The Fake Left

| Educate!

Above Photo: From dadychery.org.

All writers with a desire to rattle people out of their torpor occasionally wonder if it is worthwhile to continue to try to raise their voices over the din of lies and distractions. More and more for us, such thoughts are occasioned, not by the mainstream, which predictably treats all the pronouncements from the powerful as being newsworthy, but by the fake left, which lobotomizes most of whom it touches. The increasing sophistication of this group and its rate of expansion are astounding. Its purpose is to annihilate and replace the real left, and it is making great strides in this regard.

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The real left includes those who, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK), came to realize that quantum leaps are the way forward, rather than tiny incremental change. The real left does not curry favor or approval from those in power; it challenges the social status quo and respects the inherent right of an injured and indignant population to rebel against authority. It is not for rent or for sale, and it does not cave in to power.

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By contrast, the motivations of the fake left are money and fame: the preservation of their place in their ivory towers, together with all the trimmings of an upper middle class or wealthy lifestyle. For them, the path is smoothed and the wheels of the machine are oiled for lucrative book deals, speaking tours, radio and television interviews, and articles that are infinitely reverberated through approved sites in the Internet. Their spokespeople channel political ideas toward electoral cycles and transform revolutionary musings into banalities, paralysis, and futile actions. They attack the public’s thought process itself and engender an attention-deficit disorder. Ideas are not pursued, shared, honed, and acted upon but instead displaced by fleeting slogans like “hope and change,” or “feel the Bern.” Alternatively, the ideas are muddled, branded and labeled with names like “shock doctrine,” “disaster capitalism,” or “climate capitalism,” so that they may be put away and no longer examined.

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An important function of the fake left is to diffuse legitimate, spontaneous defense. Righteous anger is made to give way to confusion, and the impetus to revolt is transformed into the futility of virtual actions. Slogans are used as vaccines to prevent the contagion of dissent. Thoughts, not quite fully formed and the beginning of spontaneous actions, like blockage of bridges and highways, quickly dissipate. They are aborted into quick visual scans of an image or rapidly associated with a few words, like “black lives matter,” and then shared on social media. Today, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense would not kindle a revolution; instead it would be quoted, posted, pinned, and tweeted.

Uno speculatore vero.

The fake left is a decoy: a hunter’s trap to break the leg of any possible revolution. One of the fake left’s godfathers is the multibillionaireGeorge Soros, who obviously believes that wealth equals wisdom and has come up with a clever model to launder his vast financial gains into global political influence. Soros has developed an extremely diversified portfolio of intellectual properties and non-governmental organizations (NGO) in more than 37 countries. Artists throughout the world who present their people as victims, and promote passivity and despair, are rewarded with support and prestigious prizes. Supported organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are accused not only of selectively collecting data on human rights abuses but also of exploiting some of those data to pressure countries into policy changes that are unrelated to human rights.

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“Independent” journalism is a major focus of Soros’ Open Society Foundation, which was founded in 1993, soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union and right before the explosion of the Internet. When US-friendly corrupt governments, and US-sponsored institutions like USAID and the United Nations are exposed by the real left, Soros-sponsored think tanks and news organizations like the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) spring into action and become the voice of reason, demanding that these organizations self-reform. Countless others, also related to the Open Society Foundation, echo and amplify their message. Dismantlement and profound systemic change are never on the agenda.

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In most of the world, and especially the US, elections are staged, with the primary goal being to let off steam from targeted sectors of the population. A secondary goal is to make a rigged political process appear believable and give the impression of a free exchange of ideas. The candidates are presented as caricatures that trigger an emotional identification in specific groups of people. In the US in 2016, the mean, misogynist and racist ugly American stereotype is served well by Donald Trump for the right. On the other side, the reincarnated Occupy leftist champion of social justice is played by Bernie Sanders. Nonetheless it is Hillary Clinton‘s turn to win. Trump and Sanders serve to keep the elections in the news and to make Clinton the only supposed pragmatic choice.

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The ambition of Sanders to beat Hillary Clinton is questionable in light of the fact that he did not run for the presidency in 2012, although the issues were the same, and he could have benefited then from the energy of Occupy. Sander’s platform is a reactivation of the Occupy themes. Occupy, however, is not what it used to be. Indeed it is a perfect example of something from the real left that was hijacked. It began as a leaderless anti-capitalist movement called US Day of Rage, but soon it acquired leaders like Chris Hedges, and its most radical elements, like the Black Bloc anarchists, were vilified and excluded.

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The fake left poaches the narrative of the real left so as to kill it. Outright plagiarism and abundant appropriations and rewrites are hallmarks of the fake left.  Since it lacks a heartfelt leftist rhetoric, it must continually borrow one, ironically, to excoriate it so as to present a superficial version of it. Any critical examination will show that the self-proclaimed firebrands of the left have, for decades, never moved the revolutionary dial an iota. If books like Noam Chomsky’s Occupy or Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, or Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco’s Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt had been genuine, they would have brought people to the barricades in the streets, and there would surely have been attempts to suppress them. Instead the books have been celebrated and glorified by the media establishment, because these pseudo-radical manifestos have not brought action but paralysis. The latest offering by Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything, will, by design, change absolutely nothing at all, except the balance of her bank account.

Oct 12, 2011; San Francisco, CA, USA;Rainforest Action Network presents "Revel: The Art of Activism," a fundraiser held at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. RAN respectively presented awards to journalist Naomi Klein and activists The Yes Men.© Copyright 2011 by Eric Slomanson. All rights reserved.Photo by Eric Slomanson / slomophotos.com

Those few of us who are genuinely trying to change the course of events sometimes wonder how we can compete against this powerful new machine that appropriates our message, twists it, and then blasts a degraded version of it through countless bullhorns. Doesn’t the public realize that wealth and fame are not the normal trappings of revolutionaries? Don’t people know that revolution is never easy, and that if it appears to be, it is not real? If words like earth, nature, life, democracy, dissent, protest, love, and revolution are allowed to lose their weight, our voices will go the way of the song of the extinct Dodo bird. It is imperative that these words be reappropriated and reinfused with meaning. Revolutionary talk cannot be permitted to become an exercise in futile venting or a validation of passivity; to mean anything at all, it must be enacted in community.

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  • Preston

    I think the authors of this article are part of a “fake left,” that seeks to undermine the important work of Chomsky, Klein, Hedges and others.

  • rgaura

    A critique worth pondering especially in a (s)election year. I would add that revolutions need not be violent, that what we need is an awakening. As we awaken and liberate ourselves from false narratives, and create new stories that see the really glorious intelligence of nature and each other, that honor all life, the society we create will be radically different.

  • Codycote

    I disagree somewhat, because I truly believe Bernie Sanders campaign is real, and he does mean what he says. He has held the same position on almost every issue for the past 30 years. Just because he didn’t run in 2012 doesn’t automatically characterize him as disingenuous. Unfortunately, though, many people are quick to dismiss his candidacy because “he can’t win”, instead of embracing his ideals and standing with him.

  • mwildfire

    This is the first piece posted on Popular Resistance that I thought pretty much entirely full of shit. It seems to claim that virtually anyone who has ever made a leftist statement that was repeated by anyone else is a scheming tool, part of a no-doubt vast conspiracy to take the sting out of any genuine left movement by legitimizing it–and then they actually claim that a major ploy is seeking to divide people–after vilifying approximately 100% of the known left leaders (well, no, plenty have been left out but presumably because they couldn’t go on for pages and pages). Only if they call for violence are any spokespeople considered genuine. Well, this spurs MY tendency toward conspiracy-mongering, given that it seeks to delegitimize effective leaders, thus divide people, and legitimize violence–always useful for the other side which needs to keep the vast majority from joining us.

  • Jon

    The same dismissal occurs with our sincere Green leader Jill Stein. The Green perspective is congruent with most of what we fervently believe, but fails to gain sufficient traction to win because people buy into the “can’t win” and “lesser of two evils” (the two parties) paradigm instead of creating an avalanche of defections and actually winning!

  • Aquifer

    Thank you! I have been “preaching” about this “can’t win” nonsense for years, literally, and it is good to see that someone else agrees! To tell you the truth, I, myself, wouldn’t grace it with the term “paradigm” but simply call it what it is – BS! 🙂

    I find it ironic that some of the same folks who have pulled it out against folks like Nader and Stein are now demurring when it comes to Sanders – One can only hope that they will admit that it is, indeed baloney, and put it to rest once and for all ..

    Likewise that LOTE bit – summarized by Stein as the “politics of fear” whereby practicing it we wind up with “everything we were afraid of” …

  • Aquifer

    So is it his ideals you are embracing, or this latest Dem messiah himself? If the former, you would do much better to go with Stein …

  • Aquifer

    “If books like Noam Chomsky’s Occupy or Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, or Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco’s Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt had been genuine, they would have brought people to the barricades in the streets, …”

    Sorry, can’t go along with that conclusion – to blame folks with good ideas for the failure of their readers to act on them in the manner prescribed is not a valid charge, IMO – one may well legitimately critique them on other fronts, but not on that one … There are many ways of “revolting” that don’t involve going to the streets – I have long suggested one of them is going to the polls and kicking TPTB out of the seats of gov’t by using the lever on a polling machine and not one on a gun …

  • Jon

    Good to be appreciated, Aquifer. The best that can be said about voting for progressive Dems is that in some cases it is a breaking action against a slide into the abyss of the worst the empire throws at us–a holding action, an anchor in the storm.

    But it is abundantly clear to all who will see that neither corporate party can “take us to the promised land,” to cite MLK. When there are no Greens running in a given race, one has to make a choice, and usually the Dem is the better, i.e. more civilized choice. Thus, while supporting Stein, I am hopeful for these reasons, that Sanders can pull the upset.

  • DHFabian

    Much has to do with the way that media cover (or choose not to cover) candidates, and we should demand better than this. Jill Stein is, on rare occasion, mentioned by lib media, but how many people actually know what her/the US Green Party’s platform is? If media choose to marginalize a candidate (like Stein, or on the Dem ticket, Martin O’Malley), it is generally assumed that these candidates are unelectable.

  • Aquifer

    Frankly my feeling is that investing time, energy and certainly votes, in “prog” Dems is not only a waste of time, but counterproductive, insofar as it takes all those away from better choices – and leads us to continue to entertain the “this time it’s different” theme that attaches to each successive D wunderkind that comes along … it is, indeed a “breaking” action, breaking up the growing dissatisfaction with the duopoly and all it stands for, by channeling much of it back into one arm of that same duopoly, as if by changing the color of the “D” on its armband from white to black, or “blue” to “red”, we can change the direction of its swing or loosen its grip on our throats ..

    We keep applauding those who line up for their chance at governance by claiming to have the key for unwinding or untangling this Gordian knot … when what we really need to do is just cut it ..

  • DHFabian

    Realistically, “the lesser of the evils” is the only option available for the poor. Things aren’t going to improve for them regardless of who is elected. Those who don’t withhold their votes will pick whichever option they hope will cause the least harm to the poor. It’s about survival.

  • Aquifer

    So we allow the media, that media we routinely excoriate, to determine who is “electable”? Hmmm apparently many have decided not to do that with Sanders ….

  • Aquifer

    No, it isn’t the “only option” … I really am quite tired of hearing that – I am going to have to figure out an emoticon as shorthand for my response to that nonsense, as i have to type it so often ..

    True, things have no chance of improving for them as long as they limit their choices to D/Rs ..

    So how well have they been “surviving” over the last decades with their LOTE votes – apparently well enough. If they are, indeed, in dire straits, wouldn’t you think they would be ready to try something different?

  • DHFabian

    There aren’t any progressive Democrats running. By definition, a progressive would be shining a spotlight on our poverty crisis (not just the low age issue) as proof of the failure of our deregulated capitalism. Sen. Sanders actually used to speak out powerfully about US poverty and the need for legit poverty relief programs, but he dropped the issue.

    Democrats have not been the more civilized choice. They ended basic poverty relief, making it cool for liberals to virtually ignore our poverty crisis. The consequences have often been tragic. Consider that as our attention began turning to the elections, Dems kicked off 2015 by agreeing to virtually end food stamps to the elderly poor and the disabled. Our agenda against the poor remains anything but civilized.

  • kevinzeese

    This article makes lots of points worth considering, we definitely do not agree with everything in it. We publish articles that we do not agree with sometimes in order to share different ideas as we know we do not have all the answers.

  • Jon

    I refer to the corporate parties (at high levels) as Demagogues and Repugnants, so I have few illusions, but I am also not talking about only the top office. Most of the time there are no Greens running, and the choice is either boycott the particular race (and that is a valid option in many cases) or indeed voting for the least bad, again, as a stopgap until we win. We all have to make the choices we regard as the best, on a case by case basis. In struggle . . .

  • Helga Fellay

    I have the feeling that this article about the “fake left” is some kind of autobiography of the authors. It’s a piece of horse manure.

  • Jon

    I think the article raises some valid points but perhaps with too much in the way of generalizations. and without needed qualifications. But none of it, as I recall, touched on the “half-way” left in which there are intellectual gate-keepers who keep certain subjects off the table, most notably the implausible fable of the government regarding what happened on 9/11.and the real perpetrators. I’ve lost 90% or my respect for Chomsky, to cite one example, for his profoundly dishonest treatment of this very subject. But he’s not the only one. We need to follow truth and genuine evidence wherever it leads.

  • And some of us are just born that way (left radical) – most of you are not – but some of us are, and have no other option except learning to live with ourselves.
    And ‘the poor’ as ‘they’ – fucking trustfunders are funny. So different than the gun-toting rightwingers, they are.

  • kevinzeese

    Those are some of the points we disagree with in this article. Popular Resistance does not limit itself to articles we completely agree with.

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