Saturday, July 16, 2016

Sick of the Neoliberal Left and Regressive Left?

Friends, do you self-identify as leftist, but find yourself answering “yes” to many of these questions?:
(1) do you think left-wing politics is fundamentally about good economics? Do you think we need full employment, Keynesian macroeconomic management of our economies, a high wage economy, and an end to offshoring of our manufacturing and service jobs to the Third World by treasonous corporations and neoliberal governments?

(2) are you a Bernie Bro who loved Bernie’s economic policies but thought the Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) were unhinged?

(3) are you tired of Postmodernist B.S. and being told that there is no such thing as objective truth or that “all cultures are equal”?

(4) are you tired of making excuses for SJW insanity and the craziness of identity politics?

(5) are you tired of Postmodernist leftists bashing “white male science”?

(6) do you think leftists who conflate culture with race and who then scream “racist” at any sensible criticism of bad cultural ideas are really stupid?

(7) are you tired of hearing how wearing sombreros, “culturally insensitive” Halloween costumes, or doing yoga are supposedly “racist” and “cultural appropriation”?

(8) have you had enough of hearing bizarre anti-white conspiracy theories from the regressive left that blame all our problems on the capitalist, white-male patriarchy and universal “institutional racism”?

(9) are you fed up with the hostility to free speech on the Left and its quasi-McCarthyite culture of political correctness?

(10) do you think some of the ideas of vicious, man-hating Third Wave Feminism have become unhinged?

(11) are you tired of hearing that Islamist terrorism has “nothing to do with Islam”? Are you getting sick and tired of the excesses of fundamentalist Islam in our societies?

(12) do you think – just like Bernie Sanders – that open borders is a lunatic, libertarian idea?

(13) do you think endless mass immigration to the West is ridiculous, out of control and not in our interests?

(14) at the same time, do you also hate those crazy libertarians, anarcho-capitalist nutjobs and conservative neoliberal vandals?
My friends, not only are you not alone, but there’s nothing wrong with you!

YOU are the future of the Left, not the regressive left or SJW loonies.

We need to take back control of the Left, reform it, and in the process rebuild the power and popularity of the Left – and so that the populist Conservatives do not sweep into power in the coming years.

Time to speak out and challenge other Leftists on their B.S. I bet we can convert most of these people too once they see sense.

Try speaking out on the issues one small step at a time. Do it diplomatically, in a measured, friendly way, and in a way that shows how we can defend our beliefs on perfectly good left-wing grounds.

I’m on Twitter:
Lord Keynes @Lord_Keynes2


  1. You will have a tough time convincing people that left wing politics is fundamentally about good economics.

    Because in Western countries, people have a really high standard of living. At that point, they begin to worry about other things.

  2. You know I sympathize LK, and can say yes to nearly all the above, but this does sort of seem like a "do you repudiate all that defines the Left? " list. Is it really leftism you want to recreate, or a more civil libertarian centrism that recognizes the importance of community and the limitations of markets? Some flaky economics aside you seem more like a JFK democrat than a hard core leftist.

    1. (1) "this does sort of seem like a "do you repudiate all that defines the Left? "

      Hmmmm... did you notice (1) and (14)?

      (2) you seem weirdly incapable of seeing the long-term history of the Left, and fixated on the SJWs who currently infest parts of it. I won't doubt many average non-university educated left-wing voters have little time for SJWs and regressive left nonsense, and would happily vote for the kind of Left I suggest.

      What I suggest above would also no doubt be seen as common sense by Old Leftists.

    2. The long term history of Christianity has a lot about relics, but that's pretty irrelevant to modern American Christianity isn't it?

    3. Except that is a poor analogy.

      The socialist/progressive liberal/social democratic left has always been about the economics.

  3. Lk

    We should establish our own international organization haha

  4. "Do you think we need... an end to offshoring of our manufacturing and service jobs to the Third World by treasonous corporations and neoliberal governments"

    First of all, the whole point of a *Multinational Corporation* is that it is *multinational*. It inherently bears no allegiance to any country it operates in. To say that it is somehow "treasonous" simply because it pursues investment decisions that are most profitable for it, and that these decisions might lead them to other countries, is utterly ridiculous (although, as you mentioned in previous posts, re-shoring is gaining traction; not so much criticism there, now?).

    These decisions are not only beneficial for the firms, but they are also beneficial for those in Third-world countries, who have new avenues for employment and new sources of income. In fact, you should be for this, as it would be much better than having migration from these countries, right?

    Granted, there are ethical issues that need to be dealt with, with regards to, say, the working conditions of those working in the fashion industry; but that is not the point at hand, because we're dealing with the issue that corporations are somehow "treasonous" for pursuing business opportunities in these countries.

    And they will also respond to customer sentiment as well. If the consumers actually value, for example, having a person who speaks English as their first language when they call customer service, then many companies have actually adopted that, even if it costs more for them.

    LK, are you simply a corporation hater? They're acting economically rationally.

    "our ... jobs"
    How do you decide which jobs are "ours" LK? Or are you also embracing the SJW culture of entitlement? (Albeit, one mixed with a toxic conception of nationalism)

    As an immigrant, I agree that there need to be sensible border policies in place (though presumably I'd be more lenient on that issue than you would), but framing the issue as a "Us v Them" scenario leads to greater social antagonism which I feel you under-appreciate the hazard of. Maybe you personally may be capable of not conflating those sentiments and issues, but the public at large is not.

    (I'd be glad to steal your job though. :P )

    1. (1) Correct. A multinational corporation bears "no allegiance to any country it operates in".

      This is a severe problem with modern neoliberal capitalism. In Japan (at least until recently) they had corporations much more loyal to their people, their country, and their economy. Hence the better health of their manufacturing sector.

      (2) We'll talk again once your job is offshored to the Third World and you're on welfare and downing in private debt, Anonymous.

    2. Anonymous

      if you really want to help poor countries and poor immigrants free trade and stealing good paid jobs from developed countries is not the answer (as a fact countries which been forced by imf to be commited to free trade dont get the jobs but actually the ones who get it are countries which are super protectionists like china).

      but the case here anonymous that countries which developed healthy industrial policy by healthy mercantalism policies developed themself also in times when the west was way more protectinoist (see the example of the 4 asian tigers).

      so anonymous to develop your country you dont need make other country situation worse you just need develop healthy industrial policy in your country in this case there will be no zero sum game and everyone will stay happy.

    3. Anon
      LK is sound and insightful on many topics. Economics is not among them.

    4. Awww... you're only saying that because you're a free trading cuckservative, Kenny boy.

      You'd sell out your country, nation and people for 30 pieces of free trade silver, wouldn't you?

    5. Since my industry --software-- has been hit very hard by off shoring and lower wage imports that's a strikingly backwards bit of invective LK.

    6. And yet STILL you want to tell me that my economics is wrong?

      Still you push the horsecrap that free trade is wonderful and 100% right 100% of the time, and we should never have anything else?

    7. Are you even capable of seeing the benefits of infant industry protectionism for industrialising nations, or are you insanely opposed even to that?

  5. I think the best strategy to defang the regressive Left is to just point out how alienated they are from the everyday concerns of average people.

    For example, how does fighting against "the Patriarchy" help working-class women, most of whom are not at war with men and would actually benefit greatly if their husbands/boyfriends had jobs or jobs with higher wages?

    1. Very good point. Third Wave Feminism seems unhinged even to a growing number of women.

  6. I agree and all, but in some ways I really think that this is not enough to just be "anti" something, because like it or not, the neo-liberal and regressive left is what people think of when they think of the left, especially in the last 10-25 years.

    It would be much better to coin a term for this movement, to create websites, youtube channels, to get people to talk about this term, to have people say "I'm a part of the left, but I consider myself more a part of the _____ wing of the Left, not all of the identity politics or the parts to essentially backstab working class people".

    What do you think would be a good term for this? "Reform Left", or perhaps, as you mention mention because it's pretty similar to the Old Left, the "Renaissance Left"? Any ideas?

    1. Reform Left
      Reformed Left
      Rational Left
      New Left?
      Alternative Left
      Uncucked Left (lol..)
      Realist Left
      Sane Left
      21st Century Left
      Regrettably, "New Left" is already taken (e.g., 1960s New Left) as is "Alternative Left".

    2. Or maybe we should call the neoliberal-regressive left the "Cucked Left". hahaha

    3. P.S. in case you can't understand the joke here read up on the term "cuckservative":

    4. "Rational Left" and "Realist Left" both have nice rings to it. Especially since Post-Keynesianism PE has some similarities with the IR "Realist" theory (PK acknowledges that while a crude and basic worldview, that mercantilism and protectionism has some merit to it. It also has an emphasis on relations with power and interests).

      Rational Left has a nice ring to it. Of course it can be a bit pretentious, particularly when it's also adopted by libertarian-like people who are foundationalized on non-sense. Libertarians are often very logical and syllogistic, but they're like Keynes said about ABCT:
      "It is an extraordinary example of how, starting with a mistake, a remorseless logician can end up in bedlam…"

      Reform(ed) Left has its ring to it, since we're trying to reform it against the neo-liberals and SJWs. But in some regards "Renaissance" makes more sense, since we're trying to bring back the Old Left roots, not necessarily making something completely new.

      yes, Cuckservative is an lol term.

    5. In fairness, LK, the 'cuck' slur may still be appropriate for an American nationalist left that embraces your ideas on economics and immigration. American blacks who descend from slaves have been in this country much longer than most, including many whites. If memory serves corrected, you've mentioned in at least one blog post this year that the US pursuing sensible policies on immigration and economics would help black American workers as much as white ones.

    6. Bro-socialism. It properly identifies this ideology for white dudes, and implies a contempt for intersectionality (or the idea that individuals do not fit neatly into one category). Rather contemptuous of working class people, actually.

    7. But the Bernie Bro socialism would be multi-racial.

  7. Please pardon my ignorance. What is the fundamental distinction between LK's "left" and "right".

    1. (1) economics
      (2) opposition to laissez faire and neoliberal policies
      (3) opposition to religious obscurantism and hatred of science
      (4) much more socially liberal than conservatives

    2. But social liberalism and individualism are ideologies that are responsible for the breakdown of families and communities.

      Also, one of the most prominent forms of 'religious obscurantism' today is that of the Liberal and New Atheist religions, which strongly discourage obtaining knowledge outside the arbitrary confines of "Science and Reason."

    3. Anonymous, while I'm sympathetic to the notion that modern ideologies are secular monotheism's, I'm not sure new atheism would qualify as a religion. Furthermore, one of the biggest flaws of the new atheist crowd is that they prefer their own naive intuitions about religion as a phenomenon to the conclusions of modern science. Hell, don't Dennett and Dawkins both harbor sympathies for pseudo-scientific explanations for how religious phenomenon emerged and continue to stick around? I'm thinking primarily of their "religion=bad memes" explanation.

    4. "Also, one of the most prominent forms of 'religious obscurantism' today is that of the Liberal and New Atheist religions, which strongly discourage obtaining knowledge outside the arbitrary confines of "Science and Reason."

      Ahhh, I see. Should we then get our medicine, biology or engineering sciences from the Bible?

      Does the Bible tell us how to understand the genetics of and cures for cancer?

    5. Lk

      Of course not but still even though new atheists can have good points,they are obssesed with anti religion like neoclassical economists with equilibrium

      And as you know obsession is never healthy even if this people have good points on some issues.

    6. Notice KingKong did not get a coherent answer. Take for example "hatred of science ". LK means on evolution but forgets left wing anti science. Examples: denial that race is meaningful, denial that cultures can be dysfunctional, anti vaccination, denial of evolutionary psychology. These are much more marked on the left than the right.

    7. Of course he got a coherent answer.

      As for anti-science, the Realist Left would be vehemently opposed to all anti-science idiots on both the left and right.

  8. One of the odd parts about the regressive left in the US is that they're in denial about the fact that they clearly don't accept all cultures as equal. When one reads the rather vicious and fairly accurate condemnations from the regressive left on the backwardness of southern white culture, it's pretty clear they don't think that culture is equal to others in this nation. I suspect it's a result of the over the top nature of political correctness that leads to this denial on the part of the American regressive left. This is made all the more amusing if one accepts Thomas Sowell's argument that "authentic black culture" in the US is primarily influenced (perhaps 'culturally appropriated'?) by poor southern redneck culture.

    1. They look rednecks as part of their group (since they are white) so they judge them by this criterias.

  9. I break with (3) & (11) on humanitarian grounds. I can summarize it up by saying that I think all ideologies are imperfect and so are the people who implement them.

    The rest is fine AFAICS.

  10. Here's an interesting something that I've been talking about with people recently: maybe the cultural left is actually PART OF neoliberalism.

    I started thinking this after the Brexit debate. I hang around in London finance circles and what struck me was that the exact same rhetoric that was being used by the cultural left types on my Facebook feed was being used by the finance people. It was 100% identical. Right from the anti-democratic tone to the complaints about racism and all that.

    I think that both of these groups are actually the same people. They're sort of embodied in that person who you actually see an awful lot: the Guardian reader who voted Thatcher/Major/Blair/Cameron. There are literally tons of these people.

    They care about the 'environment'. They want open borders and free trade (although they'll buy fair trade coffee to boost their egos). They strongly dislike high taxes - especially when they are at the stage in their careers (aged 35+) when those higher tax rates impact them. They dislike poor people and think that anyone who works for a living is a racist. But they generally support welfare handouts much in the same way as Victorian snobs supported soup kitchens; so long as the poor stay poor and exercise no social control they make nice pets.

    Maybe this is the key. Maybe we're wrong to think about the 'contradiction' between cultural leftism and leftism. Maybe cultural leftism is actually the IDEOLOGY OF NEOLIBERALISM.

    There actually seems to be some limited recognition of this, although I don't think it goes far enough.

    1. Yah, there is something really and shockingly insightful about what you've just said here.

      Hope you don't mind if I post this comment and add my thoughts in a separate post.

    2. Go for it. Good discussions to have.

    3. On an unrelated subject, have a look at the conservatives promoting neo-eugenics:

      Read that article carefully: they are now blaming long-term unemployment on.. bad genetics. FFS, you couldn't make this stuff up.

      Also, what's proposed there is apparently going to be *state policy* in China:

    4. Thank you, you have hit the nail on the head and it’s a problem that is not going to go away. The UK is controlled by an elite that is totally disconnected from the man in the street who has not gained from E U membership. Our education system has been dumbed down own over the years and we have been given "bread and games" to keep us quiet while the elite have become more European than British. By nature, I am not far left or far right, it is my belief that all men are equal regardless of race, creed or colour and should only be judged by their character. I do believe in democracy and Lincolns words “government of the people, by the people for the people” are my credo. That is why I voted against the elite and continued membership of the undemocratic E U.
      The economy will take a hit but it is worth it, I have survived 25% inflation, 3 million unemployed, power strikes and three day weeks in the past and we will get over it again.

  11. I would answer YES to all your questions but one : point 11. I really think that terror attacks don't have much to do with any religion. Half mad people might embed their violent drives with religious words. But I think we must rather analyse it as a pathology just like drugs, binge drinking, suicide, hard hooliganism, rape etc.
    And actually (I think on that point you would agree) full-employment is the best cure at hand. I don't claim it would stop all violence as to now, but in the long run it's the only way to have a more decent, civilized society.
    Any violent person can put an "-ism" on his / her desire to frighten, bully and even kill others and see it as morally sound. Is it delusion or simply bad faith I do not know. But what matters is the way people really live, the way their real lives made them, not the BS they repeat because it sounds great and make them look better than they are.