo.

But then she offers again and again the prescription of raising awareness and/or whites accepting criticism from POC.

Her description of the phenomena of fragility is unbelievably clear-eyed; any POC will immediately recognize everything she points out. I want to give 5 stars based on this alone, but it seems like a misguided book in terms of actually addressing the problem considering the material conditions of racialized, autocratic institutions that control life in the US today.

Is simply trying to get whites to understand the substance of racism going to get them to renege their material benefits in the zero-sum game of power in these inegalitarian institutions? I feel like they’ll just revert back to overt racism. Power …