ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fourth Industrial Revolution

Decay of Liberalism and Withering Away of the Left

The technology-driven revolution is fundamentally affecting the relationship between capital and labour. This fundamental change is driving right-wing populism across the globe. The left, on the other hand, has remained a laggard, and will have no future if it continues to be opiated by liberalism. While, with liberalism as its political ally, the imperial “gentlemanly capitalism” has killed millions for resources and profits in the 20th century, the 21st-century “surveillance capitalism” with the far right as its political hitman is likely to be more lethal and ruthless.

The left is facing existential loneliness. It is a political outcast, experiencing a deep sense of ideological emptiness, an intellectual void. Its spiritual connection with politics is weakening. It had long realised that the struggle for emancipation and equality was a mere dream. The thought of prioritising collective survival over individual identity was a utopia. Then, why is the left in agony again? One reason for the left’s recurring pain is the worldwide meteoric rise of a far right that is turning the old-style mainstream politics and the old liberal order upside down. More importantly, liberalism—the left’s saviour and silent killer—is in decay. The little left simply does not know as to what is to be done: dance or die?

During the Cold War, when capitalist assault on the radical left increased, liberalism with its welfarist façade offered a cozy refuge. The left gained entry into the liberal mansion by abandoning class war, its first love, and accepting civil liberty as its new soulmate. This was considered the best answer to mitigate exploitation of humans by humans. The left slept with the enemy, and allowed liberalism to gnaw at its roots.

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Updated On : 26th Jul, 2019
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