We live in interesting times, as the fallout from the Charlottesville events reminds us yet again.
The physical conflict between elements of the right and left is hardly new, nor is the determination of the a significant section of the left to silence dissenting voices by any means necessary.
What is new and noteworthy, however, is the way in which they have been now been wholeheartedly joined in this by the ruling class itself.
And so we have an early vision of what an authoritarian order may look like in the 21st Century West. Dissenters are silenced not primarily by direct state repression but by private actors – street level thugs engaging in physical intimidation which is then covered up by the elite media blaming the victims for being “violent.” Fake “outrages” are manufactured and then the corporate media almost as one blares a false narrative, mobilizing the population for ritual mass denunciation of the evil-doers.
Dissidents are not only effectively silenced by being deprived of any access to the public sphere – now mainly controlled by a handful of huge tech corporations – but are also whenever possible deprived of their jobs and even prevented from carrying out such mundane activities as booking a room, a car or a flight.
The response of the left to all of this has been instructive. A handful have criticized the more “ultra-left” elements, either for strategic errors (see, for example, The Unrepentant Marxist) or out of some slightly guilty sense of discomfort with the outright thuggery indulged in by certain of the antifa.
What has gone almost entirely uncriticized, by the left at least, has been the role of the corporations. One would expect that a movement claiming to oppose and resist the capitalist system would at least be given pause to consider the ease with which the ruling class has shown that it can and will move against its enemies without the least accountability. One would think that a truly subversive and revolutionary movement would, merely for the sake of self-preservation, oppose such actions, even when they are aimed at the right.
In fact, however, this is just another reminder of the two things we need to keep in mind about the left:
- It is a fundamentally loyal opposition, a part of the system. It is unconcerned about the repression directed against the right because its members instinctively recognize, even though they may not admit it to themselves, that they will never be a fundamental threat to the system and are therefore safe from such treatment.
- It hates and fears the people far more deeply than it opposes the ruling class.
P.S. In my recent reading around the net on this topic I came across an interesting web site – aptly named Sisyphean News. Committed to “Exposing Antifa and Working Against the Mainstream Media… the overall goal of Sisyphean news is to create a new platform where freedom of speech will always be protected.” While I believe that the author and I probably see many things differently, I wish him the best in this endeavor. I’d encourage you to drop by and read some of his posts, such as his latest Leftists Rally to Shut Down Freedom of Speech in Boston.