Clowns to the Left of Me, Fascists to the Right

What’s a thinking person to do in this foul political landscape? On the Right, there’s the clear and present danger of the Amerikanischer Trumpenvolk, a horde of monied burghers, resentful professionals, Christian fundamentalists, conspiracy peddlers, racists, gun nuts, and trigger-fingering militias, all wishing to see their strongman line the hated liberals up against a wall.

On the Left, to oppose this threat, there’s a clown car. Behold the rickety wheels, the doors falling off, the tailpipe belching smoke, and the disgorged passengers: the worthless “social justice” Left.

Remember that the “Left,” as it was once understood, no longer exists, there being no actual movement in this country of, by, and for the working and lower classes, no movement staunchly opposed to blood-sucking rentiers, industry oligarchs, and idle rich parasites, broadly the upper classes. There is no Left in this country that would have those folks hung, beheaded, or flown to an airless planet (they can have Mars).

There is no Left that would jettison the undead Nancy Pelosi (net worth: $115 million) with the same righteous force as it would poisonous Trump (net worth: $2.6 billion). No, the Left today sees Jamie Dimon, the crime boss of JPMorgan Chase, taking a knee for Black Lives Matter and pronounces him a good man, a real mensch. (We all know he should have been flown to Mars permanently after the crash of 2008.) Ah, but identity is all; identity trumps class; don the right identity and you are golden. Forget that the banksters sold out every one of us who wasn’t a member of the One Percent. Black, white, purple, lesbian, LGBTQ+, cis-male, trans-Martian-mauve: we were all defenestrated together by gluttonous barons like Dimon. True to his class, the man’s opportunistic depredations show no end, as journalist Charlie Sykes reminds us. “Last week in Davos,” Sykes wrote in January, “we found out how far Dimon had evolved on extraneous details like the peaceful transfer of power and attempted insurrections. Dimon now says that Donald Trump was right about lots of things and, like other moguls, is now okay with either Biden or Trump. ‘My company,’ he said, ‘will survive and thrive in both.’” [emphasis Sykes]


What happened to building a movement against the Dimons of the world, a movement of middle class folks like me who are fast joining the poor? I’ll tell you who is most happy to not give a flying fuck about such things: affluent progressive urbanites. In Covid-induced trances, these Left drones have been moving en masse from their bespoke Brooklyn enclaves to my neck of the woods, here in the Catskill Mountains, driving up the cost of living.

I know these folks personally. Some are perfectly likeable. Some are sweet and kind. One is indeed an idle rich parasite, charming member of the Brooklyn bohemian bourgeoisie, comfortable as a brick in a wall, and a cripple, a true retard, when it comes to understanding how the world really works.

Here’s the thinking from the woke Left drone from Brooklyn: let’s say BLM’s old pal Dimon has long been in the habit of using offensive terms like “retard” and “cripple,” but one day Dimon sees the light of politically correct usage, and instead rises from the muck of wrongthink to start deploying happy-rainbow terms like “learning impaired,” “disabled,” “persons with a disability,” and so forth.

This lipstick on the Dimon pig satisfies the rule on the Left that language also trumps class. The banksters can keep on preying on us so long as they follow the proper speech codes. Dimon laughs all the way to the bank as the puritanical children sit goggle-eyed and distracted by nonsense purity tests.

The world this brain-dead Left hopes to bring about is not one in which fundamental power relations are moved an iota in the direction of tangible justice (which is economic and also ecological). The world they are seeking is one in which a black-hispanic trans lesbian (take your pick of aggrieved identities – it doesn’t matter) will gain enough power within the confines of the vicious system, so that, for example, she/he/they/it can order the delivery of bombs to wedding parties in Yemen. After all, we want an empire that allows everyone, no matter creed, color, or gender, the possibility of committing state-sanctioned mass murder. In fact, the mass murder will be better done if committed by historically disadvantaged groups. DEI in the Pentagon!

An enlightened Left would center on two matters: class and the protection of the biosphere. The obvious intersectionality of the two: growthist capitalism, driven by the rich, means the strangling of the biosphere as capital transforms the living world into inert exchange value, leaving always less of nature alive.

Where you stand on class and ecology — on class war from above that amounts to ecocide — should determine your allies. The upper classes who are Republican or Democrat, right or left, they are Upton Sinclair’s wings of the same bird of prey, and they need to be set afire tout de suite.

I’d suggest that we turn our flamethrowers on the socialist technocrat Left, too (as distinct from the woke left). These simpletons — see any issue of Jacobin for their exemplars — envision the permanent growth of the megatechnic human enterprise and care not that it comes at continuing ruinous cost to the natural world. The technocrat Left, divorced from biophysical reality and lacking any respect for limits to growth on a tiny planet, seeks a super-populated, hyper-industrialized, high-tech, Star-Trek-redistributionist utopia. Virulently anti-environment, anti-ecology, anti-green, abased worshippers of the Megamachine — making them little different from their putative enemies, the machine-loving capitalists — these red Lefties are as lost as the woke Lefties.

In the meantime, the Trumpenvolk remain unbowed — malevolent, ambitious, engaged, organized — and, if the polls are an indication, their now openly fascist leader could take the presidency again this November. The woke mob howls at the injustice of it all, full of sound and fury that signifies nothing, builds nothing, accomplishes nothing. The rest of us have no idea where to find allies worth having.

Christopher Ketcham writes at and is seeking donations to his new journalism nonprofit, Denatured.  He can be reached at