From Clouscard to Dugin, The Contradictions Driving Leftists to The Alt Right

By abandoning the worker in favor of neoliberalism and bourgeois academic theory, the Left has given up on what should be its main constituency.

From Clouscard to Dugin, The Contradictions Driving Leftists to The Alt Right

While the 20th Century is often painted as a century of ideological battles, the “End of History,” or really its pause between 1989 and 2016, was a phenomenon that was supposedly non-ideological; the triumph of neoliberal capitalism is not framed as an ideological victory but the result of cold calculation and hard facts. This End of History narrative championed by Fukuyama and other neoliberal thinkers is often rightly criticized as short-sighted and transparent propaganda. However the gleeful celebrations of these “non-ideological’ economists are not the only forms of academic propagation of our current system. Postmodern continental philosophy and critical theory of the late 20th century is much more culpable for our current socio-economic arrangement than any neoliberal victory laps.
We often discuss how antifa and the modern academic left carry water for neoliberalism, and see hilarious manifestations of their ideological schizophrenia all the time. Western campus Marxists support Pentagon-funded Kurdish rebels in Syria, and Newsweek’s resident corporate antifa, Michael Edison Hayden, calls Mike Enoch a conspiracy theorist for casting doubt on the transparently staged Assad “gas attacks. ”

While we can easily point to many more specific examples of antifa colluding with multinational corporations and governments to further the stated and implicit goals of the current ruling class, the mechanisms of why and how supposed anarcho-communists are in concert with the institutions of neoliberalism are often poorly explained and sometimes poorly understood. The roots of this phenomenon, of a supposedly Marxist and “pro-worker” Left performing their duties as foot soldiers for capitalism, began 50 years ago. In Western academia, history’s end didn’t start with the fall of the Berlin Wall, but with the revolutionary fervor of the May 1968 student strikes in France. The events of May 1968 have been meticulously recorded and endlessly dissected by the schools of critical theory which they spawned. However it can most easily be understood as the dissolution of the Maoist consensus within the French academy through students violently expressing their myopic demands for a more radically emancipatory form of politics.

The students expressed sentiments that would make a libertarian blush. Graffiti in Paris contained statements like “Il est interdit d’interdire” (“It is forbidden to forbid”) and “Vivre sans temps mort, jouir sans entraves” (“Live without dead time, enjoy without hindrances”). The thinker who became most ideologically enamored with these sorts of platitudes was Michel Foucault, a rising star in French academia who was disillusioned with the communist party due to perceived homophobia and anti-Semitism, and wrote much about social constructs and power dynamics. After the smoke cleared in the riots, an intense discourse began in all of Western academia, from Berkeley to Hamburg, about the future of the Left. Foucault argued to abandon the revolution for state control, seeing it as mostly useless for the revolution’s goals, and instead focus on the micro-politics of systems of discipline and correction which were imposed on the “subject” by the state and more directly repressive forms of social organization. While many other factors and thinkers were at play, Foucault’s strategic punting on the issue of worker’s revolution became the de facto position of the academic left, and critical theory became the state-sanctioned academic project of the humanities.

With its turgid prose, intentional obfuscation of its author’s meaning and increasingly trivial pet issues, critical theory (and most all postmodern and poststructural continental philosophy) abandoned the worker for the obscure, the literary, and often simple navel gazing. The anti-White effects of the numerous branches of critical theory have been well-documented, but it’s larger effect on the Left, liberalism, and thus Western foreign and domestic policy, is barely understood or discussed.

The 1972 thesis of French Marxist Michel Clouscard, L’Être et le Code (“The Being and The Code”), and much all of his subsequent works centered around understanding May 1968 and its effects on the politics and culture of the left in the academy and beyond. His instincts about the phenomenon were correct from the start of his body of work, long before the sorts of effects he predicted began. The core of his thesis was the idea that the events of May 1968 were not a worker’s revolution but bourgeoisie petulance; it was “the 1789 of the middle class.” The bourgeoisie student’s incentive to overthrow any sort of establishment with a sort of doe-eyed “imagination to power” idealism, without changing the foundations of society would lead to the creation of new markets and novelties that exploited the working class and did nothing to work towards the stated goals of Marxism.

Writing later, he noted the effect of this phenomenon was simply a more permissive capitalism, which “turned left on the political cultural-level and turned right on the economic-social level.” This combination created a new “libertarian leftism” or “libertarian liberalism” which tasked a new managerial petit bourgeoisie class within a social democratic state that is tasked with maintaining a liberalized, permissive culture and a more fluid, less restricted sort of neoliberal economics. In this stage the “subject” that has supposedly been liberated is in fact increasingly alienated, even within their own families.

Many hard leftists expressed similiar sentiments, yet the clarity and scope of Clouscard’s specific critique of a modern left co-opted by neoliberalism is impressive, nearly unmatched by any thinker in the Anglosphere, and never properly translated into English. Perhaps his thoughts have remained relatively unexamined by English language academics because the obvious conclusion that critical theory, and in-turn “identity politics,” are a degenerative force and work in opposition to the interests of workers.

This realization led to an ideological son of Clouscard, Franco-Swiss thinker and essayist Alain Soral, to in fact turn away from Communism and in fact advocate explicitly for the neo-fascist Front National and Jean-Marie Le Pen in the 1990s. While fascism or third position politics was obviously quite out of style in the French academy at the time the 1999 edition of Clouscard’s 1973 work Néo-fascisme et idéologie du désir (“Neo-fascism and the ideology of desire”) featured a preface by Soral in which he declared himself to be continuing Clouscard’s critique. While Clouscard did in fact disavow Soral’s neo-fascist politics and the preface caused a bit of a stir in the world of academic publications, one wonders how much the inclusion of Soral’s preface was a tacit approval (even if it was wholly incidental and approved without Clouscard’s knowledge).

Thirteen years later, Soral wrote the foreword to Alexander Dugin’s Fourth Political Theory. While Duginism is distinct from the Western alt-right and White nationalism, this direct line from Clouscard to Dugin is illustrative of the ideological journey many former leftists and Marxists take towards the alt-right. The modern academic left is ideologically bankrupt and at odds with workers. Not only have they abandoned the project of a worker’s revolution, their all-out assault on traditional values is destroying communities of all economic standing and directly at odds with the interests and values of workers of all races.

Many people in our movement have discounted the continuous flow of former leftists, marxists, libertarian socialists, and even anarcho-communists into our movement. This is not a trickle and our numbers are high enough within the movement to disprove any claims of “statistical anomaly” made by former conservatives and libertarians whenever leaders like Richard Spencer, Eric Striker, and Mike Enoch encourage reaching out to “Bernie Bros” and other Leftists disillusioned with the state of the modern left.

When we attempt to recruit new ideological converts to our cause, we often use the language and ideological framework of leftists and liberals. We explain how Whites are under siege and the ruling Jew elite are behind this. When reaching out to potential leftist converts, the ideological underpinnings of this transformation should be also explained in their language and this sort of connection, from Clouscard to Dugin, should be further explored. Often in their minds no thought is valid until it’s codified in the language of Marxist academia legitimated by publication.

Moving forward, we will continue to attract any serious socialists and anyone interested in the plight of workers. I know because I was once a Marxist; the second I realized that the academic left was working against the interest of workers I became disillusioned; when I realized socialism was not possible without traditionalism, I became a fascist.

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