The regressive left in 2016 is increasingly made up of millennials, who have been profoundly influenced by, and steeped in, the core ideas of Postmodernism, which they have no doubt learned at universities.
However, many of these millennials do not consciously self-identity as Postmodernists, but that is only because they do not properly understand the philosophy of Postmodernism, lack an understanding of the history of the left and where their ideas have come from.
In point of fact, those on the regressive left often have these characteristics:
(1) intolerance of free speech and free expression;Now the trouble is that the conventional definition of the “regressive left” is mainly confined to (7) and (8), but the fact is that “Regressive leftists” often also subscribe to (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6), or a selective combination thereof.
(2) strong influences from Postmodernism (even though many regressive leftists probably do not consciously self-identify as Postmodernists) and its related ideas such as cultural relativism, truth relativism, moral relativism, the idea that all cultures are equal etc.;
(3) probably some vulgar Marxism economics (though not necessarily);
(4) hatred of science, and bashing of “white male science”;
(5) anti-Enlightenment thinking and bizarrely irrational hostility to Western civilisation, including views on foreign policy influenced by Noam Chomsky;
(6) extreme social constructivism and the “blank slate” view of human beings, and extreme identity politics;
(7) incredible abuse of the word “racism,” and applying it to trivial things that are not inherently racist, such as wearing sombreros or “culturally insensitive” Halloween costumes.
(8) following from (7), identifying culture with race, and militant hostility to people who criticise immoral or illiberal religious or cultural ideas of non-white people.
And here is the fundamental point: ideas (7) and (8) can naturally emerge right out of ideas (1), (2), (4), (5) and (6).
Although Noam Chomsky has certainly influenced the regressive left as in (5), it is important to note that he rejects many aspects of their thinking, as shown here.
If the left is going to develop any rational, intellectually honest and effective political program, the regressive left needs to be utterly rejected and defeated.