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What’s Left?

One of the successes of the right is their identification of the left with a sorry pastiche of ‘woke’. But the left is more than outspoken, individual awareness of the role of identities, however constructed and defined, whoever constructs and defines them and whatever role they plays in group dynamics of power and in- and exclusion. Which leads us to the question: What’s Left? I’ll state some points. Some points (many of which are related to social , economic and political in- and exclusion):

  • One person, one vote and universal unrestricted suffrage (incarcerated people should have the right to vote too, for instance). Voting rights should not be tied to income, wealth, property, race, gender or education (all of these variables have been used to restrict voting rights). Universal voting rights have been a huge success of ‘la gauche’.
  • The eight hour working day. There’s a nice wikipedia entry about this
  • Free, accessible and high quality education for everyone until at least 16 years of age
  • Cheap, accessible and high quality health care for everyone
  • Affordable, high quality, energy producing but not necessarily detached housing with access to running clean water, sewage systems, clean air and green surroundings and within walking or at least cycling distance from schools and sports facilities and designed to foster interactions with neighbors and to enable community care
  • Healthy, non-polluted environments outside, at work and in these houses
  • Full employment
  • Care free retirement (the age at which this starts might be over 65…)
  • Policies aimed at enabling people raising children to manage the financial and practical burden of the combination of paid labour and family responsibilities
  • government ownership of natural resources like oil, natural gas, aquifers and the like – let’s say anything more than 40 meters beneath the surface
  • Taxes on unearned wealth, like the value of unimproved land and inheritances
  • A long term environmental strategy (climate, biodiversity, nature). This is about survival.
  • free speech, fee unions and other non-profit organizations
  • thriving businesses which, however, have to be bridled in the political arena and which have to follow the rules (labour, environment, food safety, quality, liability – the list is long). Sensible patent policies.
  • A state which does not care about gender or race and which can be sued if it does
  • Which brings us to mechanisms of in- and exclusion. Many of these mechanisms will be countered by the combinations of full employment and access to education, health care and housing. But we will have to fight for this. Hard and long and mean fights.

Let’s be woke about that.

  1. parmay
    November 6, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    During the 1960s & 70s, these were the policies of the US, evident in both Democratic & Republican party platforms. At the time, the US was so far from “left” that it elected Richard Nixon twice and was engaged in imperial wars in Asia and the rest of the world.

    In fact, rather than “left,” these are centrist policies that benefit most of the population without much alteration of society. The fact that anyone considers these policies “left” shows how much business interests have seized the consciousness of intellectuals and the media.

    The fact that many of us lived in this policy environment has also been forgotten. We have allowed the corruption of business interests to pervade our very thoughts.

    Left would be the elimination of whole sectors of business interests, starting with landlords and other nonproductive income stream recipients who live off the earnings of others. Middlemen of all sorts must be destroyed. These holdovers from feudal times must be eradicated and whatever is socially useful in their functions must be placed under the democratic auspices of the state.

    Left would be the end of private property — one of the West’s most destructive and stupid ideas and another holdover from feudal times.

    Left would be the end of capitalists, who could not ultimately make much progress from the feudal age and who seem hellbent on bringing its worst features back to enserf us all.

    By all means, let’s return to center. Let’s resume governing on behalf of the human race. Let’s kick the politicians and corporate executives who are force-feeding us their toxic ideology into the sea. If the past 2.5+ years of COVID have shown us anything, it’s that these creatures of the corporation are utterly incapable of managing human and planatary crises.

  2. Romar Correa
    November 9, 2022 at 4:21 am

    Thank you for your precision and comprehensiveness, merijntknibbe. I cannot resist fleshing out “full employment” and the connections with “thriving businesses” and other elements in your list. I take it the former would mean a Job Guarantee Scheme and/or buffer stock operations in the reserve army. The private and the public sector would be complements. I am sure by the latter you have competitive enterprise in mind with a rediscovery of the monopoly-busting power of the government. Also, all business is subject to the radical uncertainty that causes and is effected by the cycle. The public sector must come into its own.
    “Government ownership …”, and “a long term environmental strategy …” can be subsumed under Keynes’ ‘socialisation of investment’. Your “survival” strategy cannot wait for the ‘pretty, polite techniques’ Keynes was contemptuous about to deliver positive present values of green projects for them to be undertaken by private capital. For one thing, the success stories are local and the scaling up problem has to be solved. Risks are high and returns conjectural. For the other, governments are in the vice-like grip of international finance. They will have to break free, ideally in an international cooperation setup, to develop their own financing and investment arrangements.
    What about monetary arrangements? Can we look at asset-based reserve requirements, reconstruct firewalls, and (dare I say it?!) consider 100% reserve banking that, (at one stage at least), connected Hyman Minsky and the Chicago school?

  3. November 11, 2022 at 1:04 am

    Reblogged this on Calculus of Decay and commented:
    These policy positions are rooted in decency and common sense.

    Allow us to apply the same decent common sense to the overtly immutable fact that the machine that is labeled “Left” at this moment in time have absolutely no interest in FIGHTING for any of these policy positions. They FIGHT for the dildocracy. Rules based international values order for Vogue Magazine Oscar Zelensky Ukraine. They FIGHT to mutilate children’s genitals. They FIGHT to decimate the ethos that built Western Civilization. They FIGHT Constitutional Law on all four compass points (here in the USA).

    Let us speak the truth about the Right. They FIGHT for NOTHING. They only react to the Left’s Antinomianism. Here in the USA.

    Democracy is non-existent and it never has been and never will be. I only need to look to the recent atrocious coup in the United Kingdom, as the “prime minister” resigned with tremendous convenience to bring onboard a Davos man. He wasn’t the one the people voted for. Very fake and gay.

    And look at the midterm elections in the USA. The fragmented permanently fractured system to tally “votes” haven’t produced “democratically elected” victors yet. This is unheard of let’s say, in 1954. Or 1908. Or 1888. Whatever.

    F*CK the Left. F*CK the Right. This parlimentary system that arose from the “French Revolution” has GOT TO GO.

    Call it the Third Position. Or Position Zero. Or Common Sense Authoritarianism.

    If you’re vote counted towards the actualization of policy that is put into place – you would never be allowed to cast one.

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