Since the New Left of the '60s, Leftist political movements have been appropriated from the workers by bourgeois academics and made playthings of extreme self indulgence for privileged, pampered students rather than the life and death struggles of workers.
In the early stages of this appropriation, the '60s and '70s, we students were mindful of this and mindful of our own bourgeois privilege and entitlement and we would have never DREAMED of trying to define ourselves as society's or the world's primary victims or supplanting the workers' concerns with our own luxurious and relatively frivolous concerns in primacy of importance as lefty students so self indulgently do today. When one of us ever thought we were having a hard time the others would bring them down to earth saying something like, "My heart is BLEEDING for you, the South Vietnamese surely send you their sympathies!"
The U.S. is, because of its "exceptionalism", a much less socialist society than other technologically advanced nations and the authority of Left orthodoxy here, powerful and overarching as it is, is limited to the cultural realm and doesn't extend to political economy. It is, therefore, in actuality a tool of business elites to divert atention away from economic injustice and preoccupy the public with concerns about "diversity", e.g., Hillary Clinton obsessed about gender neutral bathrooms, for example, but wouldn't mention TPP and while Barack Obama campaigned for passage of the treaty right up until the 2016 election day.
A new political phenomenon has thus emerged, the right-left hybrid of cultural left and economic right in one if its forms as corporate Democrats, showing concern for diversity - which is, in many ways, essentially a fetish and preoccupation of bourgeois "leftists" and the bourgeois academy - and ignoring or giving low genuine priority to economic concerns about jobs and issues of free trade and illegal imigration - that are real concerns of workers who then naturally vote for a Donald Trump.
This also comes from the era of the New Left or new student Left of the '60s that took up issues such as racial justice, and later, issues of other identity groups rather than workers' issues of economic or class justice.
In the early period of the New Left, the 60s and '70s, the early period of appropriation of Left movements from the workers by bourgeois academics, Western Society and the U.S. were largely middle class societies with a large blue collar middle class predominating. Labor was very strong, and very corrupt. It had very much become "part of the problem".
What poverty there was in the U.S. was largely race based, that is, it was largely the result of racial discrimination. Thus the liberation movements of the '60s and '70s were mostly about racial justice rather than class justice and a class consciousness and sense of class struggle never developed in the U.S. after WW II.
So then, the new, student Left, being apropriated, as it was, from the workers by bourgeois academics, ceased to be represented by, and therefore, ceased to speak for the workers. Perhaps signified most formally by the "Love It or Leave It" march down Broadway in New York by "hard hats" (the contemptuous, n-word perjorative for "worker" used by supposedly leftist students of that period in some derisive allusion to the workers' lack of formal education and life of hard work in its stead) in 1972, the workers in the U.S. greatly diverged from, and even opposed, the New Left and the Left in general.
Meanwhile, after a time, the abandonment of workers and their issues by the Left had its time bomb effect, some years and decades hence, upon the Left's prospects in the United States. The racial and other issues of group identity taken up by the U.S. Left instead of workers' issues, that later came to be known as "identity politics", came to be charachterized by very apparent reverse racisms, reverse sexism, heterophobia and other reversed chauvinisms in Left movements and subculture and came to be seen as defining the Left, gave rise to the "Alt Right" phenomenon whose membership is significantly comprised of ex lefties who experienced instances of "reverse discrimination", as it were, and censorship or repression from self appointed, academic lefty authorities who presume to "know better what's good for everyone" than they, themselves do (and certainly better than do the "unwashed" - i.e., lacking in pleasant, bourgeois manners - masses of the workers) and who seem preoccupied with concerns of their own "comfort" and "emotional safety" to the apparent eclipsing in priority of other, more materially urgent, workers' concerns and thus now has a divisive effect upon society and the working classes and is used by corporate Democrats to divide the blue collar classes for their conquest by big business just as more frank racism and other anti group politics are by the Republican Right and to the same effect.
The triumph of business over workers occurs regardless of whether, red or blue T-shirts are worn and regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans win an election. You had, in the 2016 election, the blue collar worker voting Republican for Trump (and Bernie, who got robbed like the rest of us by corporatists in the primaries) with Rust Belt workers who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 and 51% of all union households, nation wide, for Trump and business owners and investors voting for Hillary.
The Democrat-Republican dichotomy is thus no longer relevant and must be replaced with worker-business definitions and dichotomies. For a strong workers' movement to resurge it is necessary for the academy, if it genuinely cares about justice for workers and workers' primacy and a worker controlled society - or if it doesn't (and, of course, it doesn't) - to yield its primacy and relative status and control of society and it's presumptious, self declared leadership of any past, present or future workers' movements. Arm chair Marxists have only a supporting role, if that.
The academy, however, that has by now infiltrated most all manifestations and institutions of the Left, even the remnants of it like the community organizing and labor Left which, until as little as 5 or 10 years ago, were still in the genuine control of workers and affected community members (and which this writer, therefore, used to call the "Adult Left" - as opposed to the "Adolescent Left" of the petulant, pampered and self indulgent academy) will not give up its patrimonial class hegemony over and, frankly, its class exploitation of the workers that is seen in its determined control and self assumed leadership over any ostensible worker’s movement commonly using Leninist vanguardism as its model - if also often without many of the original intentions of Leninism - without being defeated in a fight or struggle, as with any class hegemony or class exploitation.
That fight need not be bloody, however, it need not even be very openly confrontational, it could be simply a rehijacking by the workers, but it must be determined.

Comments

Tomas Sanchez's picture
Tomas Sanchez 11 weeks 10 hours ago
#1

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DulanMarlon's picture
DulanMarlon 10 weeks 6 days ago
#2

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kigiinxz 10 weeks 5 days ago
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TommyBoy10's picture
TommyBoy10 9 weeks 5 days ago
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jack102 8 weeks 3 days ago
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irish1977's picture
irish1977 8 weeks 18 hours ago
#7

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irish1977's picture
irish1977 7 weeks 6 days ago
#8

Love how article hits both sides of the party line.

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M Kal's picture
M Kal 7 weeks 6 days ago
#9

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DulanMarlon's picture
DulanMarlon 7 weeks 6 days ago
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irish1977's picture
irish1977 7 weeks 3 days ago
#11

One of the better writeup on the subject. Gives both sides of view on the political spectrum.

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Infinite Wellness's picture
Infinite Wellness 7 weeks 1 day ago
#12

Very interesting piece. I agree that the Democrat-Republician dichotomy is no longer relevant as it has become 2 heads of the same coin and therefore should be replaced. The question then becomes, with what? It becomes a bit murky here because we currently do not have a true capitalist state, what we have is crony capitalism. If history has proven anything it has proven that socialism does not work. How people can think it will be different this time is beyond me.

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Mark Juozapas Saulys's picture
Mark Juozapas Saulys 6 weeks 4 days ago
#13

Oh, but I have to think it's a facile, if popular, conclusion that "socialism doesn't work". That conclusion depends on the often willfully fallacious equating of Marxist-Leninism with socialism when even in Lenin's own time his was the minority socialist tendency and very unpopular among most socialists. Lenin was expelled from the Second International Congress in 1902 because of his authoritarian and totalitarian positions. After the revolution of 1917 his many critics were persuaded to withold criticism of his new, nominally socialist experiment so as to give it every chance and not undermine it and to prevent infighting within the international socialist tendency that experienced persecution world wide.
Socialism was very successfully implemented in Western Europe and those are the models socialists should point to.
Leninism enjoyed much popularity throughout the 20th Century because of its explicit condemnation of imperialism and and assertion that all ethnic groups have a right to self determination. It was perhaps the ONLY political organization in most of the world to support freedom and independence for the colonized peoples thus national independence movements throughout the world commonly adopted the Leninist model. The Leninist Communist Party was the only political organization in Paris in the 1920s to advocate freedom for the colonized peoples when Ho Chi Mihn joined it. It was similar with Mao, Castro and others.
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realprogressive2020's picture
realprogressive2020 5 weeks 4 days ago
#14

Woohoo! This is the most concise and well written piece on the state of our current politics in The USA, and how we got to where we are. I agree with 100 percent.

The elites of 30's grew tired of Roosevelts new deal and his assault on corporate rule.

then Hitler came and Franklin had momentum. They vowed to never let another do this to them and we have watched them over many decades now return us to a class system of the haves and the have nots.

there is no LEFT its right and farther right thats your choice. Obama said its fish or chcken and the truth is its all fish and one stinks and the other is completely rotted.

return of the wobblies will be the only thing that will ever stop this momentum (or nuclear war obviousky) unfortunatley blood will spill, many will be jailed, even more injured and ostracized. its the only way. Martin would have never made much impact without Malcolm X. this is way bigger than race relations also. way bigger.

the reason why is in 20's and 30's there was real labor in the US. we actually made stuff here and we made really good stuff as well. Labor had teeth. A walkout was disastrous for the steel barons.(Carnegie) Today we can all walkout and they will just ship the rest of the jobs overseas whatever is left.The corporate types broke the back of labor inn the 80s by outsourcing labor, they dont need us, period full stop. however they are afraid of revolt and the closer to the doorsteps the more they temd to want to make patch attempts at solving issues. they will not relent without some real pain. labor has no power and has been rendered as impotent . Lenin would have loved these days.

One way outside possibilty is a charasmatic leader that is pure of heart. someone that understands this article you wrote but cannot be compromised by wall street...etc..

keeping this person alive would be the new challenge because i can hear Blackwater

looking for this person allready and they may not haVe been born yet...lol

DulanMarlon's picture
DulanMarlon 5 weeks 1 day ago
#15

The plight of workers in the US has faced notable challenges with little help from the authorities. But with that said, we cannot fail to mention the strides that have been made in the industry. As a cool deck paint worker, i am in the best years of my work.

DulanMarlon's picture
DulanMarlon 6 days 23 hours ago
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pemaintoto's picture
pemaintoto 6 days 21 hours ago
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pemaintoto's picture
pemaintoto 6 days 21 hours ago
#19

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majeceria's picture
majeceria 2 days 12 hours ago
#20

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Terry332's picture
Terry332 18 hours 29 min ago
#21

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