Despite being mostly insufferable, Martin Luther’s crusade against indulgences, the practice of essentially buying one’s way into heaven from the Catholic Church, was a noble one. Corruption was the primary issue, but the driving force for Luther was a deep fear that this purchased absolution would prevent true salvation. The left has developed its own indulgences. True to the ideology, they of course aren’t monetized, but instead take the form of identity. Leftist culture now is one where simply identify as a leftist is enough.
Political discussions can all be boiled down to debates of ideology, or praxis; the two key questions are all what should we do? And how should we do it? In leftism though, particularly the brand of leftism that sees itself as so morally risen above liberals that they’ve become indistinguishable from reactionaries, the two questions have merged. Identifying with some left leaning ideology has become, not a roadmap to good praxis, but the praxis itself.
This can manifest in many negative ways, but the most harmful are the behaviors that lead to leaving gains that could be made at the interpersonal level on the table. The phrase “it’s not my job to educate you,” which was once deployed by members of marginalized communities who were sick of explaining to their Facebook friends from high school why using slurs is bad, has been adopted by all leftists, and in all contexts, including those involving people trying to learn in good faith.
When you hold the far left and the far right side-by-side, you see one that’s more than willing to sit face to face, or keyboard to keyboard, and take time to explain their reactionary view points. Contrast this with being asked by some leftist to read the bread book, Das Kapital, or worse yet, directing you to Google or other search engines that feature heaps of links to reactionary talking points. The juxtaposition is hard to explain away.
Some might point out, and rightly so, that the left and the right are on far from equal footing. That is of course accurate. As much as the far left has transformed into a cult of hedonistic failure, it also highly underestimates how difficult it is to break the hold reactionary views maintain in people raised in a reactionary society. It’s undoubtedly an uphill climb, but that’s where we are, and inaction is tad amount to death at this point in the game.
It can be hard, especially online, to sort out the people acting in good faith, and the people who simply wish to take up as much of your time as possible, levying faux concerns, and filibustering by listing the name of every person killed by the USSR. The planet is literally about to cook us all alive though, so the luxury of getting to be really selective with who you try to bring into the fold isn’t really affordable. We’re long past the point of no return, and are approaching the point of hoping the upcoming climate calamity will be handled well. Ensuring that means being open to getting in the trenches and doing some of the intellectual labor. Just identifying as a leftist isn’t enough.
Dylan James Harper is the Political Editor for CSUITEMUSIC.com
Read more from Dylan at http://www.dylanjamesharper.com