I am endlessly fascinated by the paradoxes of modern leftist thought. On the one hand, they believe that racism and sexism and other social ills are widespread, cultural, systematic and pervasive. On the other hand, they also believe that they as individuals have nothing to do with the spread of these social ills.
The standard bearers of the left have set themselves up in opposition to capitalism, white privilege, and the patriarchy. They dedicate themselves to destroying these three things. Poverty exists because of capitalism. Racism exists because of white privilege. Violence against women exists because of the patriarchy. Remove capitalism, white privilege, and the patriarchy, and the social ills that they cause will disappear. To remove capitalism, white privilege, and the patriarchy, all that is necessary is to educate oneself about these issues, and you will undergo a magical transformation that will allow you to be less racist, less classist, and less misogynistic.
(By the way, this is what Justin Trudeau really means when he says, "the budget will balance itself" but we're not going to get into that today.)
Leftists will get really, really mad if you suggest to them that social ills are a difficult but necessary part of being human. They cannot accept that capitalism is a natural expression of humanity. Greed is not natural. Hate is not natural. Violence is not natural. These things are cultural, and are the result of noxious and nebulous invisible conspiracies perpetrated by the 1% and by corporations. They can be overcome through education. They must be overcome by education, because if they can't, then the whole progressive enterprise is kind of doomed, and, ummmm....
If you are somehow still racist, classist, and misogynistic, it's because you're doing the educating thing the wrong way, or you are allowing something to interfere with your education. And that is why Olivia Chow's campaign for Mayor of Toronto is in big trouble. She has allowed the seductive promise of power to distract her. She was talking about populist issues that do not matter, like saying she'll respect tax dollars and pretend to be concerned about how public money is spent. Luckily, someone got to her just in the nick of time (of COURSE it had nothing to do with declining poll numbers....are you suggesting that St. Jack's life partner could ever be motivated by self-interest?!?!?! For shame!!!!!) and that's why she's doing stuff like tossing the War Room Boss under the bus, mentioning the word "progressive" in every other sentence, and calling for property tax hikes.
Another person who wasn't sufficiently educated was Andrea Horwath, as this brutal writeup from Martin Regg Cohn a few days ago shows. Not only did Andrea Horwath run a campaign that was "more centrist than the Liberals, out-Torying the Tories", she and her inner circle have apparently been doing things like "concentrating power in the leader's office". This has antagonized the poor, innocent union movement to such a degree that they are feeling "little more than contempt" for Andrea, and we've got at least one union boss calling her a "coward," and at a convention a few month down the road Andrea might be "educated" right out of the leader's office. Horrible! Can you imagine how triggering this all is? How did the NDP get so far away from the sacred path of destroying capitalism? It must be the patriarchy at work, influencing and corrupting all it touches!
Olivia Chow is, as I've said, no Andrea Horwath. She's come to her senses and is trying to rebuild. But, as many have asked.....is it going be enough? Not if the polls are any indication, at least right now.We might actually end up with John Tory, of all people, as Mayor of Toronto, because Olivia decided to play the power game.
Now this is very interesting. You would think Olivia realizing that she erred and changing course would get the masses - who, let's remember, are very concerned about income inequality and not at all about getting their own back, violently, from those who cross them- on her side again. See, it's about education. And when you're educating yourself, you have to make mistakes and apologize and learn from them. If we accused third graders of being "cowards" because they couldn't do their long division the right way, we'd be monsters.
And we also know that the left is qualitatively different from the right (so they say) in that they don't do things like nurse grudges and tear people down just for the sake of tearing them down. That's the kind of mean-spirited behavior we can expect from conservatives. But what else can you call it when the left treats Olivia Chow and Andrea Horwath the same way? If I didn't know better, I'd say that the disgruntled left are just mad that they lost the provincial election and that they are losing this mayoral election.
They'll never admit that, though. They will hide their bitterness and greed and hateful feelings behind phrases like "conditions of injustice". They will continue to blame their losses on the machinations of the evil business elite for distracting people like Chow, Horwath and Mulcair from the true path that led guys like Bill de Blasio to victory in NYC. Speaking of which, what is Bill de Blasio up to? Failing to keep his promise to fully end stop-and-frisking, I see? Well, I guess the left should be getting mad about that, except they must be distracted by big business again, or something.
Anyway, one thing we can all agree upon is that BS-ing yourself and others and saying things which you don't really believe is no way to win an election. Isn't it nice to find some common ground?