Friday, September 9, 2016

A Wikipedia Entry for the “Realist Left”

Here is a possible Wikipedia entry for the “Realist Left” or a kind of template for one:
Realist Left

The “Realist Left” is an expression used to refer to a left-wing political movement that rejects neoliberalism, the regressive left, and aspects of cultural leftism. It takes some inspiration from the Old Left, or the pre-1960s, non-Marxist Social Democratic left, but at the same time is not identical with the Old Left. There is some overlap between the Realist Left and Alt Left in terms of politics, but the Realist Left also distinguishes itself from the Alt Left. Core ideas on the Realist Left include support for left heterodox economics but rejection of cultural leftism and open borders.

1. Origins
2. Political beliefs
3. Relationship with the Alt Left
4. Internet presence
5. External links

1. Origins
The Realist Left emerged in 2016 amongst older and younger left-wing people profoundly dissatisfied not only with mainstream left-wing, neoliberal political parties, but also with mainstream cultural leftism, including French Poststructuralism, Postmodernism, truth relativism, extreme social constructivism, cultural relativism, moral relativism, extreme multiculturalism, and divisive identity politics.

Important elements of the Realist Left emerged from online supporters of left heterodox economics (namely, Post Keynesian economics and Modern Monetary Theory).

Early supporters of the Realist Left also felt that many people of the Millennial generation will come to abandon cultural leftism and Social Justice Warrior (SJW) politics, but that such people will need some new left-wing politics to fall back on when this happens, so that they will not be lost to the Right.

2. Political beliefs
Some core principles of the Realist Left that are seen as fundamental to the movement are as follows:
(1) rejection of neoliberalism, globalisation, neoclassical economics, libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, and all ideological free market capitalism.

(2) support for left-heterodox Post Keynesian and/or Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) economic ideas and economic policies. Rejection of Marxism and Communism.

(3) rejection of the extreme aspects of cultural leftism, namely, French Poststructuralism, Postmodernism, truth relativism, cultural relativism, moral relativism, Social Justice Warrior (SJW) politics, Postmodernist multiculturalism, and divisive and extreme identity politics.

(4) rejection of open borders and mass immigration, on left-wing economic, social and cultural grounds.
In particular, the Realist Left rejects neoclassical theory and maintains that a serious science of capitalism has been created by Post Keynesian economics and Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), which should displace neoclassical theory.

Other political positions widely held and important to the Realist Left include the following::
(1) the Realist Left supports full employment, Keynesian macroeconomic policies and management of our economies, a high-wage economy, industrial policy, managed trade in the national interest, a humane welfare state, and an end to offshoring of manufacturing and service jobs to the Third World.

(2) Realist Left politics supports reasonable and sensible civil and equity women’s rights and gay rights, but not cultural leftist identity politics or endless cults of victimology, and the bizarre conspiracy theories that blame all our problems on the capitalist, white-male, heterosexual patriarchy and universal “institutional racism.”

(3) the Realist Left is critical of Third Wave Feminism.

(4) the Realist Left rejects extreme social constructivism and the “blank slate” view of human beings.

(5) the Realist Left defends free speech and freedom of expression from cultural leftist and politically correct witch hunts and restrictions.

(6) the Realist Left is anti-imperialist and largely non-interventionist on foreign policy, but not isolationist.

(7) the Realist Left is pro-nuclear family and – at the very least – open to serious and rational discussion of the breakdown of the nuclear family in the Western world, and what harm this may have done to our societies, but with humane policies free from right-wing viciousness or free market economics.

(8) the Realist Left recognises that most people have a normal and natural wish to preserve their nations as homelands for their majority culture and their people. Low-level immigration and reasonable refugee quotas are fine, as long as minorities actually do remain a minority of the population, and people who wish to stay assimilate and do not bring hostile and incompatible cultures.

(9) the Realist Left opposes regressive and illiberal Islamism, and promotes the assimilation of immigrants in the West.
Not all Realist Leftists accept all these principles above, and there are of course disagreements between Realist Leftists on other issues.

But the Realist Left believes in working out its political, social and cultural positions with open, respectful and rational debate on individual issues, instead of the intolerant witch hunting that characterises the modern left.

3. Relationship with the Alt Left
The Realist Left is different from the Alt Left (also known as the Alternative Left) and also has different origins from the latter movement, although there is an overlap between many Alt Left and Realist Left ideas.

Both the Realist Left and Alt Left are critical, to varying degrees, of modern cultural leftism, such as SJW politics and identity politics.

4. Internet presence
Realist Left ideas are promoted on the internet on social media and blogs (see external links). The economic ideas of the Realist Left can be found on Post Keynesian and Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) blogs, though these economists do not necessarily identify with the Realist Left and would take different political positions.

5. External links
Realist Left on the Internet:
Realist Left on Facebook @realistleft
Realist Left on Twitter @realistleft
Social Democracy for the 21st Century: A Realist Alternative to the Modern Left

Alt Left on the Internet:
Alternative Left @alternativeleft
Alt-Left closed Facebook discussion group

Post Keynesian and Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) blogs and websites:
Debt Deflation, Steve Keen
Post Keynesian Economics Study Group
Real-World Economics Review Blog
Naked Keynesianism
Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Philip Pilkington
Thoughts on Economics, Robert Vienneau
Unlearningeconomics Blog
Ramanan, The Case For Concerted Action
Thomas Palley
Debtonation: The Global Financial Crisis. Ann Pettifor
Billy Blog, Bill Mitchell
New Economic Perspectives
Mike Norman Economics Blog
Warren Mosler, The Center of the Universe
Michael Hudson
Econospeak Blog
Robert Skidelsky’s Official Website

(1) I want to keep this up for at least a day or so to receive criticisms, suggestions and comments.

(2) I will edit it to reflect any needed changes, and then perhaps somebody can create a Wikipedia page.
I think the Alt Left should have its own Wikipedia page to which we can link, since I don’t want to speak for the Alt Left.


  1. Some good, some bad. Some needs clarification. This for example:
    "(6) the Realist Left is anti-imperialist and largely non-interventionist on foreign policy, but not isolationist. "

    Let me tell you of a debate I had via email with Don Boudreaux when he objected to being called isolationist. He insisted that for instance he would have traded with Germany in the 30s, so that's not isolationist. Do you see the consequence? "I'm not isolationist, I'd have let Du Pont ship Zyklon B to Germany."

    My point is, you need to give a little rigor to your term.

    1. Sorry but it was interventionism, not 'isolationism', that created the horrors of WWII.

    2. Yeah, because the Great Depression in Germany was caused by *lack of government intervention*. Tell me more one.

    3. What the heck does that mean LK?

    4. This could go on and on ...
      Are you replying to me or the idiot linking Tom Woods? Because if you are replying to me it seems a puzzling non-sequitur.

    5. lol.. cross purposes.

      To clarify things, I suspect "George" is Major_Freedom, as he's commented under that name before.

    6. Ah.
      Roddis reports back on goings on here. He always seems shocked when you and I disagree (on infers he must have a higher opinion of you than he lets on.)

  2. Hey Lord Keynes,
    This is quite a well structured Wikipedia entry for the Realist Left. Well done!
    But it's missing a reference section and a further reading section, I think these are important to reference literature to support any Wikipedia article on the Realist Left.

    But I do have some questions, if they're not too bothersome:
    1) When you say, "The Realist Left is anti-imperialist and largely non-interventionist on foreign policy, but not isolationist." Would you believe the Realist Left would, for example, support military alliances like NATO and membership of the UN?

    Also, 2) Do you think this new left-wing is noticeable enough to warrant a Wikipedia article and Wikipedia moderators to allow it? Because apart from some Facebook pages and unless there's evidence to the contrary, I don't think it is.

    1. (1) UN membership, yes. NATO expansion into Eastern Europe and to the borders of Russia is a disaster and provocation, inciting conflict with Russia. Ultimately, NATO's fate is decided by democratic decisions of the people who live in each nation.

      (2) yes, these ideas are rising on the left. They'll be an entry whether now or later.

    2. 1) I tend to think that the "Liberal Internationalism" international relations framework would generally describe us. We would benefit more if we cooperated with Russia, and even invited them in a serious way into NATO. But I at least see logic for IR Realism assuming that Liberal Internationalism fails, and we become competing blocs instead of cooperative, which was particularly the case during the Cold War.

      2) I agree, which is why I think we should wait a little bit for the community to get up and running, and for the main blog to be created, alongside having other affiliated blogs that we could legitimately call part of the "Realist Left".

      The subreddit is also a good step forward, as would be creating a youtube channel. I guess I'll get onto that latter one asap.

  3. Since it seems to be missing, I have created a subreddit for this initiative, just in case it's useful:

    (In my opinion, "Realist" is a much better name than "alt-left", partly because "alt-left" kind of make us look like a reflection of the "alt-right", which is something I don't like at all personally. But I accept suggestions)

    If someone with initiative wants to get mod status or even take complete control of it I'm fine with it, I'm just trying to contribute.

    1. Excellent initiative. I'll create an account there too.

      I also tend to agree with the "Alt Left", which is why I like the "Realist Left" name the best.

  4. Another issue that I think the Realist Left needs to support is national sovereignty and strong opposition to plans to replace national governments with unelected bureaucrats or international courts. Neoliberalism will be hard to defeat if progressive legislation on the national level can be overturned by unelected, unaccountable supranational bodies.

  5. I wish you well, we need sane people of various persuasions, even ones who are wrong on free trade, but in a way this strikes me as odd still. You reject pretty much everything that defines the left, but want to call yourself Left. Should we atheists start calling ourselves Realist Christians?

  6. In what sense are you using "realist"? Just as a connotatively positive qualifier?

    Because if there's a commitment to philosophical realism built into this, that's kind of an important thing to leave out of your inaugural document or whatever this is.

  7. Welcome to the basket of the deplorables!