This Is How The Left Lost Its Soul

Theo Horesh writing for the Elephant's Journal  castigates the American Left over its enthusiasm for Putin's Russia. This piece is reproduced with the permission of the author.

Theo Horesh
The Soviet flag whipped across my face, as the summer winds of St. Petersburg blew across the waters and a motley assemblage of Leftist demonstrators spoke of the dangers of protest in Putin’s New Russia. They pointed out that the police who were watching them would not budge when the skinheads came to beat them up, noting that those same skinheads had recently gone unprosecuted after killing one of their number the other night.

The group would have fit in well at any American anti-war protest, with their Greens and hippies, anarchists and Trotskyites, and not Stalinists—rest assured. There was a former Soviet political prisoner and the usual assemblage of poorly dressed, greying radicals. But unlike the American and European Left of today, there were no Putin supporters. For Putin was at that time starting to jail his rivals, assassinate his critics, close their papers, and make genuine freedom of speech all but impossible. And they knew their leader better, as a conservative nationalist, who had already engaged in massive war crimes.

It was 2007, and they were protesting the war in Chechnya. The demonstrators were putting their lives on the line, because Putin had not simply put down a rebellion in Chechnya but rather obliterated the Chechen capital of Grozny, which the UN would later describe as the most destroyed city on earth, in a carpet-bombing campaign of genocidal proportions, much like his current campaign in Aleppo. And unlike so much of the American Left today, the demonstrators took the lives of his victims seriously, and they recognized the imperial ambitions implicit in their leader’s actions.


  1. Since I cannot leave a comment on the original site - So, Theo, now that you've vilified the American Left, one of the most demonized and powerless factions in the U.S., now what?

  2. Their myopic focus on America has cause the Left in the UK to garner some strange bedfellows too. Many associate the Left with thuggery towards those who dont share their view. Their Identatarian focus is anything but community building, for example gender segregated meetings are now seen as social progress.

    PS AM I think your site has many issues with uploading comments at the moment, i keep hitting a 'bad gateway' page when I try to preview, and am unable to use publish after, the whole pages needs to be refreshed.

  3. DaithiD,

    somebody had a problem the other evening but it resolved itself. I'll have it looked at. Thanks for letting us know.

    The British Left bought into cultural relativism and certainly failed to confront Islamism, much of it guided by a desire to build an alliance through Respect. In doing so they wholly ignored the view of Tony Cliff who coined the term "clerical fascism."

  4. AM, yes the comment problems started a few days and I thought it would pass, thanks for looking into it.
    In terms of the UK Left,I could understand the attacks on leafleting BNP councillors (because the BNP were not primarily democrats,it was thugs attacking thugs).
    But then they also started attacking UKIP meetings, who are exculsively democrats and so this is the only platform to confront them. People might find their views abhorant but they are clearly not a fig leaf for some millitant wing, so it should of been a cause for alarm to see this type of tactic used. In reality now, the censoring of ideas is a primary concern of theirs, it should worry them that this is how they are perceived by the people they claim to represent.

  5. DaithiD,

    have a look at this