Masquerading liberal.

Thomas Black

Among the curiosities of the modern world is the masquerading liberal. By this, I mean the liberal who hides behind a left-wing mask. Beyond mere deception, this particular archetype genuinely believes themselves to be socialist, seemingly unaware that their ideology and cosmopolitan sensibility are identical to the international elite they wholeheartedly claim to oppose.

Repeatedly, we see on Twitter/X these woke liberals appropriating the language of Marxist class struggle to forward the interests of a financial supranational class. These upper-middle-class revolutionaries somehow imagined that Che Guevara was just a few liberal school years away from fighting for trans rights across the global south.

Indeed, it would appear fundamental to the masquerading liberal to see themselves as continually countercultural, as to recognise that their ideology is the dominant status quo of the Western world – and has been for many decades – would be to shatter their enormous egos and a decade of critical theory (conflict theory) would come crashing down around them. The idea that they are now the oppressor would be one contradiction too far.

The hysterical reactions to George Galloway’s Rochdale election win brought out the masquerading liberal in spades. Similarly, Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity was an evident thorn in the side of these metropolitan elitists, prompting their choice publications to momentarily drop the facade, ‘masking off’ to destroy a legitimate left-wing movement.

Regardless of the nationalist position on Corbyn’s Momentum movement, one cannot deny it to be more genuinely aligned with the trade unions and economic socialism traditionally associated with the left than the neoliberal internationalism accelerated in the Clinton and Blair era.

Like the supposed southpaw boxer who momentarily switches to orthodox to befuddle and beguile, revealing a natural inclination to the latter stance to the surprise of the crowd, these masquerading faux-left wingers reveal their true nature when put into direct contact with the real thing. This doesn’t mean that the legitimate left is wholly or somewhat of an ally, although there is overlap on specific issues. The primary point is authenticity and genuine opposition to the status quo or liberal world order.

Similarly, you have those on the approved right, such as Reform UK, who seem more interested in continuing the damage done by the unfettered movement of capital than anything remotely resembling nationalism; add to this the fact Reform UK appears to be a lifeboat for the very tories who have run the country into the grown. This is precisely why those parties and their associated commentariat can voice their opinions with all but platitudinal opposition. Meanwhile, those of genuinely dissident persuasion are thrown in jail for putting up truthful statistics on lamposts.

Those identifying with the “liberal right” often portray themselves as independent conservative thinkers. However, their proposed solutions reinforce liberalism as a paradigm rather than challenge it. This is similar to their counterparts on the “liberal left”, who also claim to be dissidents, opposed to financial elites and capitalist greed, yet propose solutions that ultimately reinforce the existing liberal paradigm.

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