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Salvage only what’s left

By Nicholas Ross

By Nicholas Ross

History tempts the notion that the louder you are, the more likely to succeed. Victories of the Suffragette movement, proletarian revolutions and pressure groups’ publicity stunts all confirm as much. However, in the ways they voice their ceaseless belligerent noise, the left put off many independent voters and other people unshackled by political polarisation.

Regardless of ideological merit, some of the loudest representatives of the left in public are hideously unattractive. It is clear who wins when self-proclaimed provocateurs like Milo Yiannopoulos are greeted on college campuses by tumultuous armies of shrieking students who try to prevent free speech in a country whose first codified constitutional amendment grants it. Gadflies like him, antifeminists, and other far-leaning hate groups are given plenty of evidence of stigmas to instance in order to rouse support and justify their own existence, when their arguments would otherwise be quashed. There is a common acceptance of egalitarianism in all its forms between us and many of the people manipulated by classical conditioning to feel nauseous hatred when they hear words like ‘feminism’.

Unfortunately, when ANTIFA brawls with neo-Nazis, or Black Lives Matter protestors destroy and pillage their own neighbourhoods—as occurred in Milwaukee last year—one struggles to fathom any explanation other than the satisfaction of a desire to act as social revolutionaries; they must think that doing anything is achievement and proof of their moral essence. But they don’t resemble the Sierra Maestra guerrillas or any revolutionaries of substance. ANTIFA makes a spectacle of combating antiquated bigots who have been hitherto largely ignorable while BLM undergoes masochistic rampages. Videos show the former so-called activists beating up journalists and passers-by in Berkley last month. It is embarrassing, as well as uncalculated, that the left do not emphatically disassociate from this thuggish sub-culture whose collective impropriety and criminality has often proven worse than the decorum of neo-Nazis.

I hope not to sound pretentious in saying that if we are to become prisoners to our own freedoms, to those atavisms lurking beyond the zeniths of societal progress, let it not be the fault of the left. As mentioned above, you become the authoritarians you abhor when you subdue law-abiding enemy expression. Noam Chomsky put it, ‘If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise’. There is a similar issue on the minefields (I choose this term carefully) of sensibilities of feminism and LGBTQ+. Decades ago male chauvinism was ignominious, but now gallantry is too (a male RHUL student was called patronising for holding open a door last year). Meanwhile, the London Tube has banned the phrase, ‘ladies and gentlemen’ since it is non-inclusive. Superfluous liberties, rights not to encounter what one dislikes, exist at the expense of others’ basic freedoms.

If you disagree with such views, know this article’s purpose is strategy, and the point is that they are held elsewhere. Left-wing argument is saturated with discussion of the things described which distract from more compelling debates. Given Trump and May’s Saudi-fraternising, DUP “investments” and full-time nurses on food stamps committing suicide, the left have ammunition but must disown or at least calm their questionable and overpowering strains.

 

Nicholas Ross

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