Whither the American Left?
I read a very intersting article in the Nation Magazine by French writer Bernard-Henri Levy on the decline of the American left (read it here).
While this blog could be described as paleo-traditionalist in respect to Christianity (though not closed-minded), its politics lean very progressive. That is why I was impressed by these comments by a foreigner about our political scene.
To be blunt, the Left has become an elitist subculture within the broader society. Very faint are the days when progressive thought penetrated into all strata of society. Now, those who consider themselves left of center are seen as inhabitants of ivory towers who look on all of the peasants below with disdain. Trade unions are weak, student activism stagnant, and the masses are simply distracted by their cell-phones or other gadgets.
The orthodox Marxist will no doubt say that as the crisis in capitalism develops, so must the level of class consciousness. But are we in different circumstances? Have consumerism and individualism given people too much of a sense of autonomy when it comes to their personal interests? Isn't there some degree of altruism involved when it comes to "fighting for a cause" that is but a moral remnant of a Christian past now long forgotten?
I am at a loss to answer these questions.