Ok so I know I said this blog is no longer active, but 2016 has smashed my brain too hard.
In 2014 the Hindu Fascist leader won a majority in the Indian elections. Then this year Brexit happened riding a wave of hate nationalism and anti-everyone-but-us hysteria. Then finally the icing on the cake was the Trump presidency. It was obvious he was lying. It was obvious he’s a douche bag who shouldn’t be hired as a janitor of a school let alone the president of the most powerful country. But people voted for him anyway.
I still think that this is a sign of desperation and not some collective mind fuck history has dumped on us. Before each of these rise of the right events, people were waiting and hoping for a left wing, liberal alternative to emerge. In India the elections were preceeded by two major uprisings against corruption and sexual violence. A party was also formed which remains the prominent player in the political arena.
In Britain the young people squarely rejected the racist claptrap. In America Trump was actually a solid presidential candidate only after Bernie Sanders lost.
Thus the old quote is again proven true:
Behind every dictatorship is a failed revolution.
People are looking for alternatives and when the left fails them, the radical right seems like the last resort.
Here is how I think the postmodern leftists and liberals dug their own graves:
1) They rejected any possibility of ‘Reality’ existing outside of an individual’s presumptions and pretensions. They proclaimed that everything which claims to be a universal or a generally applicable principle is a dictatorship of thought. It was not the Truth in them which made them powerful but rather their privileged position in the world.
2) This meant that all opinions about reality were equally valid and there was no possibility of any judgement. Thus they supported a theocratic dictatorship in Iran as it was against US imperialism. They supported cultural relativism which stalled humanistic progress and supplied the perfect alibi for regressive conservatives who attacked free speech, used blasphemy laws, stalled any bid for gender racial or social equality. This also meant that denial of science and history was seen as legitimate ‘Knowledge’. From here started the Orwellian Ignorance is Knowledge trend. Climate Change was denied. Holocaust was underplayed or seen as a conspiracy. Nazism became all right and so did the Alt-Right.
3) Since liberals and leftists still believed in freedom, they were paradoxically creating a situation where they themselves became powerless. It was said that every opinion, reality and truth was subjective and should be allowed to exist. But this also meant that beliefs which supported a fundamentalist streak, suppressing everything which contradicted them with violence, was also a legitimate exercise of freedom. Many people came out in support of Fundamentalist Islam when they sought to ban Salman Rushdie’s book and asked for his head. He was blamed and no one really stood up for the freedom of speech of this writer. Thus people who believed in liberty for everyone lost their rights because they believed that people who attacked the very space of freedom should be allowed to do so.
4) Their dogmatic rejection of any possibility of a common reality existing outside subjective opinions made it impossible for the left to organize themselves at a societal level. Instead of solving real problems by coming together, they confined themselves to theoretical ivory towers endlessly debating everything and giving stupid solutions which didn’t work. This also meant that there can be no consensus. People can just come up and say that in their subjective opinion they reject everything and that will be enough to destroy common reality. People couldn’t find any stable foundation for their life, their society and for collective actions. Problems which were real regardless if you believe they exist or not were ignored. Postmodernists were also furious in their attacks on Humanism which actually was the leading grand narrative against regressive values, however they were far more sympathetic to religion for no reason. This gave birth to the infamous regressive left, where fundamentalist faith was protected while rationality was demonized. While in the end of twentieth century humanists were successful in ending apartheid and in civil rights movement in USA, religion (which was faultering) was given a massive incubator so that it can grow its tentacles again. Once religion was accepted in intellectual circles, regressive values and appeals to sexist and racist traditions didn’t take time to come back and become respectable.
5) Now all of this created a powerless stalemate where the left could actually provide nothing of substance except for the pretentious dogma that every thought, opinion, belief and value was equal in terms of facts and truths. “Everything is Subjective” is not really an answer to global economic crisis, climate change or fundamentalist terrorism. This meant that at least the right wing could provide some superficial action plans. Ironically it is the right wing which now uses this dogma not to promote freedom but to impose their power by simply ignoring facts and presenting their hate and judgment in a 24X7 reality show. What we seek from our leaders now is not a plan for progress based on reality but entertainment and antics.
Politics is a show at par with Jersey Shore. Our leaders don’t have to inspire us anymore they just have to provide us our celebrity porn, make headlines for saying nothing and help us masturbate out of our depressing realities. This is all thanks to some glamorous leftist French intellectuals who said many logically incoherent things in 1970s to earn quick fame and money.