Can the American Left Be Resurrected?

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Jacob Richter
Can the American Left Be Resurrected?

Agree or disagree, a lot of poignant points have been made in this article: [url=https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2017/12/09/can-the-american-left-be... the American Left Be Resurrected?[/url]

 

By Paul Craig Roberts

[b]Identity Politics splinters and destroys the cohesiveness of the working class, thereby making it easier for exploiters to exploit.[/b]

“Where is the leftwing when we need it” is a question I have asked at times. Some of my readers who confuse the left with Antifa and Identity politics have been confused by my question. Why, they ask, do I want more Antifa thugs and Identity Politics hatred of white people?

The answer is that Antifa and Identity Politics are the antithesis of the left. [b]The real left is pro-working class, pro all of the working class, all races, genders, sexual preferences.[/b] Identity Politics splinters the working class into victims of white heterosexual males and destroys the cohesiveness of the working class, thereby making it easier for exploiters to exploit. Antifa aids in this process by focusing hatred on whites by accusing only whites of racism.

[b]It was Karl Marx who said: “Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.”

It is Identity Politics that says, “Workers of the world disunite, splinter into victim groups and hate white males.”[/b] In other words, Identity Politics is the worst enemy the working class has ever had. Capitalist exploitation unifies the working class, but Identity Politics divides the working class and makes it easier for capitalists to exploit and for politicians to ignore.

Does my call for a resurrected leftwing mean that I am a Marxist?

[b]No. It means I agree with John Kenneth Galbraith that without countervailing power, the economic-social-political system goes out of balance, as the United States clearly has. In a short period of time the distribution of income and wealth in the US has gone from reasonable to unreasonable. Working and middle class wages, salaries, and job opportunities have declined. But irresponsible corporate jobs offshoring and irresponsible Federal Reserve inflation of the prices of financial assets have caused the income and wealth of the One Percent to reach fantastic levels.[/b] A handful of people have more wealth than 100 million Americans. Democracy is forfeited as Congress responds to a handful of people and to a handful of powerful organized interest groups. A tax cut designed to increase the inequality has just passed Congress at a time of the worst income and wealth distribution in our history. (See [url=https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/12/04/plunder-capitalism/]here[/url] for example.) Instead of addressing the dire situation, Identity Politics goes after white people and President Trump for being allegedly elected by the white working class.

When I read in CounterPunch the attack by CounterPunch’s radio host Eric Draitser on the white working class “Trump deplorables,” I thought Alexander Cockburn, CounterPunch’s founder, must be rolling over in his grave. With CounterPunch degenerating into Identity Politics, the working class was without an advocate except for the World Socialist Web Site.

It is possible that Identity Politics has condemned the world to nuclear Armageddon by lining up the liberal-progressive-left with the military/security complex’s “Russiagate” attack on President Trump. As I have explained, the purpose of Russiagate is to prevent Trump from normalizing relations with nuclear superpower Russia and defusing the dangerous tensions that have been built up by reckless and irresponsible US government actions against Russia. On many occasions I have explained the world threatening consequences of Washington’s demonization of Russia and its leadership. (See [url=https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/12/05/walking-into-armageddon/]her... for example.)

Yesterday my despair over the demise of the American leftwing lifted a little when I read in CounterPunch Michael K. Smith’s attack on Identity Politics for what it is: a despicable intent to destroy the working class by destroying its unity. You can read [url=https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/05/class-dismissed-identity-politic... here. Maybe this is CounterPunch’s opening gun in bringing the American leftwing back to life.

Without a strong and united working class there is nothing to balance corporate power. Capitalist greed ends up destroying itself by destroying working class income and consumer purchasing power. Greed then turns on public assets demanding that they be privatized or opened for looting as is now happening to protected national monuments and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

With the working class marginalized, now it is the influence of the environmental movement that is being rolled back. Next it will be Social Security and Medicare as the ruling oligarchy pushes the social system back to the era before the New Deal. In the absence of countervailing power, there is no limit to the unwinding of the reforms that made capitalist America a livable society.

[b]To prevent this we all have a stake in the resurrection of the American left.[/b]

Mr. Magoo

tl;dr:  By Paul Craig Roberts

voice of the damned

To be fair, he makes some points that I've also seen put forth by left-wingers in good standing. But yeah, when a guy who also writes for VDARE(named for the first white person born in the Americas) starts fretting about the left being damaged by "identity politics", it's pretty much the definition of concern trolling.

Ken Burch

Christ, I hate it when people claim they're just against "identity politics" when what they actually mean is "everybody who isn't a straight cis white dude should just shut the hell up about the things straight cis white dudes have done and still do to them and simply trust the straight cis white dudes to work out what's best for everybody, because THEY and they alone know what the common good is".

JKR

Vox.com; The past year of research has made it very clear: Trump won because of racial resentment:

https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/12/15/16781222/trump-racism-economic...

Quote:

Contrary to what some have suggested, white millennial Trump voters were not in more economically precarious situations than non-Trump voters. Fully 86 percent of them reported being employed, a rate similar to non-Trump voters; and they were 14 percent less likely to be low income than white voters who did not support Trump. Employment and income were not significantly related to that sense of white vulnerability.

So what was? Racial resentment.

Even when controlling for partisanship, ideology, region and a host of other factors, white millennials fit Michael Tesler’s analysis, explored here. As he put it, economic anxiety isn’t driving racial resentment; rather, racial resentment is driving economic anxiety. We found, as he has in a larger population, that racial resentment is the biggest predictor of white vulnerability among white millennials. Economic variables like education, income and employment made a negligible difference.

...

To this end, the research also shows it’s possible to reach out to Trump voters — even those who are racist today — in an empathetic way without condoning their prejudice. The evidence suggests, in fact, that the best way to weaken people’s racial or other biases is through frank, empathetic dialogue. (Much more on that in my in-depth piece on the research.) Given that, the strongest approach to really combating racism and racial resentment may be empathy.

One study, for example, found that canvassing people’s homes and having a 10-minute, nonconfrontational conversation about transgender rights — in which people’s lived experiences were relayed so they could understand how prejudice feels personally — managed to reduce voters’ anti-trans attitudes for at least three months. Perhaps a similar model could be adapted to reach out to people with racist, sexist, or other deplorable views, although this possibility needs more study.

But all of this involves a lot of legwork, outreach, and a kind of empathy that people may not be comfortable with in an era of highly polarized politics. Knowing what caused Trump’s win is crucial to gauging whether all of this work and effort is worth doing — and the growing body of evidence suggests that it truly is.

Cody87

Ken Burch wrote:

Christ, I hate it when people claim they're just against "identity politics" when what they actually mean is "everybody who isn't a straight cis white dude should just shut the hell up about the things straight cis white dudes have done and still do to them and simply trust the straight cis white dudes to work out what's best for everybody, because THEY and they alone know what the common good is".

What about the people who claim they're just against "identity politics" when what they actually mean is they're just against "identity politics?" How do you tell the difference, or do you not bother to make the distinction and just assume everyone who claims to rejects identity group associations associates with their identity group?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Cody87 wrote:

What about the people who claim they're just against "identity politics" when what they actually mean is they're just against "identity politics?" How do you tell the difference, or do you not bother to make the distinction and just assume everyone who claims to rejects identity group associations associates with their identity group?

I don't believe there is any such person. I think that "identity politics" is a concept invented by right wing assholes, quite similar to "political correctness", and with even less non-tribal content.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Wait...there's an American left? OK,where are they hiding?

bekayne

The same Paul Craig Roberts who wrote this a couple of days ago:

Now that CNN’s fake news story of Russiagate has collapsed, this morning CNN is demanding Trump’s resignation as President on the basis of sexual harassment charges. The charges are suspect. Billionaires do not need to sexually harass women. Women are abundantly available to them.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/12/12/cnn-mounts-new-attack-presid...

bekayne

Does this sound like someone the "Left" should be taking advice from?

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/07/22/the-cost-left-wings-ongoing-...

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

bekayne wrote:

Does this sound like someone the "Left" should be taking advice from?

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/07/22/the-cost-left-wings-ongoing-...

Not to sound ignorant but who is this asshole? If he represents the American ' left' , then the US is fucked and beyond repair.

Gee,I wonder why leftists hate Ronnie Raygun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LaXTT0eBTg

BTW,even Reagan's son Ron thinks he's an asshole.

 

bekayne

alan smithee wrote:

 

Not to sound ignorant but who is this asshole?

Former official in the Reagan Administration

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Craig_Roberts

http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/will-washington-...

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

bekayne wrote:

alansmithee wrote:

 

Nottosoundignorantbutwhoisthisasshole?

FormerofficialintheReaganAdministration

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Craig_Roberts

http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/will-washington-...

Thanks. It all makes sense now. Only a far right cretin would wax nostagic for that asshole.

Not only should the ' left'  hate him but anyone complaining about how they want the ' good old days'  back. Reagan was patiet zero on the unraveling of that country. And to a degree,around the world.

Now Amerikkka has another D-list 'celebrity' for Prez. And it looks like he wants to eclipse Reagan on the asshole scale.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
Former official in the Reagan Administration

That he was Assistant Secretary to the Treasurer is a bit of questionable "cred" that his supporters like to trot out, like the fact that some Anti-vaxxer has a PhD in Mathematics, or a 9/11 skeptic wrote four books about Business Management.

Rev Pesky

Anyone who can write a long article about the Reagan presidency without mentioning Afghanistan...

bekayne

Rev Pesky wrote:

Anyone who can write a long article about the Reagan presidency without mentioning Afghanistan...

He thought the invasion of Grenada was more justified than war against Nazi Germany.

voice of the damned

bekayne wrote:

Rev Pesky wrote:

Anyone who can write a long article about the Reagan presidency without mentioning Afghanistan...

He thought the invasion of Grenada was more justified than war against Nazi Germany.

And he thinks the Clinton presidency marked a turning-point at which US presidents started lying a lot.