Believe It or Not: There Are Liberals Worth Listening To
You might not know it from the throngs of leftists screaming and crying in the streets like petulant children, but there are still liberal intellectuals with a valuable perspective on the ascension of Donald Trump, two of whom are included in this post, the first Tariq Ali and the second Slavoj Zizek. One thing that has occurred to me a lot this year is that no group should be judged by its most moronic members. Of course you can find people who believe all kinds of nonsense on both sides (and this is precisely what traditional media outlets tend to do because it benefits their agenda), but if you look at intellectual leaders what you often find is remarkable similarities between left and right. They are, after all, all human and the vast majority of them are not even close to psycopaths. They have empathy, compassion, and hope for a better future for all mankind.
A New Union of "Left" and "Right"
This, I believe, is a sign of things to come: a new union between left and right where the fringes unite against the intellectually and morally bankrupt center. I think we see that in the large number of people who voted for Obama (a "change" candidate with little political experience), but refused to vote for Clinton as well as those people who would have voted for Bernie Sanders but either stayed home or even voted for Trump. We see that here in Steemit where you have anarcho-capitalists like @dantheman coming up with a minimum basic income that could appeal to both libertarians and socialists. If this sounds too absurd one should remember that anarchism, libertarianism, and socialism were all considered to be "liberal" in the early 20th Century because they were built on a foundation of liber-ty. It took a century of capitalist rule (really State-run-capitalism, socialist-capitalism, or technocracy) to convince these people they are one another's enemy.
Both the conservative half of the population and liberal half of the population are necessary for the proper functioning of society and any system which places them at odds with one another is either designed to fail, or doomed to. As Professor Jordan Peterson states succinctly in the video included at the end of this article, "Liberals start companies, conservatives run them." They are two necessary sides of the same coin. They have to learn to live together and Steemit is proof that they can.
Below each video I have included a few excerpts I find especially valuable.
According to wikipedia:
Tariq Ali (/ˈtɑːrɪk ˈɑːli/; Punjabi, Urdu: طارق علی; born 21 October 1943) is a British Pakistani writer, journalist, and filmmaker. He is a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and Sin Permiso (es), and contributes to The Guardian, CounterPunch, and the London Review of Books. He read PPE in University of Oxford.
Appealing to the Needs of the White Working Class
"So what does Trump represent? What Trump did in this election campaign was to argue that the fat-cats and the wall street bankers, and the mainstream politicians had let the people of the United States down and he talked openly about white American working class citizens, appealed to them, appealed to their needs very bluntly and demagogically, but not incorrectly as it turned it out."
"I think this is the heart of the problem. That Obama's victory in 2008, which many had hoped would lead to large scale reforms, democracy, this that and the other, ended up as a disaster apart from a modest stimulus, effectively what Obama did was to bail out the banks which had let the people down and did nothing else apart from a healthcare system which was deeply flawed from the beginning as some of us pointed out and left the ordinary citizen and poor citizens in particular too dependent on both bureaucracy as well as the pharmaceuticals and insurance companies and that is beginning to unravel as well. But more fundamentally nothing was really done to deal with the economic crisis that had created 2008 or the institutions that were responsible for it."
The Bubble World of the Liberal Establishment
"It's beginning to dawn on the liberal establishment which backed Hillary full hilt, without any criticisms at all that they are partially responsible for their own defeat. Living in a bubble world. Living in a world where they are not used to dealing with real dissent led them to a situation where they almost believed that by ... sheer will of propaganda, they would win the election. They didn't come close to it."
The Deep Cancer of Neo-Liberalism
"There's a deeper problem ... A very deep cancer at the heart of modern liberalism today that since the 90s since the birth and emergence of this particular form of capitalism under which we live and which is referred to as neo-liberalism to give a new tag, but which is capitalism all the same, and which is concerned with making profits but nowadays concerned with making profits with no regard for people who are less well off... And so they imagine living in an insider bubble, cocooned from reality that they can get away with it endlessly. Well what the Trump triumph unprecedented in the 20th and 21st century reveals is that you can't get away with it all the time."
According to Wikipedia:
Slavoj Žižek (Slovene pronunciation: [ˈslaʋɔj ˈʒiʒɛk] ( listen); born 21 March 1949) is a Slovenian psychoanalytic philosopher, cultural critic, and Hegelian Marxist. He is a senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University, and international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the University of London. His work is located at the intersection of a range of subjects, including continental philosophy, political theory, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, film criticism, and theology.
An Opportunity For a New Left
"Democracy is not only formal rules of elections. Democracy is an entire thick network of how political consensus is built. A lot of unwritten rules. And now the United States is at a very important moment. At the moment when this machine to build consensus has broken down. Now these are moments that can be catastrophic ... but these can also be moments when the left, or whatever would be the new left, provides a new answer. So my first reaction to those elitist liberals who claim, "You see the stupid rednecks, white trash or whatever, are voting for Trump," yes but it's your responsibility."
The End of Manufactured Consent
"One moment of truth in all those enraged people who vote for Trump is that they nonetheless saw clearly that this traditional machine of manufacturing consent no longer works. To put it in slightly bombastic and exaggerated Marxist terms, the ruling ideology uses, mobilizes certain machinery to keep people in check. To control the excesses and so on. That machinery no longer works."
At Least He's Human
"And here I'm not just a pessimist. In contrast to liberals for whom Trump is the ultimate Devil, "Ooo it's a nightmare!" and so on. I claim no, no it's much more complex. Of course, Trump is almost, but not quite, a proto-fascist phenomenon. But it's because they, the liberal centrist mainstream, they failed. And that's why, not that I like in any way Trump ... Trump nonetheless, if you are a leftist you should admire him sincerely, he almost singlehandedly destroyed the Republican party ... Trump is a dirty, disgusting human being, but do you really think Rick Santorum is a human being?"
Jon Stewart, believe it or not, actually had some wisdom to impart as well saying in a recent interview with Charlie Rose:
"I would rather have this conversation openly and honestly rather than in dog whistles. You know somebody was saying, "There might be an anti-semite in the White House!" And I was like, "Have you listened to the Nixon tapes?" ... I thought Donald Trump disqualified himself numerous times, but there is now this idea that anyone who voted for him has to be defined by the worst of his rhetoric."
Trump Voters as a Monolith
"In the liberal community you hate this idea of creating people as a monolith. Don't look at muslims as a monolith. They are individuals and it would be ignorance. But everyone who voted for Trump is a monolith. Is racist. That hypocrisy is also real in our country. And so, this is the fight that we wage against ourselves and each other. Because American is not natural. Natural is tribal. We're fighting against thousands of years of human behavior ... that's what's exceptional about America ... this ain't easy. It's an incredible thing."
Professor Jordan Peterson on the psychology of left and right: