The impotence of the middle-class Left

Demonstration_2004_AB

How many times has someone described themselves to you as an ‘Anti-Capitalist’? Whether on a Facebook profile or after 3 drinks at a party, some people love nothing more than to label themselves with this pseudo-rebellious moniker (ironically they tend to be the same people who use phrases like, “I don’t like Labels”). But as you look down you notice they are not wearing tree bark sandals or hand woven hemp. Their wardrobe is straight out of Gap and Fat face and they’re usually holding a bottle of craft ale that’s been marketed so well Milton Friedman would blush.

The bearded hipster brigade is oblivious to the myriad ways capitalism not only makes their existence possible but actually enriches their lives. Without the bewildering choice of almost every consumer good they can imagine, many pushing the boundaries of technology and science, there would be no Youtube videos of Russell Brand and Owen Jones. How on earth would they pass the time? The Grauniad itself is only here today because of its prescient understanding of the print media market.

They have a fanatical obsession with local producers and traders over faceless corporations but do they ever consider that this is part of the wondrous variety that makes market economies such incredible places to live? It is capitalism that ensures over 8,000 different real ales are produced every year in the UK. Without capitalism we’d all be on ‘Victory Gin.’

And what does it mean anyway? How can anyone describe themselves as against one of the most basic processes of their life? They might as well describe themselves as ‘Anti-Oxygen’. Everything they do from the moment they get up to the moment they climb into bed supports, sustains and contributes to the glorious market economy they are privileged to be part of, from the brand of Muesli on the breakfast table to the Channel 4 property programme they watch after supper. Their very freedom to be anti-capitalists is proof of the wonder of capitalism – could/would any other ‘-ism’ tolerate such a vocal fifth column?

They rail against capitalism but in fact they are protesting against corruption, cronyism and corporatism, an antipathy shared with many a good libertarian. Politics is so much easier when you decide that everyone who disagrees with you is evil and this blinds them to the fact that fairness is at the very heart of conservatism. Heaven forbid they actually share any opinions with the other side! They’d never be able to show their faces on a Westminster demo again (which seems to be a weekly occurrence now, like a ‘Right-On’ substitute for going to the football).

If I thought that the world was controlled by a secret ‘Neo-Liberal’ elite that oversaw government and mass media across the globe, I would do something about it. Take up arms, man a barricade, refuse to comply. If I genuinely believed that democracy was a sham and we were all willing drones to corporate bosses, I wouldn’t stand for it.

So what do they do? They sit in comfort and plenty streaming idle profanities across Twitter and Starbucks. They can’t even find an independent coffee shop in which to plan the revolution. Anonymous abuse of anyone on social media who dares to question their orthodoxy is about as rebellious as a wet fart in an empty train carriage. Che would be turning in his grave.

The EU referendum is a perfect example of stupefying left wing impotence, with thousands of social justice warriors happy to forget the glaring absence of democracy and willing to accept the biggest corporatist cartel in history, all for the fear that someone they know may or may not lose their job. I guess the revolution will have to wait, eh Comrade?


Martin is a lifelong Socialist who saw the error of his ways, making a sharp right turn. Follow him on Twitter: @righturn79

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The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty