By Vladimir Ivlev
“”Regressive left” (also formulated as “regressive liberals”) is a political epithet, used as a pejorative to describe a section of left-wing politics who are accused of paradoxically holding reactionary views by their tolerance of illiberal principles and ideologies, particularly tolerance of Islamism, for the sake of multiculturalism and cultural relativism.”
There comes a point when a fallacy becomes so popular that even Wikipedia has an article about it. This article serves as an attack on the severe misconception of branding the social-justice warrior complex as being left instead of right. In fact it’s neither.
Liberal agenda and identity politics nowadays have their origin in Post-modernism, a fact little known to most as it involves studying philosophy, and wasting time on that won’t help much with your law-firm partnership. Post-modernism, the cynically insincere bastard-child of the ideological naiveté of modernism. Nothing is true, everything is subjective. Have you ever heard of the phrase “post-truth” or “alternative facts”? These buzzwords spread around like wildfire after the Trump administration has officially come out and used them.
So what does Trump have to do with identitarianism? Both being sub-genres of post-modernism, the departure from reason and adherence to subjectivity allows them to justify their bias, warping their opinions when convenient. Identitarians change their political opinions based on the identity of the person they are dealing with. The Trump administration warps facts and contradicts itself on a regular basis. A model becomes apparent, one of intellectual-laziness, convenience and contradiction. Trump and Identitarianism have the same expression of bias. The bias might be different, yet the expression is identical.
The fact that the vast majority of people see the social-justice warrior movement as left-wing is evidence of either mass-confusion, collective dementia or corporate media being the only output of political information reaching the average person. Here’s a couple of examples as to why they are wrong.
- Class is almost never mentioned
If you understand what “left-wing” means, then you know that it has nothing to do with social issues but rather fiscal ones (taxes, economic policy, budget, opportunity and distribution of wealth). If you are a conservative accidently stumbling upon this article, first of all: I’m sorry. Second: If you call liberals “left-wing” because of their support of the LGBT community and the legalization of marijuana, then I need to tell you that you can find the same opinions in the right wing of the political spectrum as well, specifically libertarians and classical liberals.
When social justice warriors express their opinions its almost never about class. It’s always about race, gender, sexuality, nationality, disability and religion. But never about class. In fact, they are often aggressive towards relating a social issue towards class. Here is a prime example of that:
Here is a real leftist opinion on discrimination, for the purpose of identifying between left and liberal. Marx (who it should come as no shock is being referenced in this article) once wrote in an essay about discrimination. Specifically, it was a reaction towards the liberal method of reducing Catholic discrimination towards Jews. He concludes that there were two kinds of emancipatory politics. One is that of the liberal, providing equal rights on all fronts to everyone, which Marx called Political Emancipation, a method which according to him will never end discrimination. And that of the leftist, providing freedom from disease, ignorance, poverty (welfare, healthcare, education and economic equality). He called this Human Emancipation, and argued it was the only way to truly end discrimination.
- White Privilege
White privilege is an identitarian notion that has gained extreme popularity in the recent years. It states that white people have an inherit privilege over minorities in the west. Despite if that’s true or not, specifically in the west, the identitarian perspective on the poor white person is particularly disturbing. A very common argument that gets passed around in the social-justice community is as follows: “Poor white people deserve to be poor because they have wasted their white privilege by being lazy”. That is the very definition of right-wing opinion. For more examples of what white privilege is according to a middle-class suburban educated feminist identitarian look at Peggy McIntosh’s now-famous 1988 piece “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gina-crosleycorcoran/explaining-white-privilege-to-a-broke-white-person_b_5269255.html).
I can’t help but give my two cents about White Privilege and since I’ve already dug myself a hole big enough to hide all of Trump’s tax returns, I might as well. There is an illusion of white privilege as the average white person is richer that the average black person. However, that is not because the employment system being inherently racist as the Identitarians say, but rather because it used to be racist not a very long time ago. Currently in the West minorities have equal rights with majorities (general White-Christians). There are no laws that impede on a black person’s employment – anymore. Placing emphasis on “anymore” as equal rights have only been established relatively recently. Before that, white people actually had real privilege: slavery, right to education, property rights etc. and were more likely to be above the poverty line. The reason as to why the average black person is poorer is the same as to why white people are poor. They are stuck in a generational loop of poverty, low education, bad healthcare, leading into crime and brutal incarceration. Black people received equal rights when the majority of them were below the poverty line, and are stuck in the generational loop until now. This is not an issue of race, but rather the state failing to provide equal opportunity to its constituents.
We do not want to dispute the fact that Racism exists. It is a very real evolutionary function that every single human has; no matter the race. On the personal level, racism should be rationalized (not dictated) against by education, media and upbringing. On the collective scale however, economic equality is the solution.
- Where does Identitarianism lie?
With this argument in mind, where do social justice warriors and identity politics lie on the political spectrum? Taking from the section on post-modernism: nowhere. They are inconsistent, either socially or fiscally, a certain bipolar disorder (or quadpolar?). In the morning they can disrupt LGBT rallies for moving through a Muslim neighborhood, and in the evening they can hold a rally of their own against the unjust treatment of women in Saudi Arabia. They can support universal healthcare for Trans people who want surgeries while the next day they can call poor white people lazy. In fact, even Trump has more consistency than some social-justice warriors, as he is consistently against Muslims and regulation. The only thing that the Identitarian movement is consistent in is in their inconsistency. Understanding that very fact will separate leftist ideology from identity politics, allowing their dogmatism to be fought from all sides of the spectrum, in turn shortening its lifetime. Thankfully, this implication is slowly becoming a reality, as a considerable amount of leftists recognize the inherit neo-liberal nature of identity politics.