Great essay. It's tragic that, after their COVID policy failed, the Institutional Left did another about face and completely dropped all facade of protecting anyone from what is still a terrifyingly virulent disease with unknown long-term consequences. By politicizing a public health crisis, they created a false dichotomy of "we believe covid is real and you don't," which then became "we believe the pandemic is over so let's not talk about it." The once vehement pro-maskers will now ridicule anyone who won't go to a party or eat at a restaurant, even the immunocompromised.

If at any point policy decisions had stemmed from listening to real medical science instead of seeking political wins, we would probably not be facing the insane state of affairs we have now. Yes, KN-95/N-95 masks are an effective deterrent and should still be worn in large groups. No, MRNA vaccines don't prevent or even significantly diminish the virus. Yes, mandates and lockdowns can lead to negative outcomes, but if you want to see the results of a truly socialist approach versus a capitalist one, look at China's numbers under Zero Covid versus where they're going now that Xi has allowed the nation of 1.4 billion to "open up."

As a leftist, I am motivated by the common good. I am willing to make small sacrifices to serve the needs of the many over my own selfish needs. This for me is a basic tenet of being a leftist. What I've seen play out over the last 6+ years is a "left" motivated by self-interest and "team" interest. Sadly, when one cannot trust public discourse to provide anything resembling truth, it becomes harder to determine the common good and to act accordingly.

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Jan 1, 2023Liked by Brook Hines

The institutional left has no idea how badly it fucked up. When I was younger, I always voted Democrat even when I didn't especially want to do that. Now I hate the Democratic Party and view them as my mortal enemies whom I want to see utterly crushed. The only thing that's saving them right now is the Republican Party's equally stupid commitment to making and keeping first-trimester abortions illegal, which millions of Gen-Zers and younger millennials had come to take for granted as a legal thing. That's why I believe you saw so many younger voters actually getting up off the couch and voting for Democrats last November.

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Jan 14, 2023Liked by Brook Hines

I really like this! It’s very much thought, very well organized, and effectively presented. I learned a lot reading it. Thanks very much.

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Very glad to discover this insightful and brilliant essay. It reads very well a year later. A lot to think about here...

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Mar 12, 2023·edited Mar 12, 2023Liked by Brook Hines

Dear Brook, I just listened to your interview on THC and have to say that it was superb. You have a lot of insight and you style is very approachable. Inspired me immensely. Thank you and bless you!

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Mar 5, 2023·edited Mar 5, 2023Liked by Brook Hines

My comment turned into a screed long enough for a article for my newsletter, with some editing. I will post what I already wrote here.

Thanks for your substack writings. I just discovered them a day or two ago. What I have read so far resonates with me. You speak to issues that I have written about. We are generally on the same page about the Democrats taming much of the left via Trump Derangement syndrome, Trump-Russsia conspiracy claims, and then the covid narratives. Name calling and character assassination were amplified while principled methods of debate reserved for private discussions among friends and principled methods of debate in public is largely shadow banned. Groups like DSA and Socialist Alternative who buried themselves in the Democratic Party were effectively corrupted and manipulated with a little help from opportunistic leaders who aligned themselves with the Democrats and political police agents.

Civil methods of debate that generate light with a minimum of heat are essential to the culture of effective working class organizations, including revolutionary socialist organizations. Things to avoid and to call out are name calling, characterizations not supported by argumentation, character assassination, putting words in the mouths of others, quoting out of context, etc. That even applies to polemics against your class enemies. This is a check and balance on political leaders, I think that I am paraphazing something which I read in the early 1970s, written by a Russian Marxist called Vladimir Lenin in the pages of the newspaper, Iskra, The Spark, around 1900 or so.

The necessary political strategy involves uniting people on the basis of common class interests in a struggle against the ruling class. Demands for medicare for all, a 25 dollar minimum wage, restoration of the New Deal social safety net developed in the 1930s, tuition free public education through the university levels, etc.

Identity politics, such as strategies centered on race, sex, gender rather than class interests has developed deep roots in the Democratic Party and organizations in its orbit. The corporate sponsored think tanks and curriculum for race education, is focused on interpersonal relations, micro-aggressions and shaming whites for enjoying the lion' share of privileges and power. White shaming is a well worn tactic.

However, the struggle against racism will accomplish very little or nothing without an organized movement which advances specific, concrete demands on the government to change laws and public policies that currently permit and promote widespread race discrimination in employment, housing, lending, insurance and K-12 and higher education. The civil rights act of 1964 and subsequent legislation and case law rely heavily of private action through the courts and little to no government enforcement. The objective was to demobilize the civil rights movement by eliminating government mandated discrimination while covertly promoting and permitting widespread discrimination via token enforcement of civil rights laws and via laws and public policy with a disparate impact on marginalized racial groups. In general, programs to detect and prosecute race discrimination in employment and housing don't exist.

In K-12 education, retention rates for new teachers in big cities are generally low, which results in high concentrations of probationary teachers, especially in schools where students from marginalized racial groups are heavily concentrated. The marginalized racial groups are also over-represented in watered down curriculum tracks. These practices are defended as being cost effective by keeping a larger pool of low paid teachers and simplification of the curiculum for less experienced teachers, but there are increased costs of recruitment, training, administration and special Education services. Making a quality, public education available to all on an equal basis requires protecting teachers from arbitrary termination of employment and other policies designed to increase teacher retention and the elimination of watered down curriculum tracks vis curriculum enrichment, upgrading the skills of teachers and improving teacher retention / reducing teacher turnover. Reforms along these lines are facilitated by strong unions with strong protections against unfair treatment and terminations. However, teachers unions are generally not fighting to reform the public schools along these lines. Instead, teachers unions generally accept policies that are formulated by a neoliberal school reform movement which has the support of a big majority of Democrats and Republicans in Congress. State legislatures and local school boards follow the lead of the federal government. The neoliberal agenda includes deprofessionalizing, deskilling and deunionizing the teaching profession, privatization / charterization of public school systems and no realistic steps to make a quality, public education available to all on an equal basis,.

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Jan 2, 2023Liked by Brook Hines

Thank you.

- alan2102z (twitter)

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Well done.

Mostly Democrats but uniparty Republicans too have been doing this quietly for decades and everything has gone according to plan with no real setbacks. They have lied to us, frightened us to gain control and made their cronies rich with their machinations. They have deadlines and timelines and have never known defeat. In 2016 a showman billionaire threw a wrench into everything by being elected president. That’s the reason for the complete hysteria on election night. They didn’t know what to do with someone who wasn't part of their uniparty and someone with whom they don't have information or plan to control. The next four years they pulled out all the stops obstruct him so he could make some but no real progress (and many of the people doing so were Republicans). That’s why they made 100% sure that Trump would lose in 2020 - we know the details of the lies and censorship to help make that happen. The uniparty hasn’t lost it's mind, they’ve simply come out into the open. Their followers, primarily Democrats at this point, can't understand how their "principled" party is behaving so they go to great lengths to justify it as they cannot reconcile their belief in their party with what is actually happening. Cognitive dissonance at a breathtaking scale.

It’s to the point where I only trust Trump, and that’s not an easy sentence to write. I was against him for some time as well. It’s a given that if you run in certain circles (especially intellectual), in order to be taken seriously (or possibly even associated with), you have to vehemently disavow Republicans & especially Trump. Even Elon Musk attempts to retain some degree of “credibility” by saying he voted for Biden.

I have to say - F that.

Since 2016, we’ve seen our universities, all forms of media, military, corporations, and every facet of federal government sell out for outright lies. Russian collision. Covid/Fauchi. MRNA vaccine tyranny. And now, Ukraine, where I’ve become firmly convinced that those currently at the top of *both* parties will settle for nothing less than regime change. And if it goes nuclear, well, they’re banking that the world will turn to the WEF-aligned elite to take charge on a global level and restore order. Their order.

The ONLY ones they do not have in their back pockets are the Donald Trumps (warts and all) of the world. You don’t hear much from supposed EU savior Giorgia Meloni. Makes me wonder how/if they got to her. I don’t even trust the Jeb Bush-endorsed DeSantis (although I would likely vote for him if it came down to it).

Populist republicans like Trump are our only hope, and we need a large enough contingent of registered classically liberal democrats to see that-and vote accordingly-for a generation, or I truly fear for our future.

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The left is communist. In their pursuit of power at any cost, they have brought the United States of America into totalitarianism. They need to be removed or our days as a free republic are over.

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I love the article becuase it hits on a lot of truths regards to Trump and American covidianism. I just subscribed but noticed you are an anticapitalist. Socialism and communism is not the answer to corrupted capitalism. The answer to corruption is truth and the rule of law and end to big government. Libertarianism can never work in the current situation unless you are talking about a national divorce. What is required is this nation returns to God in Christ otherwise we will be in a totalitarian tyranny that will actually begin to hurt and kill its citizens.

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