Andy Ngo from inside CHAZ, or CHOP, or TBD:
“Despite the pleas from those who live and work inside Capitol Hill for law and order to be restored, Seattle’s city council has determined that CHAZ should continue. On Tuesday, the city even provided upgrades to CHAZ, including street blockades that double as graffiti canvases, along with cleaning services and porta-potties.
It is difficult to decipher what CHAZ occupants want. Each faction, whether liberal, Marxist or anarchist, has their own agenda. But one online manifesto posted on Medium demands no less than the abolishment of the criminal justice system.”
My two cents: To give you a flavor of Seattle politics, there has been an avowed Socialist (born in India) on the City Council for a few years now, a Marxist of sorts (born in Africa), writing for The Stranger, and maybe, Dear Reader, just check out Yesler Terrace. It says a lot more than I could.
In Seattle then, there’s a globally aspiring green, pink and red politics which runs the city (pretty insane), fighting it out with a rather muscular system of free-flowing capital and trade (Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, a big port), a rather mild, perhaps Left-Of-Center working-man, garage-band ethos (fishing, boat-building, timber, code, grunge etc), and some very laid-back attitudes. Seattle’s not the most civilized, mature nor cultured place, but it’s got some real advantages.
As for CHAZ or CHOP: Capitol Hill has always seemed like a slowly unfolding protest to me. Now it’s been kicked-up a few notches. The general ethos there, for better or worse, is alternative, counter-culture, anti-establishment, and ‘liberatory.’
It’s unsurprising to me, then, that Seattle’s current Mayor (responsible for law enforcement) supports undercutting the laws she’s required to enforce because she shares overlap with the ideas of anarchists, radicals, revolutionaries and some violent and dangerous lawbreakers in her vision of democratic leadership. Everything must go!
For as long as I can remember, Capitol Hill has been autonomous – it’s always been a place where people go to express themselves freely. Today at the #CHAZ, I spoke with organizers and community about how we can move forward and keep our communities safe, together. pic.twitter.com/XhtXHiIl9K
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) June 12, 2020
Will this be good for her re-election chances? It’s possible.
The sad thoughts which come to me: However this little experiment ends, it will cost. There will be some lives, property, many businesses, the time and energy of thousands.
Even if many residents and businesses do decide to sue the City and the Mayor’s Office for being stuck in CHOP, it’s still taxpayer money. It won’t just be the deep pockets paying, but the time, money and decency of everyone deciding to honorably carry something which doesn’t require destroying everything that exists first.
On that note, if you’re interested in a more philosophical discussion, on many schools of postmodern thought, the nihilism of Nietzsche, collectivism, and the politics of identity, Stephen Hicks is worth a listen:
The ideas of free will and individual responsibility are generally not shared by those with a collectivist, identity-driven worldview:
And even as Mill’s utilitarianism can end-up sacrificing a few individuals for some greater good, the intersectional and identity-politics ideas sacrifice individuals at the start.
Yes, this was coming, and it’s still coming. The radical roots are very unstable foundations upon which to maintain democratic institutions: