Much of the Western Left isn't Getting Why They Lost Last November. Big Surprise.
The victory of Donald Trump in the recent US elections has prompted some rethinking in certain segments of the US left, as I've documented elsewhere. But there's been no shortage of steadfast determination on part of the regressive left to dig in its heels and cling to postmodernist identity politics with all its might, as depicted in the image above.
The reception my recent article "Sounds Regressive, but OK" received among the fan base of the group described in said article is another example. Thanks for the coverage, guys. You've collectively managed to make it my most successful article to date. I wouldn't recommend any of you join a debating society any time soon, mind you. Postmodernism is clearly the intellectual equivalent of Brawndo, if the language comprehension skills and the petty semantic gamesmanship demonstrated by its radical left adherents is any indication of its overall effect on clarity of thought. Sorry folks, debating such flagrant idiocy and ego-centrism is a waste of my time. Take your self righteous, entitled regressive tears elsewhere. I could really give a shit what anyone at "Sounds Liberal but OK" thinks. They've made their utter and complete stupidity abundantly clear to me and the many hundreds of my readers with the actual levels of literacy required to comprehend the written word effectively.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. This gem, courtesy of Slate, makes quite clear what the reg-left saw transpire during the election. The headline really does say it all. And certainly, regressive rightism was a factor. Some guys out there really do hate women and people of color. I like to call those people assholes. But were racism and sexism more of a factor than they've ever been?
Never mind the ample levels of coverage of the real issues affecting the election that I discuss here and elsewhere, not to mention the countless links to much more indepth and widely circulated analysis contained in these articles. Never mind Hillary's weakness as a candidate and the frustrations voters had with eight years of an ineffective democratic administration. Never mind job losses due to free trade deals like NAFTA and free trade with China. Never mind what a mess of things they've made in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Never mind that we had a black president for eight years who managed to carry states that Clinton lost. Never mind, never mind, never mind.
Because when you took a course in university wherein you learned that the "oppressions experienced by marginalized peoples" were somehow the highest and most unassailable form of truth that there is, even though there is also no such thing as a universal truth and that all perspectives are equal, than what the hell could you, YOU, the educated "intellectual" possibly have to learn from anyone else? Especially when all these anyone elses are white males. That's all you ever need to know, folks. Don't ya know? Because you took a course. A COURSE! In college, you stupid red-state, climate change denying, creationist dumbhead! So go and edumacate yourself already! After I voxsplain to you why you are a racist and a misogynist, of course.
But to be completely honest, I'm having an easy time finding progressives hard to sympathize with on this one. Big surprise. After all, the idea that not only is truth relative, but basic epistemology; man's very means of discovering what truth is or even if there's any one central truth at all, was a precedent set by academic progressives going back to the 1980s and even before. And now they want to cry and stomp their feet when their political opponents, ranging from climate change skeptics and creation "scientists" to white nationalists appealing to multiculturalist sentiments to men's rights activists making their own claims at gender oppression, to the Trump campaign's apparently cavalier attitude towards truth and media accuracy - employ these very same lines of reasoning in service to their own causes.
Stomp all you like. Cry me a river.
Some people no doubt hate your melanin, or hate your vagina. And, like I said previously, those people are assholes. Simple as that. But a lot more people hate your self righteousness, hate your sense of entitlement, hate your incivility, hate your unwillingness to address opposed points of view, hate your flagrant dishonesty, hate your unabashed hypocrisy and double standards, and hate your abuse of regressive canards such as postmodern philosophy, privilege theory and "power plus prejudice" to rationalize all of the above. And until you get honest and start looking in a mirror, things are just going to go downhill from here.
The house of cards that the post-socialist "left" has been building out of its own intellectual and moral dishonesty and opportunism over the past thirty years is now beginning to collapse. You'll forgive me if I scoff at regressive leftist admonitions of my racism, misogyny and homophobia. Stripped of all pretenses, your postmodernism, your knapsacks of privilege and your "power plus prejudice" ideological formulas served only to enable so called "leftists" to embrace a fundamentally ego-centric world view, wherein whims and feels dictate reality and direct behavior. Much like a toddler. People can be forgiven for regarding them in that manner. Observe how regressive leftists:
- Claim that morality is subjective and completely socially constructed. Except when it isn't: racism, misogyny and homophobia are to be treated as eternal and transcendent evil - like the devil only worse - at all times, in all places and under all circumstances in which they are encountered. Don't ask hard questions like what makes racist societies any worse than non-racist societies if there's no objective means of measuring the worth of one culture vs. another? To ask such a question is racist, of course. Because you're a white male! Even if you're not.
- Insist that all cultures are equal and that none could claim to be superior to any other. Except when they aren't - white western European culture must yield at all times to foreign cultures, which it is implied are superior because they didn't have colonialism or racism. Good thing those postmodern professors gave you license to "deconstruct" literature to make it say whatever you want it to say, or handwave what it says because logic is white male, otherwise there's a lot of history that you'd have a lot of 'splainin to do in order to uphold this ridiculous narrative. Genghis Khan, anyone? Rather than answer the hard questions, it's so much easier just to play the victim card and charge your opponent with being an oppressive, insensitive meanie.
- Claim to be the defenders of science and reason in the face of dunderheaded Christian creation scientists and climate change denying corporate shills, except when they're not. If the results of scientific study confirm genetic and hormonal differences between the genders (or even the races) than the objectivity of science as a means of acquiring knowledge is condemned as a "white male social construct" and the identity of the scientists as white males quite quickly becomes of paramount importance. Even when they're not white males. Their publishers, or their sponsors, or their educators, or somebody somewhere was, and that's the important thing.
- Profess to be the defenders of women's and LGBT rights, except when they're not. Criticize Shari'a law for its treatment of women, and LGBT people, and you quite quickly become Islamophobic. Compliments and cultural appropriation are oppressive, while being stoned to death for adultery or murdered by your own father for "dishonoring" your family, because you talked to a guy, is simply cultural expression. And the more barbaric aspects of Shari'a are the west's fault anyway, because colonialism and racism. Sure. Deconstruct that one.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Postmodern regressive leftism is based on the inherent contradictions of subjectivism and relativism as moral, epistemological and metaphysical stances. But then, I doubt it was ever really meant to be a consistent world view or pattern for activism.
It was meant to enable an essentially ego-centric world view. Now that it's crashing upon the rocks of a reality that's losing its patience for the toddler like thinking and behavior of radical regressive leftists, it's coming apart at the seams. And they have no one to blame for it but themselves.