The Left-Wing is Dead.

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The Left Wing in America is dead; ideologically speaking, that is. Left-wing movements and organizations continue to be active. There is as much agitation for welfare-state expansion from left-wing politicians as ever. Liberal Democrats and Republicans continue to push for spending on various welfare schemes. Public schools and college professors preach left-wing ideals as fervently as ever. However, the left-wing is effectively dead, or maybe better described as “undead”; not alive, but still walking and eating brains. They have now joined the mainstream Right-Wing in ideological undeath (They’ve been dead since before WWII. More on that another time.).

In America, the Old Left was embodied in the Progressive movement of the early 1900s, which was itself publicly embodied in both the beloved Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (I say “beloved” with a sardonic hatred, by the way). During the heyday of Progressivism, which lasted mainly from 1900 to the death of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945, left-wing Progressives genuinely believed their ideals could radically transform America and ultimately transform humanity. Hence the name “Progressive”; they were supporting programs which would help humanity “progress” towards positive social change on a fundamental level.

The Old Left genuinely believed they could use the power of the state to create a better society and a better world. All that was necessary, in their opinion, were wise, honest, and knowledgeable leaders to bravely take the political and bureaucratic helm. They believed in Technocracy, the idea that perceived “experts” should be given control of bureaucratic government agencies to pursue their specialties while free from direct control by capricious and mercurial voters.

To that end, we were slapped with the Federal Reserve, the New Deal, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and the “world police” foreign policy mentality. These programs were supposed to lead America onward and upward into the light and radically transform society into something better than it was. The Old Left Progressives believed that these programs would be a figurative 2nd coming of Christ, bringing political salvation to the masses.

Zoom ahead to the modern day: Nobody believes this crap anymore. At least, no significant majority believes this. There are stragglers here and there (mainly in Hollywood and on college campuses), but there is no longer a left-wing mass movement in America that believes the government can radically transform humanity in a utopian sense.

The Modern Left, which I think was accurately embodied in the 2008 Obama wave, is not like the Old Left. The Old Left believed that welfare state programs would enact positive change on America and humanity. The Modern Left, in general, no longer believes this. Rather, the Modern Left advocates welfare state policies merely as a way of mitigating risk and avoiding consequences. Modern Leftism is not about transforming society, but shifting responsibility from individuals to the state. I think the famous “Obama will pay for my gas” Youtube video accurately sums up the central driving force of the modern left: a desire to shift responsibility to the state.

The term “social safety net” is popular with the left. This is the great thrust of their entire modern ideology: that the State can act as the “provider of last resort” to people who fail. If a person fails to save enough for retirement and old age, they can rely on Social Security. If they fail to save enough for medical expenses in their old age, they can rely on Medicare and Medicaid. If they fail to earn enough to feed their family, they can rely on food stamps. If they fail to have a job, they can get paid anyway through unemployment checks. Examine any welfare program, and you will find a paradigm like this: responsibility being shifted onto the state for individual failures.

The Federal Reserve performs a similar function for the large Wall Street banks. I have discussed this here. The Federal Reserve is the “lender of last resort” to the fractional reserve banking system. It is the social safety net for the super rich in America. Of course, they will never admit this; everything the Federal Reserve does is ostensibly in the name of helping the Middle Class. But in reality, the Federal Reserve was created to bail out the large Wall Street banks in the event of a crisis. This is what happened in 1929, at the onset of the Great Depression. This is what happened in 2008. The Federal Reserve is designed to allow them to maintain their riches despite their failures, at the expense of the Middle Class. That is why the Federal Reserve exists.

The ideological Progressives believed that the Federal Reserve could prevent economic catastrophes and thus lead humanity into a better age, economically-speaking. This was utterly disproven after the Federal Reserve directly caused the Great Depression less than 20 years later; but this has never been given due credit in academia. The public education system, America’s only state-sponsored church, usually attributes this to “wild capitalism” and the lack of enough oversight from wise regulators at the Federal Reserve.

All of the aforementioned welfare programs and agencies have lost their luster. The Left-wing no longer envisions these programs as the cutting edge of human progress and positive change in America. They merely view these programs as the way by which people can shift responsibility for failure onto the government. These programs are no longer defended with revolutionary socialist spirit, but with phrases like “How will a poor family eat if they take away food stamps?” The left wing does not operate on the basis of great ideological faith and vigor, but inertia and a desire to prevent the welfare state from shrinking at all costs. Modern day left-wing agitators do not advocate for welfare programs on the basis of enacting positive social change because they no longer believe in it.

Faith in the government as the agent of political salvation and societal change is dead. The foundation on which the Left-wing was built has crumbled to dust and blown away in the wind. The Modern Left now exists only to advocate the government as a form of all-encompassing insurance, not positive societal change.

Such ideology assumes, of course, that the government has unlimited resources with which to catch everyone in a safety net. This is not the case. A lot of people are going to discover this uncomfortable truth when the money runs out.

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