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Posted by: TEEBONE ® |
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Socialist magazine founder fires staff for socialist organizing, confesses he felt ownership of what he'd made
I love this story so much that I want to move in with it and live happily ever after. Seriously this is just one of those moments when a leading proponent of leftist politics reveals himself to be a complete flaming hypocrite. It’s not even contested at this point because, as of two hours ago, he has admitted as much.
If you’re not familiar with Nathan J. Robinson, he has a doctorate in sociology from Harvard but is probably best known as a writer who had a long sting as a socialist columnist for the Guardian. In 2015 he founded his own site called Current Affairs, an online political magazine that promotes his socialist views.
I feel like I should provide an example and I swear this was the first thing I came across on his site with Robinson’s name on the byline: “Manatees Are Better Than Us.” The subhead reads, “Is a utopian pacifistic society possible? The lives of manatees show that it is possible to live without violence or the state.”
Well, it turns out that manatees are definitely better at utopian socialism than Nathan J. Robinson. We know this for certain because today a group of his former employees announced they had all been fired after they tried to form a worker’s co-op. Apparently doing socialism at the socialist magazine was grounds for termination.
The full letter was posted on Twitter. It states that 24 hours after saying he’d lost all faith in the staff, Robinson reversed course and admitted he just didn’t want his magazine to be “a democratic workplace.”
“We are sad, aghast, betrayed, and of course, angry to realize that this person we trusted has been lying to us for years,” the former employees state. They note that Robinson eventually wrote an email to them admitting “I am not good at running an organization.” Well, not a socialist one, anyway.
As mentioned above, Robinson has written a long mea culpa on Facebook which admits his handling of this was awful and that his magazine may not survive the fallout:
What Robinson is describing is completely normal. This really was his baby and he really did put more into it than anyone else, so of course he wanted to continue to guide it and shape it and have some measure of control over it. But that idea is clearly at odds with his own stated views and, more importantly, those of his like-minded readers. But it’s worth saying that the problem here isn’t Robinson’s feelings about his own magazine; it’s his dumb ideology which insists he shouldn’t feel ownership of anything, even his own magazine.
Finally, Lee Fang from the Intercept had a pretty strong reaction to this story even though he’s coming from a very different perspective. Fang sees Robinson’s downfall as a long overdue public unraveling of a wealthy socialist cosplayer.
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