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Newspeak, the Queen of Canada, Lawful Extremism, and more
A quick look at some of this week's new research and analysis
I am keeping the newsletter short this week, as we already had one on Wednesday to announce the publication of my new paper, Lawful Extremism: Extremist Ideology and the Dred Scott Decision. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, please do. It’s the culmination of many months of work, and it’s a signpost to the next several months at least. As I noted in the announcement, there are some obvious and timely reasons to be concerned about lawful extremism, both in the United States and all over the world.
A few other recent and forthcoming publications of interest:
Up for pre-order, launching in April. As a part-time dystopia newsletter, I would be remiss if I failed to note this forthcoming edited volume. The far-right loves to throw around Orwell quotes (both real and imagined) as well as terminology lifted from 1984, and their appropriation of this language is, well, Orwellian. There, I said it. Part of the far-right assault on truth is an assault on meaning, leaving the defenders of democracy “at risk of losing control over the definitions of the very concepts, including equal rights, racial and ethnic diversity, and political tolerance, that undergird their vision.” Sobering and urgent, I think.
If you follow Dr. Christine M. Sarteschi on Twitter, or wherever you are following people these days, you know you are in for a wild ride with this paper. The Romana Didulo phenomenon is the syncretic amalgamation of several other syncretic movements (including but not limited to QAnon and sovereign citizenship). I have an underdeveloped theory (more like a hunch) that wildly syncretic ideologies and movements are more likely to go off the rails than movements more grounded in one specific strain of thought. Romana Didulo is a pretty good case study in “off the rails.”
My Swansea colleague Dr. Joe Whittaker takes a deep dive on narratives around radicalization and the COVID pandemic, finding a lot of complications in the way of making a clear assessment of the pandemic’s long-term impact.
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