On the Massive Difference between Leftist Sounding Rhetoric and Real Leftist Ideals
This morning, I posted a comment on an op-ed article in RT News entitled “America’s most anxious city revealed by data. It should have been painfully obvious” to the effect that “Conflating … Democrats with the left is a mistake. Showboating, virtue signaling, hypocritical and inept idiots do not represent the real left, which is about solving problems rather than exacerbating them”. Two negative responses to that observation led to the following expression of my perspectives on point. The responses, and I quote, were: “Dream on. Nice attempt to strip the Left of all of its natural stink and decay in order to leave nothing but a fictitious sweet smelling rose. It’s like an abused wife telling someone about only the good aspects of her abusive husband”; and, “Should I believe my eyes or you?”
Sooo, this is my answer which I believe to be important:
People who claim to share leftist values include many who consider themselves liberal or progressives and articulate goals shared by “real leftists” but way too many, including almost all of the ones who call the Democratic Party their home, differ drastically in their conduct and methodology from those of us on the “real left”, most of whom owe allegiance to no political party at present. Too many of the former seem to be involved in political and civic activities for show, to demonstrate their virtue rather than to get anything done. To them demonstrations and ridicule and comradery seem the real goals. They are extremely counterproductive. Indeed, it seems their only use is to polarize and divide us for the benefit of the elites who run the Deep State and who are the primary obstacles to attaining the world real leftists strive to achieve.
The real left is not about using rhetorical devices to win arguments, or to win arguments at all. We are about laying the groundwork to lead by example, to educate by example, to keep our minds open to the views of others and to thereby both continue to grow and learn and to thereby understand the views of those who oppose our goals even when such opposition is against their best interests. The real left, including real democratic socialists, understand that the manner in which the tensions between our individual and collective natures are perceived is what separates us from other honestly held philosophies, most specifically libertarians with whom we probably share many values. We believe that conflicts between the individual and the collectives of which the individual is a part should, whenever possible and to the extent possible, be reconciled, but that when reconciliation is not possible, as Star Trek’s Spock lectured us, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. Libertarians hold the opposite perspective. But we true leftist are not out to destroy individuality and individual rights any more than libertarians are anarchists, and we can usually work things out because we both resort to reason and persuasion rather than ridicule and government imposed compulsions which almost always pave the way to authoritarianism at best and totalitarianism at worst. Neither of us believes that the two major parties have our interests at heart thus we both tend to be populist, i.e., we reject governmental institutions and traditions that provide only the illusion of democracy, or of liberty, or of equality, or of equity or of justice, and would prefer to do away with political parties altogether and instead concentrate on the qualities and nature of candidates, to vote in favor of that in which we believe rather than against “greater evils”. We share with libertarians much more than that which divides us.
Real leftists despise the United States Democratic Party because of its dishonesty and hypocrisy in espousing our views while doing everything possible to obstruct their realization. Republican policies all too frequently oppose the policies we espouse, but do so honestly, so that we both know where we stand. However, lately, traditionalist Republicans like the Bush Family and their followers, have, like the Democratic Party, become tools of the Deep State’s anti-Kantian philosophy espousing the economic benefits of perpetual war. Real leftists and libertarians are non-interventionist-pacifists but if legitimate defense is required, we expect to engage on the front lines ourselves rather than sending other people’s fathers and sons and mothers and daughters off to do the dirty work.
Unfortunately, the faux-woke, self-aggrandizing, attention seeking, unproductive but very loud and very active people who claim to be leftist and liberal and progressive, apparently having a great deal of free time in which to riot and loot and burn and ridicule and put others down, are likely to succeed in preventing implementation adoption and popular acceptance of the goals they claim are theirs, and only theirs. Goals which real leftists really treasure such as a real end to racism and xenophobia and misogyny because we have convinced people, in their hearts and in their souls, that we are all brothers and sisters and that, as Martin Luther King, Jr., frequently and passionately expressed “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”. Goals such as real equity, equality of opportunity and justice, where impunity and corruption are anathema. The real left seeks to persuade through example and illustration and realizes that a great deal of patience is required, we know that actions, for good or ill, speak louder than words or pictures or slogans. We understand that real change is not attained without popular support and certainly that it is not attained through abuse of the government monopoly on the use of force through imposition of coercive sanctions that only alienate and divide.
Thus, the worst enemies of real leftist are not those who do not share our goals and values but those who claim that they do but who by their conduct make them impossible to attain.
Something to consider.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2021; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He is currently a strategic analyst employed by Qest Consulting Group, Inc. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at www.guillermocalvo.com