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An Illustration of Leftist Contempt for Ordinary People

by John Spritzler

December 31, 2018

Today I commented on this meme that somebody posted on Facebook.


Here's what I wrote:

"This is an elitist meme. Its negative assertion about ordinary people is profoundly wrong, as you can see from this video of me interviewing random people on the streets of Boston: . This meme aims to demoralize and politically paralyze people who would otherwise be building a revolutionary movement, by persuading them that hardly anybody would join such a movement. The ruling class benefits from and loves memes such as this. Think about it!"

A woman named Joan, who is a senior citizen and a life-long dedicated Leftist, with many years of labor union activism experience, sharply disagreed with my comment. Here is what she wrote about the meme before my comment above appeared:

"It's the 'Murkin way..." (the "..." ended her comment)

I replied to Joan by writing this:

"No it is not! See my comment about this meme below."

Joan then replied to me by writing this:

"...and interviewing 68 random people on the street make you right? I don't think so. If it was 68,000 people, you might make the case.
You keep playing this clip as if it is the answer to everything. It is not.
I don't share your high opinion of the American psyche. If the people actually paid as much attention to truth, justice and wisdom as they do on fast food, we would have universal health care, a social safety net, better education and a wise and benevolent foreign policy.
I think it is OK and not the least elitist to show this kind of meme that may just be food for thought to some apathetic Americans."

I replied to Joan by writing this:

"Spoken like a true leftist."

Think about the Significance of This

First, this Leftist dismisses the video evidence I provided that the vast majority (91% of 68 random people on the streets of five different neighborhoods of Boston, in the video) of ordinary people want to "Remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor."

Second, this Leftist asserts that she does not have a "high opinion" of the "American psyche" and goes on to say that people don't pay "as much attention to truth, justice and wisdom as they do on fast food," and that THIS--not the fact that we live in a dictatorship of the rich and that people feel hopeless about removing the rich from power because they don't know that this is what the vast majority actually would love--is why we don't have "universal health care, a social safety net, better education and a wise and benevolent foreign policy." Oh yes, this Leftist also blames "apathy," which means not caring--a very different thing from the true problem of caring but feeling hopeless about being able to make a real change.

Third, according to this Leftist elitist contemptuous view of ordinary people, there would be no improvement if we had a real, not fake, democracy because the problem is the terrible selfish stupid values of ordinary people, not that ordinary people are not in control; if they were in control of society then, according to this Leftist view, things would remain bad still--because the problem is that ordinary people are just no good!

This is why the Leftists believe that in order to make a better society what is required is that the minority of Leftists, not the majority of ordinary people, must be in power. This is why Marxist regimes are ALL notoriously anti-democratic. Leftists actually fear letting ordinary people have the real say in society.

Egalitarianism is based on the knowledge that the vast majority or ordinary people share the positive values that should shape all of society--in particular the values of equality (in the sense of no rich and no poor) and mutual aid (caring for one another rather than being pitted against each other to be made more controllable by a privileged ruling elite). Contrary to the elitist aim of a Leftist revolution (i.e., to place some Leftist party in power over people), the egalitarian revolutionary aim is to have real, not fake, democracy in which the vast majority of people (who have the positive values) are truly calling the shots.

This Leftist woman, Joan, is not an exception. She is TYPICAL of Leftists. The reason for this is largely because Marxism itself--the "science" of social change that it purports to be--is based on an elitist view of ordinary people, as I discuss in depth here. Leftists are virtually all strongly influenced by Marxism, either directly from reading Marxist writings or indirectly from being influenced by those who have read and studied such literature. The notable thing about Marxist writing is that nowhere does it say that the values of ordinary working class people are the positive values that should shape society. On the contrary, the Communist Manifesto sees the ruling elites, not the working class, as the source of "enlightenment and progress" with these exact words:

"Further, as we have already seen, entire sections of the ruling class are, by the advance of industry, precipitated into the proletariat, or are at least threatened in their conditions of existence. These also supply the proletariat with fresh elements of enlightenment and progress."

Marxism only talks about the INTERESTS of the working class and how they conflict with the interests of the capitalist class. When it comes to values, Marxists believe that working class people and the ruling elite share the same value of self interest; it's just that what's in the interest of one group conflicts with what's in the interest of the other.*

The reason so many good people don't like the Left is precisely because they sense how the Left has contempt for them. The reason that right-wing conservative talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh can sound so persuasive to good people is because all they have to do is point out and condemn the contempt for ordinary people that the Left so obviously has. Read an example of this here. The ruling class USES the Left, taking advantage of its contemp for ordinary people, as I discuss here.

We will never build a truly massive revolutionary movement until we soundly reject the Left's contemp for ordinary people.


* Karl Marx was, in his elitist attitude towards flesh-and-blood working class people, typical of virtually all intellectuals at the time, and still today. Karl Marx, for example, in his Capital, approvingly quotes Adam Smith (see the full quote and source here) saying:

“The understandings of the greater part of men,” says Adam Smith, “are necessarily formed by their ordinary employments. The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations ... has no occasion to exert his understanding... He generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.”

What makes Marxism attractive to Leftists is that it tells them that a better, more equal, society will emerge not because ordinary people subjectively want it to but despite the fact that they don't! Marxism thus attracts people who have an elitist contempt for ordinary people. These Marxists (most of them, at least) really do want a more equal and fair society; the problem is that they think this requires keeping ordinary people out of power.

The enormity of this problem goes unrecognized because it is so pervasive in the circles where progressives tend to be; it is unrecognized the way fish don't notice the water in which they swim.

The ruling class--at least its hired intellectuals--do understand the importance of promoting elitist contempt for ordinary people--the idea that they are all just selfish. In fact, the entire basis of legitimacy for the capitalist system has, from the beginning, been based on the assertion that everybody is motivated by and acts in their self-interest, and that only the capitalist system is able to make this fact result in society being as good as possible for everybody. This is the famous claim made by Adam Smith with his "invisible hand" idea: The candle maker only makes candles in order to sell them for a profit and the baker only makes bread in order to sell it for a profit, but the result--through the invisible hand of capitalism--is that everybody has candles and bread.

The capitalist system is based on a profoundly wrong view of what makes ordinary people tick; it is a view that simply cannot explain the fact that in their everyday lives most ordinary people try to shape the little corner of the world over which they have any real control with the values of equality and mutual aid, despite living in a society that attacks those values with all of its major institutions (thus it is illegal for teachers to strike for a demand that is about making education better for their students rather than just for better wages or working conditions for themselves, and it is illegal for workers to strike purely in sympathy with--in solidarity or mutual aid with--another strike, etc.)

It is not possible to abolish the capitalist system while continuing to embrace the false elitist contemptuous view of ordinary people that is the very basis of the legitimacy of the capitalist system.



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