Tuesday, October 07, 2003


Steven den Beste has a fascinating post on the new ideology of the left, which he calls Tranzism, short for Transnational Progressivism.

In essence, the deep ideology is a combination of neo-Marxism, idealism, elitism (i.e. anti-populism), post-nationalism and, it turns out, a form of compassionate neo-racism.

Unlike the Belmont Club's take on the same phenomenon, Islam and the End of the Left, Mr. den Beste does not regard the new ideology as "nonsensical or internally contradictory". He believes it may hang together nicely. While the basic thesis of Islam and the End of the Left is that the Leftist periphery has taken over the vacuum produced by the death of the Bolshevik core in a destructive implosion, the 'Tranzism' theory asserts that an evolution of formerly Marxist elements has stepped forward to replace it. If so, Tranzism is Bolshevism's successor, not its remnant, and represents a new ideological point of view.

In contrast, Belmont Club regards the new ideology as precisely nonsensical and internally contradictory because the old Bolsheviks purposely accoutered the outer layer of the Party with all kinds of inconsistent 'fronts' as protective coloration. And now that the Bolshevik inner Party has shriveled, the parti-colored skin has wrapped itself around the skeleton, contradictions and all.

It would be interesting to see whether Tranzism proves consistent or whether it contains unresolvable inner contradictions that will lead to its self-destruction. The best test is to advance a hypothesis and see how it bears out. In the spirit of discussion, Belmont Club will make these predictions:

  1. The Left will continue to lose adherents to Islam. It will be cannibalized by Islam in its most militant fringes. Only the softies, i.e. artists, writers, 'sympathizers' will stay in the dreamy Tranzi universe, which will no longer have a viable clandestine substructure. All the hardcases will have to go elsewhere.
  2. The Left will continue to fragment. It will be unable to solve the problem of factionalism which plagued early Socialism, and remained until Lenin invented the Bolshevik Party as a device to provide closure to the endless debates and to provide a vehicle for militant action.

This will not happen if Tranzism were truly a viable combination. I will make the partisan argument that we are already seeing Number 2 happen in the US Democratic Party and the UK Labor Party and in the recent reverses suffered by the EU and the Kyoto Treaty efforts. But time will tell.