Why Liberals Should Unite With Socialists, Not the Right–Jacobin

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    • #358862
      • Total Posts: 6,220


      Hazony opens his essay with an odd claim. Contemporary Marxists, he argues, aren’t willing to wear their colors proudly, instead attempting to “disorient their opponents by referring to their beliefs with a shifting vocabulary of terms, including ‘the Left,’ ‘Progressivism,’ ‘Social Justice,’ ‘Anti-Racism,’ ‘Anti-Fascism,’ ‘Black Lives Matter,’ ‘Critical Race Theory,’ ‘Identity Politics,’ ‘Political Correctness,’ ‘Wokeness,’ and more.” Nonetheless the essence of the political left remains staunchly Marxist, building upon Marx’s framework as Hazony understands it.

      For him, Marxism has four characteristics. First, it is based on an oppressor/oppressed narrative, viewing people as invariably attached to groups that exploit one another. Second, it posits a theory of “false consciousness” where the ruling class and their victims may be unaware of the exploitation occurring, since it is obscured by the “ruling ideology.” Third, Marxists demand the revolutionary reconstitution of society through the destruction of the ruling class and its ideology. And finally, once the revolution is accomplished, a classless society will emerge.

      This account ignores a tremendous amount of what makes Marxism theoretically interesting, focusing instead on well-known tropes and clichés. It is startling, but telling, that Hazony never once approaches Marxism as a critique of political economy, even though Marx was kind enough to label two of his books “critiques of political economy.” By effacing this fundamental characteristic of Marxism, Hazony reduces it to a simplistic doctrine that could be mapped onto more or less anything.

      If it is true that Marxism is just an oppressor/oppressed narrative with some stuff about a ruling ideology and revolution tacked on, then mostly every revolutionary movement through history has been Marxist — even before Marx lived. The American revolutionaries who criticized the ruling ideology of monarchism and waged a war for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would fit three of Hazony’s four characteristics, making them borderline proto-Marxists. About the only thing that remains of what distinguished Marx in Hazony’s account is his claim that we are moving toward a classless society, something about which the German critic wrote very little.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #358877
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 16,202

      FDR’s New Dealers did, at least to the extent of legalizing unions and establishing federal labor protections. Harry Truman did in some narrow areas, eg when he tried to establish a National Health Service. LBJ partially did with the War on Poverty, but even more so in his most successful and forgotten accomplishment–bringing electricity and indoor plumbing to nearly every American.

      For the most part, though, liberals benefit too much from the existing system to side with socialism over the right in general. Liberals in Germany backed Hitler over the left, while many liberals in America twisted themselves into ideological pretzels in response to Reagan, morphing into neoliberals who often find themselves on Reagan’s right.

      In short, liberals usually go for their material class interests during times of crisis and change, even if they don’t admit it in their rhetoric.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #358972
      • Total Posts: 683

      because Democrats have co-opted the term to be synonymous with their Party, and their Party has worked diligently to purge working class “deplorables” from their ranks.

      Democrats work for the interests of relatively wealthy, educated, suburban professionals that are culturally liberal and fiscally conservative – think “Reagan Democrats.”  These people care more for their retirement portfolios than they care for the well-being of working people, so of course they are going to collaborate with conservatives over socialists.

      His body recovered from his torment and became hale,
      but the shadow of his pain was in his heart;
      and he lived to wield his sword with left hand
      more deadly than his right had been.

    • #358984
      Populist Prole
      • Total Posts: 485

      Spot-on Maedhros.

      It’s the elephant in the room they’ve knocking themselves out to ignore.

    • #359010
      Cold Mountain Trail
      • Total Posts: 9,383

      “Last month, the conservative philosopher Yoram Hazony published an essay in Quillette on “The Challenge of Marxism.”

      –Libertarian pub run by a woman with a psych BA.  Why expect an informed essay on Marxism from that outfit.

      —In May 2019, Quillette published an article by Eoin Lenihan that alleged connections between Antifa activists and national-level reporters who cover the far-right. According to Shane Burley and Alexander Reid Ross, they and a number of other journalists received death threats after the claims were published



      Conservatives Cheer the Latest Right-Wing Supergroup, the Intellectual Dark Web


    • #359027
      • Total Posts: 2,294

      Professional class liberals are not only obsessed with money,but with social status.

      Siding too prominently with deplorables would cause people to turn away from them at parties.They might even be denied tenure.

    • #359030
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 16,202

      @mizzgrizz Yes, their own perceived social status is very important to them. That’s why many who are really working class identify with the PMC.

      BTW, the @ notification never works in the title, just so you know.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #359042
      • Total Posts: 2,294

      @ohiobarbarian,I am still relatively new and rather technically challenged,to put it mildly.

    • #359248
      • Total Posts: 2,810

      Hell, the socialists can’t even unite with each other.

      The “socialists” are too busy infighting with each other to prove which faction is the REAL socialists.

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

      John Steinbeck

      Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

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