Representing Leftism

Here’s what Slavoj Žižek writes:

There is a double paradox here. Western political correctness (“wokeness”) has displaced class struggle, producing a liberal elite that claims to protect threatened racial and sexual minorities in order to divert attention from its members’ own economic and political power.

At the same time, this lie allows alt-right populists to present themselves as defenders of “real” people against corporate and “deep state” elites, even though they, too, occupy positions at the commanding heights of economic and political power.

Ultimately, both sides are fighting over the spoils of a system in which they are wholly complicit. Neither side really stands up for the exploited or has any interest in working-class solidarity. The implication is not that “left” and “right” are outdated notions – as one often hears – but rather that culture wars have displaced class struggle as the engine of politics.”

— Aug 3, 2022

What has changed is not the politics of the left but rather how they are depicted by the right. There’s no real difference between the de-segregationist and women’s liberation movements of the 60s and what is being called ‘woke’ politics today.

The criticism from Jordan Peterson and others is that these movements are somehow morally wrong and that we should be focused on promoting the interests of white men.

To be sure, those who are in labour and who live in poverty should be supported, and the left is well-known for social supports such as labour movements, public health care, and progressive social safety nets.

These, though, are part of the broader movement toward social equity, one that unites a population rather than dividing it along gender and racial lines, as the right wing would like to continue to do.

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