I have used “liberals” here in the American sense of the word that includes all left of the centre political stands including main stream, the identity politics thumping new left and far left. To my mind, the best political cartoon that describes this decade is that of a hysteric activist with a placard reading “Stop profanity against the oppressed! Down with the racist, classist, homophobic, misogynist pigs !”, shouting the same at others while holding a selfie stick. Irony is the most hard to get figure of speech from the repertoire of a skillful writer. Even intelligent people misses it out very often, and less said about wannabes, the better. Coming from somewhere in the political left spectrum, I started wondering about the members of my erstwhile clan since quite some time; not to mention the fact that we were in a clan or a tribe with its unique superstitions, Gods and rituals that we accused others of, was the beginning of the dawn. In my observation, other than learning from the tactics of the political left, right has not done much on its own. As movements go, right-wing in various cultural contexts have always been driven by insecurity, reaction to the change in status-quo, predictable aggression and violence. But what has fundamentally changed is the way and manner in which the political left, mostly from the academia and the media, have started developing the narrative of the world and the events.
Consider this image. A vocal social media persona who spares no effort in bashing what she describes as the patriarchal, anti-Dalit, Islamophobic nexus of main stream left, liberals, right and popular culture of this third world country. She doesn’t spare any one mind you, although sometimes it done is for right reasons like that proverbial dead clock. Now she proudly presents herself as a supporter of Hillary Clinton in that numero uno first world country. This irony will not be lost by any intelligent Dalit or Muslim woman on the street. Again, meet this grand pretender of a theoretician for the glorious just causes, who possess detective skills to deduce appropriation of the ideas and icons of oppressed people, though he is not one among them. Let us forget the fact that the most charitable way to look at his theories are as a bunch of adhoc arguments without coherence but with enough wow sounding words. If you did not know that logic in itself is a Eurocentric violence against the colonial subjects by the white hereto-normative hegemony, you are a privilege blind, lackey of the oppressors. Okay just pretend that those bombastic words are full of deep meanings with mystical connotations that nobody has really been able to explain them in a cogent manner, lest you be called ignorant or arrogant, often both. If you really thought that these two anecdotes or its various alternative forms are either insignificant exceptions or exaggerations, let me tell you that you are part of the political left’s delusion.
In my opinion the worst failure of the left political spectrum in general is not lack of imagination, which although is definitely one from the list. It is getting caught in one’s own rhetoric. They have long forgot to ask relevant questions, not that they were very good with answers any time. Marxists were wrong about economics and political rights. It took almost a century for people at large to understand this. The perceptive economists and philosophers from the twentieth century itself never had a doubt about the same though. The failure of theory gave rise to various schools of (spurious) public intellectuals who went on with non-falsifiable discourses surrounding identities and culture. With extensive verbiage and appeal to emotions, they made a large section of people convinced about the plausibility of those proposals, without moving the larger social debate an inch forward. It is not that these people were necessarily fraud, but only incompetents who found a short cut to avoid a rigorous philosophic justification- a Machiavellian tactic of selective application of relativism. In fact, these discourse peddling has hurt the third world countries more than the industrialized first world, although that is a different topic of discussion. The cacophony of today’s media driven political agenda was essentially a ghost unleashed by the new left, and if you are honest, do not blame it on the right or centrists. The worst part of the whole process is that today the only argument of the new left and people influenced by its doctrine is that your opponent is a bad person!! There is no need to debate the whys and hows of political questions, for the discussion is surrounded on some cuss words.
The question that everyone who do not subscribe to right’s cultural dogmas should ask is whether this meanness has generated anything beneficial. Let me be bold enough to predict that it will not do any good, even in future. I do not believe in left’s politically correct speak that all people are equally kind, intelligent or ethical. No, but the division is not on the basis of gender, caste, religion, ethnicity or creed, but as individuals who are conscientious and those who are not. Very often people who are not conscientious flock together in groups where their interests meet or because they can be manipulated. To that extend all mobs which display aggression, disregard for other people’s rights, thoughtlessness and lack of intelligence have to be called out. There is no need to be apologetic about doing that. However manipulating the intellectual space to the extend of disallowing your critics by tagging them with your chosen cuss words is not going to help. I sincerely believe that even the least wise people are saner than the twitter throw ups.
Also published as facebook note here.