This is adapted from the Penser à Gauche episode of Left, Right, and White. You can listen to it here.
Charles, a frequent commenter and supporter asks, “Why is Chris Roberts so interested in the Left? Can anyone name one contemporary leftist who has good views on race and immigration? The left is our enemy. The question is not to flirt with or understand the left, it is to defeat it.”
It’s a fair question: “Why do we talk about the Left?”
There are a lot of answers to this question. The foremost is that plenty of leftists have valuable things to say. Charles is correct that basically no leftists have good opinions on race and immigration, but race and immigration aren’t everything. Granted, those are the most important issues of our time — that’s why Greg and I work for American Renaissance. But they aren’t absolutely everything. Totalitarianism is worth understanding. If George Orwell, a democratic socialist, has valuable things to say about totalitarianism, why not listen? Along with demographic displacement and crime, another problem whites face is that we are all steeped in a vapid and narcissistic culture that offers infinite amounts of toxic “reality” TV and horrifying pornography at the touch of a button. Chris Hedges, a radical leftist, has written about this problem with great insight. The fact that he’s a hardcore lefty doesn’t preclude him from having useful analyses of real problems.
Just like almost nobody is right about everything, very few people are wrong about everything.
Consider Peter Brimelow. His writings on immigration, demographics, and racial politics are invaluable. He’s been a huge influence on me and Greg. However, he’s also an unreconstructed “cold warrior.” He credits America’s conservative movement with beating back global communism, and believes Ronald Reagan was largely responsible for the fall of the Soviet Union, making him one of — if not the — best president in American history. I disagree with Mr. Brimelow about all of that. But his “wrongness” on that subject doesn’t negate how important his body of work, from the 1990s onward, is. The same applies to many leftist intellectuals. Noam Chomsky is useless on immigration and race. However, his analysis of media hegemony is spot on.
Lefties often complain about “cultural appropriation” — the idea that non-whites (usually blacks) create some cool cultural thing, and then whites “steal” this culture from blacks and make it their own. Consider my podcast with Greg Hood, “Left, Right, and White,” to be a kind of “intellectual appropriation.” Greg and I are happy to plunder leftists for useful concepts or good journalism, and “steal” those things from them by using them for our own ends.
As to the claim that the Left is our “enemy,” I’m not sure it’s as simple as that. NGOs that help bring non-whites to America are certainly my enemy. As are “anti-racist” groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center. Obviously, non-white pressure groups (Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, etc.) are my enemy. And the idea that the races are equal and interchangeable is an “enemy idea.” And given that the push for “equality” is what most animates the modern Left, then yes, “the Left,” is my enemy.
But it’s complicated. I don’t think people who care passionately about protecting the environment are my enemies. Nor am I convinced that people whose foremost political priority is finding a way for poor people to have decent medical care are motivated by evil. That’s not to say that I think environmentalists should get their way about everything, or that I think America should pass “medicare for all.” Those are policy questions. I’m talking about animus. Are lefty environmentalists who want to curb pollution and save the whales secretly motivated by a hatred for whites? Probably not. When socialists say they want a healthcare system that ensures middle class people don’t have to take on staggering amounts of debt in order to keep their kids healthy — are those socialists really secretly saying they want black-on-white crime to increase? Probably not.
Sometimes the Left is my enemy and sometimes it isn’t. Another frequent commenter and supporter, Jack Ryan, said:
The terms “Left Wing” and “Right Wing” are way out of date — they are left over from the days after the French Revolution depending on where French representatives stood in the French General Assembly.
Monarchists, traditionalist Catholics stood on the far Right , moderates in the Center, atheists, Communists stood on the far Left.
Who will be our American royal family? The Bush family? The Kennedy’s? Some Hollywood celebrity like Brad Pitt?
We’re White Identitarians, not Left or Right just White European American
Greg and I agree. We don’t want to get distracted over partisan issues. We want whites to set aside their little divisions over whether to privatize social security and focus on the big picture. When I meet another white guy, I don’t want to immediately categorize him as “enemy” or “not enemy” based on what he thinks of gay marriage. I want to be able to convince him that he and I, as whites, are on the same side. And I don’t think I can do that if I dismiss him because he says he considers himself on the Left because he doesn’t like America’s wars in the Middle East. I don’t think that’s a winning attitude.
Finally, I’ll concede that maybe none of what I just said swayed you at all. Maybe you still think I’m wrong, and Greg and I are wasting our time talking about Jacobin magazine. That’s okay. But don’t read too much into this podcast, as it’s not the only thing Greg and I do. I know that I sometimes annoy AmRen’s more conservative readers. Remember that most of what I do at work can’t be categorized as “flirting with the Left.” I write about crime more than anything else, and aside from writing, I’m in charge of a lot of the best things about AmRen: I make sure we have a first-person account every Saturday, a classic every Sunday, that our videos are on several different websites, etc. And as a bonus, remember that when Greg and I praise this or that leftist, other leftists then hold that praise against him. It becomes ammunition for leftist infighting, which is very amusing.