First of all, forget the ‘60s. This situation has been brewing for over 100 years. I was born into a working-class socialist family in New Zealand in 1960. Democratic socialism had been established by popular reforms in the 1930s. By the late ‘50s, almost every working-class child in New Zealand was raised socialist.
But we didn’t call it socialism. We called it “workers’ rights.” In my family, my older siblings and I were the third generation of socialists. We never chose socialism, we inherited it. In the late ‘60s, the younger middle-class joined us.
It is especially in the British Commonwealth that millions have been raised by leftists, who were raised by leftists, who were raised by leftists, and so on. Some leftist families have been so for more than a century. They consider themselves leftist royalty.
For the millions raised as leftists, it is not an ideology; it is a culture. Since childhood, they have lived and breathed it every day in the home. They know nothing else. Like any culture, it is a way of speaking, thinking and acting, with its own narratives and rituals. Narratives are held sacred, repeated, reinforced and, over time, added to. That which challenges sacred narratives, even reality itself, is met with confusion and hostility. As with any aggressive, intolerant culture, if you enter it, it enters you.
Contrary to opinion, leftism isn’t just about hate. Leftists are more complex than that. From my time as a red diaper leftist, I can tell you that a whole range of emotions are involved. Hate, anger, fear, bitterness, jealousy, envy, rage, greed, pride, smugness and paranoia (not technically an emotion, but it is widespread among leftists).
With such a parade of negative emotions, it is no surprise that so many leftists suffer from chronic depression, often from a young age. Even if they lose the anger, they still retain the attitude: that the government must fix everyone’s problems, regardless of cost and that there is an enormous right-wing conspiracy that is just around the corner.
The victim narrative of the Left is very infectious. You are always the victim and you are always owed something. The wealthy are always evil, while you are always good and wholesome. Converts are often more intense than those born into it. My father, raised a leftist, eventually mellowed and began to question some leftist beliefs. My mother, not raised a leftist, but having become one, never mellowed.
The victim narrative was in every conversation.
The class struggle/oppressed victim narrative is part of daily life on the Left. As a child, I would listen to adults talking. With friends and co-workers, with mothers chatting over tea, it was part of every conversation. They would talk about the weather, their kids, television, but before parting, one of them would always say something relating to the greedy oppression of the rich — and the other had to agree. To not agree was social suicide.
While there were differences between working-class and middle-class leftists, certain attitudes were universal:
When a leftist has never worked, they feel very generous toward anyone who claims to need help, who fits the narrative. They are generous with their emotions.
When they do get their first real job, they are often shocked by the amount of taxes withheld and have a moment of doubt. But this moment of doubt gives non-leftists an opening. So the young leftist, terrified he/she will be changed, quickly walls off this doubt in their mind and refuses to touch it, until it fades.
Economics are not usually considered part of a culture, but for red-diaper leftists, their attitude to economics is cultural. It is part of the core, sacred narrative. They usually have a child-like view of economics, which they often have inherited from their parents. This is probably why the doubt triggered by their first tax shock is so easily forgotten for leftists. The child-like view is comfortable and familiar. Once amnesia sets in and comfort returns, discussions of economic reality are seen as right-wing propaganda.
Leftists hear big numbers and picture Scrooge McDuck’s money bin, not infrastructure, maintenance, specialized equipment, transportation, training, payrolls, etc.
For leftists, industry has so much money. Businesses make huge profits. The price of everything is too high. The government has billions. They want to keep it all for themselves and their rich friends. So leftists believe that these evil people must be made to spend the money on things the leftists themselves choose.
Leftists combine child-like naïveté and paranoid aggression in all of their narratives. It is a remarkable and very damaging pairing. The child-like naïveté protects the narrative from facts while the paranoid aggression protects the mind from doubt. For red-diaper babies, this thinking competes with their normal emotional and intellectual development, causing an internal struggle that can go either way.
In the same family, one child may be a mellow, half-hearted leftist while another is a dedicated communist. The one who feels the greatest need to please the parents will probably be the dedicated communist. The Left, on the surface, may look to some like a movement of young misfits, but it is old, huge and culturally entrenched, not just in Europe, but also in most of the English-speaking nations. Leftism is a family history, a cultural mindset and a way of life for millions of households. It is a set of core sacred narratives and daily conversations.
Children inherit leftism as a belief system, knowing nothing else. By the time that they are old enough to hear other points of view, they are indoctrinated. It has become their moral compass.
Leftism encourages and is driven by the most negative, damaging emotions. It harnesses together childish emotions and paranoid thought processes. Its narratives are a filter that reality has to try to struggle through, often failing.
The child-like thinking solves all problems without pesky details and facts interfering, leading to delusions of intellectual brilliance.
It is actually very hard to give up being a leftist, even when you want to. I know people whose families have been murdered by communists and they are still leftists. It is not enough to see the problems. If you are a red-diaper baby, it’s all you know. You have been indoctrinated (with the media’s help) that the so-called Right is greedy and evil and the religious are hypocritical and delusional. Even if you have doubts, there is nowhere else to go, not without literally changing your mind.
I saw the cracks early. My parents had a fanatical hatred of the middle class and never spoke to them, if possible. In my teens I realized my father hated the wealthy because he wasn’t one. That didn’t stop me being a leftist. It made me want to be a better leftist than my parents. I began to see that class struggle was becoming a scam to get more free stuff. I still sought a perfect form of communism. I met upper middle class leftists and was appalled by their arrogance and snobbery. I traveled the world and did not find any form of communism that did not depend on capitalism to save it from collapse.
Returning home, I had daily conversations with a Jewish doctor who was pro-life. Every day we discussed morals and faith. I began to understand the concept of faith, moral absolutes and self-sacrifice; all new to me. A few weeks later, God spoke to me.
I tried to be a Christian and a moderate leftist. I wasn’t alone. Moderate leftists do not think of themselves as leftists. They think of themselves as balanced and reasonable. I worked with refugees and they told me about the torture, slavery and mass murder of the communist “freedom fighters.” This killed any lingering sentiment regarding communism.
I married a refugee and she tried to stab me. I also found that the refugees had very dark secrets. My feel-good multiculturalism slowly died. I began to see the strength of Judeo-Christian civilization. I saw the dishonesty and viciousness of the Marxist-Feminists, who had taken over the Left. The feminism my mother had stuffed down my throat every day had died. When I argued with leftists, their near-psychotic rage shocked me. I felt I was talking to lunatics.
Despite all this, it is hard to totally leave leftist thinking because it surrounds you. It has become mainstream. It’s like trying to bail a boat with holes in the bottom. It takes a persistent intellectual effort to leave it behind. But there is another reason why it takes time to dig out the leftist brain parasite. A powerful lie lives there. It is the most powerful lie they have. It is that the Left “cares.” You must fully embrace the fact that this is a lie. All leftist “caring” has a hidden agenda.
Michael Faraday describes himself as a former useful idiot. He has worked as a refugee advocate and history teacher. He now teaches young people with Autism. He has spent three decades unlearning leftist thinking.