**I’m reposting as I believe this same dynamic between Socialist Left and Union Left, Activist Left and ‘Neo-liberal’ Left, Collective Identity Left and Individual Liberty Liberalism is now playing out in many American cities and increasingly in our National politics.
It’d be nice if many secularists and political liberals said something like the following: If we continue to secularize society, we will entrench many postmoderns, activists, radicals, people steeped in resentment, and narrow socialist ideologues, but the gains in liberty will be worth it. We understand human nature well enough to create lasting institutions which can preserve liberty.
If you haven’t heard, open socialist Kshama Sawant (yes, really) of the Seattle Council Of Nine, desires Amazon and others pay at least $150 million dollars as part of a ‘head-tax’ to address the ‘homeless crisis’ in the city. Four of her fellows agree.
‘They estimate the so-called “head tax” of about $500 per employee would apply to 500 to 600 companies and they are calling for it to be spent on low-income housing and emergency services for homeless people. The council has been planning to vote later this month.’
It’s just a start, mind you, phasing into a more permanent
revolutionary revenue stream tax within a few years.
Amazon however, disagrees, and has halted construction on a downtown site in response (occupying something like 1/5 of premium office space in the city).
Long-story short: Seattle is growing rapidly. The housing prices are through the roof. Many arrivals are ambitious, skilled and entering the job market at the higher-end (Amazon works people pretty hard). There are many other less-skilled people looking to gain skills and jobs.
Seattle is also attracting many mentally-ill, drug-addicted people into the city. Many increasingly wander the streets and are encouraged to use public services and set-up tent cities alongside highways, taking-up settlement on public property (I’ll just link here as to final judgments about such matters…).
As for me: I’m currently [overhearing] a strategic political meet-up for the pro-head tax side in a coffee shop. Here’s what I’m picking up:
- Their opponents are clearly ‘immoral.’
- Their opponents clearly have a lot of money, but they simply won’t cough it up and clearly don’t care. In fact, their opponents are choosing to spend money to mobilize people against them unfairly (a lot of projection, that). Did I mention ‘opponents?’ There’s a lot of ‘opponent’ talk.
- ‘Leverage’, ‘narrative’, press releases, ‘messaging’, mobilization, planned protests are all mentioned. I infer a weakness in their position from their postures and subject matter. I’m thinking both realize this will take work. Both lament the label ‘socialist.’ I check the latest news and see that iron-workers shouted Sawant down.
- As I suspect is the case with most coversations based upon shared principles, ideology and future planned action, there is a curious mix of praise and competitive false praise, familiarity and convenience. There’s reinforcement of certain touchstones (class, industrialization, greed, the ‘industrial revolution’) and concrete action (Friday 5 pm, mayor’s office etc).
Having seen this a few times (my biases should be pretty clear :)):
Claim you have knowledge of how the world really is (usually some direct or warmed-over Marxism)–>
Claim that a better world is possible (utopia) through immediate political action–>
Claim that the ‘oppressor’ is responsible and blame the ‘oppressor’ for pretty much all injustices in life (filthy capitalist golden-geese like Amazon)–>
Claim anyone outside of your ideological lights is insufficiently ‘woke,’ falsely conscious, morally hollow and eventually either for or against you in supporting your conception of social justice–>
Organize protests/meetings/ to demonize and extract money, gaining political power while constantly projecting all of your intellectual/moral/ideological motives onto the ‘oppressor.’
We all need better advocates of liberty, and better ideas, than this.