Until The Twitter Ban Takes Us

No one knows if or when the purge will come for us, but there's an enriching and affordable way to reject it—a FOREVER WARS subscription.

Until The Twitter Ban Takes Us
Photo illustration by Sam Thielman.

Edited by Sam Thielman

SO APPARENTLY THERE'S A LIST GOING AROUND. On Friday, antifascist Telegram and Twitter users disseminated what purports to be a list of 5,000 Twitter accounts that right-wingers are attempting to get Elon Musk to ban, the pretext being that they comprise an entire brigade-plus of Antifolks. I'm on it. So is Sam. [I just think capital goes wherever there are men poor enough to be exploited.—Sam.]

Now look. This is an extremely stupid list of "antifa." The FBI is on here. CNN is on here. I think I saw the Sesame Street account. Here’s a plausible-sounding thread from an antifascist researcher doing an autopsy on the list and the dissemination of it. While it's an honor to be nominated—I'm stealing Sam's joke—this is quite a ludicrous coalition. Dril, also listed, commented with typical precision that it's the latest tally of white boy's with fat Dicks.

But just because the list is ideologically incoherent doesn't make it impossible to understand. Establishment institutions, government agencies and normie liberals is what a lot of right-wingers think of when they think of the Left, because a tremendous amount of media and political discourse defines the Left that way. It’s useless to insist on any distinction between liberals and socialists/etc. here. Whether or not the list is genuine—I don't really have any way of verifying that it is, I just find it useful as a narrative device—you can understand it as an enemies list from chuds who want Apartheid Kendall Roy to stop their phones from annoying them.

The list may not be real. Or the list may be real but Elon Musk could just giggle and keep scrolling. I don't know. All I'm saying is: It's been pretty obvious for a long time that the Anti-Cancellation Coalition wanted not the end of cancellation but to seize the means of cancellation. When the coalition purportedly against the Deep State includes former intelligence directors, what they want is a Deep State of their own, not the end of Deep States. Elon owns Twitter, and a purge, however ideologically schizophrenic or internally fractious, is the only way to stop Twitter from owning Elon.

I don't cover Twitter and I don't know what its future holds. I read Max Read's newsletter to feel like I have the horizon covered. But the loss of my Twitter account would most likely be a body blow to this newsletter. I valued my sanity in 2022 and went on a big scrolling/posting detox, and accordingly saw how the algorithm punishes prior disengagement. But even so, that's 173,000-plus accounts that—in theory and without weighting for how the algorithm determines engagement—that I would no longer be able to put FOREVER WARS in front of. And that's a circumstance I have to prepare for, list or no list.

So please. I'm very, very grateful for the many of you who've signed up since we left Substack. But I need more of you to buy subscriptions. FOREVER WARS was always going to be a niche publication, regardless of my visibility in journalism. We're giving you a sustained journalistic focus on something overwhelmingly seen as yesterday's news. We don't pick fights with other writers for monetizable clout, and we don't engage in Discourse for Discourse's sake. After a whole lot of newsroom compromising over the decades, I want to do journalism entirely my (self-defeating) way. Even without whatever's happening at Twitter, 2023 was probably not going to be an easy year for this publication.

Look at it this way. For a long time, conservatives have said that Antifa is a well-paid organization of leftist dissidents. Upgrade to paid and seize your opportunity to make that dream reality.

I STOLE THAT KICKER from Sam. Shout out to Sam, shoot that guy a follow while you still can. [I have covered tech for so long (and then finance) that I am lashed to the mast at Twitter, whether or not it turns into the Flying Dutchman in the next few weeks. Also, paying subscribers: Have you considered buying us as a gift? We make an attractive present. Non-paying subscribers: Have you considered asking whether you can expense us? We provide valuable news that may be relevant to your work!—Sam.]

OR MAYBE ELON IS LIKE if Roman were Kendall?

PEOPLE OF NEW YORK! On the evening of Friday, December 6, I'll be in conversation with Lyle Jeremy Rubin about his excellent military memoir Pain Is Weakness Leaving The Body. We’ll be at the South Street Seaport location of McNally-Jackson at 7pm.

It’s been something like a year since I've done an in-person event here in the U.S.—I don’t know if it’ll stream; and updates may take another week because I’m going to be in a post-Thanksgiving childcare crunch—so why not spend a Friday night of your only, precious life hearing us talk about the horrors of the 9/11 era?

PEOPLE OF NEW YORK! My friends' band War on Women will be playing at Saint Vitus this Wednesday night, November 30, and you should go see them.

CHECK OUT THIS POLITICO PIECE about how European officials are starting to think the Americans are using the Ukraine war to gouge them on natural gas as a cold, frightening winter approaches—to say nothing of some old fashioned war profiteering:

Behind the scenes, there is also growing irritation about the money flowing into the American defense sector.

The U.S. has by far been the largest provider of military aid to Ukraine, supplying more than $15.2 billion in weapons and equipment since the start of the war. The EU has so far provided about €8 billion of military equipment to Ukraine, according to Borrell.

According to one senior official from a European capital, restocking of some sophisticated weapons may take “years” because of problems in the supply chain and the production of chips. This has fueled fears that the U.S. defense industry can profit even more from the war.

The Pentagon is already developing a roadmap to speed up arms sales, as the pressure from allies to respond to greater demands for weapons and equipment grows.