The ‘Why’ Matters More Than The ‘What’
Last week, I discovered a debate on the left about the problematic tactic of aligning with the alt-right to take down the establishment. Of all the things people are arguing about, this one made me pause my life for a moment. Not that it surprises me there are progressives that think this way, I’ve long known of some progressives’ limited understanding of identity based issues, but this needs parsing.
We need to be clear about what our progressive goals are, but more importantly, we need to be clear about why we have them. The reasons the two sides have for toppling the establishment are polar opposites; one aims to bring us together as a people, the other aims to take control of the establishment for their own purposes of division. The difference between them matters.
Progressives aim to create systems that work for everybody, while the agenda of the alt-right is divide us up into convenient, and vulnerable, sub-groups. As Americans, most POC know what this means, particularly black people. Due to our history, there is no negotiation to be had: we are not their allies and they are not our friends.
If one cannot see that closing the gap and blurring of the line between the progressive left and the alt-right helps the establishment maintain their status, they are not having a progressive conversation. They are in an entirely different sphere.
You cannot progress and regress at the same time, one side looks to the future while the other looks to the past. The alt-right wants to bring the past back, a past of explicit denial of the humanity of millions of people. People like me.
Meanwhile, centrists welcome the opportunity to divide and conquer anti-establishment activists by framing us in racial and gendered terms, which is diabolical. It’s also absurd but that is what works for them and that is how they win. Consistently. The people that want to collaborate with the alt-right help Democrats by confirming the Bernie Bro narrative.
The Democratic Party is vulnerable so it would behoove us to let them flail. They need the BB narrative to climb out of a hole they dug themselves into — why give them a hand up? One may intend to swing and land a good punch while they are down, but that isn’t what happens. Instead, they grab the fist and pull themselves out. Incidentally, this helps republicans too because as long as they have the democrats to beat up, they can quietly meet their agenda behind the scenes. So, in effect, you feed the two party system.
There are other ways, better ways to weaken a racist establishment, alliance with racists is not one of them. Unity is good, and collaboration is good — but they must be for the correct reasons.
As for me personally, the alt-right is the establishment anyway.