Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ism and the American Left

You know, I think that could say "tater salad" instead of "socialism" and still be scary...

The American left is a funny thing. Really hard to pin down. That has been kind of the point of my writing these little editorials; an attempt at explaining the left. I know these pieces aren't really funny, but the subject isn't funny either. The core left in America is a very small group, but they have a large and dangerous influence with the goal, it seems, of destroying the very bedrock of this nation: individual freedom. So it's easy to make fun of them, but understanding them is quite another story; a sordid tale that has little room for humor. I'll attempt here to do my best in what is probably my final piece on this subject, but something tells me I will still fall a bit short of explaining the unexplainable.
I'll start with an example of how ethereal the American left can be when trying to identify what they are. Consider the term "socialist". Everyone has probably seen it before, where a blogger or columnist or even just a commenter on a webpage says "Obama is a socialist" or "the left are socialists". And there always seems to be some person that appears in seconds to say "that isn't socialism, you don't know what socialism is". I think that is someone's job to do that or something, because it never fails. And of course, that mysterious person never defines what socialism is and assumes that nobody else knows what it is either. The problem is that this socialism-naysayer is actually correct. But also wrong. Confusing? Yes, of course it is. The reason is that socialism is an extremely broad term meaning little more than social concerns being a part of government at any level. By this definition, practically every government is or has been socialist to a degree. On the other hand, very few governments meet the strictest definition of the word where all market entities belong to the state and the public. That is generally known as "communism".
Socialism is a spectrum of political ideologies, economic principles, and government styles, not a single ideology, et al.  European nations, for the most part, are socialists in the eyes of Americans. But all European nations practice a rather healthy dose of capitalism and don't make a habit of nationalizing industries. China is communist, and they are one of the closest nations to being strictly "socialist", but even they don't completely follow communism or socialism to its fullest and have allowed more and more capitalism take root. Because true socialism and true communism do not work...a lesson the Soviet Union failed to realize too late (but even they weren't pure communist really).

So, if the left are and aren't socialist, and if even the right could be called socialist to a very tenuous degree, then what are the left? What word actually defines them? Marxist? Progressive? No these don't work either. Marxists seek revolution from the worker class to over take elitist government, and progressives also worked from the lower and worker class to bring about peaceful reform. Marxists and progressives are thus similar in their goals, but differ by methods. The American left, instead, attempts to work from the elitist and government level, top down and not bottom up. So not only is their method different than the two aforementioned groups, but also their goal. They want elitists at the top level. They absolutely do not want the worker class to have power, only to be controlled.

Before I continue with this futile effort to apply some already-known word to the American left, lets list their common attributes. The left considers itself liberal. The definition of liberal is really that of classical liberalism: the belief in the individual, their rights, and their ability to choose how to live their lives. The left tends to choose the state over the individual when it comes to making decisions. When it comes to choosing how to live your life, the left sides with certain groups and against others. Generally who they side with is the minority. For example, the left will champion gay rights, when that affects only a few percent of Americans, but will turn a blind eye on religious freedoms affecting most Americans. And the left has a chronic mistrust of private business, or any private enterprise for that matter. These aren't liberal qualities at all.

Next, the left works from within elite circles, especially education. The vast majority of tenured professors in America are leftist, or at least identify with the left. If this seems improbable, it should. But, if you consider that the left has targeted education as a springboard for its ideology and influence, then it doesn't really seem far-fetched. This isn't conspiracy theory...this is strategy. Conspiracy theory is that the USSR flooded our universities with agents at one point that were pro-communist. But the USSR fell a while ago now, whereas the left's influence continues to expand in education.

And sorry, McCarthy, but true communists always try to change the hearts and minds of the worker class, not Hollywood, not the government officials, and not educators. Because to communists, and most real socialists, it is the working class that is the soul of their ideology. The left in America works quite the opposite. They are elitists. They are the bourgeois that communists and socialists alike despise.

So I come back to trying to define the left in America. Since it isn't liberal, and obviously not conservative, not communist or Marxist, or European socialist, and definitely not monarchist or theocratic, then there is but one term that I can think of to fit: Oligarchy. The rule of the many by the few, and specifically by the elite few.

Think about it. What other thing does the left have in common that just screams elitism? Yes, good guess...discrimination. Compartmentalization. Putting people into groups. Assigning those groups generalized attributes. Making everything into a question of demographics. Fitting us all neatly on a pie chart.

I've argued before how unbelievably racist, sexist, and bigoted the left can be even while in the very act of calling others racist, sexist, or bigoted. Yet, even though they can seem so discriminatory against races and sexes, they accept all races and sexes into their elite circle...as long as their ideology and pedigree check out. You see, they aren't really true racists or sexists. Bigots yes, but their bigotry is against anyone who is not of the elite class. Anyone who does not both posses the intellectual status and strength of ideology to fit. If you are not "one of them", then you are either of the common rabble, or a puppet they can use (e.g. Joe Biden).

So there you have it. My best guess as to who the American left are. Oligarchists. I'm probably not the first to say that, but I hope I have made a compelling case as to why I believe that is really who they are. It really is a frightening prospect to consider, when you realize that, not only do they actually consider reality when it appears that they don't, they do so knowing many of their policies will cause failure. Because failed policies in our current system is what they want until they achieve the power they desire to have in a new system. That really does explain a lot, especially why so many on the left seem to support the idea of a global government. And is also very worrisome.
With that, I conclude my series on Understanding the Left. 

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