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Today, Australian state media addresses an urgent question. No. Not that contained in the headline, “The alt-right has been under the media spotlight — but should we be concerned about the 'alt-left'?”, but in the head of the poor dear assigned to write it. Should we be concerned that the workers of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation are now obliged to uphold an editorial standard somewhere south of my 50-year-old tits? Yes, comrade, we should. It’s a dumb-dumb organisation whose brain has dropped past its knees to roll in the filth shat by Breitbart.
The ABC made it quite plain last year that the so-called views of the so-called alt-right were among those it considered legitimate. When star reporter Sarah Ferguson was flown to the US by Australia’s state media to interview Steve Bannon for its flagship current affairs program, even I was not prepared for the odour and size of the turd.
Ferguson seemed genuinely fascinated by the former banker’s populist ethno-nationalism and it is not only as an “alt-leftist”—a category that apparently includes everyone from revolutionary Marxists to the European Central Bank—that I find myself crapped off. I could be Crapped Off as a Taxpayer from a Leafy and Discrete Pleasant Suburb just as well.
It wasn’t just the easy time that Ferguson gave Bannon, a Wall St fucker who cynically and profitably invests in racism. It was the hard time I had believing that no one at the ABC seemed to clock that not a thing that Breitbart or Trump had done in the 2016 campaign was new.
It’s bad enough to flirt with a student of Goebbels on the telly, but to permit a climax at the end of an ignorant hour was beyondo. The editorial decision to air Bannon’s informal congratulations to Ferguson for her fine intellect is the editorial decision to let Stupid give the ABC a face bath.
Today’s cumshot is not quite so messy, or extreme as promised in the headline. The author just ambles about a bit in a wilted forest of centrist pseudo-history and never gets it on. We must not chide her for this indiscretion, but the organisation that has come to consistently reproduce political pornography. Actually, I feel for the writer who has, I surmise, been asked to make the decadently stupid and false equivalence between an “alt-left”—to her credit, a category she rightly says doesn’t exist—and a bunch of Nazi fuckers.
I mean. I know teenagers far more adept at sorting things into political categories than our Thought Leaders. A kid can tell you the difference between a Keynesian, a Marxist and a progressive neoliberal. An entire organisation cannot. An organisation that tells us daily both directly and indirectly that Left and Right Are Always the Same is an organisation that urgently needs a library card. I say this as Concerned of Balwyn North.
The shame here is not so much that a writer who clearly knows better has been coerced to chuck anti-imperial movements and Hillary Clinton into the same vat of social resistance. The shame is that an entire organisation has lost its fucking mind. The shame is that the most basic historical lesson taught by the twentieth century is being overlooked in favour of some rather inept cock-sucking.
It is entirely true that anti-imperial movements arise spontaneously just as populist funded campaigns, such as Bannon’s, recruit. It is not a false equivalence to say as Walter Benjamin did, that behind every fascist there lies a failed revolution. It is not even deluded to look for evidence of nationalism and racism in a genuine and spontaneous movement of resistance such as the Yellow Vests. It is deluded to consider the Yellow Vests as the state broadcaster consistently does: a bunch of violent fuckers we of Balwyn North don’t like.
I am certain that if I had ever learned to say anything in French other than, “Death to the bourgeoisie!” and “Where is the toilet?” that I could talk to the Yellow Vests and find climate deniers and ultra-nationalists among their number. I am also fairly certain that I’d find a little of the spirit of 1968 in which such distinctions could be not simply overlooked but actively crushed by true solidarity. If Left and Right mean nothing any more, then we have given up entirely on resistance to the status quo.
If you’re yet to learn of “horseshoe theory”, you may wish to send your parents a decent bottle of wine. Whoever it was that immunised you from this case of cognitive eczema certainly deserves a treat. Whoever it is that tries to infect you earns an F from the Helen Razer Non-School of Irregular Studies on a Saturday afternoon.
Formal students of political science and prisoners of the West are encouraged to believe that there is no spectrum of political ideas. Oh, no! There is a horseshoe upon which the extremes of “Left” and “Right” are smithed at the ends. These come to meet almost identically while the “sensible” “centre” is forged in perpetuity at the base.
This isn’t “theory”. It’s the sound of pseudo-historians farting. It’s one of those non-ideas that seeks to reinforce existing order with a sheen of science and has far more in common with Jordan Peterson’s Jungian sexist pot of lobsters than it does with anything that may credibly be called “theory”.
(Notwithstanding my personal revulsion for the term “theory” applied outside hard science—I tend to prefer “philosophy” or “shit that makes me feel somewhat less confused”—this horseshoe is as potentially useful as the one we might keep for good luck.)
But. The non-thought has been uttered and printed so often, it may now pass for common sense. It is certainly understood by many as an “intellectual” proposition and is proposed often by intellectuals. Here, Waleed Aly offers his version of deep horseshoe thought: Left and Right are meaningless categories, he says.
Aly, to be fair, is not claiming precisely that the revolutionary socialist and the Nazi are inevitably as one; he’s not a horseshoe fundamentalist like they are over at News Corp. He concedes that Left and Right were categories of belief but insists they have outlived their relevance. Whereas an overtly imperial liberal will insist that Left and Right always end up the same wherever they arise, a covert fan of empire says that they end up the same over time. It’s an end-of-history horseshoe for Waleed; his bullshit is more palatable and refined.
The state broadcaster is down in the slops with Breitbart and with Bannon the pig it cannot even offer us Aly’s refinement. The place that now offers white imperialism as “civility” is in crisis. Just like the rest of the West.
Please note that matrix above was made some months ago by my mate. ALP positions clearly subject to hourly change.