This article by Spencer Sunshine of Political Research Associates (led by “former” Stalinist Chip Berlet and funded by the Ford Foundation. representatives of the left-wing of capitalism) is well worth reading because it’s an excellent illustration of the pathology, paranoia, and hypocrisy that dominates the particular strand of the hard left that “Sunshine” represents.
This guy is specifically arguing that “progressives” (whatever that means) should exclude from their midst not only the “far right” (presumably everything from moderate conservatives to Nazis) but also anyone from the left, libertarians, “people of color,” presumably gays, LGBTs, etc. that do not toe the leftist party line, or who are judged guilty by association. Sunshine puts his cards on the table to a much greater degree than most leftists. This actually works to our advantage because he’s allowing the “totalitarian humanists” to be seen for what they really are. The implicit racial arrogance of white leftism is also exposed. This guy is essentially taking it upon himself to decide how minorities should go about being minorities, and what is an appropriate range or mode of thought for “people of color.” This is standard white leftist racial paternalism.
I’ve always found the racism of these hard left types to be rather astounding. I first noticed it when I was part of the the hard left years ago, and it’s become much more obvious with time. They vacillate between viewing minorities as children who need rescuing, as weaklings who can’t do anything for themselves, or as pawns to be used as tools of the “revolution.” Nothing pisses them off more than a minority that doesn’t play the leftist game. Such a person immediately becomes a “self-hater,” “Uncle Tom,” “opportunist,” “sell out,” etc. The racist tradition within the context of the historic US racial caste system was for white supremacists to regard a self-assertive or independently minded non-white person as an “uppity n—–” who “doesn’t know his place.” I see that kind of attitude on the Left as well, although it’s masked behind a humanitarian or egalitarian charade.
Also, Sunshine’s lack of any sincere or principled anti-authoritarian values is demonstrated by his failure to exclude totalitarian leftists from “progressive” circles such as the pro-North Korean Workers World Party, the Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party (allies of the Pol Potist Sendoro Luminoso), the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party, Spartacist League, or International Socialist Organization (disciples of the chief perpetrator of Krondstadt), etc, etc etc. He even mentions his inclusive attitude towards “liberal Democrats” (the ruling party of the mother country of the empire, and the only party to ever use nuclear weapons in war).
If this kind of thinking is explicitly adopted by the more reactionary sectors of the Left, it will work to our advantage because it will leave large sectors of well-meaning anti-system people who would otherwise be drawn to the Left without a political home. Meanwhile, we will be there to welcome them.
Some of this stuff is funny. This passage here sounds like Bob Larson raving about Satanic rock in the 80s:
Progressive groups should come up with their own criteria for people who want to move away from Far Right politics and toward progressive political communities. Recommendations for this include: 1) requiring the person make a public statement disavowing Far Right views, and posting it in their former group’s media; 2) turning over all Far Right books, t-shirts, buttons, etc. to antifascists—especially patches or other insignia of any organizations they were members of; 3) removing all Far Right contacts on social media, and not attending events (either social, cultural, or political) hosted by these individuals or groups; 4) making a sincere statement of why their former views were problematic, with apologies made to anyone hurt by their actions. (The letter written by former White nationalist Derek Black, son of Stormfront founder Don Black, is exemplary.23) If they want to become actively involved as progressive political organizers, they should also 5) be required to go through a debrief to provide information about their former Rightist group’s structures, membership, recruiting tactics, and beliefs.
Another funny part is his repeated assertion that when “far right” groups have “people of color” among their members, well, that only goes to show how deceitfully racist they are.
Perhaps Spencer Sunshine is really some kind of right-wing undercover operative whose real goal is to undermine the Left by making it as boring as possible. Kids in particular like to join radical movements for excitement, adventure, and rebellion, and not to be lectured to by a bunch of dour puritans.
I was at a libertarian-anarchist conference in Acapulco a couple weeks age, and one thing I realized while I was there is just how big anti-system currents outside this reactionary left nonsense are getting to be, from the various strands of the radical right to libertarians to Russia Today-style leftists to the conspiracy milieu to leftists, progressives, anarchists, minorities, gays, etc who are tired of these overbearing politically correct left-fascists/neo-Stalnists. A whole new wave of radical political undercurrents is growing from the bottom up and eventually these left-fascist assholes are going to be overrun. I suspect we will see a lot more anti-System people coming our way in the future as more and more leftists become frustrated with the basket case state of the Left.
We’ve got guys like Spencer Sunshine out there doing their part to make it known we exist, and likely driving plenty of people towards us with their attitude. I’m increasingly getting messages from leftists saying things like, “I used to think you were a scumbag, but I’m coming around to your position more and more.”
In more recent times, I’ve noticed that the Left really is starting to implode due to the constant fighting among the rival PC factions over who’s most oppressed and all that. The left-anarchists, for example, can hardly even have public gatherings anymore without physical altercations breaking out. I’m talking about fistfights between transgendereds and feminists, or between vegans and vegetarians, or other comparable instances of lunacy. The reason they hate us isn’t merely because we blur the left/right distinction, or because they think we’re fascists. These people all hate each other, and I think it’s reflective of their psychological makeups as much as anything else. The social left in its present form attracts a lot of psychologically damaged and pathological people, and fringe politics provides them with a forum for acting out.
(This is a book that gives some insight into the nature of these left-wing “watchdog” groups, although it was published in 1997 so some of the info is obviously dated. But it still contains good nuggets of info on guys like Chip Berlet and Morris Dees. http://www.lairdwilcox.com/publish/watchdogs.html)
It might also be helpful to identify fault lines on the Left we can use to our advantage. Exposing the establishment connections and funding of the “watchdogs” would be one of these. So would providing an alternative forum for people on the Left who are tired of the crap, and are interested in finding new ways, thereby encouraging mass defections from the Left. Another might be to create rifts between these left-fascist/neo-Stalinist factions by hammering away at the fact that they’re basically a mixture of anarcho-communists, Stalinists, and Trots, and persistently pointing out the history of bloodshed between these groups.
The main thing the totalitarian Left is afraid of is our ability to “take the game away” from them. Matthew Lyons has said that repeatedly, for example. They know that tendencies like ours offer a very open ended paradigm that is able to move past the usual barriers of left and right, uniting all kinds of anarchists and other radicals, members of different racial and religious groups, adherents of different economic philosophies, etc. against the System. This is terrifying to both establishment leftists like the SPLC, who seek to advance themselves within the context of the system, and the hard leftists, who envision some kind of totalitarian revolution led and controlled by themselves, or for whom participation in radical politics is simply a manifestation of personal pathologies.