The Alt-Right, the Progressive Left, and the death of the Middle-ground

No one would have believed we’d have ever got to this stage. The decades-old liberal-left consensus has collapsed, and we now find ourselves in the midst of an all-out culture war.  We are now forced to pick sides, whether to be a liberal douchebag or a bigot. There was a time when normal people, could have rational ideas. They could see the need for moving away from a system that oppresses and treats unfairly sections of society, but did not want to be infiltrated by a self-righteous worthiness. Those days are gone. When it comes to issues between gender, immigration and sexual orientation you have the choice agree with every word that is stated by the progressives or join the bigots. This is the death of debatable territory. Of course this is an issue that goes as far back as civilisation itself, what is debatable territory and what is bigotry.  Advocating for slavery and abolishing slavery was once a fairly debatable issue, now slavery is viewed as a clearly abhorrent practice.

To a certain extent this is where the progressives have one massive leg to stand on, social issues that are debatable now will one day seem immoral, because they are objectively immoral. Racism, sexism, homophobia and all other forms of discrimination are immoral and there’s no debating around it, as Immanuel Kant argued there are universal rules of morality, morality is not something that can simply be defined as a perspective.  The problem however we have now is that many on the social progressive side are deciding where to put the goal posts of debatable territory and bigotry. In a tactic to silence their opponents debate they call them, sexist, racist, xenophobic when arguing perfectly debatable issues.

They’re not always wrong, you can attempt to defend Trump all you like, he is for all intents and purposes an ignorant racist, misogynist. There are so many instances of this they are countless, and there is no way around it, the Mexican rapists, the grabbing of the pussy, the numerous racial slurs. That being said, is over half of the American electorate equally as ignorant? No. Did a lot of people vote for Trump as a result of their racist views? Yes.  But many did so out of protest,  because they we’re left behind by a political system that claims their demographic segment was just fine, that there were no social issues in a changing world that in any way effected them, they are still privileged, they are the white working class men.

The demographic that has taken a battering in the last few years, (not that they haven’t always taken a battering from society) is now being told they are white so they are privileged, they are men so they are privileged. So the narrative goes, “The patriarchy won’t let the world discriminate against them, so shut up and stop complaining, there are middle class women who don’t earn us much as rich men so stop going on about how it’s hard to get a job in an post-industrial town, opportunities practically fly out the door and hit you in the face. The issue is that we have to get immigrants in because you’re far too lazy to do any job.”

Of course as you’ve probably gathered by the tone, I don’t buy that crap. But whilst women suffer more discrimination than men, and ethnic minorities have worse opportunities that their white counterparts, we’ve got to remember we can sometimes be looking at the statistics wrong.  It’s a great time to be a middle class white guy, if you put aside that fact that politics probably hasn’t gone your way, voting wise in most of the western world lately.  I know this as a middle-class man, I know what people will see in me as confidence and  assertiveness, would be seen in a women as bossy and aggressive. I know that I have enough money to look after myself, in a way that is respected by women because to men in this world today, to have a woman you have to feel like you don’t need money. I’m not saying that system is right by any means, but it’s the current system we live in. If I was broke (and on many occasions I have been) I’d feel like I couldn’t have a girlfriend, because I couldn’t be a provider.

And I know many men would say out loud to many people that they wouldn’t feel emasculated from losing a job, and many women say they don’t care how much money a man has, few actually truly mean it. The first date rule is always that a man is to pay for the bill, some women split, but statistically speaking a recent study involving 17,000 men and women in the US discovered that 84 per cent of men and 58 per cent of women said that men still usually paid when the bill came, even after they had been together for some time. Which in my position is fine, and was fine in a time where living standards would usually mean that one pay check was designed for two people, but now living standards are arranged in a way that it is expected for both men and women  to work. Meanwhile in the post-industrial towns around the western world there are working class men stuck in towns with no jobs, and no ability to provide for women. People say they are privileged, they say they are not.  Then some nutter starts talking about men’s rights, and others start an alt-right movement who say that these white working class men are discriminated against, and so they blindly follow the populist bandwagon.

Nowhere near enough is being done to tackle discrimination against minorities, and nowhere near enough is being done to tackle poverty. However the mainstream consensus on what poverty is, is completely detached from reality.

What are you picturing in your mind when you read the word poverty? Are you picturing third world poverty, because that is poverty to a level where it is at the worst it can possibly be. Are you picturing the inner city poverty, typically there is a far higher percentage of ethnic minorities in this category, people who not only live in poverty but have to face day to day discrimination, again another example of poverty.  But the post-industrial towns around the valleys of Wales, the north east of England and the ‘Rust Belt’ of the USA have been forgotten because they do not conform to our typical image of poverty. So we don’t demand the government to do anything about it and consequently, the difficulties experienced in these areas goes unheard in public policy circles, or in the dining halls, cafes and living rooms of the chattering classes. Generally speaking they’re in the category of middle to upper middle class metropolitan centrists, who can see the poverty on the news in Africa, or as they are travelling into the city centre, but not the side that Thatcher and globalisation ruined.

I’ve lived in rural Wales before and I know what its like, racism and sexual discrimination were not negligible. When I lived there and I heard what people said, I hated them and did not want to associate myself with anyone.  This of course is not the case in every rural town and its not the case with everyone one in rural towns, but it is a bigger a problem than in metropolitan areas.

Ultimately though by being middle class, you are socialised out of bigotry far more often than when one is working class. That’s not to say working class people in rural areas are destined to become bigots but they are far more likely to be influenced into bigotry, and if you believe as I do that these regressive cultural norms can end with better socialisation, reaching out to the community and more integration lessons within school then you will believe it is not entirely their fault. But if you join the bleeding heart liberals that have crowned themselves the moral arbiters of justice, then you will label these people as evil villains, for you are the heroes and whilst heroes exist there must always be villains.

You need to avoid creating heroes, because if you alienate individuals for long enough  and  try so hard to make them out to be evil that’s exactly what they’ll become. The self-fulfilling prophecy has now hit us, Trump is president, shit just got real. And unless you really want to see how real shit is going to get, you need to stop throwing around words like , “misogynist” and “racist” at the drop of the hat. In a world where you we’re poorly educated and didn’t spend every second of your free time reading up on the politically correct term, how you must now act around women, the correct terms for certain minorities you may not be bigoted but you certainly wouldn’t be speaking according to the PC Gospel of 2016.

If we are to achieve anything less from an all-out nuclear war, then we need to rethink everything about socially progressive views. Firstly, we need to define the lines of what is opinion and what is ignorant, of what we can define as clearly a political opinion like believing in an Australian-style points based immigration system or disagreeing about the benefits of All Women Shortlists, should be treated on debating grounds. There should be no more unfounded, (that’s unfounded) accusations of xenophobia or ‘mansplaining’ and instead of trying to disarm the debate by attacking a person’s character argue why they are wrong.

When you think of telling a white working class man to check his privilege and you’re a middle class woman, remember to check your own first. Remember that whilst in some instances we can quantify discrimination we can always be privileged in some ways and discriminated against in others. There is no one pulling the strings of discrimination, the one thing discrimination has no care for is which group turns up at its receiving end. Being a women trying to climb the career ladder in a masculine world is tough, but traditionalist men in a post-patriarchy world aren’t exactly having a cushy deal right now either. There’s good in everyone, and there’s evil in everyone, but everyone can change. If one wishes to stand firmly for justice, equality and a better world, then stand up tall, but don’t be a self-righteous prick.Facebooktwitter

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