Krystal Ball and Kyle Kulinski interview the founder of The Jacobin. These folks’ politics sound pretty milquetoast for people who claim the Jacobin tradition. It’s like calling your magazine The Bolshevik and then placing all your emphasis on expanding welfare as opposed to full-blown terrorism, which is what the real Jacobin tradition is. And the “government can be your friend” rhetoric in this is annoying as hell. Their entire program seems to be building the left-wing of the Democratic Party (the Squad types). Lame. At one point, this Jacobin guy actually cites Ted Kennedy’s challenge to Jimmy Carter in the 1980s primaries as a model for a progressive challenge to an establishment Democrat (remember, AOC is a former Kennedy staffer). Puke.
The problem I have with these people is they have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the state, and they essentially accept the self-legitimating mythology that is maintained by modern states e.g. Hobbes’ social contract theory, Locke’s idea of the “protective state,” Rousseau’s “general will,” the Prussian public administration state, Jacobin mass democracy, the Marxist view of the state as an instrument of class power, the Progressive ideal of a regulatory public interest state, the therapeutic state of the white coat priesthood, scientism, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. I don’t view any of this stuff as any more legitimate than the idea that the state is sacred because it was founded by the demigod Romulus.
These folks are the equivalent of professional class Romans (scribes, artisans, priests, etc.) complaining about how the Emperor is too mean, doesn’t do enough for the starving peasants and lepers, and gets too carried away with the crucifixion thing, while begging for a kinder, gentler Emperor. We need more Spartacuses and Gauls and Etruscans and Zealots, and fewer Emperor-beggars.