Why the ‘Left’ is Dead in the Water
By Gilad Atzmon
It seems that there is not much left of the Left and what remains has nothing to do with ‘Left.’
Contemporary ‘Left’ politics is detached from its natural constituency, working people. The so called ‘Left’ is basically a symbolic identifier for ‘Guardian readers’ a critical expression attributed to middle class people who, for some reason, claim to know what is good for the working class. How did this happen to the Left? Why was it derailed and by whom?
Hierarchy is one answer. The capitalist and the corporate worlds operate on an intensely hierarchical basis. The path to leadership within a bank, management of a globally trading company or even high command in the military is of an evolutionary nature. Such power is acquired by a challenging climb within an increasingly demanding system. It is all about the survival of the fittest. Every step entails new challenges. Failure at any step could easily result in a setback or even a career end. In the old good days, the Left also operated on a hierarchical system. There was a long challenging path from the local workers’ union to the national party. But the Left is hierarchical no more.
Left ideology, like working class politics, was initially the byproduct of the industrial revolution. It was born to address the needs and demands of a new emerging class; those who were working day and night to make other people richer. In the old days, when Left was a meaningful adventure, Left politicians grew out of workers’ unions. Those who were distinguished in representing and improving the conditions of their fellow workers made it to the trade unions and eventually into the national parties. None of that exists anymore.
In a world without manufacturing, the working class have been removed from the consumption chain and demoted into an ‘under class.’ The contemporary Left politician has nothing to do with the workless people let alone the workless class. The unions are largely defunct. You won’t find many Labour politicians who have actually worked in factories and mixed with working people for real. No contemporary Left politician including Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders is the product of a struggle through a highly demanding hierarchical system as such a system hasn’t really existed within the Left for at least four decades.
In most cases, the contemporary Left politician is a middle class university activist groomed through party politics activity. Instead of fighting for manufacturing and jobs, the Left has embraced the highly divisive identitarian battle. While the old Left tended to unite us by leading the fight against the horrid capitalists rather than worrying about whether you were a man or a woman, black or white, Jew or Muslim, gay or hetero, our present-day ‘Left’ actually promotes racial differences and divisions as it pushes people to identify with their biology (skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, Jewish maternal gene etc.) If the old Left united us against the capitalists, the contemporary ‘Left’ divides us and uses the funds it collects from capitalist foundations such as George Soros’ Open Society Institute.
The British Labour party is a prime example of this. It is deaf to the cry of the lower classes. It claims to care ‘for the many’ but in practice is only attentive to a few voices within the intrusive Israeli Lobby. As Britain is struggling with the crucial debate over Brexit, British Labour has been focused instead on spurious allegations of ‘antisemitsm.’ It is hard to see how any Left political body in the West even plans to bring more work to the people. The Left offers nothing in the way of a vision of a better society for all. It is impossible to find the Left within the contemporary ‘Left.’
Why has this happened to the Left, why has it become irrelevant? Because by now the Left is a non-hierarchical system. It is an amalgam of uniquely ungifted people who made politics into their ‘career.’ Most Left politicians have never worked at a proper job where money is exchanged for merit, achievements or results. The vast majority of Left politicians have never faced the economic challenges associated with the experience of being adults. Tragically such people can’t lead a country, a city, a borough or even a village.
The Left had a mostly positive run for about 150 years. But its role has come to an end as the condition of being in the world has been radically transformed. The Left failed to adapt. It removed itself from the universal ethos.
The shift in our human landscape has created a desperate need for a new ethos: a fresh stand point that will reinstate the Western Athenian ethical and universal roots and produce a new canon that aspires for truth and truthfulness as opposed to the current cancerous tyranny of correctness.
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