It’s good to see someone from a left-wing background criticizing this stuff, as opposed to making excuses for left-wing totalitarians as overly zealous do-gooders (which was the same apology that leftists typically made for Communism during its heyday). We should remember that a mere 30 years ago 1/3 of the world’s nations were ruled by “red fascist” regimes, and that there is a long history of left-wing terrorism that matches that of the far right.
By Keri Smith
Foundation for Economic Education
hen writing this piece, a quote kept rattling around in the back of my head. It was the title of the opening chapter of “The Feminine Mystique,” Betty Friedan’s seminal 1963 feminist manifesto: The Problem That Has No Name. Apologies in advance, for appropriating and altering three of the quotes I find most meaningful from that chapter, for my own purposes here:
The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American liberals…
Even so, most liberals still did not know that this problem was real. But those who had faced it honestly knew that all the media dismissals, the academic justifications, the intellectualized double speak and the manufactured outrage were somehow drowning the problem in unreality…
How can any person see the whole truth within the bounds of one’s own life? How can she believe that voice inside herself, when it denies the conventional, accepted truths by which she has been living? And yet the liberals I have talked to, who are finally listening to that inner voice, seem in some incredible way to be groping through to a truth that has defied the media.”
The Alt-Left Is Real
There is an effort underfoot, in the media and in academia, to declare the Alt-Left a myth, to sweep it back under the rug, to reduce it, in effect, back to being a sickness not spoken of, a problem that has no name. I have had well-meaning friends tell me I should not use the term Alt-Left (or any of its synonyms: Regressive Left, CTRL-Left, SJWism) because they are ‘pejoratives’ used only by the right to attack the left.
In my experience, this is not true. Like canaries in the coal mine, liberals who do not (or no longer) subscribe to the Alt-Left ideology have been sounding the alarm about this creeping plague of repressive groupthink for quite a while now. I believe this attempt to dissuade our use of the term Alt-Left is purposeful (even if not consciously recognized by individuals who are doing it) — for how can we discuss something we cannot refer to by name?
When asked to define Alt-Left, I would describe it as a leftist but illiberal authoritarian ideology rooted in postmodernism and neo-Marxism that supports censorship, condones violence in response to speech, is obsessed with identity politics (much like the Alt-Right), and functions like a secular religion that gives its believers a sense of moral self-worth.