Alt Left: The State of the Alternative Left and Realist Left in the US and around the World

Both the Alt Left and the Realist Left definitely continue to exist. There are Facebook groups, websites, and even a couple of online major magazines for these groups. But both movements are quite small, there are no political parties in the US promoting this view, and as far as I can tell, there are few if any people in national office or even running for national office who are Alt Left or Realist Left.

For the purposes of this post, we will focus on the Alt Left and not the similar but not equivalent Realist Left. The differences between the two movements could be summed up by saying that the Alt Left is further to the left than the Realist Left on economics but further to the right of the Realist Left on social issues.

Some media personalities and political thinkers fall into the category of Alt Left. As an example, I would regard Cenk Uygur, Jimmy Dore, and Chapo Treehouse (the “dirtbag Left’) as Alt Left. They would fall into the category of “Bernie Bros.” There are some male Bernie supporters who are  pretty much Alt Left, but it’s not reflected in the candidate Bernie himself or anyone running along his lines – for example, see “The Squad.”

Interestingly, Bernie used to be part of the anti-Identity Politics Left or so-called “class reductionists.” The Trotskyite World Socialist website of the International Socialist Tendency is in the old Left tradition of class reductionist and  anti-Identity Politics. Most other Trots in the West are extreme SJW’s, as are almost all Western Communists and Leftists.

I would proudly call myself a class reductionist, but it’s used as a term of insult on most of the Left, where it translates to something like “bigot” or “Nazi.” Sanders also used to be a nationalist and the Alt Left is absolutely a nationalist movement, but now Sanders along with the whole Western Left is internationalist, much to their detriment.

There is a sort of an “Alt Left” forming on the Danish and French Left. A couple of the major parties there like Melancon’s in France and the Social Democratic Party in Denmark have taken an anti-immigrant line, a stance which is throwing shock waves through the Left.

Victor Orban in Hungary is said to be a Rightist. In some ways he is, but he has nationalized quite a bit of the economy and promoted huge social spending under the nationalist rubric. If he was in Latin America, we would be calling him a Communist and trying to overthrow him. Orban is virtually Alt Left.

There are also some pretty strange Alt Left-type formations on the Arab Left, especially among Arab nationalists. Keep in mind that Arab nations are very socially conservative, so even the Left parties there reflect that.

The Iranian regime is actually quite far to the Left. Most of the economy is actually nationalized and social spending is huge. They’re almost Marxist in a sense. But they don’t think much of the Cultural Left, so in a sense Iran could be an Alt Left country.

The Russian Communist Party (KPRF) supports Putin, and they are quite socially conservative for a Leftist party. I would absolutely consider the  KPRF to be Alt Left.  Putin himself is rather leftwing believe it or not, but he is very much against the Cultural Left. The Alt Left generally supports Putin, or at least I do, and I consider Putin to be a type of Alt Leftist.

The former Communist regimes were all very much against the Cultural Left, which they called Western bourgeois decadence, so in that sense, most if not all of the former Communist regimes could be thought of as Alt Left. That strain of Communism is pretty much through though.

Things here in the West as far as the Left-Right split have gotten wildly partisan and “party line,” but if you step outside the West, there’s a lot more heterogeneity.

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3 thoughts on “Alt Left: The State of the Alternative Left and Realist Left in the US and around the World”

  1. I don’t think having an anti-immigration stance is necessarily mean-spirited. The idea being that socialists should work on improving Central America, for instance, and not importing them to the US.

    Anyway, the idea of African-Americans “back to Africa” can’t work because it’s too late. They’re way too assimilated, so I’m sure Sanders, even in his old days, never considered it.

  2. Robert, I also have noticed a lot of Alt-Leftish activity in FB groups. Would you consider NazBols and Duginists to be that? In those groups I see lots of edgy memeing (including Tankie humor), staunch anti-faggotry, anti-feminism, and anti-degeneracy sentiment, and a general position of pro-nationalism while being very far to the left economically.

    1. The NazBols and Duginists can join of course, but I do not want the movement to be Duginist or NazBol. They would have to be a minority. I draw the line at Strasserites though. No Nazis. I don’t care if they’re leftwing Nazis. They’re still Nazis, sorry.

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