Friday, September 2, 2016

Anarchopac on the Old Left


Yes, it is true that the Old Left was, broadly speaking, socially conservative, and certainly by modern standards. They did have their Bohemian fringe as well, however.

But it remains true, for example, that, as late as the time of Clement Attlee’s premiership in Britain, the UK Labour party continued to support the illegality of abortion and homosexual acts, and the government itself did not even abolish the death penalty (despite a movement within the party for the abolition of capital punishment). There was no doubt a lot of hostility to homosexuality too, because this was the cultural norm back then. I would not doubt that many on the Old Left shared in a type of excessive and ugly racial feeling too and intolerance of other races.

Anarchopac complains that there was hatred and persecution of gay people on the Old Left. Correct.

But to call for a return to something like Old Left politics now – as well as the contention that the extreme aspects of the modern cultural leftism and SJWism are a disaster and should be abandoned – does not require that we return to open persecution or hatred towards gay or transgender people at all, or any of the inhumane social ideas that characterised that era.

It just means ditching all the false, divisive, and intellectually feeble nonsense on the left that was pushed too far. Nor does it mean that you think the Old Left got everything right.

Despite Anarchopac, identity politics – the outgrowth of Postmodernism, cultural relativism, truth relativism, the abandonment of serious economic thinking – has ruined the left.

Also, what is so ridiculous about cultural leftists is their narrative that they are some underdog – some kind of radical minority fighting the man and speaking truth to power. This is such bullsh*t.

Generally speaking, it is utterly easy and socially acceptable to virtue signal about gay rights, feminism, transgender rights, and refugee rights all day long on Facebook or wherever. In fact, in polite, educated middle class society it is probably the expected thing to do to fit in.

But try talking about the real disaster of mass immigration, or open borders, or Islamism from an Old Left perspective, and watch the hysterical abuse and slanders fly.

Even more significantly, many of the large capitalist corporations and corporate culture are all about diversity, multiculturalism and gay rights, as has been shown by Walter Benn Michaels in The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality (New York, 2006) (see here and here on this).

You cultural leftists actually won the culture war. So many of the minorities and marginalised people who feature prominently in your narratives are treated, if anything, with remarkable privilege, e.g., affirmative action, laws to stop discrimination, hate speech laws, etc.

Even worse, in the culture you have helped to construct, white heterosexual men – and especially white heterosexual working class men – are subjected to the most vicious and incredible demonisation and abuse. If anything, they are sometimes portrayed as the most evil people ever, and their lives can be easily devalued in culture with no serious consequences. E.g., a feminist personality can tweet #killallwhitemen on Twitter, and it is widely shrugged off as “just being edgy.”

How are you so stupid that you don’t see this? Gay marriage is becoming the norm in the Western world. Feminism and diversity is preached in the mainstream media. Governments generally support it and push it. The universities preach it.

Cultural leftism, broadly speaking, is our mainstream culture.

You cultural leftists are not some radical fringe as you were in 1960s.

Instead, you are a large part of the elite and elite culture.


  1. Some of these alt right types, though, don't like how the rest of hte right complains about SJWs.

    On Facebook channel, Counter Signal Memes, they even ridicule National Review for wasting time on SJWs, because they see that as a way of ignoring genuinely dangerous people such as Hillary Clinton, for her war-mongering and promotion of special interests by stealth.

    Perhaps the case could be made that SJWs are just pure noise and are just a bait to distract the right from genuinely dangerous people on the left.

  2. 'widely shrugged off as “just being edgy.”'

    It is just being edgy. It's a joke. An unfunny one, but a joke nonetheless.

    1. yes and if someone after being offended by lets say a rude remark which been made by mexican immigrant (hypothetically) would it be "edgy"
      to say a joke like i want america hispanic free?

      i dont think so.

    2. Not really. Some RadFems want to put men into concentration camps:

      The contempt for men and white men in particular by the Regressive Left is in practice very little different from the contempt that antisemites have for jews, what white nationalists have for blacks, etc.

  3. Cultural Leftists fail to distinguish between the dominant, elite-sanctioned culture and individual instances of racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.

    Cultural Leftists rely on examples of politicians, judges or other public figures being racist or sexist or whatnot, but these examples are exceptions to the rule, hence why they get so much press and the offenders often have to apologize or are removed from office or disgraced in some other way. Even in cases where institutions may have certain cultures, like say misogynistic college fraternities, these cases are still exceptions to the general cultural norms that tend to enforce tolerance and cultural liberalism.

    Many people on both the Left and the Right simply cannot seem to understand that the Cultural Left has not only won the culture war but that cultural liberalism has become the dominant culture of the Western capitalist world, and not because of some nefarious Jewish conspiracy but because cultural liberalism is a good fit for modern neoliberal capitalism.

    Michael E. Acuna has written a bit on this issue from a left-wing perspective, critiquing the “Cultural Marxist” conspiracy theory of the Far Right but also arguing that cultural liberalism nicely compliments capitalism, which angers many on the Left who think that capitalism is inherently racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.

  4. Nicely said. Small niggles aside I agree.

  5. Sorry to be a pain in... but what evidence do we have that "cultural leftism" whatever it might be has actually "ruined" the left ?
    Let's say that ruining the left means a general trend of losing elections, losing ground on important matters (wellfare state in particular) and ending up supporting neoliberal agenda and even imperialistic wars.
    I do not quite see how some "post-structuralist" BS could seriously have done that.
    First and foremost, ideas, words, books have no power of their own. The very existence of a theory is no explanation as to why some people do embrace it.
    Second, more often than not political leaders do invoke theories in a rather fuzzy way just to impress the layman and sound smarter. (Even within the alledgedly strongly marxist german social-democracy before WWI, the real, practical political activity was plain "bred and butter" reformism, even abiding the authoritarian State. And it is an a fortiori argument since most political organisations are less ideas centered and have a more catch-all discourse than SPD had.)
    Third, even if we were to grant PM rhetoric a power of its own, I think the vast majority never heard of it. Go to your local pub and ask a random person who Lyotard or Rorty are. Even college people are scarcely acquainted with it. And even those who claim they endorse it are in my experience generally found to understand very little of it (for otherwise they probably would have to reject it.)
    Ask some college activist who pretends he takes inspiration from Foucault what great insight he got from him and how it relates to a political agenda if any.
    The answer will certainly contain the words "power", "norms" and "construction" and if it is a grad student you might also get some "subjectivation process" or "practice of the self". The answer to the second question will imply that norms are power (or vice versa?) and therefore are intrinsicly bad. But the student will not be able to articulate this last point, since "intrinsicly bad" sounds terribly naive from a foucaldian point of view. And the real criterium he will be using to actually tell what powers and what norms are to be fought against will turn out to be quite common sensical : "hetero-normativity", "post-colonnial institutionnal racism", "State repression through psychiatric asylums" are bad because they all harm innocent people. Actually the main problem with PM activists is not the theories they invoke, it is the theories they ignore : genuine social sciences (showing for example how mass unemployment destroys more lives than any of the aforementionned evils).

    Apart from that, so called PM students generally happen to be decent and reasonnable guys. Just like religious people who are supposed to believe strange things once in a while (like bred becoming flesh, Moses opening the red sea, Mahomet riding to the sky etc.) but act just like any other rational joe in most other respects.
    That is why when it comes to serious matters be it politics or friendship we do not judge people according to what they say they believe but according to the way they act.