By Hasel-Paris Álvarez Martín – Mar 21, 2023
The war in Ukraine is said to have irreversibly transformed the world order, politically and economically. However, what has changed the most is leftist culture.
At the start of the war, the Western consensus was to not send offensive weapons to Ukraine, in order to prevent an escalation of the war. No one wanted to cross the fine line between “helping the Ukrainians defend themselves” and “declaring war on Russia.” The Russians could respond by attacking NATO territory, which would in turn start a Third World War, with the chance of acid rain.
A year later, a good part of the European left has substituted its pacifism and neutrality for sending heavy tanks, such as the Leopard, to Ukraine. Among the governments most committed to this operation are several social democracies: Spain, Portugal, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Canada. With this escalation already underway, Finland (another social democracy) is debating sending fighter jets
Ukraine asks for more: longer-range missiles, warships, submarines, annd, perhaps in the future, as Zelensky has predicted, “that NATO member countries also send their children to die in war.”
Western liberalism already puts more energy into sending weapons to the battlefield than sending diplomats to the negotiating table, and this cannot only be said of the social democracies, but also of various parties which are farther to the left: from the Polish Lewica [left] to the Danish Rød-Grønne [red and green], from the Finnish Vasemmistoliitto [alliance of the left] to the initiatives of Yolanda Díaz in Spain.
What’s more, the German left, traumatized by the “anti-Nazi remembrance” (like the Spanish left with its “anti-fascist alert”) and obsessed with not letting history repeat itself, now sends its Panzers [World War 2 Nazi Tanks] in the direction of the eastern steppe as if it were the middle of 1941.
Another cultural novelty: only a year ago, our left was determined to expel Poland from the European Union, for not allowing its homosexuals to marry or their women to have abortions. Now, that same left celebrates the European leadership of Poland, ready to immolate its planes and, if necessary, its homosexuals and its women on the altar of war.
The cosmopolitan, anti-borders and post-patriotic left, which told us that “the earth belongs to no one but the wind”, suddenly wants to pawn away (other people’s) life and heritage, not only in the name of Ukrainian national sovereignty, but of the territorial reintegration of every last inch of Crimea. The Ukrainian army itself claims that our tanks are not enough to achieve such a goal, which makes the hope of the West even more vain.
What to say about Nordic social democracy, back in Sweden and Finland? After their noble struggle against the proliferation of atomic weapons, they end up having nothing better to aspire to than to join the ranks of NATO, which is committed to being “an atomic alliance until the day that atomic weapons cease to exist.”
And the Greens in Germany? The first to warn of global warming have become the ones to blame for heating up the New Cold War, with statements such as the following declaration made by Annalena Baerbock: “Europeans are at war against Russia.” Do they want to offset global warming by seeking a nuclear winter? A decade ago, the main concern of these environmentalists and animal-rights advocates was to protect the leopard from poaching. Now they are the Leopards, the dog fighters, and the poachers.
The internationalist left that criticized the blockade of Cuba or Palestine, currently supports the use of sanctions as a weapon of economic warfare. The same left that stood by Black Lives Matter is in favor of such sanctions damaging the ability of African countries to bring in staple foods and agricultural fertilizers from Russia (a point made by Macky Sall, the head of the African Union). The multicultural left that preached the “alliance of civilizations” already devotes almost twice as much of its budget to war as it does to helping the poor countries of the world.
Everyone with a minimal social conscience in the second half of the 20th century suffered from McCarthyism. That is, the persecution and the false accusation of being “pro-Soviet.” Well, in the 21st century, McCarthy’s children hurl the identical accusation of “pro-Russian” against anyone with a minimal geopolitical awareness.
European progressivism, goofy as ever, which used to be more Brussels than sprouts, now applauds a forcibly imposed shipment of tanks on the Franco–German axis. The European Union was trumped by its rival (USA), its defector (the United Kingdom), and its beast (Poland). All this for the benefit of countries outside the EU security apparatus (Canada, Norway, Turkey) being able to sell us our weapons. Let the Hymn of Joy resound!
Those who once demonstrated against NATO, because it was, according to their denunciations, an expansionist organization at the service of Yankee imperialism, today see it in an increasingly better light.
Putin is so macho and patriarchal, he is so Caucasian (never better said) and so polluting (with all that oil and coal and natural gas), that NATO begins to seem “progressive” to them by comparison. After all, there are women in the Pentagon now, several of them are even “racialized.”
The NATO armies are no longer fighting for fuel and rare earth metals, as before, but so that Eurovision and Kyiv Pride can be held in the Ukrainian capital. Not to mention the environmental kicks: the more Leopards we put out to destroy and be destroyed, the fewer high-emission vehicles left in business, and fewer humans alive consuming scarce resources. How can one even be progressive in these times without having a soft spot for NATO?
However, all these transformations on the left seem too profound to be a mere reaction to Putin’s Russia. Here, in the Spain of PSOE, we have already seen the miracle of transubstantiation before, from opposition to NATO to being directly on the front line, bombing Yugoslavia.
What is happening in the Western progressive ranks is, in reality, the culmination of a process that started in May 1968 and lasted until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. It is the absolute absorption of the left by capitalism, which it no longer seriously aspires to tear down. It only seeks to make it more politically correct, more sustainable, more diverse and inclusive.
The actually existing left is here to apply the dismantling of production dictated by the ECB’s [European Central Bank] energy transition agenda, as well as the migratory prescriptions drafted by the IMF, the purchase of cars dictated by the UN 2030 Agenda, and the “being happy with nothing” dictated by the Davos Forum.
As it cannot be otherwise, the consequence of surrendering to capitalism in this way is to also end up surrendering to its armed wing: NATO. First the silver and then the lead. And they will do this little by little without excuse, or faster with the excuse of Russia, China, or Cochinchina.
We can baptize this progressivism with the title of “the leopard left,” a term coined by Julián Jiménez. The professor defines it as “one who in Venezuela supports the extreme right saying that Maduro is a dictator, in Ukraine supports Azov with the same argument and, in general, supports the US in any conflict.”
They are “the Antonio Maestre, Pedro Vallín, Estefanía Molina, the intelligentsia of PRISA and El País,” who “are against the war until the PSOE comes to the Government and it is time to support their military action, from Afghanistan to Libya.”
The concept of “leopard left” has an ironic ring to it. It rhymes with “rojipardo“, which is precisely the pejorative term that this left uses to insult anyone who steps out of its very narrow frame of mind, either on the left (“roji-“) or on the right (“-pardo“).
They also like to use the term “tankie,” an invention of British liberals and progressives used to disqualify socialists and communists by association with the Soviet tanks in Budapest and the Chinese tanks in Tiananmen, thus branding them as violent enemies of the civilized West.
All of this in the eighties, while Margaret Thatcher commanded armored vehicles deployed against the Argentines in the Malvinas and against the miners in her own country. Tragically, precisely those who show solidarity with Cubans, Vietnamese, Koreans or Syrians have been called “tankies.” That is, [those who defend] towns that actually suffer from tanks, invasions, and blockades.
In a beautiful turn of history, we can finally call those who really are, and have always been “tankies,” by their true name: the “leopard left.” They deserve it for their beloved Leopard tanks, of course, but also for their resemblance to the animal for which they are named.
It is an opportunistic predator, capable of swallowing anything, a specialist in adapting to whatever environment it finds itself in. While the sun is out, it sleeps without minding the bustle of the day, waking only to hunt as night falls.
Such is the “leopard left”: its eyes are closed during the working day, indifferently letting the market do its thing. But oh, when the dark night of imperialism arrives! Then it takes out his claws and fangs.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
- kwjorinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/kwjogobonito/January 31, 2024