What’s Wrong with the Left

Published at 16:07 on 12 October 2021

Simply put, it is a subculture, not a movement.

Going to any radical left site is a bit like watching Groundhog Day. Nothing ever really changes; it is the same pet issues over and over (and over) again.

It’s not so much that I disagree with the standard issues or stances so much as the inability to process new information. Go to an anarchist site like It’s Going Down or a communist site like WSWS and it might as well be the year 2014 or the year 2008. You’re just not going to see much (if anything) about how weak the current bourgeois democratic order is, how unwilling it is to defend itself against a clear mortal threat from the right.

Yes, yes, I know: bourgeois “democracy” is basically a sack of shit. I actually agree! But, better a sack of shit than a barrel of high-level radioactive waste that will kill anyone in its proximity. It really does matter that we are able to struggle against an order that at least has some concept of civil rights for those who dissent. Doing so is a much more favorable circumstance than being compelled to engage in struggle against a fascist state.

The most simple explanation I can think of for this state of affairs is that the radical Left has become, over the years, ever more inward-looking. We have become ever more concerned with the pursuit of in-group status, and less and less concerned with the issues of the external world.

If you’re already busy arguing about pet issues and pet terminologies, well, you’re busy. You just don’t have time for any pesky new data coming in about democratic decline (and it’s all just bourgeois democracy anyhow, and you can best advance your in-group status by proclaiming that to be meaningless).

In the 1930’s, in both Spain and Germany, most on the Left actually knew the Right posed a profound threat, but were unable to unify against that threat. But at least they acknowledged the threat. Today, we can’t even seem to get to the acknowledgement stage.

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