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The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto…
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The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and… (utgåvan 2018)

av Chapo Trap House

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
1255175,759 (3.8)Ingen/inga
"Howard Zinn on acid or some bullsh*t like that." --Tim Heidecker The creators of the cult-hit podcast Chapo Trap House deliver a manifesto for everyone who feels orphaned and alienated--politically, culturally, and economically--by the bloodless Wall Street centrism of the Democrats and the lizard-brained atavism of the right: there is a better way, the Chapo Way. In a manifesto that renders all previous attempts at political satire obsolete, The Chapo Guide to Revolution shows you that you don't have to side with either the pear-shaped vampires of the right or the craven, lanyard-wearing wonks of contemporary liberalism. These self-described "assholes from the internet" offer a fully ironic ideology for all who feel politically hopeless and prefer broadsides and tirades to reasoned debate. Learn the "secret" history of the world, politics, media, and everything in-between that THEY don't want you to know and chart a course from our wretched present to a utopian future where one can post in the morning, game in the afternoon, and podcast after dinner without ever becoming a poster, gamer, or podcaster. The Chapo Guide to Revolution features illustrated taxonomies of contemporary liberal and conservative characters, biographies of important thought leaders, "never before seen" drafts of Aaron Sorkin's Newsroom manga, and the ten new laws that govern Chapo Year Zero (everyone gets a dog, billionaires are turned into Soylent, and logic is outlawed). If you're a fan of sacred cows, prisoners being taken, and holds being barred, then this book is NOT for you. However, if you feel disenfranchised from the political and cultural nightmare we're in, then Chapo, let's go...… (mer)
Medlem:madelinemar
Titel:The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason
Författare:Chapo Trap House
Info:Touchstone, Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason av Chapo Trap House

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Visar 5 av 5
great but only if you're familiar with the Chapo cinematic universe ( )
  madelinemar | Aug 16, 2021 |
If you've listened to any of the podcast, you know exactly what to expect from the book: jokes, bile, leftism. Not all of it works, but of course you probably wouldn't be voluntarily reading this unless you were actually a fan of their acidic radicalism. But even a Democrat like me who's only listened to a few episodes would agree that much of their criticism of mainstream liberalism is inarguably correct: the Democratic Party sucks, no question. The show punches well above its weight class in terms of the leftist zeitgeist (although to be fair when it comes to podcasts this is not as hard as it seems), and so it's an important window into how our discussion of politics is evolving, in a particular segment of the electorate that is tired of the crimes of mainstream parties and media, sick of endless compromise, but struggling for coherent solutions and suspicious of the same folks who brought us the original problems to begin with. Even though you'll look in vain to find any real prescriptions here - "why are you expecting serious political advice from a group of leftist comedy podcasters?" is the obvious question - this kind of perspective from outside the political system is essential in order to have an honest, moral debate about politics within the system. Plus, the Onion/Something Awful-ripoff jokes are still usually funny.

This book is fine, read it if you like the show. But I want to spend some time talking about the Iraq War, because both the book and the show would be incomprehensible without first understanding the long shadow cast by that moral failure. The Iraq War is why I'll never vote Republican, why I didn't vote for Hillary Clinton in 2008, and why many still couldn't vote for her in 2016. At age 34 I don't think I'm alone in my thinking, and even younger progressives have to grapple with the fallout of many prominent Democrats failing that moral test and giving in to the Republican urge to war. If you're a liberal, what do you do with the inescapable knowledge that many of the politicians and pundits that define your party and your ideology voted to support the completely unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands? The cowardice of Clinton, Kerry, and so many others has come to define liberalism for leftists, offering a crystal-clear example of the ethical bankruptcy of compromise-first liberalism, and it presents a real problem for anyone interested in a system of politics that can beat the hate/fear/greed of the right. The contempt that Chapo has for mainstream Democrats is amply deserved, and I won't make excuses for those Democrats who voted for that stupid, senseless, evil war.

But, as I read the many long sections of the book making fun of the Diet Evil tendencies of liberalism, recognizing that the Iraq War vote was the prism through which all of liberalism was being viewed, I realized that it's important to understand the structural reasons that encouraged Clinton etc. to make such an obviously dumb vote, since this sort of thing happens again and again in all sorts of contexts. Exactly why did all of these people, routinely pilloried by their enemies as far-left extremists, supinely acquiesce to these transparent lies and indeed actively defend them, to the bafflement of actual far-leftists? The historian Adam Tooze once laid out a fascinating explanation for why the German Social Democratic Party decided to support funding for World War 1 (bear with me here, it's the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and it's on my mind), and though the phrase "It's time for some game theory" is beyond parody at this point, adapting the 2 x 2 decision matrix in Tooze's lecture 14 of his WW1 series to the Iraq War is surprisingly revealing. On the show Chapo correctly pays a lot of attention to the media because media perception is often reality (indeed, they fulfill the role of the media themselves for their listeners in the same way as the much-reviled Daily Show did), and the credulous, self-important, and hawkish press, deciding that it truly represented "public opinion", played an important role in shaping incentives for the Iraq War:

- If Democrats vote Yes and the Iraq War is a success: Democrats are on the winning side and hopefully seen as strong, righteous, and loyal supporters of victory in the War on Terror; surely Republicans will never attack our patriotism again!
- If Democrats vote Yes and the Iraq War is a failure: This is kind of what Democrats like Kerry were actually saying afterwards in 2004, like "you didn't send enough body armor, or bomb the right targets, or pay enough attention to Afghanistan", in the hopes that voters would prefer slightly more competent warmongers.
- If Democrats vote No and the Iraq War is a success: Democrats would look unpatriotic to the Beltway press, the ultimate horror. Plus, even though winning the Gulf War obviously didn't re-elect George HW Bush, theoretically the American people love winners, and so not being a loser is all that matters.
- If Democrats vote No and the Iraq War is a failure: Hey, don't blame me! Without their fingerprints on it, Democrats look like geniuses, even though according to the popular press only hippies were against the war, and can you really trust someone who isn't willing or even eager to slaughter foreigners?

So from the perspective of prominent Democrats like Clinton or Kerry, petrified of being accused of being insufficiently willing to bomb foreigners, voting No offered only political downside, while voting Yes would, at the very least, claim you would have bombed foreigners better in some hopefully unspecified way, thus allowing you to be dubbed Serious by the people who mattered (i.e., not the foreigners in question). Setting aside the genuinely enthusiastic Democrats, who are thankfully now almost entirely gone, pure political self-preservation was the rule for the remainder. This calculus of cowardice applies to many situations throughout our history, but the poor SPD does look somewhat better in the historical rear-view mirror: Germany was not actually the bad guy in WW1; defeat in that war would have been, and actually was, far worse for Germany than the US just wasting trillions in Iraq; and by participation in the "patriotic truce" of Burgfriedenspolitik the SPD hoped to gain some much-needed political reforms as opposed to the nothing that Democrats got in exchange for their votes. I completely sympathize with anyone who won't forgive Democrats. Sometimes politicians fuck up, and people die, and no rebrands or glitzy ad campaigns can erase those dead people, and the knowledge that elected politicians are actually afraid of what some circle-jerking idiot news dispensers decide is consensus should give you incandescent rage.

I think that's a worthwhile exercise to go through, because, for all Chapo's completely valid criticisms of mainstream liberalism, like many leftists their response to these hard truths about American politics head-on is essentially limited to jokes. Yeah, a huge percentage of the population is simply awful, the press is not anyone's friend, the system is rigged, the support of elites is usually all that really matters, we're surrounded by freaks and mutants. All of that is true, and yet a turn to irony socialism and podcast radicalism would not actually avoid any of those obstacles or address any of those problems. Take the press, for example, and how bizarre it is that so many idiots are paid to pontificate on politics at all while wielding enormous power to destroy careers, gatekeep out new voices, and set the agenda. Gary Hart's 1988 Presidential bid was destroyed in a media frenzy over a picture that is laughably tame by today's standards. Howard Dean yelled funny in 2004 and that was it; Kucinich couldn't even get off the ground. Hillary's emails. Donald Trump can barely complete a sentence and he's shown rambling and openly lying for hours at a time, the press eagerly rolling over for it, countless gigantic scandals immediately forgotten, but simultaneously there's no such thing as too much sneering at liberals, and leftists might as well be in a different galaxy. The Cillizzas of the world make doing the right thing very hard, and as satisfying as it is to imagine all of those people in gulags, it's just not going to happen, so how do you work within that awful system? It's like Keynes' famously brilliant "Trotsky On England" book review, and what makes Robert Caro's works so fascinating.

I'm writing this just after the 2018 midterms, which gives both liberals and leftists ambiguous takeaways. Some left-wing candidates did better than centrists, but others did worse. Many states voted for very progressive policies, while simultaneously electing awful reactionaries in landslides. Important media outlets continued to be worthless, because for them it's all a game, and it doesn't really matter who won. What should non-Republicans learn from this election? This is a book of jokes ("Sir, this is an Arby's drive-thru"), but Chapo can't provide a satisfying answer of how they or DSA or anyone else who wants to work around the shambling hulk of the Democratic Party and our rotten electoral system would be able to do better systematically, to avoid the incredibly powerful incentives for good people to do bad things, to have 2018 look like 2006 in another 12 years (remember when the prospect of Speaker Pelosi portended unspeakable Jacobin horrors to come?). It's immensely frustrating that socialism, of all possible ideologies, seems to have all the moral energy behind it, given what a dead end that is, but perhaps encouraging socialists to participate in the Democratic Party is the only way to keep it grounded. Compromise is not a principle, as they so ably point out, and Robert Frost's line about how "A liberal is a man who won't stand up for his own side of the argument" means that sometimes a party drunk on appeasement needs a sober friend to take the keys away. It would be truly depressing if this was the best political system we could possibly hope for, but since we're stuck with it for now, we might as well laugh along the way. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
funny as shit but a lot of the jokes went over my head cause i was like 16 ( )
  ncharlt1 | Oct 11, 2020 |
I'm a total Chapo fan, but to understand a good chunk of their podcast you have to be 1. extremely online, and 2. well versed in cultural, economic, and political history. Sadly, it's those parts that they formed into this book. 3 stars because it's Chapo, and part of their plan is to mangle the mainstream imagination by making this book popular. But really though, I found it unreadable.

Sorry. ( )
  mitchtroutman | Jun 14, 2020 |
This book is a sort of political satire. It can give a little insight into the political world, but it seems to me that it was just a lot of bashing and rudeness. Yes our political system is failing and something to make jokes about, but these jokes failed miserably.
I have never listened to these guys on the podcast, but I may tried to. Their humor may come across better if I actually hear it over reading it. ( )
  pamkaye | Oct 4, 2018 |
Visar 5 av 5
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"Howard Zinn on acid or some bullsh*t like that." --Tim Heidecker The creators of the cult-hit podcast Chapo Trap House deliver a manifesto for everyone who feels orphaned and alienated--politically, culturally, and economically--by the bloodless Wall Street centrism of the Democrats and the lizard-brained atavism of the right: there is a better way, the Chapo Way. In a manifesto that renders all previous attempts at political satire obsolete, The Chapo Guide to Revolution shows you that you don't have to side with either the pear-shaped vampires of the right or the craven, lanyard-wearing wonks of contemporary liberalism. These self-described "assholes from the internet" offer a fully ironic ideology for all who feel politically hopeless and prefer broadsides and tirades to reasoned debate. Learn the "secret" history of the world, politics, media, and everything in-between that THEY don't want you to know and chart a course from our wretched present to a utopian future where one can post in the morning, game in the afternoon, and podcast after dinner without ever becoming a poster, gamer, or podcaster. The Chapo Guide to Revolution features illustrated taxonomies of contemporary liberal and conservative characters, biographies of important thought leaders, "never before seen" drafts of Aaron Sorkin's Newsroom manga, and the ten new laws that govern Chapo Year Zero (everyone gets a dog, billionaires are turned into Soylent, and logic is outlawed). If you're a fan of sacred cows, prisoners being taken, and holds being barred, then this book is NOT for you. However, if you feel disenfranchised from the political and cultural nightmare we're in, then Chapo, let's go...

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