Knowing leftists and socialists, you can count on them being unable to string a coherent sentence.
So, reading leftist material and theories become akin to watching static noise on television; there’s absolutely no sense in what is actually on the screen, but if you stare long enough, you can imagine some illusory patterns.
That’s how it feels reading leftist articles. As much as I can, I try to practice the virtue of having an open and critical mind by reading divergent and opposing view points to ensure that my beliefs are not faith-based dogma. Hence, despite my annoyance at the lack of coherence and logic, I try to slog through some of these articles to glean some basic patterns and ideas in their thought–to see if I need to address them in any way.
I recently checked out the Canadian magazine called The New Socialist. They are a group of people who want to build a radical militant and democratic movement to abolish capitalism and class society.
Okay. How do they propose to do that?
“Only the mass struggles of workers can abolish capitalism and begin creating socialism. No government, radical elite or party can deliver liberation from above – it must be won by workers and oppressed people themselves, from below.”
Let’s think about that for a moment. Note that abolishing capitalism from “below” would actually require that the ones “doing the abolishing” become a force powerful enough to ensure that the banishment endures. Lest, one could have constant fluxes of free people creating capitalism and those opposing it trying to abolish capitalism. In other words, a struggle to abolish capitalism will itself give rise to a clan of “radical elite” party workers or socialist government of the proletariat. This inexorable logic was amply manifested in the socialist experiments of the past century in Bolshevik Russia, Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, the Khmer Rouge, and more–with clearly genocidal consequences.
Next, they say:
“To develop both the power to challenge capitalism itself and the understanding that capitalism must be replaced, we need militant and democratic movements fighting to defend past gains and win new ones.”
Again, you can either have a “militant” force to replace capitalism or you have a democratic one. You cannot have both. Because, free peoples under a democratic system may choose to actually continue with a capitalist arrangement of society, wherein every individual has rightful ownership of his or her own property and labor.
However, if you have a militant force, then by definition, you will need to use the militant force to suppress dissent and ensure that the capitalist system is not “democratically” selected back into the order of things–even if the people wanted such a system. So, it has to be one or the other. And it’s clear here what the preference is.
“Capitalism and systems of oppression gain much of their power by isolating us from others facing similar issues.”
This is a ludicrous statement right on the face of it. Really? Capitalist economies thrive on isolating people from each other? Let’s see: which economic systems pioneered innovations in global mass communication systems?
Which country invented the Internet, email communication, VoIP, Facebook, Google, Skype, etc.?
Which countries have been most conducive to oppressed minorities like queer and LGBT individuals connect with each other on a global scale and create virtual communities to interact, network, and form support groups?
Facts and logic are inconveniences that distract the purist from their ideal socialistic theories.
[The new left] needs to be non-sectarian, in other words to put the interests of workers and oppressed people ahead of the interests of any group or current.
So, who gets to represent the interests of the workers and oppressed people in an official forum? And wouldn’t these groups of people be classified as “groups” with “interests,” too? So, isn’t this itself already sectarian?
Finally, what gets to be classified as “oppressed people”? Can we classify capitalist business owners as oppressed people in a country that is dominated by socialist rulers and proletariat representatives? In this case, will the capitalist business owners be treated fairly and given their freedom from oppression? Would that mean allowing free capitalist economic activity? Would that mean undermining their own socialist system then?
If you think all this sounds confusing, then you are not alone. Even the founders of the New Socialist Group are confused as to what they really want. One thing they know for sure is that they are against capitalism. That’s it. What they are for is a more difficult question that they’re just not able to figure out.
“The NSG is committed to working with others to help build the next new left. No one knows exactly what form this new left will take. But it’s clear that a new left is needed.”
Well, good luck. Because in the absence of any logic, they’ll need all the luck to carry them through the day.
“Sure, you can muster the most heroic in you to fight lions. But to whip your soul to a sacred white heat to fight lice…!” — Ayn Rand, We The Living