Here is something else to take care with regarding politics, especially regarding young people who want to be anti-establishment. Think for yourself. It’s not just the right wing who want to control your mind and sell you bullshit. The left wing prey on young people seeking to be anti-establishment, just as the right wing prey on the older generation seeking security in the status quo. That is the way things are in modern society. And just like the right wing, the left wing don’t like you questioning them. If you think differently from them, or you question them, you’re just a right-winger, same with right-wingers labeling you a left-winger if you disagree with them.
I feel left wing liberalism in modern times is a neutered liberalism. It only values freedom of speech and expression until something outrageous and “politically incorrect” shows up. Early this year when Charlie Hebdo was attacked by terrorists, the liberal community did not defend their right of freedom of expression, and instead chose to take up the attitude that they deserved it for publishing offensive cartoons. Over a week ago, there was a shooting in Garland, Texas, over a contest for drawing artwork of the prophet Muhammad, and I swear many liberals acted like Garland deserved it for holding that contest in the first place (all while conservatives found a perfect opportunity to hypocritically chant support for freedom of speech). And in the UK, censorship has become justified by so-called liberals for the sake of creating an inoffensive society.
Then you have
hard-left celebrities revolutionary types like Russel Brand, and pretty much every political figure who leans so hard towards socialism and anarchism. They’re frauds. They talk about how repressive and controlling they think a capitalist society is, but they parrot socialist philosophy as an article of faith and expect you to do the same without question, and when you question them they have no idea what to do other than babble meaningless bullshit that answers nothing. And speaking of Russell Brand, Brian May from Queen dared to question Brand about his little revolution, and he just went on and on about his vision without providing any practical solutions. People like Brand are the same kind of idiots you find in the right wing, only they say different things, and the youth just eat it up. Thinking about it, I’m sure some young people swallow far-right politics all the same with exactly as little critical thinking for all the same reasons.
And if you’re young and reading this thinking I have no idea what I’m talking about, when I was about 16 I used to consider myself oriented towards the left. I often fell under left-wing libertarian thought, as I saw it, and I even saw myself as a political anarchist, but I don’t think I fully understood left-wing philosophy. But I didn’t necessarily swallow the same left-wing noise others may have swallowed. Granted I may have been interested in metaphysical and spiritual philosophy as well as myth and religion slightly more than political philosophy as I often am, but back then I had managed to expose myself to a number of ideas. Obviously I strayed away from conservative and overtly right-wing sources and I wasn’t keen on communism and its bloated cousins either, but I had a plenty of various sources of political ideas and philosophies. Even back then, my views could have been considered different and often times I veered towards libertarianism anyway, just that I flirted with the left wing when I was young. Eventually, I grew out of it, became disenchanted with the left wing for various reasons, fell out of love with out-and-out anarchism, and started considering myself just libertarian (well, from a mostly American perspective), seeing it as the best possible political framework for my views and beliefs. I even give some of the writings of Ayn Rand due credit at times, which I guarantee you your average left-winger or anarchist would never have done. Was I brainwashed and crushed by the establishment? No! I thought critically about my political framework and understanding of my own ideas, and listened to other people, some of whom were often older than me. My spirit, the original spirit, hasn’t changed, but understanding has and so has knowledge. That’s why I don’t care about the left-wing anymore after my early teen years. It has nothing to do with “the Man”.
I suggest all who are young and seeking identity, politically or otherwise, do the same. Think for yourself, don’t have faith in anyone except yourself. Be suspicious of all pundits and preachers, left and right, who think they’ve got utopia in mind. Your only utopia will be your own, your own spirit your only article of faith.
In closing, Clint Eastwood once said in TIME magazine (probably before his descent into madness) that always got to me and I think rings some truth about the whole left and right wing politics thing, and it is as follows:
“Extremism is so easy. You’ve got your position, and that’s it. It doesn’t take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right you meet the same idiots coming around from the left.“