Flat White

The political extremism of the left: a sacred cow

29 August 2021

3:09 PM

29 August 2021

3:09 PM

Everyone that wants to combat dogma and extremism should support heretics, no matter what sacred cows they slay. 

The fact that the left can go too far has become taboo. It is not right-wingers or conservatives that fall afoul of this standard — they are “deplorables” after all. No, it is people in the centre-left who find themselves cancelled for not agreeing with the extremes on their side of the aisle. This is something that even Waleed Ali has noticed.

Winston Marshall — for those not following the story — was the banjo player in the hugely successful band Mumford & Sons who quit the band after receiving backlash from a Tweet endorsing a book.

The book that got him cancelled was Andy Ngo’s investigation into extreme left violence perpetrated by the group ANTIFA. Winston Marshall, in an interview for Unherd, expressed that he had no idea that saying that the journalist was brave — which considering the physical danger he put himself in to document ANTIFA is a well-warranted description — would be so controversial. 

He was shocked to find out that acknowledging that the left can go too far is a cancelable offence. 

The film Better Left Unsaid directed by and starring Curt Jaimungal and produced by Desh Amila explores political extremism and how the cocktail of ideas held by the modern radical left could go badly wrong. 

The Sydney based producer, Desh, is no stranger to controversy. His previous film, Islam and the Future of Tolerance, explores religious extremism. As far as hot button topics go one would think – particularly in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo, Islam would be it. However, in an interview with Megyn Kelly, Desh reveals that the distribution company that worked with him on his previous film didn’t want to take on this one.

In that interview, they also describe all manner of difficulty getting through the Big Tech gatekeepers that control movie streaming platforms such as Apple TV and YouTube — and is why everyone should view the film directly on the website: https://betterleftunsaidfilm.com

However, unlike Winston, Desh and Curt walked into this knowing their film on political extremism would be controversial.

A taboo often shows more about a society than the people that transverse it — and what an illuminating taboo this is. 

Theocratic societies have blasphemy laws to protect the state mythology. Liberal democratic societies historically use social coercion to protect it’s mythology (think historically how acts like burning the flag or defacing monuments would be viewed – compare that to today). 

Evolutionary psychologist Gad Saad refers to the set of principles that undergird the modern left as the DIE — diversity, inclusion and equity — religion. One could even go so far as to call it a state religion considering how many government departments in many different countries subject their employees to diversity training or put these up as the organisational values which everyone who works there must hold. 

One possible explanation to why pointing out the problems of the extreme left has become taboo is that it shows that taking any one of these DIE values and making it an absolute, the results are not more prosperity and freedom but oppression and want.  

The most obvious example of the above is the pursuit of equality at the expense of any other value. That is not to say that equality is not a virtue, but they can never be the only value pursued and definitely not absolute equality. That is exactly what fanaticism looks like. The 1900s is full of examples from Russia to China to Cambodia to Cuba (and many many more) of the pain and suffering that pursuit of radical equity above all else causes. 

To point out that the cardinal values that are so foundational to government departments and big corporations are not absolute and can even produce suffering when taken to their logical (though extreme) conclusion is akin to telling a theocratic ruler that their god doesn’t exist – it threatens the entire mythology of institutions. 

Those that point out where these values can go too far — particularly those that identify with the left side of politics – are the heretics of our time.

Winston Marshall, Andy Ngo, the Better Left Unsaid crew, and everyone that dares to transgress this new taboo is truly counter-cultural. They are the new punk!

Dara Macdonald is the founder of a brand new organisation, All Minus One, and writes on Substack as The Conservative Vagabond.

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