“Avoiding the darkness entirely is nothing more than a cop out.”
Well put. Wonderful read. Former left libertarian social worker, hobo, street kid, and “activist” (useful idiot) here. While you might not proceed all the way down the rabbit hole of skepticism toward the left, when I was a leftist I grew to appreciate critics of the left more than the standard fare (reading too much Marx on the assumption Lenin and Trotsky were wrong, trying to find where he was “misinterpreted”, etc), especially the most maligned and defamed of the “Right”.
I was “seeking the darkness” in an expanding circle, but I didn’t know why for a long time. There was a growing disgust with everything around me, every abuse of clients, every petty manipulation or shocking betrayal for petty reasons, every hypocrisy and inconsistency. The angst that we never seemed to make progress, because progress would leave us all without jobs. After a time experiencing the tropish types you describe here, it felt more transformative to read critics of the Left than the endless slog through Marxist and post modern thinkers (who take echo chambers to disabling extremes). Leftist critique has really devolved into mantras at this point, and it trickles down into the rank and file of attitudes in activist subculture, attracting narcissists, dilletantes, and people “doing it for themselves” while aggressively preaching the opposite. The greatest lesson is in that one observation, we just rationalize and overlook it to preserve our beliefs.
As Nicolas Gomez Davila wrote, “Many things seem defensible, until we look at their defenders.”
Most people labeled “right wing” are former leftists, who frame critique of the left in conspicuously leftish-sounding rhetoric; it’s essentially listening to the leftists who gave up on the left and became it’s outlaws, something you’d never imagine while still “on the Left”.
Anyway, some names worth your time, because they will either free you from the left “grammar of self-intolerance” entirely, or strengthen your convictions by forcing you to develop upgraded anarcho-socialist convictions:
Jonathan Bowden (Western Civilization Bites Back)
Sokal & Bricmont (Fashionable Nonsense)
Ricardo Duchesne (The Uniqueness of Western Civilization)
Simon Baren-Cohen (The Essential Difference)
A. James Gregor (Mussolini’s Intellectuals - sample ch: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s7870.html)
Kevin MacDonald (The Culture of Critique)
Paul Gottfried (Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt, The Strange Death of Marxism)
Roger Scruton (England and the Need For Nations - sample chapter: http://civitas.org.uk/content/files/cs49-8.pdf )
Tomislav Sunic (Against Democracy and Equality)
Savitri Devi (The Lightning and the Sun)
Enjoy, and thank you for this piece.