I’m a relatively regular young working class white man. You might expect that I would vote for right-wing political parties, or at least believe them to better represent my interests than left-wing political parties. You might expect me to support Trump, or at the bare minimum, a Dutch right-wing politician like Thierry Baudet or Geert Wilders. This happened to be the case for a while, but I have to say that this is no longer so. I want to explain why this is.
To start with let’s look at a number of issues that I find important. These are ranked in no particular order of importance. You will find that based on the issues I consider important, I would be better off voting for a left-wing political party than for a right-wing political party.
–Legal abortion. I want all abortions to be legal, because I don’t want women who were raped to give birth against their will. I also don’t want women to give birth to children who were unwanted in general, because those children will be raised in households where they are likely to be abused. I also don’t want women to give birth merely because they were to dumb to use contraception properly. In addition, I don’t want children to be born with horrible birth defects that traumatize the parents or ensure the child will die in pain within a few days after birth. For this reason, I support every woman’s right to abort a child, regardless of how long she has been pregnant.
–Addressing climate change. I want my government to take more effort to address climate change. To start with, climate change will affect my generation far more than it will affect the elderly. In addition, I want to avoid seeing a further increase in refugees, or the spread of Islamic fundamentalism. Climate change disrupts societies and thereby spreads Islamic fundamentalism, as well as triggering civil wars that force millions of people to leave their homes. If we do not address climate change now it will merely become more difficult to address in the future, because natural feedback loops will start to contribute to the crisis. The scientific evidence we have leaves no reasonable evidence to doubt that climate change is a real crisis that is caused by human activity. Even if we pretend that CO2 does not cause globl warming, it still causes ocean acidification, so you have to come up with a really good argument that every major scientific institute in the world somehow fails to see, to pretend that we should not make reducing fossil fuel consumption one of our main priorities as a society.
–Population stabilization in the developing world. I support foreign aid, because most of the money we spend on foreign aid is used to deliver safe abortions and contraception to women in third world countries who currently have no access. Africa’s population is likely to reach four billion people by 2100. Africans don’t benefit from filling the continent with four billion people, but I don’t benefit from it either. Abortion and contraception are the most cost-effective method we have to prevent climate change. If I had to decide, I would want our foreign aid budget to be increased ten-fold.
–State secularism. I think religion should be treated the way we treat most dangerous cults. Islam is a dangerous religion, but Christianity is also a dangerous religion. Radical christianity can lead people to think the Earth is 6000 years old, that abortion providers should be murdered or that homosexuals should receive the death penalty. We should not outlaw religion, but religious beliefs should be discouraged in the same manner as all dogmatism should be discouraged. I struggle to find a society that benefits from broad adherence to religion.
–Wealth redistribution. I favor wealth redistribution. Why is that? I’ve been around a lot of wealthy people in the past year. What’s the first thing they do when they fall into money? They buy a flashy car. Who genuinely benefits from them having a flashy car? I can’t think of anyone. What do poor people do when they see an increase in their income? They start feeding their children healthier food. I was born into a family that did not have a lot of money. I received reasonably healthy food, but if I had been unlucky, I would have received bad food that would have permanently reduced my IQ and made me overweight. Income taxes and wealth taxes should be much higher than they are today, except for people who donate their money to charities. In addition to this, we need much higher taxes on luxury products. Private airplanes, luxury cars, jacuzzi’s, golf clubs, all of these are nice, but you can buy them because you’re ridiculously rich.
–Meat taxes. I want to see high taxes on meat. Why is that? We can ignore animal abuse for a moment. Think about all the other ways meat harms you and me. The animals are fed antibiotics, thereby causing antibiotic resistance. The manure enters our water and causes massive pollution, killing animals in the ocean and thereby damaging our ecosystems. It’s easier for parents to feed meat to their children than healthy food, because of the huge subsidies that the industry receives. In addition to this, these companies consume massive amounts of non-renewable fresh water, despite delivering very little of societal value in return.
–Immigration restriction. I think my society is harmed by further immigration from non-Western nations to the Western world. I think we should be polite and mature in this matter, we shouldn’t act in a way that leaves people to feel as if they are second class citizens. Nonetheless, I am convinced that immigration needs to be restricted. Societies that are multicultural are much more fragile and have far less public support for strong social safety nets. In addition, it is more cost-effective to provide support for refugees in their countries of origin, than to help the small group of young men who manage to enter Europe.
–Psychedelics legalization. I want psychedelics to be legal and for the government to control quality. Psychedelics are important for people to address psychological problems. In addition, outlawing them merely ensures that criminals control the drug trade and thereby gain large amounts of wealth that is then used to destabilize society. Finally, the money and manpower our police now spend on the drug war could be much better spent on other issues that need to be addressed.
So, these are issues I personally consider important. It should be clear that out of all these issues, just one leaves me with a reason to vote for a right wing party. Immigration will probably be more restricted with a right-wing government than with a left-wing government. In practice, even if I vote for a hypothetical right-wing party I happen to like more than left-wing parties, I will merely end up supporting the emergence of a cabinet that does not represent my interests.
I find immigration to be a very important issue, but it’s not an issue that is of such fundamental importance that I consider it more important than all other issues put together. I think most left-wing parties have learned from their mistakes and now endorse proper immigration reform.
Perhaps even more importantly, left-wing parties have traditionally been more skeptical of mass immigration of cheap labor than right-wing parties. Right-wing parties represented the rich and wanted cheap labor, so people from Italy, Spain and Greece were encouraged to move to the Netherlands, later followed by people from Turkey and Morocco. The reason this happened is because it suited rich capitalists, not because of political correctness.
Issues I failed to consider
Are there any issues I’ve somehow forgotten about, where right-wing parties represent me better than left-wing ones? There might be. I don’t like SJW nonsense, where women or minorities are favored over white men, merely because white men are somehow “privileged”. But how would voting for a right-wing party help me address this type of nonsense? This is a cultural problem, more than a political problem. People mistakenly assume that white men have it easy, even though the suicide rates show that white working class men don’t have easy lives.
Other than that, I can’t think of any way in which right-wing political parties represent my interest. I’m too young to ever receive a pension, I’m not rich, I’m not Christian and I’m not really a huge fan of most of the traditional cultural heritage that right-wing parties insist they’re going to defend either. If right-wing parties want to defend the fishing industry, or the farmers, how does it benefit me, when it’s clear that these industries are unsustainable?
I want to live in a society where the future is taken into consideration and where everyone has an opportunity to reach his full human potential. That leaves me with very little choice, other than to be a leftist of some sort. In nine out of ten cases where right-wing parties and left-wing parties disagree on an issue, the left-wing parties are right and the right-wing parties are wrong or serving the interest of a tiny portion of our population.
Of course there are arguments against it, seriously addressing them would require me to write a book, but I want to briefly review most of them.
“Two sides of the same coin, all controlled by the Illuminati!” I don’t really believe this, but I do believe that politicians who have to make decisions that affect 100 million people are more susceptible to lobbyists and bribery than politicians who make decisions for 100 people. Most of the people who think all politics is governed by deeply sinister forces are people who grew up in poverty in a culture where people feel severely distrusting towards authority because of abuses suffered in the past. It’s true that corruption affects politics, but politicians are not conspiring to rape children, worship satan or kill us all with genetically modified Ebola. Sorry Alex Jones and David Icke.
“All political parties suck!” This is kind of true, because human beings suck. Anyone who is smart enough to understand all the issues, is probably not charismatic enough to become a prominent politician. Democracy is a flawed system, but we don’t really have a genuinely superior alternative. We have to work within the mediocrity we have. We need to reform democracy, to make politics more transparent and allow individuals and small communities to make more choices for themselves. In addition to this, political parties should become more transparent. A political party should be able to chance its official position on an issue, simply because of an anonymous debate on their forum where one guy showed up with much better arguments than the others did.
“Government shouldn’t exist in the first place! All government is illegitimate!” I don’t really think this makes sense. The only places without government I can think of in the 20th century were hellish places stuck in the middle of bloody civil wars where people became so desperate that they organized themselves into a series of communes. The reason 99% of all people in our world today live under a government, is because we benefit from having a government. That doesn’t mean some governments don’t suck, but overall, having no government is even worse. Anarchism is a nice idea but in practice it doesn’t work. If we have a good government, that government will empower people to make the right decisions in their lives and the government will slowly become able to relinquish most of its current responsibilities.
“The left-right paradigm is nonsense, you should use paradigm XYZ instead!” This is generally an argument used by libertarians, who insist that we should judge politicians on their support of individual liberty and property rights. In practice most Libertarians I know are basically just Republicans without the Jesus fetish. The right-wing supports property rights because you don’t have to pay high taxes, the left-wing supports individual rights because you’re allowed to smoke weed and have abortions, but in the libertarian utopia you have both property rights and the right to smoke weed and have abortions.
This is not relevant to me, because I think the “economic liberty” libertarians endorse is not really liberty in the first place. Imagine I’m born to a poor woman, in a libertarian utopia. I grow up without owning any property, in a world where people are generally free to pollute the ocean and the atmosphere and to advertise products that would harm my health, like cigarettes and alcohol. How do I benefit exactly? For some reason, poor white men seem to think lack of “real capitalism” is what makes their lives suck, rather than rich white men (like Trump) treating them as useful idiots by shouting stuff they like to hear every once in a while (Mexicans are rapists!) as they abolish taxes on their fellow aristocrats.
In practice, economic liberty only liberates rich people. It gives them the freedom to seize more wealth and power for themselves, at the cost of my own liberty. For me, economic liberty means choosing what kind of food I want to buy, or choosing which company I want to work for in which particular city. The reason I’m able to make those choices is because we have a government that violates the economic liberty of the rich, to increase the economic liberty of the poor.
Stupidity, the unforgivable sin of Thierry Baudet
Thierry Baudet was supposed to represent the interests of young working class indigenous men like me, those are his core demographic who helped him get elected. There are numerous ways to do that. You can encourage companies to hire people without requiring higher education. You can encourage reforming the pension system. You can encourage the government to put pressure on universities to cut down on the diversity industry. You can implement measures that deflate the housing bubble and make it easier for young men to buy a house and settle down. There are numerous things a politician can do that represent the interests of young indigenous men. So what does Thierry Baudet spend his time doing?
Here you can see Thierry Baudet in the parliament, showing two graphs. One of these graphs shows the amount of rain on land over the past few decades, the other graph shows the amount of rain over the ocean. He insists that these graphs serve as good evidence to suggest that we shouldn’t take measures to address climate change.
It will take you five minutes of Googling to help you figure out that climate change doesn’t mean we will suddenly see huge increases in total rain around the world. Instead, what tends to happen as the Earth warms is that we have more periods of drought, followed by huge downpours of far bigger amounts of rain than we’re used to, storms that lead to floods and soil erosion as the soil can’t absorb all the water at once. Take a look outside, or grab some more relevant graphs and you’ll find that this is indeed already happening and will get much worse in the future. In other words, his graphs don’t show anything genuinely relevant to the issues we’re facing.
I’m a random guy with a blog. This is one of 150 people tasked with making decisions that affect a nation of sixteen million people. Why can I figure out something important within five minutes, that this guy apparently can’t figure out before publicly embarassing himself? How could this guy politically represent me? I deeply regret ever voting for this guy. Here’s a hint: The world faces more pressing issues than babyboomers having to pay more for gas at the pump. I will never again reward this guy with a vote. The reason I can’t vote for right-wing parties, is because I simply can’t vote for people whose political platform is based on nonsense arguments that take five minutes of Google to recognize as nonsense.
Zero sum games are for idiots
There’s another issue that people subconsciously believe in, that leads them to think they benefit from voting for a right-wing party. Donald Trump will tell you we should have taken the oil in Iraq. That’s what these parties depend on: They want you to think you’re part of the ingroup, that gets the stuff that they will take from the outgroup. Jobs are scarce and will be redistributed from China back to Joe Sixpack. Mexicans will be forced back home, women will earn less money than you, Muslims Jews and Hindus will have to adjust to your Christian traditions and overall you’ll be recognized as part of the elite again.
Except all of this stuff doesn’t benefit you at all. To start with, they pretend they represent an in-group of around fifty percent of the population. Trump might not explicitly say “I take care of white working class men”, but he suggests that he does. In practice people like Trump only benefit a tiny minority of the population, of people who are both rich and old. If you’re going to die within twenty years and don’t care about your children, you have no reason to care about polluting the atmosphere, you want your stock portfolio to go up. You’re living in a society being destroyed by an opioid epidemic as people live in their cars to work at Amazon warehouses during the summer, but Trump is on twitter bragging that stocks are going up. Hint: Most regular people don’t have huge stock portfolios and don’t benefit from stocks going up.
In reality, with smart decisions everyone can benefit. If pregnant teenage girls don’t have to give birth to children against their own will, everyone benefits. If poor parents can afford to give healthy food to their children, that doesn’t brain-damage their children or make them overweight, everyone benefits. If farmers receive subsidies for growing fruit trees and taking good care of their soil, rather than receiving subsidies because they grow corn that’s fed to animals, everyone benefits. If streets are places where children can play and adults can safely ride their bicycles to work, everyone benefits.
If you want lower taxes, here’s a suggestion: If the United States twenty years from now doesn’t have obese diabetic young adults too sick to work, doesn’t have streets full of illegal aliens who fled droughts and civil wars caused by climate change, doesn’t have prisons full of young men who were raised by teenage girls who didn’t want to have children, you’re probably going to face lower taxes than you’re paying today, because the governments will be tasked with fewer problems it will need to solve than it faces today.
A suggestion to left wing parties
We’re facing a global disaster right now. Donald Trump rules the world’s most powerful nation, Brazil is governed by Bolsonaro, an equal idiot. The European Union is falling apart and climate change is slowly making the world uninhabitable. And there’s a reason for that: The reason is because you insisted on fighting a culture war. The only reason Donald Trump could ever be elected is because you completely lost the trust of working class white men.
Here’s a simple suggestion. Stop conveying the message to white men that white men are your enemy. If you have two groups of people, one of whom suggest that your intrinsic characteristics are problematic, while the other claims you’re good just the way you are, you’re going to run to the latter. Here’s a suggestion to Elisabeth Warren: Don’t brag on TV about being less than 1% Native American. You’re suggesting that it’s wrong to be white. If you suggest that it’s wrong to be white, people who can’t spend their lives pretending not to be white, are going to vote for people who suggest to them that it’s ok to be white.
Stop pretending that we’re intrinsically bad people because we don’t approve of the demographic transformation of our countries. This happened to us, without our consent, without us ever being asked about the matter. Imagine you’re a young white working class man who grew up in the 1960’s. You live in a neighborhood where everyone is like you, shares your language, your religion and your way of life. Then one day you’re an old man. All the people you knew have left your neighborhood. You’re now living around people who are completely different from you, speak a language you don’t understand, get angry if you speak to their wives or daughters and built a temple for a God you don’t worship. How do you genuinely believe this would make a person feel?
Let’s turn it around. What would you do if tomorrow you woke up and Trump had replaced all the avocado-smoothie-drinking modern-art-museum-visiting flexitarian college professors in your neighborhood with white trash? How would you feel if suddenly everyone had a big beer-belly, insisted that books are for fags, insisted that the whole street should be decorated with flags for the local sportsball team, insisted that your modern art museum should now house pictures of cute little bulldog puppies because the current paintings are too pretentious? What would you think if we told you that you’re “classist” or “pretentious” when you complain about it? What would you think if we made you unemployable and wrote articles in all the big newspapers about you if you grew fed up with it all and tore down a flag of the local sportsball team? How would you genuinely feel? Wouldn’t you want to see the world burn?
That’s what you did to us. That’s what you did to the white working class. We were demographically replaced and then we were socially shamed, turned into pariahs, left with a lifelong stigma, if we were honest about the fact that we do not like it. How is it possible that someone like Trump, a guy who can barely write a coherent sentence, became president of the United States? Because he is a manifestation of the indignation felt by people who were taught that they are intrinsically unworthy. He is a response of desperation, from the people who felt they had to make up a Cherokee great-grandmother, who are afraid that their son might be faced with death threats when he nervously smiles as a Native American beats a drum in his face, who see their ethnic group used as an insult, who are forced to send their children to colleges where they are shamed for their own background. If you set out to wage identity politics, it might just end up blowing up in your own faces.
People don’t like to be made to feel less-worthy over characteristics they have no influence over. People don’t like to be told they’re “playing life on easy mode” as their children are injecting fentanyl into their arms. People don’t like to be replaced. I do not believe in a demonic hook-nosed Jew pulling the ropes behind the scenes. But I do understand why people are angry. I understand why people believe that others are plotting against them. Desperate people start to believe in foolish ideas.
Why did the left decide that race trumps class? Why do you insist on pretending that a guy who grows up in a trailer park in Missisippi with parents without teeth is “privileged”? Why do you insist on alienating large sections of the population? If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would believe that Social Justice Warriors are funded by the Koch foundation. How hard can it be, to state that you represent men and women, white people and black people, poor people and rich people who believe in fairness? How hard can it be, to avoid generating the impression that white men are your enemy, that rich white men will get to have pretty Latina interns and poor white men will get to inject fentanyl into their veins in the Walmart parking lot?
The simple fact however is that I won’t let you steal socialism from me. Socialism represents me, it doesn’t represent pansexual pink-haired overweight cat-ladies. I won’t let you fool me into signing up for my own annihilation, by endorsing some demented billionaire or pseudo-aristocratic nitwit. In the 1960’s, Dutch socialist parties wrote “socialistisch” as “socialisties”, because that’s how working class white people pronounced it. Those are the days I want to return to.
In the 1960’s, Dutch socialist parties proclaimed that we don’t benefit from mass immigration, that wages would go down and that different cultures don’t mingle well. They explained that a man who is fasting due to Ramadan can’t safely handle mechanical equipment. Back then, it seemed self-evident to them that we don’t want to import cultures in which religious leaders still decide how people should live, that secularization is a desirable phenomenon.
And perhaps most importantly, they argued so in a dignified manner. They didn’t pretend that our lives should revolve around the conflict of different civilizations, they didn’t insist on dehumanizing other ethnic groups. Instead, they simply pointed out that the modern secular Western way of living is fragile, that a culture where women lay topless on the beach will clash with a culture where fathers expect their daughters to wear headscarves.
I’m not asking that the left should solely represent the white working class. I’m merely asking that the left should not exclude or problematize white people. In addition, I expect the left to be honest and confident in the values it endorses. I expect that the left does not reject one form of irrational dogmatism, only to passively allow the diffusion of another form. You don’t have to pretend that Muslims are second class citizens, to acknowledge that Islam does not fit within the way of life that we endorse. We like to live in a society where women’s bodies are not treated as property, where sex outside of marriage does not somehow permanently devalue a woman and where men and women choose their own partners. Just as you don’t want to return to the days of blind adherence to the dictates of the Pope, I don’t want to see a transition to the blind adherence to the dicates of the Quran.
Ultimately, the only expectation I have can be summarized as following: Stop pretending that the people you are supposed to represent are your enemies.