WHY I AM CRITICAL OF "THE LEFT" AND NOT JUST CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS
October 1, 2018
In stark contrast to my view, there is a Left (I capitalize it for emphasis only) view of ordinary people, which I disagree with, which is at the root of the thinking of virtually all organizations and publications that describe themselves as "of the left."
This wrong Leftist view of ordinary people is this: "Ordinary working class people have the wrong (bad, capitalist, selfish) values, and until we--the Left--somehow make them change their fundamental values, they will continue to be part of the problem and not part of the solution."
The Left expresses this wrong negative view of ordinary people in many different ways:
"They are not class conscious." "They have only trade-union consciousness." "They are sheeple." "They are complicit." "They are not woke." "They are de-humanized by capitalism." "The whites are racist and benefit from racism ['white privilege']." "They are homophobic and transphobic." "They just think with their belly [are selfish]." etc., etc.
It is because of this Leftist contempt for ordinary people that, when Leftists, in the name of anti-racism, deliberately antagonized the mainly white working class commuters on Interstate 93 by blocking them from driving to work in Boston in 2015, and thus helped the ruling class persuade white working class people that anti-racism is code for anti-white and thus drove potential allies into the welcoming arms of the conservative wing of the ruling class, NOT A SINGLE LEFT ORGANIZATION OR WRITER (that I could find with a due diligence google search and monitoring of the local left sources) CRITICIZED WHAT THESE LEFTISTS DID; THEY EITHER PRAISED THE I-93 BLOCKING ACTION EXPLICITLY OR IMPLICITLY PRAISED IT BY SIMPLY REPORTING IT AS AN ANTI-RACIST ACTION.
Here's another example of the problem with the Left. A Left professor wrote a book blaming ordinary Americans--their horrible values!--for the crimes of the U.S. ruling class around the world. I discuss this in my article here. I spoke personally (I invited him to my home and we ate a meal together) with the author of this book and tried to explain to him why I thought it was based on a profoundly false view of ordinary people and how it thus played right into the hands of people like Rush Limbaugh. But the author was adamant that his book was correct, and his attitude was "So what if it plays into the hands of Rush Limbaugh?" One will search in vain for a Left organization or writer condemning this horrible book as the unjustified attack on ordinary Americans that it truly is.
Here's another example. When the mainly white jury found George Zimmerman "not guilty" in his trial for killing Trayvon Martin, all observers of the trial--regardless of what they thought about Zimmerman's guilt--who commented on the quality of the federal prosecution's case said that it was the worst and most incompetent and unpersuasive prosecution they had ever seen (some even wondered if it had been deliberately unpersuasive.) These commentators all acknowledged that the jurors were never given enough evidence to come any where near establishing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the jurors had no choice but to return a 'not guilty' verdict.*
But the Leftist magazine, The Nation**, headlined
"White Supremacy Acquits George Zimmerman"
and insisted that the white jurors voted "not guilty" simply because they were so racist they wouldn't declare a white person guilty of murdering a black person even when the evidence was (supposedly) obvious; and the Left organized protest rallies based on the theme that ordinary whites are all racists (since the white jurors, after all, being randomly selected from the larger population, were representative of all whites.) Where was the Leftist organization or writer who said that The Nation was wrong? Nowhere to be found.
Here's another example. When the ruling class had President Richard Nixon initiate Affirmative Action, Nixon was also launching the War on Drugs specifically to target and incarcerate black people. Some people may find this behavior of Nixon contradictory, but it was not. The point of Affirmative Action [as I discuss here] was to destroy the solidarity that the earlier Civil Rights Movement had produced between whites and non-whites based on its demand to abolish racist discrimination such as the Jim Crow laws.
Affirmative Action was intended to make whites resent non-whites, by making sure that whites would be told, essentially, "We're sorry we couldn't give you the position you applied for; we had to give it to a less qualified minority person."
How did the Left respond? Instead of explaining that the ruling class was using Affirmative Action to attack the working class by undermining its solidarity, the Left accused people of being racists if they said--perfectly reasonably!--they thought the qualifying test score for a job or school should be the same--not different--for all races of people! The Left did this because it has a contemptuous view of ordinary people. And because of this contemptuous view of ordinary people, the ruling class knows it can count on the Left to be its "useful idiot." I am not aware of a single Left organization or writer who has said the truth about what Affirmative Action is all about.
Likewise for the phrase "white privilege"--a phrase that Big Money has worked hard (using its big foundations) to replace the very good old phrase of "racial discrimination" (as I show in great detail in my article here.) The "white privilege" phrase is an attack on working class solidarity because it tells us that the most wonderfully insightful slogan of the labor movement--AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL--is false! I explain this in my article here. The false notion that racial discrimination against non-whites makes life better for ordinary working class whites is the idea that led the I-93 blockers to do their destructive act instead of, say, putting banners on the I-93 overpasses that said, "Honk if you oppose racially biased policing." Virtually every single Left organization and writer avoids criticizing the use of the "white privilege" phrase. Why? Because they all view ordinary white people as racists who benefit from racial discrimination.
Here's another example. In 2008 70% of African-Americans in California voted to ban same-sex marriage (i.e., they voted Yes on Proposition 8 [ http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#CAI01p1]. I asked a member of a Marxist organization about this. I asked him, "Do you believe that these African-Americans are fit to have a real say in society?" He replied, "No. But after we [his party] have educated them they will be." In contrast, I sympathize with those who voted as these African-Americans did, for the reason I discuss here.
Here's another example. The Left (including Jill Stein***) accuses anybody who doesn't approve of the new liberal "bathroom" laws that supposedly protect transgender people of being a bigot. But in fact these laws are absurd, and the reason people (including many transgender people) oppose them is because they are absurd, as I discuss here. The Left (acting as "useful idiots") joins with the ruling class in accusing good and decent people of being bigots because that's what the Left thinks about ordinary good and decent people. I have not seen a single Leftist organization or writer speak sensibly about this issue.
The problem, in other words, is not just this or that specific Leftist individual; the problem is the Leftist contemptuous view of ordinary people that virtually all of them share.
The problem is not simply that the contemporary U.S. Left has deviated from its otherwise good Marxist origins. No! The Marxist theory developed by Karl Marx is itself deeply contemptuous of ordinary working class people, as I discuss here. This is why Marxist regimes are so notoriously anti-democratic. And note that the very good ideas that people mistakenly think came from Karl Marx actually existed long before Marx, as I discuss here.
We will never build a mass egalitarian revolutionary movement until we soundly reject the Left's contemptuous view of ordinary people.
** The Nation's editor/publisher [more recently just publisher] is Katrina vanden Heuvel, who happens also to be a member of the ultra-elite ruling class policy-making organization, the Council on Foreign Relations. The Nation is the largest circulation Left U.S. magazine. The sources for this are:
*** See Jill Stein's tweet accusing people of being transphobic if they support the North Carolina HB2 law that says people should use the public facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate, WHICH A PERSON CAN CHANGE EASILY IF THEY HAVE HAD SEX-CHANGE SURGERY (a fact that the liberal media made sure to censor!): https://2016election.procon.org/view.answers.election.php…