The enormous trouble with the dismissal of the left as we have known it is that it is also the dismissal of the humane. That sounds dismissive itself, so let me clear up a couple terms to be clearer about what I am saying and particularly what I am not saying.
By left I mean it as it was understood in the latter 20th century through much of the United States. It was a movement against economic and demographic inequalities, and it was a movement against violent coercion and encroachment against human rights. This was seen as also being a movement against war.
Of course, this is a day in which people can imagine that left or right comes down to different colored jerseys, when people can advertise Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as being “the left” by virtue of being non-Republicans, with no reference whatsoever to practice or policy. It was initially a deliberate distortion, but for many, this has simply become normal usage.
I have no copyright on the word; I just want to be clear that I mean the prior, not the latter, and that I consider them to be clearly opposed.
Now, if we define left as a movement to minimize coercion and exclusion, then we might see that those who are not left must favor coercion or exclusion, or both. Of course, they surely have all sorts of conditions and wherefores, and these vary. And of course their reasons grow out of their concerns with their own relations and human relations and the world as they see it.
However, whatever reasons these be, however well or ill considered, dismissal of the left does amount to dismissal of the concern that people not be unduly coerced and the concern that people not be unduly excluded.
Can we think of this closely and imagine that it is not without cost, or that it is somehow not central to the damage that humans do around us and to ourselves?
No, the dismissal of the antiwar movement is but one part of the dismissal of the left. It is perhaps the most flagrant, at least arguably. But it is well fitted into the matrix of psychopathic considerations in general.