The left is unified. Anyone, no matter how unimpeachable her leftist credentials, who dares go against the Cult-Marx catechisms shall be cast out, humiliated and destroyed. The left eat their own, as they always do, but there are no competing streams of thought within their milieus. A wag might suggest there is not presently a single stream of thought. In any case, there is only one Left, it is called Baizuo, and I need not repeat its many and contradictory shibboleths to my venerable readers.
The right is entirely different. There is the mainstream, pro-immigration, pro-business, pro-globalism and pro-war (any war!) right of the old-school conservative parties in each Anglophone country. Among those are the social conservatives who would happily approve Lenin for the Supreme Court if only he were pro-life. There are the libertarians who focus mostly on taxation, regulation and free trade. There are the paleo conservatives, who care much less about the role of government in the economy than they do about immigration and foreign interventionism. And there is the hard right, perhaps defined as those wanting new, separate ethno-states rather than just the maintenance of what fragments remains of the old ones.
The groups fight each other, but none seems to have the upper hand. Trump beat the mainstream, but the mainstream Republicans still block his every move. The hard right and paleos have been expelled from The National Review and other acceptable avenues of conservative thought, but their influence is felt nevertheless. Libertarians won some deregulation but tarifs and trade wars still loom.
There are some on the right who would prefer that this situation be reversed. ‘Can we just at least agree on x,’ they plead, aiming to herd the cats. ‘X’ is often reduced immigration, a border wall, abolition of abortion, tax cuts or an end to the stupid wars.
Their view is that the unity of the left gives them much greater power, in our parliaments, in our courts, and throughout all our institutions (companies, universities, publishers, social media etc. etc.). If only the right could (a) get its act together and (b) split the left, they could take over just like the left have since the 1960s! Yay!
But at what price? Do you really want Western institutions dominated by the same, unthinking, formulaic robot-persons that dominate now, but reprogrammed in some new and supposedly better way? Is that really the best we can do?
To imagine that we are only capable of replacing enemy NPCs with our own demonstrates a complete lack of faith in all the intellectual achievements of Western civilization from Socrates onwards. Have you forgotten what we’ve done?
We created free, peaceful, democratic, safe and orderly societies. We invented parliaments, science, the flushing toilet, and the very concept of ‘rights’.
We explored and mapped the entire world. We catalogued and studied its cultures, plants and animals. We ventured even further following the invention of the telescope and the microscope.
We cured diseases. We invented the motorcar. We put a man on the moon.
And you think we need to be controlled by new, system-updated NPCs?
Come on, Men of the West. Be you left or right, see the real problem our societies face: we’re losing our ability to reason, to debate, to discover. Medieval faith and received wisdom are replacing classical and Enlightenment questioning and invention.
In other words: if the left jumped off the Empire State Building, would you jump off, too?
The arguments on the right prove that debate there is healthy, thinking is robust, ideas are fresh. Sure, they need to unite at election times around tolerable candidates, but at other times the food-fight is just what the cultural doctor ordered.
If only the left could still throw a few buns, and cop a few in return. They’d be a stronger intellectual force, and much less annoying.
If the right follows the left off the cliff of Oriental autocracy and repression of thought, then the west is as good as dead.