The big question for the modern Left: The fuck is wrong with y’all?
Anyone ever sit by the window one day and think, ‘Fuck, everything is awful’? I’m pretty sure the majority of the human race, has, at one time or another, had this feeling. It’s a pretty common reaction, especially nowadays. I’m not here to tell you how it isn’t true, how things will get better, how positivity influences your mood – fuck that noise. Here’s God’s honest truth – the world is a fucking shithole, and all of you are making it worse.
Yes, you are. You with your petty little dramas and grievances, with your bullshit entitlements and apathy, every single one of you are making it worse.
A few months back, the Seattle, Washington, USA city council had a meeting on repealing a certain tax. Known as the head tax, it would have levied a 275 dollar a head tax for corps with over 20 mil in revenue. This was mostly to deal with the ‘homeless’ problem, to raise funding for affordable housing. This was a fine policy, since, as it turns out, precarious employment (what’s called the gig economy), plus stagnating wages and rising automation seems to have accelerated destitution in the grand ole United States of America. This translates into more people on the streets, in a time where social nets are seen by the Party in Power as something close to concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Especially in the Tech Cities of San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, et al. – rising housing prices have created a permanent underclass in what used to be the pretty liberal and socially supported bastions of the Democratic Party. In San Fran., the median price of rent is now, and I swear to Marx I did not make this number up, three thousand filthy fiat greenbacks per month. Going by the recommended budget that housing should make up no more than ⅓ of your monthly salary, that means, for an average, middle-class householder or renter in San Francisco, a yearly salary of a little over one hundred thousand dollars, post-tax.
So there was a meeting in Seattle to discuss this tax. Obviously, monied interests in the city – namely Amazon – was quite against a tax like this, as tax avoidance is probably the only thing that can get Jeff Bezos hard anymore. So, as the community collectively discussed whether or not Jeff Bezos deserved a chubby, a brave anarchist stepped up to the mic. His short little speech is too brilliant to paraphrase, so I’ll just quote it below:
“All right, I don’t got long. I’m a dad, so I have kids to take care of. What’s up, bootlickers? I haven’t seen ya’ll since the campout. I’ve got something to say. I’m tired of this fucking shit. I’m a father, I’m a veteran and I’m an anarchist. Those are three people you don’t want to piss off. I’m tired of children getting attacked in the streets, I’m tired of them sleeping in the streets. I’m tired of the very people I swore to defend get attacked by the state. So like I said out there, ya’ll need to close your fucking beaks, take resources and put them in the hands of people who need them. Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with ya’ll? Who the fuck are ya’ll to justify letting people die in the streets with your policies, your laws and your legislation. How do you justify that, killing people. I swore to give my life to defend the people from all forms of oppression. Eventually, all this shit is going to stop. Because when it’s our time, we won’t make excuses for the terror. Marx.”
What the fuck is wrong with y’all indeed. (You can find this little speech online, if you want to hear the rather inspiring delivery for yourself.) Ignoring the Marxist rhetoric for now (we’ll get into it in a later article, don’t fret), let’s talk about What The Fuck Is Wrong With Y’all.
Remember, I’m not here to tell you things are alright, or that things will get better. I’m here to tell you that your analysis that everything is shitty, that people are dying for no reason, that suffering is increasing with no particular end, that the planet itself is becoming quite unlivable for current human civilization – is all right and true, and is a rational and objective analysis. And a lot of it is your fault. It is the fault of people who cling to bullshit economic voodoo over actual material analysis, of those who are too scared to admit the inhuman, greed and Mammon-based society that modern capitalism has created is in fact, an inhuman, Lovecraftian aberration, of those who calmly play on the apathy and alienation bred by capitalism to barely justify their own monstrous policies. And yes, it is on us too. It is, in no small part, the fault of the Left. Me, you, and all of us who claim to be anticapitalist, anti-authoritarian, and anti-this-bullshit.
In 1917, the only real, successful, Leftist revolution in near-modern times occurred and gave birth to the USSR, a so-called ‘communist’ nation opposed to the imperialism, capitalism, and oppression of the ancien regime of the West. However, from almost the start, the authoritarian nature of the Bolsheviks was evident – in the establishment of the NKVD, a secret police force – in the wholly extrajudicial executions of anyone considered a kulak or bourgeois, in the crushing of every other Left tendency and party in favor of the Party, the one, true Party of the people, that represented the Volkish will of the wider Russian proletariat. And thus, was the USSR born a repressive, one party state, beset by opportunists, corruption, and just straight out, actual evil. (That isn’t to say that the USSR was some unambiguously evil boogeyman as presented by McCarthyite propaganda, but the good sides will be left for another article.)
From the moment of the USSR’s birth, the left began to lose legitimacy. In power, self-proclaimed Leftists acted exactly like the imperialist capitalists they claimed to despise, erasing native and minority populations, extracting resources with no regard to human life, building a class stratified gasp system of Party apparatchiks and bureaucrats and managers and everyone else. Fast forward nearly a century and the whole edifice collapsed thanks to an Imperial War in Afghanistan that broke a generation of young Soviet men on top of the economic downfall that comes with shitty, incompetent, and reality-illiterate economic planning. And the Left, bereft of the one ‘shining beacon’ of Leftist power and hope in the world, died.
In the 90s, the Left, such as it was, feeble, powerless, rudderless, gave way to the Third Way neoliberalism of Blair and Clinton. The capitalists had won. The major liberal parties finally shed any vestiges of Leftist thought and value, and fully embraced capitalism, militarism, and neoliberalism as the order of the day. Books with titles like ‘The End of History’ came out, proclaiming that liberal capitalist democracy was the end-all, be-all of human progress and development. Everything was great. We’d moved past the stagflation of the 70s, of the deindustrialization of the 80s, and into the bright, happy, peaceful 90s. (In the West, of course – in the now-post-Soviet countries, the collapse of the USSR led to the collapse of pretty much everything, and things were not, to put it mildly, rosy.) The Left was reduced to circlejerking academics in sociology departments, publishing articles no one cared about and that no one read.
Things worked, more or less like that, until the aughts rolled around, and with it the War on Terror, bringing constant war for the world’s remaining superpower, and finally the Great Recession, which kicked off Occupy and brought a Left renaissance to the fore of politics once more.
So, how exactly is any of this our fault? The answer is quite simple – we lose. Even when we win, we lose. Enter a leftist org, and you’ll usually find some amount of die-hard pseudo-intellectual blowhards too busy using teeth in self-reinforcing blowjobs to even pause for a moment and think, ‘How does anything of this held end capitalism?’ It is our fault because the simple fact of the matter, that Terra is becoming unfit for Human life and that Human civilization is becoming unfit for Humans, is fucking obvious to everyone. Everyone (aside from a very privileged minority class of capitalists), is on board with this. Socialism should be easy. Here’s what’s wrong, here’s why we’re like this, here’s what we can do to fix it. But yet, we fail.
Each and every time, the Left stumbles, either folding to the neoliberal consensus, with Greece’s Syriza being one of the foremost examples. Not to mention the continual failure of the Democratic Party in the United States, and of Labour in the UK. We fail because the Left refuses to deal with Reality As It Is, but prefers the Reality As I Wish It Were. Reality As It Is is not a fairy land where hopes and dreams, protests and riots, can overthrow a system that has had a century of entrenchment and preparation for exactly this scenario (the collapse of human civilization into bastions of techno-feudal neo-corporate city states). Reality As It Is, requires, more than anything, power. However, those portions of people who laughably call themselves leftists, those that acknowledge the importance of power but venerate dictators, liars, conmen, and right bastards, lose what actually makes us the Left, what makes us the thing that will save humanity from itself. Our ideals.
My name is Romeo Kokriatski, and I’m a socialist. And, for as long as I can, I’ll be writing about how to take power, how to keep it, and how to stay Left while having it.