As Trump mirrors the Left

Published 09.02.2017 23:49

As a consequence of the post-structuralist period's influence on the Left, the Left restricted itself to the realm of cultural politics by moving away from political-economic focused analyses, identifications and fights. I am intentionally capitalizing the first letter of Left to emphasize that while there are various left-wing groups who define themselves with adjectives like liberal, Democrat and so on, the "Left" encapsulates all the political categories arising from any world of thought and ideals with origins in the left-wing sphere.

Today, the subjects of oppression, unjust treatment and subjugation are only represented by their cultural identities and defended by means of their peculiarities as such. In other words, the Left maintains its counter-hegemonic struggle on the axis of identity politics by assuming that hegemony above all defines itself in identity politics.

In such a case, the unjust treatment and oppression imposed, particularly by global capital forces on the middle and lower classes, are rendered imperceptible and taken out of the political realm. The worst part is, aside from those excluded from the politico-economic center, the Left also makes the finance capital network and its big bosses worth trillions of dollars invisible, although they directly represent hegemony. If there is a group that has a crisis of political representation today, it can be argued that this group is made up of the classes endeavoring to stand up against economic oligarchy along with women, people of color, Muslims et cetera. This struggle also led to class antagonism, referred to as "anti-globalism."

In terms of the orthodox Left terminology, the classes that hoisted the red flag formed a Left movement. The greatest shortcoming of the groups that position themselves on the Left is their inability to view the victory of Donald Trump, whom the Western capital-owning class and media hate, through this lens. It comes as no surprise that all the groups they neglected and looked down on – by calling them white trash, red necks, or bigots – have been inclined to support Trump. The lower classes did not leave the Left; contrarily, the Left turned its back on the lower classes.

This is the underlying reason why the Democratic Party lost to Trump in swing states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania despite the Democrats normally not having many problems in these states. However, this evident fact has not changed the fighting methods of the Left even in the slightest degree. The Women's March organized on the day after Trump's inauguration and the current demonstrations supposedly organized to defend Muslims are only further indications of the fact that the only focal point of their struggle is still identity politics.

The Democrats who kept their silence when the Obama administration bombarded and ravaged seven Muslim countries during Obama's eight-year presidency are today organizing protests with hundreds of thousands of people against the temporary restriction of around 1,000 refugees' entry to the U.S. as they fled from the above-mentioned bombardments. Looked at this way, today's demonstrations do not seem genuine even to me, a Muslim. So it is not difficult to imagine how the Trump electorate feel. Given that the majority of the groups defending Muslims today formerly called on Obama to forget his red lines while Assad was massacring Syrian people with chemical weapons and left Syrian people to their fate, it is impossible to believe in the crocodile tears they shed today.

All things considered, the Left cannot beat Trump in this way. They can only give way to his impeachment by cooperating with the establishment, the state apparatuses including the judiciary, or an anti-Trump billionaire like George Soros. So, they can keep their fight only in a roundabout way, by resorting to any other power group except that for the people. This would consequently alienate the Left from the classes it is supposed to represent.

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