Well, against my Alt Left anyway.
This is from Lost Generation, a reddit purportedly about the economic troubles of the Millennial Generation, but which seems to be populated mostly by Marxists for some odd reason.
All of the usual charges that get leveled against me by the Hard Left types are here: I’m a racist, sexist, fascist, crypto-Nazi Alt Right guy masquerading as being on the Left. What’s ridiculous is that I hate all of these people and have never felt at home at any of their websites. I am usually appalled by their racism, sexism, fascism, Nazism, etc. and I really cannot stand most Alt Right sites for similar reasons.
There is just about no one I hate as much as fascists, and I’ve never found a racist website where I felt at home and was not bothered by their hard racism. I also hate Nazis. And one of the main reasons that I hate the Manosphere so much is because it is so misogynistic and sexist. In other words, I cannot stand sexist Manosphere sites. They’re awful and it’s their misogyny that I hate so much. I love women, I don’t hate them.
All of the attacks on me and my ideology are italicized.
Here’s the critique:
digdog303: Why isn’t there any alt-left?
Get_Erkt: I saw some dudes using that, but they seem keen to ignore everything we’ve learned in the past 100 years about how patriarchy and white supremacy/ imperialism are more effective impediments to revolution than police repression. Like they’re mad they might have to stop macking on comrades or share the spot light with others, and they think socialism means having a PS4 pro and $4K TV.
SayingStuffOnReddit: Ugh, exactly this.
I found this guy’s WordPress blog the other day, first one I’ve seen that was an “Alt Left” blog. He regularly bans people for very petty things, and it’s always race-related. He’s always hurling racially or religiously charged insults at people who say the slightest thing that makes HIM uncomfortable, and he always points out how someone is “ARAB” or a “JEW” even if there is zero evidence of them being that, it’s like “Hey, I think you look like you’re from X, so I’m going to call you a name associated with that area of the world.”
It was fucking ridiculous. Very little discussion of actual socialist theory and a whole lot of whining about “SJWs” and “feminism” while not really putting forth anything that really distances his views from a typical Alt-Righter.
For a self proclaimed Leftist (he had pictured of Stalin and Lenin, for example) it is pretty disgusting to see this kind of crap being spread as “valid” forms of agitprop for “socialism.”
Dude identified as a “race realist” and basically spews Nazi propaganda 50% less of the time than an actual fascist would.
I mean, I hate being called a brocialist, because I’m not one, but I’ve had people irresponsibly throw this at me when I’ve tried to critique Identity Politics and such in good faith. This guy, however, totally fits the bill and totally showed me why the term exists and is used as an insult to begin with.
They want “liberation,” but just none of that icky stuff that has to do with race, gender, or anything outside of class.
It is truly strange and something I cannot remotely relate to. I can only imagine that his “activist” group (if he even has that) is just a bunch of angry White dudes, which, in spite of me being a White male, I simply can’t get down with.
I live in a predominantly Black area, and this kind of shit would never fly in public, it is the product of upper-middle class White folks playing the role of revolutionary from their gated-in communities in the ‘burbs.
I hate sounding so condescending too, because I know it isn’t helping, but sometimes people really do need to meet you half way, and this guy is one of them; he’d do better to just shut up and read a book than spew more of this incoherent “Alt Left” bullshit.
pikapizza: The double-edged sword of the Internet is that it gives any idiot or socially-marginalized weirdo a voice. Embracing the ‘brocialist’ smear (anyone to the left of Hillary = hates women and likes the KKK) because you found one such idiot or socially- marginalized weirdo is not the way to go.
SayingStuffOnReddit: I don’t embrace it as a smear, I was just saying that I now understand why people might so easily sling it around when people like that guy are basically fascists appropriating left-wing aesthetics and terminology.
pikapizza: People using that epithet aren’t thinking of this guy. The whole ‘class politics = racist and sexist’ meme only got traction because millions of young Americans weren’t doing what they were told and started voting for the evil brocialist Bernie instead of the devout feminist and anti-racist progressive Hillary.
They have in mind the 22 year-old college student who has the disgusting, privileged audacity to think economic justice might be more important than smashing the patriarchy, and insults like this are their way of telling him to fuck off, that left-wing politics are not for him, and to go vote for Trump.
SayingStuffOnReddit: I know what you’re talking about, but I’ve seen it used in many other forms than the one you just mention. I was citing one instance.
And tbf “smashing the patriarchy” and “economic justice” have to go hand in hand. I don’t see them as at odds with one another, that’s all I was saying. Hillary supporters obviously can’t make the connection there, and doubly so for the right wing. People like Robert Lindsay see them as “polar opposites” which really just shows his lack of understanding of what actual feminists (the socialist ones, at least) believe. Instead, he lambastes caricatures of what feminism actually is or just takes pot shots at random individual actors without grappling with any real ideas.
He and his ilk spend more time talking about what a woman decided to wear to a “Slut Walk” than what her views are on “patriarchy,” how she might define it, and why she came to such an event in the first place. In a way, he doesn’t “dismantle” feminist critiques of society; he inevitably proves their legitimacy.
pikapizza: But they clearly don’t go hand in hand. We’ve just witnessed an election where the self-described feminist and standard bearer for progressive Identity Politics in the US was also a multimillionaire, staunch neoliberal and hardline imperialist who openly spoke for the interests of business and the very wealthy. Her campaign overtly used gender politics to dismiss economic justice as a sideshow issue (if not a sneaky cover for the Left’s closet racism and sexism) and smear any criticism from her left as veiled misogyny.
This is the new political reality. Thinking you can ignore it and keep on pandering to identitarianism with ‘oh, that’s not MY kind of feminism!’ or whatever is quite stupid.
SayingStuffOnReddit: Dude whatever i’m not gonna argue with you about the importance of gender and race and its relationship to class.
There’re books that talk about the significance of these, even when people try to insist class is some kind of “be-all” “end-all.”
If your idea of progressivism is “don’t talk about gender or race,” and you essentially equate any discussion of gender or race as “Identitarianism” then you’re just driving away people.
I feel like we’re talking about two different things, and you seem to be insisting that I’m promoting some kind of neoliberal Identity Politics. That’s not the same as taking an intersectional approach where we acknowledge that class is the key unifier of all oppressed identities.
Furthermore, Hillary isn’t nor has she ever been the “standard bearer” for progressive anything.
That is catering to and propagating neoliberal media narratives and ultimately capital interests.
There’s many different angles one can discuss gender and race, which I’m completely fine with so long as they’re rooted in anti-capitalist critiques.
Get_Erkt: Brosocialism existed before Sanders but referred to men who didn’t care about women’s issues, like whether we ought to discipline or expel men who preyed on women from socialist organizations. There were several high profile cases of rape cover-ups in Leftist organizations recently, but marginalizing women and relegating them to “women’s work” was something even the Panthers and Soviets were guilty of.
Patriarchy was the first form of economic class and exploitation, but brosocialists don’t want to hear it. Our organizations aren’t dating services, and comrades are held to a professional, disciplined standard of behavior in our personal interaction, but brosocialists don’t want to hear it.
The people who used Clinton’s gender as a lasso or whip against opponents were cynical opportunists. Clinton is no friend of women or anyone. But the Left has to struggle against internal sexism and racism nonetheless because we are products of a racist, sexist society and understanding the struggle revolving around class is only the first step to liberation. Patriarchy and White supremacy/settlerism/imperialism are manifestations of class across physical human characteristics.
pikapizza: Brocialism has been around for awhile, sure, but it’s never had that sort of narrow definition. It’s always been an ideological pejorative for any left-wing politics critical of or hostile to Identity Politics (you can be a woman and be a brocialist). So it was very much consistent and predictable that it was picked up by the Hillary campaign. The ruling class’ embrace of ‘Leftist’ Identitarian ideology and politics in support of imperialist policy, state repression, curtailing civil freedoms, divide-and-conquer political strategies et al. has been ongoing for many years.
And Clinton’s Identity Politics were only cynical opportunism if you’re still clinging to shitty and delusional assessment of Identity Politics that hasn’t moved past the 1960’s where racial and gender politics are still radical and revolutionary and haven’t been thoroughly integrated into modern bourgeois ideology and the daily functioning of big business and liberal bourgeois democracies.
It’s based on this completely unfounded premise that there is some secret and intrinsic connection between Identity Politics and the Left when the plain reality is that these are basically right-wing, anti-Marxist conceptions that dovetail perfectly with neoliberal politics and ideology. A right-wing multimillionaire shill for Wall Street like Hillary becoming the standard bearer for Identity Politics isn’t an aberration or a ploy, it’s a perfectly logical outcome.
SayingStuffOnReddit: There is an Alt Left, but it’s basically a bunch of “left” wingers in denial of their White Nationalism. They claim to be separate from the Alt Right, but it’s all propaganda that any well read socialist can point out.
An easy one is they have a distaste for “Cultural Marxism” in common with Alt-Righters.
Yet nobody seems to want to admit that “Cultural Marxism” is just a nice dog whistle for actual Nazi propaganda that was used during WWII.
It’s just that back then, it was called “Cultural Bolshevism“.
It’s funny how much this phenomenon has in common with the modern Alt-Right as well. Any symbols representing the authorities of the current prevailing order, if disrespected through art or expression bring shame and derision from the Alt-Right types, yet these are the people who are supposed to be the “revolutionaries” and “rebels” of the current time.
You’d think a bunch of revolutionaries would be more interested in disrespecting and subverting authority than supporting (let alone protecting) it.