Why The Left Is Bleeding Relevance Across The World

Why The Left Is Bleeding Relevance Across The WorldCPI leader Brinda Karat, D. Raja, JNU students, professors and CPI party members protest at JNU Campus in 2016 (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Snapshot
  • Something fundamentally has gone wrong with the Left, with the rise of the New New Left.

    The ideology, which once claimed to champion free speech, stand for women’s rights, cheer for secularism, support intellectuals, celebrate diversity and advocate democracy, is now all eager to light the bonfire of progressive agendas.

Last decade saw the rise of Right-wing parties and politicians across continents.

The election of Narendra Modi, Donald Trump, the Brexit vote and thumping victories by Conservatives in the United Kingdom, Benjamin Netanyahu winning back-to-back elections in Israel, Vladimir Putin’s ever strengthening hold on power in Russia, Shinzo Abe becoming the longest serving prime minister in Japan after being in office for eight straight years and the emergence of other such leaders in even smaller countries is a signal that the Left-wing is losing popular support across the board.

This is truer in the West, particularly the Christian world. The last three decades have seen unprecedented levels of migration (with more non-Christians settling there unlike earlier), spread of globalisation (which siphons off money to the third world non-Christian countries) and democratisation of technology (which enables non-Christians to stay that way by helping them stay connected to their roots back home).

The Western societies whose own populations are declining are threatened by these new challenges of the 21st century and see themselves becoming a religious minority in the near future in their own country (or at least in some parts of their countries).

Hence, the backlash against globalisation or globalist powers. It’s the demography (and not the economy), stupid!

No wonder then that the Left, which is increasingly becoming global(ist), is bleeding relevance and losing repeatedly to the nationalists.

But that’s not the only reason.

Something fundamentally has gone wrong with the Left with the rise of the New New Left (New Left being the progressives of the 1960s).

The ideology, which once claimed to champion free speech, stand for women’s rights, cheer for secularism, support intellectuals, celebrate diversity and advocate democracy, is now all eager to light the bonfire of progressive agendas.

The only thing that the Left seems to be championing today is hypocrisy. And its increasingly globalist nature means that the Right now has a monolithic monotheistic monoculture to fight against, while being vocally local in nature itself.

The Left wants safe spaces for individuals but supports gender neutral toilets that make the most private of spaces unsafe for women.

The Left supports unbridled immigration (including illegal) which threatens the safe spaces of not just individuals but whole societies.

Will the Indian local division of safe-space supporting Left support dedicated enclaves a.k.a. ‘safe spaces’ for Hindus in Muslim-majority Kashmir?

Your guess is as good as mine.

The Left advocates free speech for its own but champions ‘cancel culture’ politics with those it disagrees.

The Left decries the intolerance of the Right while being zealously intolerant of anyone who dares to show even the slightest difference with their cherished beliefs and doesn’t shy from attacking its opponents physically.

The Left doesn’t want the citizens to have guns in their homes, for it believes the Police should have the monopoly on the violence, but it also wants to defund the same police.

The Left can’t stop raving about democracy and the will of the people, but hates the governments elected by the majority of people, culture, traditions and rituals practised by the same majority and abhors the taste of the same people in everything from popular cinema to dietary habits to symbols to beliefs they hold dear.

The Left supports women’s rights, but also supports a man’s right to call himself a woman if he feels so, enters into women’s toilets, competes with them in sports and what not.

The Left, which claims to have fought for decades to secure the liberties for women in the society, is now hell bent on erasing the very foundations of those victories — sex-based discrimination against the fairer sex.

The same Left supports burqa, simply because it’s a ‘cultural practice’ and a ‘religious sentiment’, but the same Left doesn’t give two hoots about religious sentiments when it comes to the holy cow.

There, the acceptance reserved for Muslims vis-a-vis the burqa is suddenly transmogrified into mockery and abuse in the name of cow and cow urine against Hindus.

The Left wants to take down some symbols of repression — like the statues of racists in the western world.

Such symbols, which trigger the population whose ancestors were once enslaved by them, is unacceptable to Leftists.

But the same Leftists are up in arms if someone talks about desecrating structures erected after demolishing thousands of temples in India.

The Leftists enjoy desecrating public spaces built in the name of racists in the West, but mock Indians who want to change names of cities, localities or roads named after mass-murdering Islamic rulers.

The Left wants special treatment for religious minorities (including positive discrimination in their favour) in India and other democracies, but goes mum over atrocities committed on minorities in Islamic republics (or even authoritarian states like China).

Heck, the Left supports religious minority rights in Hindu-majority states in India, but doesn’t utter a word on rights of minority Hindus in Muslim- or Christian-majority states.

The Left supports secularism — separation of religion from laws — but doesn’t get the irony of shouting slogans in its support from the ramparts of sectarian education institutions like Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University or St. Stephen’s College, which are funded secularly by all taxpayers, but reserves seats for students of certain religions.

The Left is vehemently against majoritarianism in institutions where it is in the minority (like the prestigious IITs, IIMs, etc), but has no qualms about going to any lengths necessary to maintain its iron grip on the institutions which are its own ideological ghettos like the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jadavpur University, and so on.

The Left is quick to call out cultural appropriation, but doesn’t hesitate in appropriating causes of Scheduled Castes, Muslims, tribals or other communities.

Its appropriation is so vicious that if any Muslim or SC or a member of any other appropriated group tries to go against the Left consensus, he or she (who actually has skin in the game unlike the Leftists) is quickly disowned and branded as ‘Uncle Tom’.

Essentially, the Left appropriates the ethnicity and race of vulnerable groups (by throwing out actual members while becoming the group’s leader despite being an outsider) — a development far more alarming than cultural appropriation.

The Left wants to show itself off as a benefactor of academic excellence and intellectuals, but the same Left holds university administrations to ransom, disrupts studies for months and hurts the very students from poor and backward sections it claims to be fighting for.

The Left supports reservations for SCs/STs/OBCs as a payback to the so-called upper castes who discriminated against the lower castes for generations.

But the same Left doesn’t even want to acknowledge the centuries of subjugation by Muslim invaders and rulers, let alone talk of any reparations.

In fact, it vehemently opposes any such demands. “Today’s Muslims can’t be held responsible for the acts of their forefathers,” the Left says.

No, such punishment is only reserved for the upper castes.

The Left hates being called anti-national, urban naxal, presstitutes, etc for they are detestable labels, but throws insults such as Hitler, Sanghi, Bhakt, Godi Media, etc at the first available opportunity.

Not just labelling, but the Left regularly goes after jobs of those who challenge their narratives.

It indulges in doing actual harm.

Not just careers, but many stand to lose their whole lives as they are facing jail sentences in Islamic republics for simply daring to stand up to the Leftists.

The Left loves calling others fascists, but is the biggest sponsor of that inherently, abhorrent fascist concept called “intersectionality” which dictates that difference of opinion is not an option and ‘complete submission’ to the ‘one true truth’ is the only way.

You cannot agree with me on nine out of 10 things. No. You have to agree on all 10 things, otherwise, you are not an ally, but an enemy which needs to be exterminated.

The Left is all about diversity of sex, race, class or caste as long as no one displays diversity of opinion. That’s outlawed.

All these contradictions have not arisen because one section of the Left has a particular stance when it is in power, while a totally different one when in Opposition.

This is not about just hypocrisy either. It’s not whataboutism.

Something has fundamentally gone wrong with the Left. And unless it course corrects, it will continue bleeding relevance.

Arihant is Senior Editor, Swarajya

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