Peter Beinart argued recently in The Daily Beast that we are witnessing the rise of the “New New Left”—a coming era of Leftist hegemony stemming from the generational experience of financial collapse and declining living standards. He wrote:
Compared to their Reagan-Clinton generation elders, Millennials are entering adulthood in an America where government provides much less economic security. And their economic experience in this newly deregulated America has been horrendous.
[The Rise of the New New Left, September 12, 2013]
Beinart approvingly cites polls showing that “two-thirds of Millennial favored a bigger government with more services over a cheaper one with fewer services, a margin 25 points above the rest of the population.” Americans under 30 are more willing to describe themselves as “have nots” rather than “haves”—the only segment of the American population that thinks of itself this way.
Perhaps most importantly, Millennials narrowly (but explicitly) favor socialism over capitalism.
What is most revealing about Beinart is the sadistic glee with which he chronicles the dispossession of the historic American nation. He lazily depends on troglodyte-Leftist tropes about evil capitalists using cultural issues to trick Americans into voting against their interests. But, he gloats, this is no longer possible, as
…right-wing populism generally requires rousing white, Christian, straight, native-born Americans against Americans who are not all those things. But among Millennials, there are fewer, white Christian non-immigrants to rouse.
This reflects a common view of immigration on the Left. Mass immigration is a useful weapon on two fronts—the war against the ideal of limited government; and the greater jihad against the historic American nation itself.
Sometimes it is hard to determine which comes first. Thus the Left has seized on the idea that the government shutdown is the fault of “racism” and that whites are uniquely responsible for endangering social programs. The conservative movement and its ideology is dismissed as an “inchoate mass of aging, angry white people.” The purpose of breaking white identity is to unite the entire country in a narrative of dependence and victimization as outlined in Joan Walsh's bluntly-titled polemic What's the Matter with White People?
However, the Left’s promotion of Open Borders is also unmistakably, and perhaps primarily, driven by hatred of white culture in every Western country, especially in its more conservative and Christian manifestations. As Peter Hitchens noted of his own support for mass immigration to England back in his Marxist days,
It wasn't because we liked immigrants, but because we didn't like Britain. We saw immigrants—from anywhere—as allies against the staid, settled, conservative society that our country still was at the end of the Sixties.
Thus Beinart celebrated the deconstruction of the “settled, conservative” societies of the West after a half century of Cultural Marxism. He crowed that less than half of Millennials consider religion to be “very important” to their lives, almost half of evangelicals support gay marriage, and studies show that Millennials are far more likely than other Americans to support interracial marriage within their families.
Or as Conor Friedersdorf might put it, younger Americans are unwilling to read, say, or (perhaps) think anything un-PC.
Either way, the Establishment now enthusiastically agrees with VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow's verdict that (back in 1997!) that “demography is destiny.”
But since they are celebrating white dispossession, as opposed to trying to prevent it, they can openly state it without risk of condemnation.
Beinart believes that contemporary Democrats are playing defense when it is no longer necessary. With the Moral Majority sidelined, the historic American nation being rapidly dispossessed, and younger voters aching for forthrightly socialistic policies, the way is open to challenge the Democratic Party from the Left. His model: Bill de Blasio's victory in the New York City Democratic Mayoralty primary, powered by promises to tax the rich and end “stop and frisk,” and, of course, ads featuring de Blasio’s biracial son sporting an Afro.
Similarly, Beinart suggests that Elizabeth Warren (who established her academic career by claiming to be an Indian) could mount a populist challenge against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries by attacking the banking industry.
While acknowledging that Beinart has contributed something worthy of discussion, some of his fellow leftists are disputing his sanguine counsel. Thus Michael Kazin of Dissent argues in the New Republic that corporate power is still capable of preventing many of the Leftist victories the new Progressive majority should be able to achieve. Furthermore, he condemns the lack of activist spirit among the Left:
To laugh, anxiously, as Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Gail Collins eviscerate Ted Cruz and his ilk does nothing to beat back the danger a determined, well-funded mass conservative movement poses now to [Obama's] imperfect but vital reforms.”
[Why Aren't Those New, Millennial Liberals Protesting the Shutdown? by Michael Kazin, September 30, 2013]
Meanwhile, Rick Perlstein, who has built a career pathologizing conservatism, similarly moans that the Progressive majority could be thwarted because, after all, it is the height of naïveté to assume that “America has a democracy.” (Immigration patriots can only agree.) After recounting how redistricting and wealthy donors can still subvert the larger progressive majority, Perlstein notes the danger of making sweeping predictions about the future. After all, he laments, frustrated social reform could “make fertile ground for some charismatic demagogue preaching scapegoating and a narrative of violent redemption.” [Is Peter Beinart Right About a 'New New Left'?, The Nation, September 19, 2013]
The problem with this narrative: it avoids the real way the “New New Left” operates.
Look at how the Left developed over the last century. The “Old Left” of tough union organizers and professional revolutionaries was strictly focused on economic issues, in many ways to the cultural right of conservatives today. In contrast, the “New Left” emphasized cultural concerns, waging an assault on the hapless Kennedy/Johnson liberals in charge of American institutions during the 1960s.
The “New New Left” is far from being composed of rebellious outcasts. Perlstein uses Chris Hayes's description of the “newly radicalized upper-middle class” to describe this “New New Left”—economically favored, politically connected, and rigorously indoctrinated in the diversity and multiculturalist ideology that Paul Gottfried has termed the “religion of the post-Christian West.
In the universities, in the media, and even in the Internet through twitter or Establishment cultural organs such as the Huffington Post or Gawker, Leftist political thought consists of a never-ending hunt for heretics, even down to hounding and destroying random apolitical white guys who are not sufficiently feminist. Restrictions on free speech, insistence on utterly unverifiable “white privilege,” and the implementation of ever more stringent credentialism show that the “radicalized upper-middle class” are not some rebels without a cause, but a ruling elite frustrated at the few obstacles they still encounter. The animating drive behind the “New New Left”: what Steve Sailer has called the “rage of the privileged classes.”
The dramatic rise in inequality and the perfidy of the “banksters” of Wall Street are of course valid concerns. But the Left will not actually do anything about them—if it means having to compromise and restrict mass non-traditional immigration.
The Occupy movement that Beinart identifies as the vanguard of this “New New left” was especially active in mobilizing on behalf of Open Borders. Even more significantly, the “Occupy” movement quickly devolved into Politically Correct grandstanding and racial scapegoating, ensuring that it remained an elite movement of Affirmative Action tokens and SWPL stereotypes.
Dispossessing the historic American nation was “privileged” (to use a leftist term) above actually achieving a middle class society. After all, on the National Question, corporate power and the “New New Left” are on the same side.
The result is that the “New New Left” is not a broad movement, but a rather insular social class that produces the apparatchiks for racial socialism of Obama's Minority Occupation Government. Beinart's proposed transformation describes something that already exists, not something that is coming. Beinart's “New New Left” is not a “new movement” but simply the indoctrinated products of the governing regime, and the bureaucrats and commissars who perpetuate it.
As Angelo Codevilla noted in The Ruling Class : this elite is
…formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, compete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment) and saints.
With each day that passes, these apparatchiks make more progress in deconstructing the people that they rule. In media, art, and culture, the “New New Left” works to break down any uncontrolled communities or viewpoints, from fraternities to computer programmers to organized religion. In government, they use the power of the state to break white communities through “refugee resettlements” and Section 8 housing.
They are the aspiring rulers of the “managerial state” described by James Burnham and Sam Francis, who sustain their status by breaking down their society so as to leave nothing in between the multicultural regime and the atomized individuals of the post-American society.
And worst of all, before you even open their mouths, you know every opinion they have ever had or will ever have. When did Gawker or the Huffington Post write something that surprised you?
A true conservative movement could seize the opportunity to champion a populist, insurgent message that could combine legitimate grievances against Wall Street with a message of nationalist middle class solidarity. The deconstruction of the American nation was not and is not inevitable. Demographic transformation can be halted, and reversed—as “self-deportation” showed. The multiculturalist Establishment can be stripped of state funding. Far more than the government shutdown, opposition to amnesty is an eminently winnable issue.
But a fighting American Right would have to confront the powerful donors that own the Beltway Right and the simplistic economism message that defines it. And it would mean actually opposing enemies—instead of giving them tax cuts.
If an American conservative or patriotic movement can ever accept such a challenge, it would mean the birth of a “New New Right.”
And unlike Beinart's mythical movement, this would be something genuinely new, and something that could save the country.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] travels around the United States looking for a waiter who can speak English.