The Left: the new nasty party?

Henry Hopwood-Phillips 12.06pm

The Left has a distinguished history of pucturing the crusty authorities of the status quo ante. Thanks to Hobsbawm et al, the language of ‘debunking’ sits firmly in the lexicon of your average socialist. However, most of them are less fond of plucking the multiple motes from their own eyes. One of the biggest myths is the belief that the Left is tolerant.

A quick trawl of Google suggests otherwise. George Monbiot, using the thinnest of ‘scientific’ evidence, declares, “the other side is, on average, more stupid than our own.” Charlie Brooker, characteristically less restrained, urges that the Daily Mail comment section is “dumbogeddon…a chimp’s tea party of the damned.”

Even the more mundane pieces regularly classify dissenters as stupid unbelievers. Off the page ostracism of the transgressor is routine procedure. Police have been enabled to enforce truths on people who “offend” socialist shibboleths. All views are declared equal but some it seems are more equal than others.

A bitter and ironic pill for the Left’s opponents to swallow is that most censorship now operates under the moniker of “diversity”. The language once used to protect free speech from those who would try to close it off to others is now used to close it off in toto. The paradox of enforcing conformity to a “diverse” outlook is being lost. Like Rousseau’s minions, we shall oxymoronically be “forced” to be free.

"Truth", along with its handmaiden "language", is the real loser. "Diversity" is being divested of any meaning. It should involve toleration of a broad spectrum, not merely the swallowing of an entirely establishment narrative. The Left claims to be relativist but in reality "right and wrong" now masquerade as "appropriate" and "inappropriate", or other slippery terms. Those people who do not share in the Left’s maxims, such as "show intolerance to the intolerant", try to articulate in the vain the fact that the Left’s own narrative is ultimately arbitrary.

This self-referential Leftism is not without moral quirks. It routinely displays moral cowardice in its avoiding confrontation with the more extremist aspects of Islam, for instance. Common-sense morality barely registers on its scale of justice. And worst of all, it enforces a retrospective form of justice that begins with moral postulates such as all men being created equal - “if everyone isn’t succeeding equally, it can’t be because they made some bad decisions or have unequal abilities. It’s because we didn’t do enough”, according to Gavin McInnes.

Much of this goes unnoticed by people on the Left who still anachronistically perceive themselves to be heirs to the hippies who almost beat nuclear armaments on a diet of flowers and goodwill. Yet just as goths, in their subsitute uniformity, represent an alternative sartorial orthodoxy rather than a truly heterodox alternative, so does the Left. Their orthodoxies dominate the kulturkampf. It’s about time it was challenged.