“What makes this conflict noteworthy is that it reveals stress lines within the coalition of today’s Left, a coalition that often seems held together more by what it hates than by strong bonds of friendship.”
has been raging conflict for the last year or so in Dearborn, Michigan between, on one side, the educational establishment and LGBT activists and, on the other, the resident Muslim community. The bone of contention in this suburb of Detroit is about instruction in gay and transgender ideology, which is taking place in the public schools there. The local Muslim community strongly opposes this teaching as antithetical to family structure and religious morality. What makes this conflict noteworthy is that it reveals stress lines within the coalition of today’s Left, a coalition that often seems held together more by what it hates than by strong bonds of friendship. Do Muslim fundamentalists and transgender activists (or feminists in France and Germany) share the same moral or religious views—or even the same conception of gender? Do black racialists and lesbians have any stronger bond than what they both agree to hate: above all, white, male, heterosexual Christians? Can secular Jewish individuals with at least some residual Zionist sympathy cooperate with pro-Palestine activists? If so, for how much longer? Are suburban white leftists who send money to Black Lives Matte (BLM) and have BLM signs on their front lawns particularly attached to hellraising rioters in any personal way? These groups may have shared interests, but that will last only if the hellraisers stay far away from affluent neighborhoods and instead harm white “Deplorables.”
The woke left coalition delights in a shared enemy, and cooperation among its constituent elements is only possible so long as its energies are focused on that target. Although this coalition may still sport some old-fashioned left-wing catchphrases, such as “social justice” and “fairness,” what the group is really after is raining down vengeance on those it loathes. Woke leftists need for their own unity those whom they want to punish and degrade.
Unfortunately, that shared hatred does not generate what the Greeks called koinonia or philotes, the bond of community that allows social relations to develop. Hate only goes so far in keeping groups together; at some point, the fractures within the present leftist alliance will begin to show. That this bizarre Left has not already unraveled may be owing to the amount of real estate that it currently holds, which includes the mass media in every Western country, as well as the public administration and educational institutions. These allies (or the elites among them) have captured vital social and cultural institutions, and large corporations have joined them by ignoring or giving offense to culturally unfashionable demographics, namely white, heterosexual Christians, in their hiring and advertising policies Another way of strengthening this alliance of hate, which pretends to be the opposite, is to throw open national borders to migrants from the Third World. Those who come in will likely feel alienated from (or even hostile toward) what they perceive as the core white population. This planned resettlement of the country will further weaken the influence of those groups the Left is trying to disempower and marginalize.
Despite these efforts at increasing its hold on Western societies, the woke Left is beset by contradictions that may be its undoing. We may ask ourselves: How much do ardent black nationalists and Muslim men have in common with white feminists and LGBT activists, other than a desire to make life miserable for white Christian Americans? Do those living in the inner city want the Green New Deal implemented in their neighborhoods? And are they eager to buy electric cars and be denied the use of gas stoves as the price for continuing to serve the woke alliance with their votes and riots?
What happens when the inner city manages to push into wealthy, woke neighborhoods? Present government efforts to rearrange suburban neighborhoods by opening them to low-rent housing and tenements will facilitate this residential shift. In the not very distant future, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania; Lake County, Illinois; and Fairfax County, Virginia will all be made to look and feel like nearby inner cities. Finally, if the more violent and more deranged elements of the Left become too disruptive, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the rest of the surveillance state may turn against them. Those who seek to hold and increase their power may not feel entirely comfortable having their fortunes tied to the palpably insane.
The question for me is not whether this breakup will happen but, rather, when it will occur. If the leftist alliance comes apart soon, there may be hope for those it is currently targeting. The “normies” may survive in relatively peaceful conditions and be allowed to pursue their lives without being subjected to further bullying and thought control. Unfortunately, the disintegration of the woke alliance may not come soon enough to prevent its members from doing considerably more harm to the rest of us. Until their turn is up, the woke disrupters will go on manipulating news and elections with their media and government allies while repopulating the country with their clients. We should, therefore, pray that the fragmentation of this truly evil empire will come sooner rather than later.
Paul Gottfried is the editor-in-chief of Chronicles, the author of 14 books, and a regular contributor at American Greatness and The American Conservative. He served as the Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College for over two decades.