I am writing this article for an audience consisting of all the good people who, like myself, sincerely want a more equal and democratic society and who (unlike myself), to achieve this goal, look for leadership from the prominent individuals and organizations that seem to share this goal. Most of these leaders are commonly identified either as "of the Left" or "progressive" or "liberal" or "Marxist." In this article I will refer to all of these prominent leaders as "the Left."
According to the standard wisdom, the Left is providing good leadership to achieve a more equal and democratic society and the problem is that not enough people follow this leadership, and so the enemies of the Left (led by what I call the ruling class) remain in power. The problem, in this mistaken view, is that the Left is weak. What I will show is that, on the contrary, the problem (for those who want a more equal and democratic society, that is) is that the Left is wrong. What do I mean?
The Left is wrong in its fundamental view of ordinary people, and because of this wrong view the ruling class is able to use the Left to divide and rule good people. So let's start by seeing what's wrong with the Left's view of ordinary people.
Before discussing the Left's wrong view it helps to say what the truth is about ordinary people. The truth is that the vast majority of ordinary people (in the world, and in the United States as well) want society to be based on the positive values of concern for one another (as opposed to dog-eat-dog competition), mutual aid (as opposed to some people taking unfair advantage of others) and equality (in the sense of having no rich and no poor and in the sense of ordinary people rather than a privileged and self-serving elite having the real say in social decisions.) This is why ordinary people are the solution, not the problem, today.
The Left disagrees. The Left views the majority of ordinary people as the problem, not the solution, because their supposed values are the problem: selfishness and greed, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and the list grows all the time. The Left believes that certain subsets of ordinary people (people of color, non-heterosexuals, transgender people, etc.) are oppressed by the ordinary people who are different. The solution, in this Leftist view, is to persuade the oppressive ordinary people to change their ugly ways and values.
The Marxist Left (which I have written about here ) sometimes adds to the above an emphasis, more than the liberal/progressive leftists, on the issue of class: the material oppression of the working class by the capitalist class. The Marxist Left thus, sharing the liberal/progressive left's negative view of the deplorable values of ordinary people, points out that despite their terrible values working class people nonetheless have a class interest in opposing the ruling class. The solution according to the Marxist Left is, again, to persuade ordinary people to change their ugly ways and values (or, as the Marxists would say, to "become class conscious.")
The idea that the values of the vast majority of ordinary people are the solution, not the problem--that they are the values that ought to shape society and are the opposite of the terrible values of the ruling class--is the truthful idea that will enable good people to succeed in building a huge popular movement to make society genuinely equal and democratic. (A wonderful entire book about this is online here.) But hardly anybody knows how true this idea is, thanks to the ruling class propaganda against it and also thanks to the Left's rejection of it.
Perhaps you, dear reader, think this idea is false. If so, please read (here) about my experience at a pro-Trump rally asking random people there if they thought it was a good idea or a bad idea to "remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor." 86% of them (43 out of the 50 I asked) thought it was a good (or great!) idea and those 43 people all gladly took my button with that message and many pinned it onto themselves right on the spot.
Consider this please. If ordinary people were as selfish and vile as the Left claims, then our world would be infinitely more horrible than it actually is, with everybody stabbing each other in the back and nobody giving a damn about anybody else. This is the kind of world that it would be--a veritable hellish nightmare of a world--if the disgusting selfish competitive values of the ruling class were also those of everybody else. The fact that our world is not this hellish nightmare, but one in which most people cooperate and help each other and respect one another as equals in countless ways that we take so much for granted that we don't think about them or even notice them, this fact has huge significance: it shows that most ordinary people are the positive force in the world, a force that challenges capitalist values and that ought to shape all of society.How the Ruling Class USES the Left to Divide and Rule Us
I have written a whole book (Divide and Rule) about how the ruling class uses the Left to divide and rule us. What follows is a brief summary with some links to some of my online articles treating particular issues in more detail.
Here's how the ruling class uses the Left for divide-and-rule. The ruling class takes (or invents) a "hot button" (i.e., potentially very divisive social issue) and, with its control of the mainstream (and alternative!) media, it imposes a very particular framework on the public debate about the issue. The framework is designed to be maximally divisive. The framework is made maximally divisive by defining two opposing views (I call them "camps") in a way that ensures that the people in each camp--when they hear about the opposing camp--will view the members of the opposing camp with utter contempt and possibly fear. The ruling class does this by a) providing each camp's position with arguments designed to be maximally offensive to the other camp, and b) censoring facts that, if known, would cause people in the opposing camps to see that they had far more agreement with each other than they otherwise would realize, and that the concerns of the opposing camp were quite reasonable (instead of deplorable) even if they still disagreed.
Here are some examples of how the ruling class uses the Left to make this work.
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