This is the conclusion of a 3 part series on the dearth of progressive politics within the Western world.
In the face of limp Liberalism and the treachery of Social Democracy , more and more youth in the West are turning to more radical Leftist trends such as Anarchism, Feminism and Animal Rights. These are invariably linked to militant and compulsory militant vegetarianism, veganism and so-called Queer Positivism. However, an examination of these movements reveals forced conformity, suppression of free speech and most troubling, the end of free sexuality.
Starting around 1989, a new movement swept across university campuses of North America. It was called Political Correctness. It was initiated by student activists around the issues of anti-sexism and anti-racism and many other forms of discrimination and oppression. Though the 1960s banished the term Negro and replaced it with Black, that was no longer deemed politically correct and the term African-American was adopted. By 1992, it became fashionable to changed the spelling of the word “Women” to “Womyn” as the former was sexist as it contained the word “man” in it. Other common words were deemed as not politically correct. People were no longer “short” in height but rather “vertically challenged”. 20 years after the Stonewall uprising which gave birth to the modern Gay and Lesbian movement, an old pejorative “Queer” had been “reclaimed” by homosexual activists.
What became a most startling development was a new term which has sent a chilling wave over an entire generation. This is known as ”Date Rape”. As opposed to the more traditional definition of rape, which is an act of sexual violence to inflict pain and humiliation, “date rape” is defined as non-consensual sex between a male and a female. Unlike the the traditional definition of rape, “date rape” can occur without the use of drugs, violence or the threat or intimidation of violence. The definition of consent means that a woman had to be asked and give a clear “yes” or approval to sexual activity. An unsolicited kiss and nothing more could be construed as “date rape.” More on that below.
As the 1990’s came to a close, more and more people in the West decided to forgo meat and meat products all together and become vegetarians. Those who refuse to eat dairy products such as cream and cheese were called vegans. Vegetarianism is as old as humanity itself. Veganism is a new social phenomena which is still based in the West. Since the end of the 19th century, vegetarianism became a political movement in Europe associated with right wing groupings. The most famous vegetarian movement was Nazism upon which the values of vegetarianism were held in importance after anti-Semetism and white supremacy. Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian. Within the past decade, vegetarianism and veganism have morphed into a political movement and a trend among all types of self-described “anti-capitalists”. Indeed, it has become practically an unwritten rule that for one to be a “Leftist”, that one must adhere to vegetarianism and/or veganism. More about that below.
In any event, many rules and conditions were set if one wanted to be allowed within certain “anti-capitalist” social scenes. To be a “real” Leftist one has to embrace anti-capitalism, animal rights, feminism, “queerness” and of course vegetarianism/veganism. Failure to adhere to one of the above made one suspect. Failure to adhere to more made one invariably a “sexist”, a “homophobe” and of course a “fascist”. This article will survey the movements of the far-left starting from 1999 until the present.
Anti-Globalisation Movement 1999-2001:
With justification, there was global opposition mounted to the effects of Globalisation and Free Trade policies. The North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) led to a reduction of wages, the destruction of thousands of manufacturing jobs and the proliferation of sweat shops and slave working conditions. The multi-national corporations made enormous profits while many mid size and small businesses were forced out of business. Globalisation had led to a homogenisation of the world where local culture and customs have been displaced with American consumer culture. Major retail chains and corporations were revealed to use child labour and sweat shop labour where workers were paid pennies a day under brutal conditions. In the Western countries themselves, jobs at Starbucks, The Gap and Wal-Mart were low paid with no benefits. Entire neighbourhoods were transformed from modest communities into high priced gentrified districts where people of colour and those with low incomes were pushed out in favour of those with higher incomes. Hence, Harlem which was once the largest and oldest Black neighbourhood in the Western world, will not have any Black residents within 5 years. When economic ethnic cleansing was the result, came the lost of local bakeriesand hardware stores. Small grocery stores were closed as huge cookie-cutter box stores such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot blighted neighbourhoods.
There had been lots of research and studies on the effects of Globalisation in the Third World. Haiti , for example, is one of the largest rice producing countries in the world, yet it must export all its rice for practically nothing and then import all it’s food at high rates. Haitians are starving even though they produce enough food to feed themselves. This process is replicated all across the Third World.
At the World Trade Organization summit held in Seattle at the end of November 1999, trade unionists, environmentalists and global justice activists took the world by surprise and disrupted the summit. This led to street clashes with the police. For the first time, there was a vocal opposition to the destructive policies of Globalisation which had been parroted in the media as beneficial to humanity.
This led to a series of protests at summits where global leaders would meet. World Bank and IMF summits were greeted with protesters. G8 summits became flash points which led to the shooting death of Carlo Guiliani in Genoa , Italy in 2001. New “professional” activists engaged in Summit hopping who travelled from continent to continent to protest the meetings of heads of states along with corporate and banking executives.
There was heady talk about bringing capitalism to an end and that the revolution was coming. The old tactics of organising were abandoned. Anti-hierarchy became the catch-term. There were no leaders of the movement. There were only “Affinity Groups” and general meetings were conducted by “consensus”. There was no clear strategy of what exactly the protests would entail. Indeed, the protesters themselves were split. Marxists and anarchists opposed to capitalism protested along side with animal rights activists along with feminists. Bystanders were often confused as to what people were demonstrating exactly. There were two contradictory camps within the anti-globalisation movement. On one side were the anti-capitalists and on the other side were the pro-capitalists. These divisions were excaberated by those who believed in “diversity of tactics” including the use of violence to those who were strictly against violence and forms of property damage. With all these contradictions and tensions, it wasn’t very long or hard for this movement to fall apart. First without any leadership, clear agenda or purpose, the protests were disorganised. Second, many believed that the Nation State was weak or being destroyed. The central thrust of the anti-globalisation arguement was that national governments had been taken over by multi-national corporations and that the sovereignty of nations were being eliminated by non-elected organisations such as the WTO,IMF and World Bank. This led to tensions with the Anarchists who advocated for the destruction of the Nation State. The terror attacks of September 11, 2001 derailed the anti-globalisation movement, as the National Security State roared back to life.
Anti-War Movement 2002-2008
The terror attacks provided the justification for the erosion of civil and political rights around the world as well for unrestrained militarism. The US government under George W. Bush cynically used it to launch a war without end on terror. When by mid 2002, Bush and Blair made it clear that Iraq would be the next nation to be attacked, the largest demonstration protest in the history of humanity on February 15, 2003 . In the face of overwhelming opposition, the US and UK governments proceeded to launch the illegal war against Iraq. That was effectively the end of protesting as a means of effecting political change. It succeeded in demoralising the citizens of the world. No matter how much they expressed their opposition, no matter how unpopular government policies were, there was nothing that could be done. In the US, the anti-war movement turned into a campaign to support the Democrats. Once in power (2006 in the Congress and 2008 with the election of Barack Obama), the wars continued nonetheless. The anti-war movement has proven to be a spectacular failure.
Anarchism, as described in the second part of this series , sprang from the anti-capitalist mass movements of the late 19th century. With the fall of the official Marxist countries, Anarchism has filled the political vacuum on the left. Anarchists want to smash the state and end all forms of authority and hierarchy. However, it has a spotty record and has led to disaster in Spain and Ukraine . There are many self-described Anarchists who were former Nazis and many Nazis who were former Anarchists. Anarchism and Nazism are two sides of the same coin. Anarchists are overwhelmingly white and middle class. Just as I reported about in Cologne, Germany , they consider themselves to be anti-racists because they fight Nazis. It doesn’t take very long for people of colour to become disillusioned by Anarchists. Anarchists are generally latent racists and take their alleged anti-racism on a superficial intellectual level.
Anarchism by its very nature is backwards, provincial and reactionary. It is anti-social because it’s anti-society. They want to take humanity back to the ages before civilizations developed. Indeed, it was the rise of civilisations which gave birth to states along with rulers such as kings, emperors and clergy. Their solution is to have localised small communities where decisions are made by the community consensus. Anarchism rejects equality because it is individualistic in the extreme. As one Anarchist in Vienna said: “I don”t believe in equality because no one is equal to me.” Problems and conflicts which arise are settled in public and punishment and sanctions are not done with the rudimentary sense of justice or fairness. There are still rules within Anarchist communities. When the rules are broken, the perpetrator is expelled from the community and even subject to violence and public shaming.
There can be no justice under Anarchism because Justice is simply a tool and creation of the State. For the Anarchist, Justice connotes the police and the courts. The philosophical meaning of “justice” which Plato explored and elaborated on are thrown out the window. Anti-oppression is simply a rallying cry to overthrow the State but there’s no consideration as to how justice would be achieved in Anarchist society. Conformity is in enforced among Anarchists as in normal society. One must dress and behave a certain way. One must think and hold views that the majority hold. Anti-social behaviour and deviance is considered the norm.
Anarchism is profoundly anti-intellectual and disdains scholarship. Unlike Marxists for whom the study of history and society is the primary tool to understand class society, its contradictions and to elaborate plans for its overthrow, Anarchism has no interest in history. It never attempts to analyse why there is war, why poverty exists, why injustice abounds. All complicated social and political issues boil down to one problem: The State. Once the State is abolished, then all inequalities will magically disappear.
There is certainly leadership within the Anarchist scene despite protestations to the contrary. In Montreal, Canada for example, Jaggi Singh is the de-facto leader of Anti-Capitalist Anarchists. Indeed, a cult of personality has developed around him. In Toronto, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty or OCAP is also a cult of personality revolving around two people. Anarchism is a dead end. Though it’s expanding in the West, it remains marginal. It’s main problem is not only that it alienates people who are sincerely interested in social Justice but makes it a point to do so. Finally, Anarchism is an adolescent mentality. It’s nothing less than teenagers who want to overthrow the teachers and principals of high school.
Feminism, as pointed out in the first part of this series , came about from the movement for the right of women to vote. It’s Second Wave, came out of the frustrations of the male dominated movements of the late 1960s. However, since the 1980s, very particular traits of feminism become undeniably clear.
First, it is an upper middle class, even bourgeois movement. It demands that women take the same leading positions as men. It’s essentially a resentment of men having the sole monopoly on power. Feminists have made demands that the board of directors of multi-national corporations have more women. There is nothing wrong with this except that Feminism simply wants women to have equal roles to dominate and oppress. It wants women to lead wars and the exploitation of Third World peoples. Moreover, Feminism critiques patriarchy but not other forms of oppression such as racism or class oppression.
Radical Feminism takes matters to the extreme. It promotes homosexuality as it sees heterosexuality as the main proponent of patriarchy. It promotes the abolition of genders.
Radical Feminism created the term date rape. The result of this has been the death of normal sexuality between people. Males are now even afraid to express their attraction to women as it could be interpreted as sexual assault or harassment. Radical Feminism has also invented a new term called “Lookism”. If a male looks at a female because he finds her interesting (not even sexually attractive), this is considered a form of oppression and sexism. In Anarchist bars in Vienna which adhere to radical feminism, scores of men have been ejected simply because they have looked at women. These women feel that they have been sexually violated even though they haven’t been touched. The offending man is sometimes ejected bodily because he has sexually harassed a woman. In this way, Lookism reminds one of the Deep American South up until the 1950s. Hundreds of Black men were lynched just because they looked at white women. It is even doubtful that most of them did even that. If a Black man looked at a white woman, it was called “Eye Rape.” It’s downright frightening that this has come back from the dead and promoted by radical feminists.
This anti-sexuality propaganda is embraced wholeheartedly by radical Anarchists and Feminists. It is seen as the vanguard to creating a new revolutionary society based on genderless, hence sexless society. Of course, there is only one form of sexuality which is still OK and promoted with the radical left.
TOWARDS A QUEER SOCIETY
Among the radical left, homosexuality is one of the few things which is not forbidden. Indeed, it is even encouraged and promoted. It falls perfectly in line with killing gender and saying no to heterosexuality. A Canadian-Polish lesbian poet has created a movement in Montreal demanding that everyone accept the Queer Identity. “Identify as Queer even if you’re not!” In other words, sexism and homophobia will magically go away if everyone identifies as homosexual. I didn’t realise it was that easy. I have just come up with a brilliant way to eradicate racism once and for all. Everyone must identify as Black and hence there will be no more racism. Or better yet, why not have everyone identify as Christian Protestants? That will end religious and sectarian conflicts once and for all.
RADICAL ANIMAL RIGHTS VEGETARIANISM AND VEGANISM
Finally, within the Western radical left is compulsory vegetarianism/veganism. If one is a leftist then one must believe in animal rights. Animal rights are equal to human rights. Therefore, if one is for human rights then one must only eat vegetables and non-meat products. In North America, it’s common to go to a social gathering of Leftists and the second or third question asked after your name and where you”re from is: “Are you vegetarian or vegan?” One has to be one or the other. It’s no different from Christian fundamentalists who ask: “Are you saved?” With the former group, one is expected to answer yes to the question. This is usually the ice breaker to a conversation. People will proceed to spend the next couple of hours talking about vegetarianism.
It’s considered a given that all Leftists must be vegetarian. I answer the question rudely. “NO, I’m NOT a FUCKING vegetarian!” I proceed to remind them that vegetarianism as a political movement has deep roots in fascist ideology. The counter-argument is that all vegetarians are humanitarians and do so for humanistic reasons. When I reply that Hitler was a vegetarian the typical embarrassed reply is: “Well Hitler wasn’t a real vegetarian.”
The Politics of Political Disintegration
With the state of the far left as described above, it’s hardly any wonder why there isn’t a serious political movement in these days of social and economic crisis. In a world where thousands of people a day die from war, hunger and disease, the so-called “Radical Revolutionaries” are worried about bits of animal flesh in their meal. The arrogance and contempt these people have is breathtaking. Just imagine these “activists” going to Bangladesh and telling starving people that they should reject meat and instead eat vegetables. Of course many of them would never go as they live in their artificial bubbles of comfort in the West. They don’t care about the starving billion because they are not even thinking about them.
What are, at the end of the day, personal lifestyle choices of individuals from privileged backgrounds becomes into calls for revolutionary change of society. In essence, they are totalitarian. The calls for Vegan revolution will take away people’s choice to eat what they want. If people chose to be vegetarian or vegan, that’s their personal choice. I do however, resent being told what I should eat.
People have a inherent right to have sex with whomever they want to
as long as it’s consensual. By consensual, I mean that within normal parameters. Sexuality is a natural part of human life. People look at those they are sexually attracted to. It’s normal. By banning and prohibiting looking, it is the beginning of sexual tyranny. The consent issue has been pressed to inhuman extremes. A male must ask permission to kiss. However, just because a woman kisses him doesn’t mean she agrees to sex. If he wants to touch her breasts after kissing, he must ask for consent. He step and level of escalation requires consent. If not, then it is date rape. A Mad Magazine comic from 1994 had a lawyer appear in the bed between a couple drawing up a contract of sexual consent for both parties to sign. How did the Left transform form leading the Sexual Revolution to leading the Sexual Repression within 40 years?
Beating up people because they are homosexual is reactionary. However, forcing people to accept a homosexual identity is revolting. Abolishing the naturally created genders is a symptom of psychological degeneration. In nature, there are two genders among animals. There are rare instances of hermaphrodites but that is the exception to the rule. Girls and boys are born to be women and men. Fighting for the liberation and equality of women does not entail embracing feminism.
I have been fighting for women’s political and sexual rights for 20 years. However, I refuse to call myself a feminist and will not hold back from expressing my disagreements and critiques with feminism. I don’t believe that homosexuals should be discriminated against but I’m not homosexual and I refuse to be identified as one. I am secure in my sexual and gender identity. I am a male. I identify as one. My gender is no mystery to me as soon as I look between my legs. I am opposed to the cruelty of animals but human rights trump animal rights. Once we achieve a world of peace, where millions of people no longer die of starvation and from malnutrition each year, where workers in the Third World are paid the same wages for work in the First World, where people are free to practice their religion or be free not to believe, when women in the West are paid the same wages as men, where every human being as health care and adequate housing, then and only then can we honestly bring about reforms in farming and the mass production of meat.
Like their predecessors of the ‘68 generation, I suspect that many self-identified radicals are simply following fashion trends. I have observed within my family how former “revolutionaries” have turned into far-right wing Republican voters. A big reason for the failure of 1968 was that most people had jumped on a fun bandwagon. For the majority, it was simply a fashion to wear Dashiki, don an Afro and talk about “Revolution.” Sadly today, the far left are more superficial than 40 years ago. At least the ‘68ers promoted liberation. Today, the young generation promote tyranny and seeks to take away freedoms of expression, sexuality and personal lifestyle choices. Paradoxically, they are more serious about their agenda than the ‘68ers were even if they have neither the wherewithal to effect the changes they wish to.
In this series, I have attempted to show how social and political progress over the past century developed with examples how Liberalism in North America and Social Democracy in Europe created the best conditions of social justice and equality to date since the beginning of human civilisation. I have highlighted their decline and degeneration over the past two decades. In this part, I have given a summary of the Leftist alternatives and how they present no real or viable alternative.
Full disclosure, I come from a Leftist political family going back 3 generations. I was born at the peak of the Black Power movement. Since I was in university, I have been politically active in all the areas that I mentioned above. I have been around Socialists, Feminists, Gay and Lesbian activists, Anarchists as well as the anti-globalisation and anti-war movements. As a teenager I was definitely a Left Liberal. One of the reasons why I moved away the US was due to the past successes of European Social Democracy in the hope to escape the negative effects of deceased American Liberalism.
Since 1997, I could see the coming social and economic crisis coming to the West. I did everything possible to effect political change. Today, as we face the greatest challenges since the 1930s, I scan the horizon in the West and see nothing living except for Banker zombies and Neo-liberal vampires. All of the progressive political trends of the past century have disintegrated. I’ve come to the conclusion that they have all been left for dead.