Idolatry and Human Sacrifice Under the Pink Dome

By Andrew Dobbs

(If you like this kind of writing, help me do more of it by supporting me on Patreon).

The Eighty Sixth session of the Texas Legislature has come to an end, and with it too my career as a legislative lobbyist. I may still need to do some song and dance shows at City Halls or the occasional county commissioner’s court, but the sooner I can get away from all that too, the better. …

By Andrew Dobbs

The Independent
  1. Brexit represents a watershed political crisis for the imperialist center. The United Kingdom — the world’s fourth largest economy and one of the key political and cultural leaders of global capitalism — has now committed itself to delivering a series of mutually exclusive outcomes to their public. They want a full and meaningful break with the European Union, but they don’t want to lose any of the benefits of EU membership. They do not want to be subject to policies set by the EU, but they want to be internal to the political economy of Europe by…

By Andrew Dobbs

AP Photo

So the elections have come and gone. We now have about half the country sure that a new day is dawning and hope is born anew, and half the country sure that we are doomed to a thousand years of darkness. I’m writing this before the results come out, so it could still go either way, though all the signs indicate the Democrats will perform very well this year.

For those of us on the left, we’ve heard from our friends and comrades for weeks now about the importance of setting aside whatever qualms we have with…

By Andrew Dobbs

Anti-Imperialist Protests in Manila, 2016

Our political system is designed to channel mass frustration into rituals designed by the very folks that pissed us off in the first place. These rituals allow us to play at threatening them — which feels rewarding — without putting them at any risk whatsoever.

A growing number of people are realizing this. …

By Andrew Dobbs

(Today I had a book review of the new book The Watchdogs Didn’t Bark by John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski published by War is Boring. David Axe is a very good editor and reined in my excesses on this one, but I felt like the fat he cut at the end of it might be of interest to some of y’all. I’m reproducing it here — enjoy!)

If The Watchdogs Didn’t Bark suffers in any way it is in a sort of naive juxtaposition at its heart between the white hats at the FBI and the black…

By Andrew Dobbs

(If you appreciate original analysis, please contribute to my work on Patreon).

US politics is experiencing the final consolidation of a major realignment. On one side are the Nationalists, dominant now in the Republican Party. On the other side are the Technocrats at the head of the Democratic Party.

One is centered in rural and exurban areas, and in regions dependent upon extraction and industry; the other is focused in cities where finance, technology, cultural production, education, and government dominate. …

By Andrew Dobbs

Step right up…

(Do you enjoy original, independent commentary on politics in Austin and beyond? Help me do more by supporting me on Patreon!)

The three biggest controversies facing the Austin City Council today are really just one problem our leaders have found three different ways to repeat. Code NEXT, the soccer stadium fiasco, and the ongoing fights over the police contract all represent instances where the City has something that another powerful, well-heeled party wants and in each case substantial factions on Council want to give their advantages away for free.

There’s a name for someone who is easy…

By Andrew Dobbs

Housing policy is one of those things I’ve been quietly obsessed with for years, inspired mostly by my own fears that I won’t be able to afford to live in the city I love — Austin, Texas — much longer. I’ve had different perspectives over time for sure, but the more I dug and the more I trusted my core values to guide my study, the more I ended up in the spot I am today.

That position has emerged in several essays I’ve written this year, and since I finally started to write about these issues…

It adds up to Gentrification

By Andrew Dobbs

(Appreciate this kind of analysis? I need your help to make more. Support me on Patreon and help promote contrarian thinking in Texas and beyond!)

There are few facts as valuable for understanding housing markets and gentrification as knowing how to value commercial real estate. It’s a fact that takes you a long way towards understanding why the terms of the present housing debates in many US cities are so completely fucked up and why a massive investment in public housing is our only healthy way out of the present conundrum.


By Andrew Dobbs

Associated Press Photo

I wrote the first part of this as a Twitter thread following Tuesday’s primary runoff results. I had to cut some of this up to make room on the thread, so here’s the full draft plus an additional section delving more into the practical consequences of this perspective for Texas politics. Enjoy!

There is no such thing as apathy. Really. Our problems in this state or in this country are not a function of people not voting, and even if they were people don’t refrain from voting because they are apathetic. The people who do vote don’t…

Andrew Dobbs

Activist, organizer, and writer based in Austin, Texas.

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