The Fake Left

The reactionary Right aren’t the only ones trying to silence other voices and disempower other people

Douglas Giles, PhD

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When the focus on opposition overshadows everything

The long and arduous process of struggling for greater power and freedom is frustrating. The reality that traditional social power structures often create injustices and oppression is angry making. It’s easy, too easy, to give in to emotions of frustration, anger, and desire for vengeance. When people on the Left stray away from focusing on empowering people and instead focus on tearing others down, they move away from being left-wing into the oppositional politics of the fake Left.

Often, the use of the terms “left wing” and “right wing” signal opposition to the other side. This opposition is sensible to a point because there is a real conflict over the circulation of power. Quite often, however, feelings of antagonism toward the other side become so strong that the focus on opposition overshadows the positions of one’s own side. Overwhelmed with animosity for the other side, people lose touch with the positive values that they supposedly support. These people are not so much left-wing or right-wing as they are anti-Right or anti-Left, respectively. These two groups make up most of what people call the “far Left” and the “far Right.” These extremist groups are self-defined by negative rather than positive positions.

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Douglas Giles, PhD

Philosopher by trade & temperament, professor for 21 years, bringing philosophy out of its ivory tower and into everyday life. https://linktr.ee/dgilesphd