The Iroquois Confederacy once allied with the New England Puritans against their mutual foes in Quebec and among the Whampanoag. This did not make the Iroquois puritans. In fact, the Iroquois took a much more strident anti-missionary position than even most native confederacies in the 17th Century. But allied strategic interests are what they are.
Not a long post, but a clarification I feel the need to have up here. Geotrickster is openly and admittedly a realist/strategy focused study which gives priority-but not exclusivity-towards foreign policy issues. Overall though, political strategy is both foreign and domestic with the only difference being that in a functional society the same state of anarchy that characterizes international affairs is greatly reduced due to the existence of one government as the final arbiter of issues.
Nonetheless, it should be apparent that this blog has tilted left (as in leftist, not liberal) on a variety of issues before. The reason for that is *not* some kind of ideological commitment but rather the simple (and very realist, in my opinion) desire to make common cause with capable allies against common foes. In an era of economic breakdown, rising nationalist-chauvanism, and above all environmental collapse it just so happens that the left has the most interesting and critical critiques of many issues. Leftists are also the most likely to see serious issues from a structural or material perspective rather than a purely ideological and brand name one (a la conservatives and liberals). This all meets with my approval.
But I feel that, due to this overlap, it might be worth just coming out honestly and stating what my disagreements with mainstream currents of leftism is both to show my independence and to make the point that being allied to the left does not necessarily equate being a leftist itself. I am going to do this in a simplified list form rather than long hand explanation as this is not generally the type of issue for a super detailed post on this blog.
The Limits of Internationalism:
Possibly my biggest single issue of substance. Even in a world where we clearly need a global response to environmental catastrophe, expecting class struggle to be something which could unite people around the globe is patently ridiculous. Sure, a temporary outbreak of anti-rich activity might one day occur, but as important (and often overlooked) as class is, no amount of solidarity will overturn the prioritization of local politics first and the divergent interests which they will inevitably come to represent. Think Sino-Soviet or Yugoslavia-Soviet splits. Core interests of any kind of state on the international scale cannot be overruled by domestic affinity. After all, the left often rightly mocks the democratic peace theory pushed by liberals, so why bother having their own version of it? Even on environmental issues, interests will diverge after a core consensus is hopefully reached. Some regions, after all, will benefit from climate change. It also behooves us as a species whose primary strength is adaptability that we should look towards a diversity of both political and economic systems, rather than a single direction, as it introduces more options of policies to try and replace. Not to mention that the idea that humanity is moving in one linear direction towards an inevitable and predictable future (aside from, of course, eventual extinction at some point) is ridiculous no matter who has it. Surely those who can see the foolishness of Francis Fukuyama’s ‘The End of History’ theory of neoliberalism can see the foolishness of making the same Hegelian error but with Marx this time.
While its true that the left is turning away from its monstrous creation with rapidity at the same time said beast is being embraced by liberals and especially conservatives, it still must take responsibility for this issue being popularized and corrupting public discourse into something purely performative, identitarian, and anti-intellectual. Postmodernism is many things, but above all the diametric opposite of materialism, which brings me to my next point…
Leftists are often Moralists, and hence TERRIBLE Materialists:
Since materialism is both on some level quantifiable and observable, materialist outlook is key to understanding political philosophy and case studies alike. Leftists, however, are often recruited from a pool of people who have a psychological need for perpetual moralism. From ridiculous antics on college campuses, to linguistic tone policing, to a general refusal to engage with anyone willing to acknowledge due deference to a subjective set of values, leftists often enjoy performance over action and preaching over working. More directly, a true materialist does not start out with assumptions as to the moral rightness of, say, egalitarianism or human rights. The proper materialist response is more utilitarian and is based on the appraisal of what works best for society where examples could be learned from. If I thought massive wealth divides and top-down class war was actually on net good for society, and could prove my point, I would not be interested in egalitarian policies. I however think the exact opposite. History is replete with examples for societies crumbling due to out of touch ruling classes and alienated populaces, divided by increasingly hoarded wealth. More egalitarian societies also tend, when things are remotely fair, to outperform others in military conflicts. These are real life points one could use to make the case for a sustainable society that are not simple (and simplistic) moralist appeals. Not to mention, I find the moralistic personality type utterly irritating and suspect many others who might otherwise be interested in adopting more left wing policy positions are turned off by what in effect often comes through as humorless evangelicals and church lady fussbudget equivalents. No one who takes themselves *that* seriously is ever going to be good at analyzing strategy from a materialist perspective.
Also, you know, someone disagreeing with you is not the same as someone oppressing you. But that goes for libs and cons alike as well.
And in closing, ‘Problematic’ is a stupid, content-free whine of a non-word, and if you use it unironically in public you should re-think your life.