POSTED BY: SPENCER LINDQUIST | APRIL 29, 2022
Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/04/29/the-left-is-united-by-who-they-despise-not-what-they-support/
The theories of a French philosopher might hold the key to understanding the left’s organizational success – and the means to defeat the woke regime.
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While the right continues to undergo a process of factional introspection, it can be easy to forget that our opponents in the culture war aren’t a monolith either. And while it seems that the Cathedral pushes our society to the left via a unified front, the progressive coalition’s unity is not just sustainable, it’s artificial.
The left’s ability to patch together a truly bizarre coalition is, however, undeniably impressive. It’d appear they’ve learned how to apply the Saul Alinsky-esque tactics of community organizing across, rather than just within, communities. How else can one explain the puzzling composition of the coalition? Consider just how divergent the interests and identities of so many of the Democratic Party’s supporters truly are.
What, for example, do the drug-addled Antifa of Seattle, the residents of CHOP, have in common with old money East coast liberals with summer homes in Nantucket? What do the technocratic middle managers in the hills of Palo Alto share with illegal immigrants on the other side of Silicon Valley? What does your average attendee of the Women’s March share with an H1B recipient from China or India, and what do either have in common with a hardcore Black Lives Matter activist? Perhaps more glaring than the rest, what is it exactly that a transgender activist in San Francisco and a traditional Muslim can bond over?
Is the progressive mythos of “global citizenry” really that binding? The reality that this coalition is maintained while leftwing messaging amplifies, not downplays, the role of identity makes it all the more intriguing. Unifying this bloc is no small feat.
Progressivism’s Enemies Provide Scapegoats
In trying to discern how the left has effectively bound together a coalition of disparate interests, it is vastly more useful to examine what they oppose rather than the policies they support. It’s much easier too.
One would think that natural political discord would occur between those who want to “eat the rich” and the rich themselves, or between those who abide by a patriarchal sexual ethic and a movement that endured a collective aneurysm when Florida told them teachers couldn’t talk about sexuality with elementary schoolers. The natural splintering of this leftwing coalition is delayed through what the French philosopher Renee Girard referred to as the scapegoat mechanism.
Through the scapegoat mechanism, internal social conflict between groups or individuals can be deferred by identifying a villain, the scapegoat. The scapegoat is held responsible by the conflicting parties, who mutually, although not always consciously, cast the blame on those who simultaneously fulfill the role of the victim and the villain.
This scapegoat then cannot be regarded as a guiltless Christ figure who dies with the sins of its sacrificers, but is identified as the very source of the sin — the inciter of conflict. Accordingly, overcoming this scapegoat is naturally regarded as a necessary prerequisite to the avoidance of conflict.
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains: “the victim must be thought of as a monstrous creature that transgressed some prohibition and deserved to be punished. In such a manner, the community deceives itself into believing that the victim is the culprit of the communal crisis, and that the elimination of the victim will eventually restore peace.”
Identifying our woke regime’s scapegoats isn’t difficult. Simply observe the cultural messaging from any of the institutions that are owned and operated by progressives. The regime media and their allies throughout much of the government, academia, and the non-profit complex offer frequent reminders of who you are supposed to disdain.
Masculine men are turned into scapegoats when they are dubbed toxic, sexist enforcers of patriarchy. Christians similarly face accusations of oppressing women and those who are LGBT. White people are also approved targets, thought to be inherently racist and privileged, simultaneously the beneficiaries and the managers of an intangible but ever-present system of oppression. Even stable nuclear families are to be viewed with skepticism, either for perpetuating gender roles or straining the environment by daring to have kids.
The terms for the regime’s scapegoats are many. Hostility for the “deplorables,” the sexists and the racists, the rednecks and the retrogrades, the bigots, the “karens” and all different stripes of -phobes, is what holds together such a fragile coalition. Party operatives blame their internal conflicts on those who are regarded as the oppressors and pit Americans against one another. The terms differ but serve the same purpose: to designate a scapegoat as a regime-approved target.
Those who fall into one of the several oppressor identity categories but align with the left are offered the opportunity to prove themselves – but never absolve themselves – as dutiful allies through ritualistic self-degradation. If they’re servile enough, they might even get promoted to the rank of “co-conspirator,” delaying their inevitable designation as scapegoats until their expediency runs dry.
The grand irony is of course that none of these collectives wield significant power and are instead openly maligned by the ruling class. Nevertheless, we are constantly told that America and her institutions are engaging in organized oppression on a mass scale.
In the left’s worldview, our institutions enforce the patriarchy and the gender binary, all while they are governed by white supremacy. It’s a self defeating argument when one realizes that it is these very power structures that pay diversity consultants their exorbitant fees, fund pride parades, push transgenderism, and adopt discriminatory affirmative action policies. It is, of course, vital to note that the right’s gripe should be with these hostile institutions, not the everyday Americans who are influenced by them, to the detriment of all.
The simplest way to expose the incongruity of the leftwing coalition is to merely ask questions that highlight the absurdity of the progressive bloc. Raise ethical inquiries about abortion or transgenderism among Democrat-aligned Muslims, or ask Austin tech workers why they support H1B visa programs that threaten their job security. Ask progressive white women if they truly believe that they and their “white tears” will be able to maintain their rapidly deteriorating status among the oppressed and the immunity that comes with it.
Question radical feminists who rage against toxic masculinity, asking why they support mass immigration from highly patriarchal Islamic countries. Or ask a Seattle communist what the appropriate tax rate is for the millionaire who funded the neoliberal candidate he ended up voting for.
This must be done without trafficking in the same dangerous divisiveness that the left used in their ascent to power, without engaging in scapegoating ourselves. The goal is not to weaponize the coalition’s parts against itself because the coalition isn’t the problem — it is the institutions that sought to bind their base together by haphazardly casting blame on entire collectives.
Done correctly, this approach will offer much needed nuance and obstruct the woke regime’s attempt at fostering conflict. It will also expose how Democrat apparatchiks and their co-conspirators across sectors have taken advantage of their constituency while they constructed it, weaponizing identities in cynical power games.
It’s a necessary step in ensuring that whatever unity our country attains is based on healthy, sustainable foundations — not institutionally manufactured disdain for the regime’s scapegoats.
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