Friday, August 20, 2010

The search for the Principled Left

Occasionally turns up a Principled Left. I Want A New Left compares and contrasts Rich People's Leftism to Poor People's Leftism. It's as righteous a can of Whoop Ass opened up there as I've seen in a long, long time:
RPL [Rich Peoples Leftism] thinks that its goal is to help poor people, while PPL [Poor People's Leftism] thinks that RPL’s primary goal is to ensure that wealthy leftists dominate and get great jobs.

RPL favors equality and so rejects upward mobility. PPL favors upward mobility via capitalism, since it sees that “egalitarian” schemes never work and are really disguised hierarchies with wealthy leftists at the top.

RPL respects wealthy liberals for wanting to help the poor. PPL observes that these wealthy liberals ensure that they are well paid for what they do and prefers to support wealthy conservatives, who at least are honest about where they are coming from.
The one gentle suggestion I might add is that PPL looks an awful lot like classical populism. Viewing the post through that lens makes this look pretty reasonable:
RPL is enraged at Sarah Palin, while PPL likes her because she seems to favor PPL over RPL.
RTWT. Twice. And then read the comments, where a leftie shows up and accuses him of being a wingnut troll. His reply is another can of whoop ass.

If the Left were all like this guy, I'd call myself a leftist. This is required reading, folks, and I don't say that very often.

Via Aretae.


BobG said...

He sounds closer to libertarian than anything else, in my opinion.

Stan said...

A critical leftist is better than an elitist leftist, but it's only a matter of degree, perspective, and in the choosing of your enemies (as in the enemy of my enemy is now my friend)

I guess you could argue a leftist could also be a constutionalist in theory, but it seldom works out that way in actual practice.

Aretae said...


The guy is a solid who seeks equality and fairness (He wrote a book about soccer as a non-sizist sport), and who discovered that traditional leftist methods don't lead there.

I went the other way around... started as a libertarian and then concluded that the leftists had better goals, but atrocious methods.

Sabra said...

Classical liberalism...Goodness, I thought it had died. I have always had great respect for populists, and consider myself one. I came to realize in my late teens/early twenties that the Left may pay lip service to populism, but the route to actual equality for the populace at large was somewhat more rightward than that. That, and as I've said elsewhere, I grew up poor and have seen that leftist social programs do nothing more than ensure an enduring lower class for our society.

NotClauswitz said...

OMG really good stuff there, thanks Ted!