The American Left's naiveté causes it to act, unwittingly in the case of most but not all Leftists, as a cheerleader for the ruling class. The Left does this by helping the ruling class divide and rule ordinary Americans every way that the ruling class is now doing that. The divisive issues that the ruling class is using are 1) race, 2) same-sex marriage and 3) immigration.
The ruling class uses racial discrimination to make credible (to whites) the Big Lie that blacks and Hispanics are, with only a few exceptions, innately criminal, unwilling to work honestly to pull themselves up the way other minorities have in American history, and desirous of getting undeserved freeloader handouts at the expense of hard-working whites.
The ruling class used Affirmative Action* to make sure that for decades white working class people would be told, "Gee, we're sorry we couldn't give you the job (or school admission) you applied for; we had to give it to a less qualified minority person."
The ruling class promotes the use of the phrase "white privilege" as a substitute for the phrase "racial discrimination." Why? The latter phrase correctly points the accusing finger at the person or institution that is actually doing the discriminating. The former phrase wrongly points the accusing finger at ordinary white working class people who are not doing the discriminating and who think racial discrimination is wrong. "White privilege" rhetoric promotes the Big Lie that ordinary whites benefit (the word "privilege" means a benefit by definition) from the fact that the ruling class discriminates against non-whites, when in fact the truth is the opposite: ordinary whites along with non-whtes are harmed by racial discrimination. Racial discrimination foments resentment and mistrust between white and non-white working class people and thereby undermines working class solidarity. And this solidarity is the only thing that can enable struggles against the ruling class to win and thereby make a better world for all working class people.
The Left's "white privilege" rhetoric, on the contrary, sends the message that ordinary white working class people are the enemy of the movement against racial discrimination. This is the "reasoning" that led a bunch of self-described "anti-racists" to block white commuters on I-93 in the Boston, Massachusetts, area from driving to work: those commuters, said these "anti-racists," were the beneficiaries of "white privilege" and deserved to be treated as the enemy. (Read here how some Leftists argue that if a person is angry at being blocked from getting to work because of their white skin then that person must therefore be an even worse racist!) Could the ruling class ask for anything better than this?
The result of this ruling class strategy is that the enormous solidarity between white and black working class people that prevailed during the Civil Rights Movement when MLK, Jr., defined its goal as the abolition of racial discrimination has been replaced in large degree with white resentment against blacks and the widespread view among whites that "anti-racism" is code for anti-white. Oh, how the ruling class must grin when they see things like this:
What would the ruling class do without the Left? The Left is a cheerleader for Affirmative Action! The Left is a cheerleader for using the phrase "white privilege."
The ruling class every now and then tries to whip up a little racial violence, a little race war, just to keep the disunity simmering. This is why it fomented racial violence in Boston in 1974, with the school busing issue. It worked like this. First, the Boston schools were notoriously racially segregated. Boston's neighborhoods were also segregated (thanks to the federal government and big banks as described in this book), and they formed a sort of checkerboard pattern. The School Committee chairman was a woman named Louise Day Hicks who came from a wealthy family and who was an overt racist. The schools were terrible for both white and black children; the city's public school students were virtually all working class because wealthier parents got their children into private (often parochial) schools.
Enter the oh-so-liberal "anti-racist" Judge Garrity. Garrity declared that the Boston schools must be integrated. The reason? Because (I kid you not) what makes a school a bad school is the presence of black children, and to be fair this burden must be borne equally by both black and white students. (The way this racist notion was stated in polite company was by defining "racial imbalance" as having too many black children in a school and then declaring that "racial imbalance was educationally harmful," while never mentioning that the actual cause of the inferior education in ALL Boston public schools was the fact that the ruling class wanted working class children to receive an inferior education so they would accept their place in a society based on class inequality.)
Now, there were two ways proposed for integrating the Boston schools. The way some black and white parents proposed was a perfectly reasonable method that would not have garnered opposition from anybody except a person whose only motive was blatant racism. This method was to build schools on or near the borders between black and white (checkerboard) neighborhoods. This way all children could go to an integrated school that was very close to their home. Judge Garrity absolutely refused to even consider this fine proposal for integrating the schools.
Instead, Garrity insisted on his proposal. His proposal was to bus children (even very young elementary school children) all the way across the city (an hour long bus ride) to achieve integration. This proposal was DESIGNED to make sure that the overt racist, Lousie Day Hicks, would have a lot of white parents furious at the logistical nightmare their children were being ordered to endure in the name of "integration." All Louise Day Hicks had to do was to define opposition to a logistical nightmare as opposition to "the blacks" in order to do her part in whipping up a race war. The oh-so-liberal "anti-racist" Boston Globe newspaper helped whip up a race war. It declared that any white person who opposed Garrity's integration plan was a racist, and any black person who opposed it (and there were many) was an "Uncle Tom." The result was some terrible racial violence that made national news. How the ruling class must have grinned at its success.
What did the Left do during this busing crisis? The Left was the biggest cheerleader for Garrity's "integration" plan of all! The Left accused anybody who opposed it of being a racist or Uncle Tom, just like the Boston Globe that was owned at the time by a very wealthy family.
Fast forward to the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. Regardless of what the truth is about that killing, the fact is that the prosecution simply presented no credible evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to refute Zimmerman's claim that he shot Martin in self-defense when he had legitimate reason to fear that Martin was about to kill him. The reason the jurors acquitted Zimmerman is because they had no choice, given the weakness of the prosecution's case. But the ruling class wanted blacks to believe that the reason the jurors--all white except for one--acquitted was pure racism; it wanted the message to be that when random whites are selected for a jury to try an obvious case of racist murder, they will refuse to convict because ALL ordinary whites (the jurors were a random and hence representative sample, right?) are so extremely racist. The ruling class wanted to whip up a little racial violence with this trial. But they needed some help from the Left.
The Left weekly, The Nation, read by lots and lots of liberals and Leftists, headlined "White Supremacy Acquits George Zimmerman." The Nation is edited and published by Katrina vanden Huevel, who is a member of the by-invitation-only uber-elite organization, the Council on Foreign Relations. Ditto Jesse Jackson Sr., also a member of the CFR, who said of the verdict: “I think it was always a stretch, having, this is not a jury of his peers: six women, not one black, not one man. It never was a jury of his peers. I’m really challenged, in some sense, thinking about this jury.” These ruling-class leaders of the Left are the reason I say that not all Leftists are unwitting cheerleaders for the ruling class: some are MEMBERS of the ruling elite and they surely know very well what class they are serving.
The Left, as if on cue, proceeded to organize marches against the racism of white people in general, illustrated by the racist acquittal of Zimmerman by the random selection of whites serving as jurors on that trial. Black people were reminded (by the Left) that whites were their racist enemy. This helped to foment violence by some blacks against random whites. Even though such violence was quite limited, it nonetheless must have caused the ruling class to grin with the satisfaction of knowing that whenever it wants to it can light the flames of a little race war, thanks to the enthusiastic cooperation of the Left.
2. Same-sex marriage
As explained in some detail in this video (and in these links, some of which go to videos and articles by gay men opposed to same-sex marriage), the actual disagreement between those who are for and those who are against same-sex marriage is about whether same-sex marriage should be illegal because if legal it would promote a kind of conception (anonymous sperm donation or egg donation) of children that is harmful to the child so-conceived because it prevents the child from knowing and being known by its biological father or biological mother, just as we make sibling marriage illegal because if legal it would promote the conception of children at too high a risk of genetic harm.
Just as the almost unanimous support for making sibling marriage illegal has nothing whatsoever to do with hatred for or bigotry against siblings (although there are probably some people somewhere who really do hate siblings), neither does the argument advanced against same-sex marriage have anything to do with hatred for or bigotry against homosexuals (although there are no doubt some people who really do hate homosexuals).
In a world not controlled by a ruling class that needs to use divide-and-rule to defend class inequality against the vast majority of people who oppose it, there would be a robust debate about same-sex marriage in which each side would know what the other side believed, and in which each side would realize that the other side had genuine and respectable concerns even if that side's judgment call on this issue was, in one's opinion, the wrong one. But we do not live in such a world.
In our world, the ruling class has orchestrated an entirely phony debate about same-sex marriage in which the two sides are defined with absolutely not even a hint of concern for children, even though a judgment about the effect of same-sex marriage on the children such marriages may produce is the actual core of the disagreement about same-sex marriage. The two sides or camps in the phony debate are defined this way.
The first camp is for "equality," meaning that ALL mutually consenting single adults ought to be free to marry, and that preventing same-sex couples from enjoying the "freedom to marry" right is just pure bigotry against homosexuals. (When asked if they agree that siblings ought, therefore, to be allowed to marry, people in this camp promptly change the subject.)
The second camp is, supposedly, against same-sex marriage because the Bible is against it. Period.
Virtually nobody in the first camp has a clue that people in the second camp are motivated by a concern for children. The mass and alternative media (all controlled by the ruling class) never say what actually motivates the second camp. The media make it seem as if these people, who often cite the Bible in support of their belief, have no reason other than the Bible for their belief; as if Rosa Parks, who said "From my upbringing and the Bible I learned people should stand up for rights just as the children of Israel stood up to the Pharaoh" had no reason for challenging Jim Crow other than mindless obedience to the Bible! People in the first camp thus view those in the second camp as so bigoted and irrational that they deserve to be held in contempt, and certainly should not be permitted to actually shape social policy by being allowed to vote in a binding election. In 32 state referenda the majority voted to ban same-sex marriage. But nine black-robed people acting on behalf of the ruling class (the approval of which was required for their appointments) have recently declared in the most blatantly anti-democratic way, "So What?" These Supreme Court justices insist that people who vote against same-sex marriage don't count. And for this rejection of the very idea of democracy--that ordinary people ought to have the real say in society--the Left applauds and cheerleads!
The people in the second camp are naturally furious. They view people in the first camp as elitist social-engineering snobs who have selfishly renounced the principle that the needs of children trump the desires of adults. And of course the people in the first camp view those in the second as lunatic bigots. Oh, how the ruling class is grinning at its success in pitting half the population against the other half! And how thankful to the Left the ruling class must be, for doing all of the heavy lifting to brand people opposed to same-sex marriage as lunatic bigots whose votes should count for nothing.
Clearly the ruling class is using the issue of "illegal immigration" across the U.S./Mexico border as another divide-and-rule issue. The ruling-class-controlled mass media frames the debate so as to pit well-intentioned people against each other, with each side or camp viewing the other as arrogant and uncaring about the legitimate concerns of the other. Here are the two phony "sides of the debate" as orchestrated by the ruling class:
The first camp (at least the most extreme version of it, articulated by people such as Donald Trump and a host of local right-wing talk-radio personalities) says that the U.S./Mexico border needs to be made "secure" so as to prevent people from coming into the United States illegally, and that those who have already come illegally should be deported. This camp says that illegal immigrants are a dangerous criminal element, cause overcrowding of our towns when they arrive, are a drain on our already scarce resources, take welfare benefits with no intention of working, take away jobs from American citizens, lower wages by working for low pay, refuse to learn English or otherwise assimilate, and just generally cause nothing but trouble and hardship for American citizens. Illegal means illegal, says this camp, and nobody should be allowed to break the law.
The second camp, cheerleaded by the Left, says that there are no good reasons, only vile racist or cruel and selfish reasons, for opposing illegal immigration.
Neither camp is true, as I discuss in some detail here (and as another author discusses far more eloquently here.) And neither camp identifies the actual solution to the problems connected with illegal immigration.
The first camp is wrong in a) equating "illegal" with "wrongful," b) exaggerating the problems caused by illegal immigration, c) accusing illegal immigrants of being criminals, and d) REFUSING TO IDENTIFY THE CAUSE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION--the American ruling plutocracy.
The second camp is wrong in a) denying that there are any problems experienced by American citizens because of illegal immigration, b) insisting that anybody who says there are problems caused by illegal immigration is a racist or at least a heartless person, and c) devoting far more time (often all their time) to denouncing people who oppose illegal immigration as racists or at least heartless people, rather than acknowledging that there are indeed real problems caused by illegal immigration and saying that the solution is not to attack illegal immigrants but to stop the ruling plutocracy from doing the things it does to CAUSE mass illegal immigration in the first place and d) never saying that illegal immigrants should be treated the same as citizens, no better and no worse; they should be recognized as allies in the fight to abolish class inequality but if they scab on a strike or commit an unjust crime they should be treated the same as if they were a citizen who did that.
The Left, in other words, does not challenge the phoniness of the debate on illegal immigration, how it is designed to pit well-intentioned people against each other. Instead, the Left just takes one side in that phony debate. Again, how the ruling class must grin in appreciation of the valuable cheerleading role the Left thereby plays in its divide-and-rule strategy.
The naiveté of the American Left, it's blindly following the leadership of the ruling class, is dangerous. The problem with the Left is not that it is weak; it is that it is wrong, dangerously wrong. The Left is one of the main obstacles to forging solidarity among the hundreds of millions of working class Americans; it is thus one of the main obstacles to building an egalitarian revolutionary movement that can remove the plutocracy from power and begin creating a truly equal (no rich and no poor) and democratic society based on mutual aid and not the pitting of people against each other.
4. Muslim Refugees (go here for discussion of this issue and how the left-liberal wing of the ruling class deliberately makes people fearful of Muslims and then accuses them of being racist for being afraid)
5. Transgender "Bathroom" Laws (go here for discussion of this issue and how the Left accuses good people of being bad)
* There are two ways, short of an egalitarian revolution, to redress the decades of racial discrimination in hiring and school admissions. The first way produces great resentment of whites against blacks and Hispanics and undermines solidarity. The second way produces great solidarity between whites and blacks and Hispanics. Our ruling elite made their choice shortly after the Civil Rights Movement had garnered tremendous support from white working class people on the basis of opposing racial discrimination; the Movement gained so much widespread support for this goal that it was able to abolish Jim Crow's racial discrimination in law. Which way do you suppose was chosen by our ruling plutocracy (in particular by its chief agent at the time, President Richard Nixon)? If you guessed the first way you would be right.
The ruling class chose what came to be known as Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action sets lower criteria for minorities than for whites to be hired or accepted into a college or university. Instead of being against racial discrimination, Affirmative Action is for it. What has been the result? Terrible! For decades now whites have been hearing employers or schools tell them, "We're sorry. We couldn't give you the position you applied for because we had to give it to a less qualified minority person." Could a better method of creating racial resentment ever be invented? (Furthermore, Affirmative Action has not come close to delivering the goods or even moving things substantially closer to the goal of racial equality. What we have now is the "New Jim Crow" of racist prison incarceration.)
The second method, the one the plutocracy avoided like the plague, is this: Make the criterion for being hired to a job or admitted to a school be the same regardless of race: that the applicant has what is really required to do the job or benefit from the school. Stop requiring applicants to get some arbitrary score on a test (like the SAT) that correlates far more with race and economic status than with actual ability to succeed as an employee or student. In addition, bring back on-the-job training (something only older people remember) so that the criterion for getting hired is what really matters--simply the ability to learn the relevant new skills. This alone would dramatically increase the numbers of minorities hired for jobs or admitted to schools.
In addition, however, the second method would include guaranteeing anybody, regardless of race, this: If you're willing to work reasonably doing something socially useful (that's different from making a profit for a capitalist!) then you'll have the opportunity to do so and to receive in return the same standard of living as anybody else. And furthermore the second method would include this: Create schools sufficient in number and appropriate in type of instruction to enable any person who wants to further their education to do so.
The second method of redressing past racial discrimination would result in ZERO unemployment among minorities as well as whites and would enable EVERY minority person and every white person who wanted to further their education to do so. If THIS were the solution to making up for past racial discrimination in hiring and school admissions (even just the first part of the method alone) then white working people would be in agreement with it. They'd LOVE it. But no, the plutocracy didn't choose the second solution because it would not have furthered divide-and-rule. Still, the second solution is the kind of solution that we should fight for as a way of ending racial discrimination and making a better world for all of us. It's an egalitarian solution.
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