It occurs to me that a great many people on the right side of the political spectrum place such great, blind faith in the free market’s ability to place all of us in our correct positions within the social hierarchy, that they are led to the unfortunate conclusion that tampering with any of its fundamental mechanisms is a pleading invitation for depredation and tyranny. Though the right espouses absolute individualism and denounces collectivism, its fundamental mechanism rests on a supremely collectivist dogma that insists that the greed of every free agent within that market is equal to the greed of every other, ignoring at its great peril a mountain of empirical evidence to the contrary: to deny that those who hold the greatest proportion of the world’s wealth likewise hold the greatest proportion of its greed is to ignore every lesson of history, anthropology, sociology, and psychology that humanity’s greatest intellects have ever unearthed.
Likewise, it is of utmost importance for leftists to be careful and exacting in their analyses of social injustices and its root causes. Identity politics—the popular doctrine espoused by the left’s self-proclaimed institutional torch-bearers, from its mainstream political parties to its tenured intelligentsia—is a succubus conceived by its right-wing “centrist” elements to concede effective crystallization of broad movements to small, localized “victories” which, though they may secure a small measure of succor for marginalized groups, pose no credible threat to the political and economic systems which birthed and sustained their marginalization to begin with. What gains the identity politics-driven social justice warrior may make in the short term are invariably erased when their political representatives are driven back into the minority. Electing an African-American president felt like a great victory in such circles, but, the many grave shortcomings in the Obama administration’s policies and tactics aside, had such localized progress been bolstered from beneath by left-wing crystallization, and broad-based structural and democratic reform, replacing him eight years later with a mendacious white supremacist would have been institutionally impossible.
The left continues to repeat this mistake: in its fervor to roll back the many social, environmental, and humanitarian disasters of the Trump administration, it seizes upon the racial heritage of Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, ignoring wholesale her record of upholding systemic racism in the criminal justice system, along with the likewise harrowing policy record of Joe Biden—including his support of racial segregation, his disastrous record on criminal justice legislation and LGBTQIA+ rights, and his persistent and systemic support of the worst corporate actors in this nation–who directly and forthrightly promises that nothing would fundamentally change under his administration. We, as a group, are all too quick to concede necessary fundamental change for quick fixes that are easily and invariably rolled back as long as avaricious right-wing ideologies are allowed to continue forming the structural basis of our political and economic lives.
What is necessary, then, is to coalesce around a new, egalitarian economic and political structure of complete, total, and direct democracy in all facets of life. It must ultimately come down to a decision to say, once and for all, an emphatic “no” to all expressions of excessive greed. An emphatic “no” to the marginalization that unfettered greed engenders. An emphatic “no” to tyranny by oligarchy, and an emphatic “yes” to a structurally institutionalized bias against greed and excess which—by the will of the majority and the tenacity of its proudly-raised fist—is never placed on auction.