The First Rule About Campus Conservatives…

Brian Cook

A lot of folks are having a laugh over this story, about Francisco Nava, a campus conservative, anti-condom activist at Princeton, who beat the crap out of himself in order to blame it on "thuggish," pro-sex activists. (The New York Sun, Robbie George and--wait for it--David Horowitz all bought Nava's pretty transparently dubious story hook, line and sinker.) I wonder, however, if there isn't a deeper, more profound and quite radical political logic at work in this incident, something along the lines of Slavoj Zizek's reading of Ed Norton's self-flagellation in Fight Club--that "in order to attack the enemy, you first have to beat the shit out of yourself." Perhaps leftists can learn something from Nava, when it comes to committing ourselves to the point of physical sacrifices if that's what it takes to realize our political ideals. Perhaps…nah, nevermind. This dope's antics are just too frickin' hilarious.

For a limited time:

Donate $20 or more to In These Times and we'll send you a copy of Let This Radicalize You.

In this new book, longtime organizers and movement educators Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes examine the political lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, including the convergence of mass protest and mass formations of mutual aid. Let This Radicalize You answers the urgent question: What fuels and sustains activism and organizing when it feels like our worlds are collapsing?

We've partnered with the publisher, Haymarket Books, and 100% of your donation will go towards supporting In These Times.

Brian Cook was an editor at In These Times from 2003 to 2009. He now works on the editorial staff of Playboy magazine.
Get 10 issues for $19.95

Subscribe to the print magazine.