The regressive left is a complete divorce from original liberalism. It is an insult to it, a sickly bastardized ideology that has spread like a plague. It is best understood as a sickness that erodes and makes a society feeble and self-deprecating. It turns a nation against itself, against national identity, against strength, desiring its own eventual dissolution or cultural suicide.
The regressive left is the inevitable conclusion of relativism intermixed with Christian remnants gone secular. It is the leftovers of Christianity, echoes of it, gone secular. It is the theology minus the quality and potency. It is highly religious and puritanical, though in such a way that it lacks either a historical or transcendent founding. It is purely discursive, but still has influence and power because ideology permeates throughout society.
There are five characteristics that constitute this sickly weakening of the spirit; 1)reduction of the individual to categorized political identity; 2) overall dissolution due to excessive relativism and passivity; 3) enforcement of slave morality that demonizes the strong and venerates victimhood and weakness; 4) enforcement of guilt and shame, as punishment for ‘secular sins’ to coerce toward mass conformity. 5) in opposition to singular strength, the adoration of collective self-destruction in the name of secular martyrdom.
1) In line with horizontal quantification, what is called ‘identity politics’ is secular tribalism combined with social justice and victimization. Rather than the individual reduced to a number, the individual is reduced to their basic physical attributes. An individual of an ethnic minority is reduced to their skin color, a woman is reduced to her gender and sex, a homosexual is reduces to sexual orientation, a religious person is reduced to their religion. The individual is politicized, easily categorized into this or that political camp based solely on their physical attributes. The left lays claim to those who are homosexual, or women, or a person of color, and those of these listed minority characteristics which do not fall into line according to their physical identity are scolded, as if they are ‘going against their own interest’. Neither a woman or homosexual individual is looked at as a whole, rather they are reduced to the physical detail which defines that identity.
The detail of being a woman or being gay may indeed have a strong impact on their existence, it is still only a footnote to the person as a whole. The regressive left reduces these individuals to their identity footnotes, primarily as a form of politicization and control. If you are homosexual, it is only in your best interest to support that which panders to that detail, as if there is nothing greater than that small detail. If you are homosexual, or belonging to a minority of any kind, and go against this tribalism, you are immediately labeled a political ‘traitor’ and ridiculed for practicing freedom of thought rather than slavish party devotion. Indeed, identity politics has ensured that the whole must never be greater than the sum of its parts.
2) Universalism, cosmopolitanism, global humanitarianism…these are the ‘virtues’ which the regressive left laud. It is a matter of dissolution in the name of a secular slave morality. That which is weak and passive is venerated, is deemed ‘good’. The dissolution of national boundaries, of national or cultural identity, this is deemed ‘righteous’, as we are all one undifferentiated mass that is called ‘humanity’. Mass immigration is permitted, nationalist identity is denounced; this is the national individual identity dissolved into the general mass. Much like the individual dissolved into the masses, so does national identity dissolve into mere mass humanity. Excessive permissiveness is a virtue. It is the intentional destruction of definition. That which defines identity is dissolved. The vertical is leveled, flattened into the quantified horizontal. Whether it be through the permissiveness to Islam, the permissiveness to universal “one world, one human race” humanism, or simply the flattening of cultural convention and identity. This is all deemed righteous and good. The destruction of identity is seen as a saint-like act.
National identity, cultural identity, pride in history and accomplishments; these are denounced for the sake of guilt and self-flagellation. In its place, a corporate monoculture of consumerism and elementary universal morality, typically utilitarian and materialist in premise.
3) The regressive left is purely secular slave morality. The downtrodden, the victims, the oppressed are venerated. The strong, the powerful, the successful, these are made villains. Outright power, through merit or not, is deemed villainous and ‘bad’. The individual which owns his or herself, his or her own accomplishments, his or her own merits, which admires excellence and individuation; this is the truest villain to the regressive left. The regressive left defines its morality in opposition to hegemonic strength. The soft attributes of compassion, empathy, fairness, compromise which constitute their morality are in reaction to that power which rules or ‘lords over’ them. Horizontal and quantified utilitarianism is what defines the slave morality as it seeks only to endure and relieve in opposing response to that harsher morality that rules over them. Its hierarchy is inverted in that the weakest and most victimized are the most revered, and the accomplished strong are the most reviled. The masses must villainize the singular man of individuation.
In the grander scheme, they demand descendants feel shame or guilt regarding the accomplishments of their ancestors. The heroes of the past, the grand accomplishments of Western civilizations, the conquests and victories, and display of immense power and leadership, these are to be denounced and one is to feel shame and guilt for their occurrence. That which is heroic, which accomplishes through power, must be reviled and considered a sin. The history of Western civilizations, from ancient to present victories, within the context of this slave morality, was a show of cruelty and vileness. One must abdicate their own nation’s history, own ancestor’s accomplishments, and instead feel remorse. Rather than celebrate the heroic victories of the past, one must feel shame and guilt for it. Self-flagellation and the desire to become the defeated is at the heart this crusade.
4) In secular theological fashion, that which does not conform to the discourse of revering the oppressed is scolded and shamed, as if one has committed a ‘sin’. Something such as being white or male or Christian, with the history of ‘white men’ and so forth dominating throughout history and presently, with their supposed ‘privilege’, are expected to ‘be aware’ of this privilege. In other words, one must be aware of this ‘original sin’ that they carry and the supposed ‘evils’ which has been done. Shame and guilt are tools to be wielded against any whom do not conform to venerating the oppressed or show remorse for when the ‘privileged’ take advantage of such.
Language that does not confirm the narrative is considered ‘offensive’, it must be checked and policed.
Blacklisting, shaming, scolding, condemning, these are a few of the multiple ways in which discourse is coerced and the individual punished. The regressive left does not directly attack freedom of speech, rather it attempts to coerce and pressure those opposing into being silent. Much like the puritan evangelicals, they use the ‘scarlet letter’ approach to stigmatize and shame one into silence. Whether they be called racist, sexist, Islamophobic, homophobic and so forth, it is all an attempt to shame another and coerce the general discourse. Freedom of discourse they claim to respect, yet then practice coercion of every possible manner to manipulate the discourse to their favor.
This is practiced against ‘those with privilege’ as well as any minority which does not toe the line of the regressive left, which does not conform or side with the expected tribe.
5) The culmination of the regressive left practices results in the inevitable and ultimately nihilistic dissolution. In dislike of overt power, the denouncement of identity, it is much like a plague which makes the body sicker and weaker, turned upon itself; it is erosion, plain and simple. The veneration of weakness, and demonization of strength, it only continues to eat itself from within. As a raindrop falls into the ocean, a nation and people must lose its individual identity and dissolves into the global mass. The vertical immediately flattens and dissolves into the horizontal. This is the ultimate conclusion of the regressive left. It is the complete loss of cultural and national identity. It is the dissolution of being into the nothingness. Much like a martyr, it willingly aims to sacrifice itself in the name of a ‘greater good’, unfortunately it is an atheistic and nihilistic death. The regressive left is a death drive gone unchecked, driven to self-annihilation, driven to a return to nothingness, an ultimate ‘No’ to existence, a negation of self.
In conclusion, it is a matter of the vertical versus and horizontal, the national versus the global, the individual versus the masses. This is a simple survey based on observation of this sickly ideology that permeates society and drives it forward to its own dissolution. It is an ideology that spurs suicidal impulse. Identity and individuation may resist this dissolving. The active rejection of the secular slave morality may dissipate it in time, though it will always return in some form or another.
Own oneself, aspire to individuation, take pride in strength, take pride in history and heritage, be whole, be separate, and to thine own self be true.
The Regressive Left: A Secular Slave Morality first appeared at Liminal Cinema on December 7, 2016 and is republished here with permission by the author.