Don’t Confuse the Left with the Right

But Beware of the False Left

One Linear Representation of Left-Right Political Spectrum

Paul Craig Roberts was the United States assistant secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under President Ronald Reagan. Nowadays he writes about American domestic, economic, and foreign policy with a souciant eye as to the destruction caused by American elitists to regular people at home and abroad.

In his most recent article, he investigates “why 10 of 11 US aircraft carriers are lined up in a row in dock allegedly for maintanence. [sic]” The reason given to him was that the Russians are able to render US military craft inoperable.

Despite this, notes Roberts, Russia and China have not made any move to take advantage of the situation, belying any aggressive intentions by these two superpowers. Roberts says,

All of the aggression in the world stems from Washington. This is plain as day. How come so few see the obvious? Who else but Washington has been at war since the Clinton regime murdering people in nine countries? [emphasis in original]

Yes, Washington is the source of much aggression, but to state “all of the aggression” is hyperbole and it ignores, for instance, the constant Jewish-Israeli aggression against Palestinians and other Arabs, as well as other skirmishes in the world.

In the next paragraph Roberts takes issue with “the entire liberal-progressive-left [for] helping the entrenched CIA Establishment demonize president-elect Donald Trump, whose stated goal is to normalize relations with Russia…”

This again is hyperbole. The Left is not a monolith. What would constitute a genuine Left (which I will define as a movement dedicated to progressivist priniciples) does not oppose normalizing relations with Russia. Nonetheless, Roberts should not expect the Left to embrace Donald Trump, a figure from a rather extreme manifestation of the Right. Excluding the possibility of a genuine revolution that expresses the democratic will of the masses, then insofar as adherence to the norms of “US democracy” is germane to political etiquette, Donald Trump must be granted his stab at the presidential can.

Roberts speculates,

Is this an indication that the liberal-progressive-left is a CIA front? This possibility is not far-fetched. As it is a known fact that the CIA owns the American and European print and TV media, why would the CIA ignore the liberal-left “progressive” Internet media?

This begs the question of which wing of the political spectrum to place the CIA. Of course it is a tool of capitalism, and hence it is of the right-wing, the gangster Right.

But why blame the left-wing for the right-wing attempting to subsume it? By all means criticize any leftists who abandon principle and become co-opted. And it is a supreme betrayal of principle because a leit motif of the Left is solidarity. But the preponderance of criticism should be directed at the Right.

Part of Donald Trump’s problem is the Right is not a monolith either. Hence one neoconservative section of the Republican Party capitalist class aligns with the neoliberal section of the Democratic Party capitalist class; they have joined with the CIA to undermine Trump and his base. This is entirely a right-wing attempt to preserve the current Establishment.

Thus, when Roberts asks “… so why is the liberal-left allied with its Establishment enemy against Trump?” … he is off base. There is no liberal-left in this alliance. Outside of Bernie Sanders and perhaps a handful of other Democrats, the rest of the Democratic Party is staunchly pro-business, pro-war, rightist in political orientation.

Then Roberts poses what he calls the “real question”: “Does the US really have an independent liberal-left?”

If one is looking for such in either of the two business parties, then the answer is a resounding no. Whatever there is of a leftist movement in the US has been supremely marginalized and it is virtually ignored by the mass media.

The Right and its media organs are not about to shine a light on or otherwise bolster the Left.

Still Roberts takes pot shots at the Left, writing that it “has served as protectors of the fake 9/11 official story…” Much of what is considered independent leftist media did swallow the 9/11 kool aid. But a segment of the Left did not. This writer certainly never accepted the “official” explanation for 9/11 or could accept, for example, that WTC 7 should free fall into its footprint despite not being hit by any plane. ((See, e.g., “9-11: The Truth Matters,” Dissident Voice, 13 March 2007. Also “The Puzzling Suspension of Incredulity to the ‘Official’ 9-11 Theory,” Dissident Voice, 29 August 2007. ))

Roberts’ writing, whether intended or not, has done much to distance himself from the legacy of the Reagan administration that invaded tiny Grenada, sledgehammered unionism, and trumpeted neoliberalism. And I more-or-less agree when Roberts ends his piece: “What the Western world hurtling to its destruction desperately needs is a real left-wing, a left-wing immune to emotional disabilities that blind it to reality.”

The world needs a left-wing faithful to its core principles as a unified movement. It must be ever vigilant against fifth columns out to destroy the Left from within. Therefore, the Left must be a wide-based movement with the masses of its rank-and-file empowered. The Left must not make the mistake of putting all its eggs in one basket. The concentration of too much decision-making power in one or a few people must be avoided, as it presents too easy a target for the Right to seek to infiltrate and corrupt. It is much more difficult to corrupt a voluminous mass than a movement’s head.

Kim Petersen is an independent writer. He can be emailed at: kimohp at Read other articles by Kim.