Sunday, September 17, 2006

On the Disappearance

of the American Left
There is a widespread fear that the Left in America has disappeared. For my part I have not met a left-identified person in decades who could use "wages", "labor", or "union" in a sentence. Oddly, once the left stopped representing the largest social group in American society, they "disappeared". Go figure.

I do not consider it a coincidence that the fraction of national income paid as wages and salaries has declined every one of the last twenty six years, and that no contemporary activist could conduct a fifteen minute conversation with a working person on any meaningful subject. Curiously, people working for crappy wages who can barely house their children and who have no medical insurance do not consider whether gays can marry to be the foremost issue before the nation.

Fewer than eight percent of American workers belong to a union, and half of those few are in sweetheart unions. Yet unionization appears exactly nowhere on the agenda of the left. How surprising is it that the majority of the American people are correspondingly indifferent to the claims and protestations of the left? I confess that I share the general disdain.

Overseas, the left's antipathy to Israel is an open repudiation of the principles and values of both the French and Russian Revolutions. It is also a betrayal of the Jews, victims of fascism then, and victims of fascism now.

The left's drift into support for religious fundamentalism abroad while despising it at home is staggeringly irrational. No rationale for this postion appears except an automatic sympathy for whatever a conservative government dislikes. They are in effect letting Bush do their thinking for them.

Standing for no one at home and nothing abroad, how can the left not disappear?


  1. Nick Danger1:48 AM

    This is your best yet! The union newsletter in my previous job could have provided a continuous stream of material for any truly left-leaning paper or media outlet, and I was always puzzled and dismayed by the complete lack of coverage of such issues. I had the same response to the lack of acknowlegement by the same media of the most successful national liberation movement of modern times, Zionism.

  2. Thank you for the kind words, Nick.