A very common discussion topic in most social circuits is related to one’s ideological position.
- “Are you left oriented?”; “Are you a conservative?”.
Most of the time the questions take a binary form, reflective of the sharp polarizations prevalent in most groups today.
I think there are a couple of more positions worth considering during such interactions – “Are you a truth-seeker?” and “Are you an opportunist?” The latter is easy to identify (also rarely acknowledged) especially in the era of digital imprints. The former however, is an ideal positioning, not every liberal is bold enough to embrace. It is this part of the argument I am interested in and an attribute that I explore in those prominent liberal faces who hog the limelight.
Let us take the example of 9/11 and its consequences.
Question number 1: Was the act a good one? Would you like to see it repeated (irrespective of the justifications behind it)?
Expected answer from a truth-seeker: “No”.
The answer that we got from the left: “Has to be judged in context”. In other words, there is a possibility that you support it? Right? Even a heinous, violent, murderous act can be justified if its buttressed by a sufficiently good reasoning? There were celebratory parades taken out on the streets to celebrate the “slap on American Imperialism”.
I was confused and did not take a liking for the positing my beloved comrades were taking on this issue.
Was it not possible to call out this act as deplorable while continuing the crusade against the Capitalist Imperialism?
Very recently I came across a very similar instance related to one Mr. Kanan Makia (an Iraqi in exile). While reading Nick Cohen’s book (What’s Left?), it was interesting to note how from being the “darling” of the left, Mr. Kanan became a “traitor”. The tipping point was the Iraqi invasion by the West (Bush & Blair). How could the position of the left-liberal comrades change overnight on this issue? From being staunch anti-fascist, anti-totalitarianism, anti-dictatorship to becoming a supporter of the same which they were supposed to oppose.
And what becomes of the likes of Mr. Kanan in the process? Jettisoned obviously.
And what do you thing the likes of Mr. Kanan does in due course of time? Gets disillusioned with the trusted comrades and takes the side of the ones who supports his just cause (even if they happen to be on the right of the center).
This is exactly what we have been seeing in the present-day scenario – the rise of the neo-conservatives (Douglas Murray).
If we consider a pie chart roughly depicting the political and ideological affiliations of most, I think it would not be an exaggeration to point out the drifting of positioning from the left center to either the center, but more importantly to the right-center. It is not due to the fantastic achievements of the right, but rather the profound disillusionment with the left and the left-center.
And why this disillusionment? It is because the left and the prevailing left-center brings on the table all those attributes expected from the right.
- De-platforming anyone with whom their views do not match.
- Championing fragmentation of society in the name of gender, race, religion, caste, pre-determined political affiliations, etc. etc.
- Invoking liberal terminologies like secularism and progressivism but acting quite in the reverse.
- Denouncing fascism in theory but practicing it on ground.
In other words, failing to call “a spade” – “a spade”.