The Left is the achievement of Western enlightenment.
Recall the authoritarian and reactionary governance in place that involved hundreds of years of warfare between politically absolute monarchies and the development of a mercantile class powerful enough, eventually, to stand up for their own interests and security.
The Soviet / post-Soviet Far Left indeed continued the Russian historical experience with paternal authoritarianism — and, of course, it built on the secret police organization established by Nicholas II (the Okhrana). The rest is more or less KGB history and a long history of motivating or driving politics based on the amplification of the victimization of numerous groups thrown beneath the wheels of history — or believing themselves so.
The formerly moderate Left’s — or “cultural left’s” — embrace of humanism, secularism, the broadest freedom possible for persons (as opposed to, say, impersonal “headcount”) is echoed in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. We were raised to believe in Man and Reason and great possibilities. It’s from the Russian side and, in part, the 19th Century and earlier portions of the 20th that we seem approving of authoritarianism and thuggery, frankly, in now polarized Left and Right camps.
One may suppose the center has not held — and we have forgotten many of the good things we as Americans were to embrace.
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