Thursday, 12 September 2013

What is Leftism? Four historical phases

*

Leftism is 'Anti' - it is not Pro- anything in particular; and this can be seen from the fact that the defining feature of Leftism throughout history has changed - at various points Leftism has been pro-individual freedom, productive work, equality of opportunity, equality of outcome, equality before the law -  now Leftism is strongly against all of these things. 

*

Starting from the ideal of a Christian Theocracy - an aimed-at situation where all aspects of life would be harmoniously Christian (by choice), and no clear division between Church and State because everything is, in a sense, part of The Church - there are four main Anti phases, defining four progressive steps in Leftism.  

*

Leftism 1. Anti-Theocracy

In favour of the separation of Church and State - with Church above State.

*

Leftism 2. Anti-Christian

Initially Deism, later secularism of public discourse (public debate is not settled by Christian arguments, but requires secular justifications). In favour of separation of Church and State - but with State above Church.

*

Leftism 3. Anti-Tradition

This was the Old Left/ Socialism - concerned with overturning the old social order. Anti- whatever traditional divisions variously of slavery, caste, class, sex, marital status, religious affiliation, race, nationality, employment, age and so on.

*

Leftism 4. Anti-Natural Law/ -Common Sense/ -Spontaneous and Instinctive

This is the New Left (post-mid 1960s), also termed political correctness; and communism. This is the Leftism of inversion: what was bad is good (and vice versa); what was ugly is beautiful (and vice versa); what was false is true (and vice versa); what was high status is low (and vice versa)... and so on through all of society; and through each person's public discourse and private mind.

**

Of course there are counter-movements, some places have been exempted certain stages; and the origins of these phases of Leftism typically have a lag of about a generation between their intellectual devising and the implementation by elites, and their popular acceptance. But in the long term, Leftism seems to be a slippery slope, and it seems hard to prevent down-sliding to the next phase - presumably because each successful step in Leftism further weakens opposition.

*