“And those who expected lightning and thunder, are disappointed. And those who expected signs and archangel’s trumps do not believe it is happening now. As long as the sun and the moon are above, as long as the bumblebee visits a rose, as long as rosy infants are born, no one believes it is happening now…” — from “A Song at the End of the World,” Czesalw Milosz, Warsaw 1944
Author’s note: this essay is an updated and expanded upon version of one published in May of this year.
There was a part of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, that is perhaps the most unsettling to me. The protagonist, Offred, is walking past the notorious Wall in the Republic of Gilead. This Wall, once part of a prestigious university in Cambridge Massachusetts, is now being used as a place of public execution, where corpses are left hanging for days to send a message of compliance and terror to the citizens of this authoritarian, theocratic state. Defy “God’s law” and you will suffer the punishment for doing so.
“Puritanism has made life itself impossible. More than art, more than estheticism, life represents beauty in a thousand variations; it is indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal change. Puritanism, on the other hand, rests on a fixed and immovable conception of life; it is based on the Calvinistic idea that life is a curse, imposed upon man by the wrath of God. In order to redeem himself man must do constant penance, must repudiate every natural and healthy impulse, and turn his back on joy and beauty.” — Emma Goldman
How anyone could believe that “left woke fascism” is actually a thing is staggering. But I have encountered this line of thinking many more times than I am comfortable with lately, primarily among Americans. Sadly, it has become very fashionable in some corners on the internet to bemoan and decry the supposed scourge of leftist “wokeness” and to equate it with the real menace of far-right authoritarianism, violence and brutality. It is a myth that has gained alarming traction.
by Yanis Iqbal
Writer, Dandelion Salad
February 12, 2021
Since January 4, 2021, student protests have been going on in Turkey. At Bogazici University in Istanbul, rectors are elected through free and fair elections by faculties. The only time in the institution’s history when these democratic processes were suspended was in the aftermath of the 1980 coup d’état. In today’s time, it is again being done.