CRUCIAL PIECE! The Three ‘Left Liberalisms’ of Today!
It’s exciting when something has been brewing for a while, and you finally put it all down on paper.
I believe there are not one, but two ‘Regressive Lefts.’ They both cut across the center left and far left. But today I’m going to focus on left-liberalism only; which is of course center left, if you think a political spectrum is at least of some limited use.
I’m a third liberal. However did you guess???
1. Humanitarian Liberalism.
Humanitarian Liberalism ranges from partly conformist figures to radical apologists for the status quo.
They are technocrats.
Sometimes they have some serious liberal credentials.
For example, the best among Humanitarian Liberals support freedom of speech and secularism; even if you disagree with Nick Cohen on foreign policy, he can’t be faulted on how liberalism and social democracy should be about liberal values.
The worst Humanitarian Liberals relentlessly and remorselessly bang the drum for war: think Tony Blair, Paddy Ashdown, the Clinton Dynasty.
Rather annoyingly, Humanitarian Liberals often don’t seem to grasp the fact that while it is good to oppose nationalism and racism, it is hardly appropriate to substitute such collectivism with alternative collectivisms, e.g. globalism/internationalism/cosmopolitanism/humanitarianism. Even people in Category 2 (Social Justice Post Liberalism, see below) can acknowledge that the latter ideologies are primarily tools for privileged white DC hacks to destroy half the world.
UPDATE: Just made some minor corrections. Also, I forgot to mention one more important thing: Humanitarian Liberals (including Blairite Social Democrats) are often hostile to any economic reforms they deem ‘extreme.’ While prudence is always valuable in politics, the ‘petit-bourgeois’ decency of the Humanitarian Good Burgher of the Global Village is matched only by his cringing timidity and fear of the ‘idle ungovernable mob,’ and the ‘radical change’ that we (he fears) will bring!
Tony Blair, David Aaronovitch, Paddy Ashdown, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hilary Benn (technically social democrat, but how far Blairites are social democrats is probably up for debate), the entire ‘Red Tory’ faction of the Labour Party, any pro-war members of the Liberal Democrats (UK), Justin Trudeau, the Democratic (DNC) establishment.
2. Social Justice Post Liberalism
Category 2 pay lip service to progressive ideals such as marriage equality, but support using authoritarian means to achieve such.
Hate speech laws and historical negationism laws (such as the Marxist Gayssot laws) are one key tool.
Other examples include doxxing and crybully harassment tactics worthy of the far right.
Indeed, there are strong similarities between SJPL and both far rights: (white nationalist and Islamist).
A. SJPL is anti-secular (the PC term is post-secular).
B. They are also anti-modern (the PC term is post-modern).
Aside from these Orwellian euphemisms (which are naive at best and disingenuous at worst), SJPL refuse to condemn Thatcherism or Reaganism; they think it’s ‘edgier’ to be anti-capitalist or anti-neoliberal.
If the ideological discourse of the Humanitarian Left, on a good day, has some virtues (whether or not they are redeeming ones is perhaps up for debate?), the ideas of the left faction of Social Justice Post Liberalism are almost entirely lacking in value. Even their anti-war advocacy makes me wonder how sincere they are.
Malia Bouattia, Youssef Munayyer, Lucy Gill, Ben Norton, Mehdi Hasan, Bahar Mustafa, C J Werleman, Judith Butler, BDSM, Alain Badiou.
3. Third Liberals (Neo-Classical Liberals)
Ha! Ha! I’m going to tell you later on today!
Sorry, that was a little bit naughty…