[Marxism] Political correctness and the rise of the right: an interview with Jeff Sparrow | Red Flag
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jan 2 06:22:53 MST 2019
The moment I call “smug politics” emerged most clearly in the 2000s when
many progressive activists became convinced that, rather than offering a
solution, the people were themselves the problem. The masses were,
according to this perspective, so innately backward and conservative
that the task of left-wingers was, first and foremost, to keep them from
infecting progressive spaces with their cloddish, reactionary ways.
Think of Michael Moore’s best-selling book Stupid White Men, or the film
Idiocracy, or the comedic style associated with the Daily Show: in each
instance, it’s taken for granted that liberals and leftists are a small
circle of enlightened people surrounded by an incorrigibly and
irredeemably right wing and moronic working class.
You can see how this arose – it was a consolatory fantasy for
progressives during the Bush years, a way of explaining how, despite the
correct critiques being made of the Iraq invasion, the anti-war movement
struggled to grow. If ordinary workers didn't come to our protests, it
was – the assumption went – because they themselves were the problem.
But you can also see its disastrous consequences.
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