Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Alt-Left vs Alt-Right

A recent article in Wired magazine caught my interest. It claims that “there is no Alt-Left, no matter what Trump says”. Apparently, Trump had made the following comment on the Alt-Right march in Charlotteville: “What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right?” (eg, NYT, Wired) Could this be a typical case of denial by an American liberal?

I believe in balance and symmetry in life. Hence, it’s unlikely that there would not be something like an Alt-Left when there is something called an Alt-Right. The main issue with both Alt-Left and Alt-Right is in its definition. In the absence of a proper description, both groups have labeled the extreme proponents of the two main American political parties in the Alt-category. 

The symmetry and balance between the Alt-Left and Alt-Right is a little puzzle. 

The Alt-Right is a mix of fascist, nationalist, and white supremacist movements with lots of support for a strongman like the Russian President (eg, Newsweek). The Russian support for the Alt-Right could be viewed as an anomaly, which it is not. For decades, Russia is a nationalist kleptocracy and oligarchy. Hence, it makes perfect sense that Russia supports nationalist movements all-over Europe and USA. Russia also believes in Divide and Rule.

The Alt-Left represents lots of support for personal liberalism (eg, LGTB rights, pro-choice). Liberalism was originally a philosophical movement (liberty, equality) around the time of the Industrial Revolution. It evolved partly into Capitalism (economic liberty) and partly into Politics (liberty, equality). Now, Liberalism seems to evolve into a human rights movement. 

The Alt-Left are interested in the rights – rather than duties – of individuals and blame society for not recognising their rights. The Alt-Right want a strongman to protect society and are willing to sacrifice individuals’ rights in that process. This is the area where the Alt-Left and Alt-Right collide: individuals versus society. Hence, balance and symmetry after all.

Since this week, my 23 July 2017 Dutch language blog on Liberalism is the #1 in my most read blogs. This came as a surprise as I do not have many Dutch readers. That Dutch blog deals with a similar issue: economic (right) versus personal (left) liberalism. I assumed it was a typical Dutch issue. Perhaps my readers have recognised its universal context before I did myself. 

The above analysis supports the global surge in Nationalism and the problems of Internationalism (a.k.a. Globalism) in coping with nationalist arguments. Internationalism is advocating for the free movement of individuals, while Nationalism argues that it is protecting society. The persistent request for the rights – rather than duties – of individuals will eventually create a backlash in the rest of society. Someday, society will say: “Enough is enough“. 

Enough is Enough (1979) by Barbra Streisand & Donna Summer

artist 1, artist 2, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2, Wiki-3

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