Embarrassing the Predatory Left
The predatory, tyrannical Left typically seeks to establish its moral authority by portraying its quest for power as a defense of disadvantaged constituencies. Unfortunately for the leftist, the constituencies they claim to defend often include members who resist and disavow the Left's claim to represent them, thus deflating the Left's irrationally aggrandized sense of political entitlement. Like any intolerant bigot, the moralizing leftist demands unstinting loyalty and uncompromised obedience from those he or she claims to represent, and when this is not forthcoming, ugliness ensues.
As is well known, Marx exhorted the workers of the world to unite. They never did. Taken as a theoretical abstraction, the world's workers were supposed to act as a single mass constituency marching behind the Left, but the actual workers proved to be more complex than Marx had allowed. They exhibited diverse interests and aspirations such that no single political movement could wholly capture or adequately represent them. This both explains and justifies the emergence of diverse political parties, but such diversity is anathema to the Left. In line with Marx's totalitarian vision, Lenin proclaimed his tiny sect to be the sole rightful representative of the working class. Those workers who proved unresponsive to this claim were either denounced as sellouts to the exploiters or dismissed as the deluded victims of false consciousness.
When a group is championed by the Left, all its members are expected to acknowledge their avowed champion as such. The critical race theorists that presently infest our schools, universities, and media proclaim themselves to be the champions of all manner of "oppressed" minorities, but when individuals identified with these minorities resist this leadership, the critical racists accuse them of being untrue to their identity or dismiss them as suffering from false consciousness, even of buying into a "white" mentality. To have been identified as "oppressed" obligates one to resist one's "oppressors" under the unquestioned direction of the radical Left, and this obligation is as inalienable (it would seem) as natural rights were once held to be. Racial duties are irrescindable: those racially mobilized are expected to recognize their true leaders -- and to hate their designated enemies.
But one's outward appearance doesn't determine one's political loyalties, and one's assigned identity isn't always as compelling as its political promoters demand. The leftists' claim to represent the interests of their chosen constituencies is always based on an unrealistic (and ultimately demeaning) abstraction. The Left seeks to ride to power on the backs of people who are supposed to see their own lives as amounting to little more than belonging to a group the Left claims to champion. But individuals, in all their diversity, are not so easily pigeonholed. All racial minorities in the United States are supposed to see themselves as ill-fated. Yet Americans of Asian descent tend to maintain intact families, excel in academics, and contribute very little to the nation's appalling social problems, despite having suffered past discrimination. Of course, the critical racist has an answer for this: Asian-Americans are "white adjacent." They've been contaminated -- oppressorized, one might say. Contamination with "whiteness," it seems, prompts affected individuals to lead successful lives rather than stewing in hateful resentment, and no leftist can encourage a disposition like that; it might leave them with too few angry pawns to cynically incite.
Even the Left's most heavily lobbied constituencies are prone to exhibit annoying diversity. When embarrassing defections happen, the Left's first impulse is to define the defector out of the constituent group altogether. Thus a person of color who objects to critical racism on principle may well be smeared as a "white supremacist" by an (often white) leftist who postures as the guardian of the unwittingly oppressed's true interest. "If only it were possible" (the leftist might reflect) "to identify a constituency that could never call my leadership into question ...!"
Enter Mother Earth. When the earth is "championed" (that is to say, cynically exploited) it never complains. How can it? It's an insentient rock with a surface teeming with water and a physical mass sufficient to hold onto an atmosphere. The earth can't object when it's used as a platform for phony moral posturing on the part of political operatives seeking to empower themselves. The earth is an ideal, docile constituent on whose behalf the Left may advance its own demands without risk of embarrassing disavowals.
The Left's constituencies are most useful when they are seen as fundamentally helpless. Any victim the Left chooses to embrace is treated as highly deserving of protection and this holds for the entire planet just as for any other lavishly pampered and infantilized constituency. Any resistance to the Left's demands can then be condemned as heartlessness itself.
Climate change hysteria strikes us as -- at best -- a kind of absurdist theater, though in the final analysis, it must be said, it's just a bore. Its promoters work to gin up a moral panic to which the public -- to its credit - has proven largely unreceptive up to now. The whole tedious crusade is hard to see as anything other than the boutique obsession of a pampered, sneering, badly educated, rote-credentialed pseudo-elite. We strongly suspect the "climate science" that presently legitimates this hyped-up "crisis" will someday take its rightful place alongside other historical embarrassments like phrenology, racist eugenics, and Lysenko's gene-free biology. Concern for our shared environment should be uncontroversial, but much of what is sold as "environmentalism" is best understood in the context of the longstanding predatory practices of the tyrannical Left, with its ongoing effort to eradicate political diversity through moral intimidation.
Of course, the Left harbors within itself its own sometimes unappreciated diversity -- it represents a coalition of predatory idealists and cynical profiteers. With these latter in view, we note that boldly championing the salvation of the planet from the evils of carbon is all the more attractive to a certain kind of especially well-healed and high-placed leftist when doing so might skew the market in a manner beneficial to certain "green" companies in which they themselves are heavily invested. Few things so swell the heart of posturing career leftists like turning a quick buck.
The media's genuflection to the "climate change" fraud is galling, as is the constant recourse to it as the ultimate explanation for practically anything that goes wrong. It would be nice to see this smarmy, smirking, pseudo-intellectual con job beaten back. But don't expect the current generation of scientists to step in and tamp down the hysteria. Despite their undeniable expertise and highly specialized training, one must recognize that the scientist -- being first and foremost a human being, and hence subject to human foibles -- is likely more preoccupied with securing grant money (or winning political celebrity) than with protecting the integrity of whatever field awarded his or her credentials. Raining on the parade of a politically "settled" science is not likely to advance one's career; pandering to moneyed charlatans with friends in high places is always a lucrative pursuit. Exposing charlatans is a risky, and often thankless, task. Which is a shame, since if this charlatanism were effectively countered, this might silence the environmental Left, rendering our surroundings somewhat less absurd.
Image: Ted Eytan
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