Wednesday, September 7, 2016

We Need an Old Left / Realist Left / Alt Left Internet Community

With blogs, YouTube channels, social media presence, memes, humour and activism – the works.

If the Alt Right can do it, then why can’t we?

Here is a new “Realist Left” Facebook page set up by Kain:
Realist Left @realistleft
There’s also a nice slogan: “Keep it Real. Keep it Left.” I like that very much.

Also, there is this “Alt Left” Facebook page here that looks quite interesting:
Alternative Left @alternativeleft
I do have to admit I am not comfortable with some of the other Alt Left stuff about, but the expression the “Alt Left” really is a great name for a new, reformed left.

Also, note well: since we are not committed to the dreadful nonsense of the cultural left, or the neoliberal left or identify politics, we are in a much better position to counter the populist right and Alt Right, because they do attract people with real and serious issues that the mainstream left is clueless about and cannot discuss. At the same time, I would still distance myself from some elements of Alt Left, however.

I won’t speak for the Alt Left, but I would see an Old Left / Realist Left committed to certain core principles:
(1) rejection of neoliberalism, globalisation, neoclassical economics, libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, and all ideological free market capitalism. Support for left heterodox Post Keynesian economics and/or Modern Monetary Theory (MMT).

(2) rejection of the extreme aspects of cultural leftism, namely, French Poststructuralism, Postmodernism, truth relativism, cultural relativism, moral relativism, SJW cults, the cult of diversity, and divisive and extreme identity politics. At the very least, healthy scepticism of Third Wave Feminism.

Of course, we support sensible and rational women’s rights, gay rights, and so on. But not regressive left identity politics.

(3) rejection of open borders and mass immigration, on perfectly good left-wing economic, social and cultural grounds. Recognition that Postmodernist-inspired multiculturalism has gone badly wrong in the Western world. Recognition that Islamism is a seriously regressive and illiberal danger to free, secular and truly left-wing Western societies. In particular, we foresee that something truly terrible is going to happen in Europe if current immigration policies aren’t changed quickly.

(4) the Old Left / Realist left is anti-imperialist, and opposed to American and Western wars and soft-imperialist interventions in the Third World. Full stop.

(5) people who wish to identify as Old Left should – at the very least – be open to serious and rational discussion of the breakdown of the nuclear family in the Western world, and what harm this may have done to our societies.
Of course, there will be a lot of other issues on which people don’t agree, and there must be respectful, polite, serious, open debate on these issues, not name-calling and witch hunting.

For example, a lot of older people who could be receptive to Old Left politics are probably more socially conservative than Millennial people are. Old left-wing people are probably comfortable with civic nationalism and flag waving. Don’t turn them off!

There will be disagreements, and people are not going to agree on various issues, e.g.,:
(1) the role of Marxism and communism within the movement. I have to say I am very sceptical of all Marxist and communist movements, and they seem to me to be infested with cultural leftism and support for open borders.

(2) attitude to Israeli–Palestinian conflict. This is controversial, and divides left-wing people even now. I am not blind to the traditional pro-Palestinian position on human rights grounds by any means, but the fact is there is some pretty awful Islamism and anti-Semitism infecting the Palestinian movements. Some balance on this issue is in order!

(3) attitude to Christianity. I am in favour of winning over liberal Christians and even more socially-conservative Christians, and recognising the role of Christian (non-Marxist) socialism in the history of the left. But at the same time I support a secular state and oppose religious fundamentalism in all forms.

(4) cultural/social liberalism or a degree of social conservatism?
I think a lot of potential votes could be won over by listening to the real concerns of older, traditional left-wing people who get turned off by extreme cultural leftism. Don’t neglect older people.

I think it’s also important to stress – for people on the left not knowledgeable about economics – that all the work building an alternative economics and serious science of capitalism has already been done by brilliant people: what we need is Post Keynesian economics and MMT.

It also strikes me that the Old Liberals like Sargon of Akkad or Dave Rubin have made a big impact with YouTube channels. I think an effective community of Old Left / Realist Left / Alt Left YouTube channels with serious discussion of economics and politics would be necessary too. But you do need people who are articulate, well-spoken, with a touch of charisma and humour for YouTube channels.

So a new, realistic left vision which abandons the disaster of cultural leftism, which actually does reflect the real concerns of working class people again, without ignoring the middle class, and which offers real economic justice is vitally needed.

I’m on Twitter:
Lord Keynes @Lord_Keynes2

Other Alternative Left media:
Realist Left @realistleft
Alternative Left @alternativeleft


  1. how about making a wikipedia page about the realist left with links to related blogs groups and sites?

    people like sometime surf in wikipedia and find new interesting articles and they can find out the article of the movement.

    how do you think?

    1. That sounds excellent, Daniel.

      I would have do a broad entry like this:

      "Alternative Left:

      This is a new movement on the left, and is basically divided into the

      (1) Old Left / Realist Left and
      (2) Alt Left (short for "Alternative Left")

      Both are critical, to varying degrees, of modern cultural leftism, such as Social Justice Warriors politics and identity politics, and various ideas that have become fashionable on the left from French Poststructuralism and Postmodernism, such as truth relativism, cultural relativism, moral relativism, and the modern obsession with "diversity."

      The Old Left / Realist is also very critical of mass immigration and open borders, which it rejects on left-wing economics, social and cultural grounds.

      Old Left and Realist Left:
      (1) Social Democracy for the 21st Century: An Alternative to the Modern Left

      (2) Realist Left @realistleft

      (2) Alt Left
      Alternative Left @alternativeleft
      Unfortunately, I am almost totally ignorant of how to edit or set up Wikipedia pages!

    2. correction:
      "on left-wing economic, social and cultural grounds."

    3. Actually, the 5 core principles I have listed above for the Old Left could be incorporated into the entry, with link to this page.

    4. Another correction:

      "such as Social Justice Warrior politics"

    5. THIS ... is the Realist Left:

    6. Except Jill Stein seems to be an convert to the cult of open borders:

      "Our priorities for immigration reform must include family reunification, asylum for political, racial, gender, and religious refugees, and the normalization of border crossings throughout North America."

    7. I wouldn't get that out of that statement at all.


      Q: You advocate a pathway to citizenshwip for undocumented immigrants; what should the rules be, regarding who is eligible? Everyone?

      A: I don't want to have a pathway to citizenship for drug dealers or criminals, of course. But we should fight for human rights for all immigrants. The Canadian border is a reasonable model for what our border should look like -- at least, the Canadian border before the modern [post-9-11] era.

    9. Here's some other stuff I was able to dig up:

      The Green Party calls for permanent border passes to all citizens of Mexico and Canada whose identity can be traced and verified. The "matricula consular" should be accepted as one means of proving one's identity. Work permits for citizens of Mexico and Canada must be easily obtainable, thereby decriminalizing the act of gainful employment.

      Note the contrast between the Libertarians and Greens on Immigration.

      Scroll down to section on the Greens:

      "he understandable concern about immigrant workers competing for jobs with current citizens cannot and should not be addressed by criminalizing undocumented immigration or punishing fellow victims of U.S. corporatist policies. Instead, we must reverse these policies. Among other things, we should repeal NAFTA, CAFTA, Fast Track and other corporate globalization policies. We must stop using our tax dollars to subsidize corporate agribusiness and to promote poverty in Latin America, and start using them to help reward environmentally responsible family farmers, encourage improved infrastructure and economic conditions in Latin America, and raise labor standards, at home and abroad. Here at home, we must also promote the policies, as outlined in the Economy and Workers’ Rights sections of this Platform, that can help us achieve a full employment economy at a living wage, including strictly enforcing and expanding the rights of all workers to form unions."

      So I suspect they are still more liberal than you are on immigration, but it's not quite "open the floodgates" with no law enforcement, either.

    10. "The Green Party calls for permanent border passes to all citizens of Mexico and Canada whose identity can be traced and verified. The "matricula consular" should be accepted as one means of proving one's identity. Work permits for citizens of Mexico and Canada must be easily obtainable, thereby decriminalizing the act of gainful employment. "

      That is a recipe for economic and social disaster. Period.

    11. Lk
      If you and people in our community will prepare good wikipedia article with sources i will spare time to find out how to put this article into wikipedia.

      I recommend to put 2 kind of sources economic ones (like steve keen bill mitchell baker and of course your blog)

      And social/cultural of course.

    12. I have to disagree. Canada and the US enjoyed a pretty fair & open relationship for crossing borders for a long time.

      If you give people an easier path to citizenship and worker-permits, they'll come out of the shadows and be easier to account for. The ones who do become citizens will be taxpaying citizens. Then just passing the $15 wage or some other such controls, and that ought to take care of things.

      Are you for Increased Surveillance, the Department of Homeland Security, detainment without a trial, torture and other stuff like that that came in with 911? Seems a bit draconian to me.

    13. The only other alternative would be to try your luck with Trump and hope his choosing Mike Pence isn't a bad omen. Sure the Veep doesn't do that much, but Dick Cheney found plenty to do on his own.

      AFAICS blame-gaming ethnic and religious minorities will lead to another NAZI Germany.

      Jill Stein agrees those with criminal records should be excluded. I can live with that.

    14. No, Kevin, open borders in Europe is more likely to lead to re-emergence of neofascism.

    15. That may be, I don't live in Europe so I'm in no place to differ. But someone that doesn't understand how the US went wrong after 9/11 and the role Dick Cheney & his ilk played in all of that is certainly not going to be a bulwark against Neofacism.

      Jill Stein says she'd pardon Snowden and appoint him to a cabinet post. Now that is a mind for real security!

  2. I sometimes identify as an economic social democrat, (Nordic style) a moral/social liberal and cultural conservative. The funny thing is, it's almost the other way round today, with sharia courts and cultural relativism, but social reactionary sentiment with ukip and the populist right elsewhere. I also oppose the revolutionary right wing neo cons; where are the burkeans of our time who oppose agressive foreign policy? I may not agree on everything you've posted, but you're hitting chords that need to be struck. I'm pessimistic about a full scale organisation of the left however, their party politics seems to be imploding nowadays.

    1. A new left can rise from the ashes of the awful, comical cultural leftist parties imploding in much of the Western world.

  3. I think it is important to note that Capitalism does actually work - as long as it is kept in an engineered containment vessel.

    It's just like nuclear power. Perfectly safe when held safely inside a correctly engineered containment unit. But if you neglect the containment unit, or try and keep using one that is 40 years old (of any design) then you'll have problems.

    But with modern containment design you can easily extract the power without a boom.

    1. Yeah, this is an issue some left-wing people have trouble understanding.

      Properly managed mixed-economy capitalism will work very well, and can be the basis for a social democratic state.

      Even if left-wing people want to make the case for gradualist increases in economic planning (or even, say, some nationalised industries as part of industrial policy), ditch the Marxism and communism, and just make the case on its own merits. Have an open debate without apologetics for Soviet communism.

  4. Ummmmm... Sargon has been sounding more and more Libertarian/Free Market AFAIK and has quoted from Hayek.

    1. Indeed he has. He's confused on economics, but I doubt he really understands libertarian economics, or really wants a Classical liberal economy.

    2. He is surrounded by libertarian youtubers in the anti SJW sphere, not hardly surprising really. Though they have turned on him recently calling him a Marxist.

    3. they have turned on him recently calling him a Marxist

      That's the Mens Rights/Anti Feminist Element, of which I was steeped in but am in the process of dialing all of that down. There's a guy from Romania named Lucian Valsan that participates in A Voice for Men that's been the big mouth running around calling people "libtards" and "economically illiterate," etc. It finally got to me wherein I needed some breathing space.

    4. @Anonymous,

      That is not surprising. The anti-SJW Internet is largely right-wing in orientation. Even though I sometimes agree with their stances, the anti-SJW Internet can be nasty. Once you dip your feet into their world get ready for name-calling, trolling, an all sorts of Internet drama.

  5. I'm already on the Alternative Left Fb page. I'm down with any group of Reformers until they show that compassion and color-blinded fairness is outside their realm. Then I have to differentiate myself out of principle.

  6. I'll invite a few people to your Fb page. It's always refreshing to hear a different perspective and we certainly don't have to agree on everything in order to see that the old paradigms are getting a bit stale & stifling.

  7. Thanks for the shoutout LK! And thanks for everyone for joining. If anyone with graphic designing could create a cover photo for it, that would be excellent. Elsewise, I'll have to mash something together with Paint.

    Otherwise I'll start making a megablog. Think on the scale of or, which is a large community precisely because it allows the individual to participate directly by creating diaries. They also have professional frontpagers, but I think we'll have to wait on that.

    I'm thinking we should also include a book section, linking people to works of our favorite authors such as Joan Robinson, Kalecki, Hyman Minsky, Keynes, Mark Blyth, etc. So that people know what kinds of information sources for a solid center-left economics with a (Post-)Keynesian foundation (other similar things, i.e. MMT, or more rational center-left perspectives on political and social issues).

    I'll have to handcode this all, which isn't a problem but will take time. I hope to have a working template finished in... say 2 weeks. Wordpress and Blogspot simply doesn't allow for the functionality that I like out of those other mega-websites, and Scoop, which was used to create them, doesn't really exist anymore. But no problems. It can be done. We've got the facebook page, and we can work on putting together a wikipedia page.

    In the meantime, this blog is the official headquarters of the Realist Left. :)

    I suppose I can look into creating a Youtube channel. But, that does require a different learning curve of producing videos, and I don't think I could start out producing more than 1 video a week (on a Sunday or Saturday probably). In due time of course.

    1. If you will able to create good article of wikipedia it will be amazing

    2. I'll get onto that if it hasn't already been done once I get at least a workable blog up and running.

      Also, created a twitter if anyone's interested in following:

      But I think the real emphasis should be on facebook and moreover on quality blogposts.

    3. (1) Kain@September 7, 2016 at 8:18 AM

      That is fantastic work, Kain. Wow.

      Great Facebook page and great to see you on Twitter. I have followed you on Twitter and will promote you.

      I love your slogan: “Keep it Real. Keep it Left.” Pure gold.

      Also, I will write up a blog post on the "Realist Left" next with something that could be easily turned into a Wikipedia entry.

      (2) Daniel Marmur@September 7, 2016 at 12:49 PM

      Don't worry, the next blog post I'll write will be a "Realist Left" summary that be a Wikipedia entry.

      Well done, everybody!

    4. Kain,

      To save time, you can easily copy and use my various bibliographies on Post Keynesian economics:

      (1) Bibliography on introductory and advanced Post Keynesian economics (at the end):

      (2) A Bibliography on the History of Post Keynesian Economics:

      (3) Bibliography on Uncertainty in Post Keynesian Economics:

      (4) Heterodox and Post Keynesian Bibliography on Trade Theory

      (5) Endogenous Money: A Bibliography:

      (6) Academic Journals for Post Keynesian Economics:

  8. "Poverty for all!"

    Not so catchy, but puts your economic policies pithily.

    1. A Job Guarantee is pretty much the opposite of 'poverty for all'.

    2. Ken B@September 7, 2016 at 8:55 AM

      (1) you've never even been able to refute the empirical case against free trade by comparative advantage. We've challenged you repeatedly to answer but every time you come up with a big fat hairy zero.

      (2) seriously, dude, who are you even virtue signalling to in the comments section here by firing off hostile trolling comments (without any arguments) against heterodox economics? Nobody cares.

  9. LK you might want to reach out to Sargon via twitter to do an interview/discussion about economics and where the left went wrong. I suggest you explain why leftwing economics isn't limited to Marxism and anarchist stupidity.

    Even though I'm more alt-rightist (cause antiracism has turned into reverse nazism and hyperxenophilia);
    I'm always in support of more voices against neoliberalism and globalism.

    1. I second that, as a means of getting some of the ideas of Keynes back into the mainstream. But be prepared for the comments section to blow up with book-length rants from the Austrian crowd.

    2. I guess I am the only one left here who thinks Britons should be able to buy wine from Portugal or bananas from the Caribbean. Portugese wine?? The bastards!

    3. Getting some interviews from Sargon and Rubin would be very helpful, seeing as how they both have big and growing audiences, and would lend a sympathetic ear.

      Debating popular figures on topics such as economics would be a good thing too. I'd love to see debates between "Realist Leftists" and Libertarians like Lauren Southern, Milo Yiannopoulis and Tom Woods.

    4. I agree, but you do need people with strong clear voices, good delivery, a bit of humour for that.

      I might try a YouTube debate at some stage and see if I'm up to it.

    5. I'd like to say that I'd be up to the task, but you never know unless you actually do it, and are then critiqued by others about your performance.