A Liberal Definition of the Alt-Left
Keri Smith

If the Alt-Left doesn’t exist, why are so many liberals and centrists afraid of expressing themselves? Why are so many people self-censoring for their own sense of safety? I was fascinated by the James Damore story, not because I have an opinion on the legality of his dismissal, but because his online stoning and subsequent firing confirmed for me what I already suspected: Google, like most of the tech space, the entertainment space, the academic space and the media space has become a panopticon of Alt-Left groupthink, self-censorship and fear.

First, thanks for using “panopticon”. It is a masterful choice of wording here.

That more on “the left” are realizing it is a good thing. This is one reason that political violence and intimidation is always self-defeating. As those who are somewhere “left of center” begin to realize this is happening to them — to people on the “same side” — they begin to realize what has been happening to those even less left — less enough to be on the right of center. This will provide common ground.

This is the common ground that will defuse the violence. The violent fascists on the left are a tiny minority of the population, just as the violent-if-they-could racists on the right are a tiny minority of the population. The rest of us properly recognize this but as long as we don’t come together to see we have let such incivility lead to intimidation which leads to violence we will fuel both of them. But when we collectively recognize these types, even combined, are a tiny fraction of us all, and recognize these activities for what they are, they will lose.

You don’t beat fascists or racists by running them down or punching them. You beat them by not feeding them. These people will probably always exist. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up our agency or principles of freedom and “classical liberalism” to them, or those that act as “gateway drugs” to said beliefs.

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