Leftist refers to someone on the far-Left side of the political spectrum, perhaps initially a moderate but then more liberal, such as a progressive, socialist, Communist or a particularly liberal member of the American Democrat Party. A leftist supports collectivism, more government control of the economy, direct government control over social policy, including Federal control over education at all levels, lower military spending, censorship of religion, a living constitution, same-sex "marriages", a more unisex society, globalism, transnationalism, feminism, the homosexual agenda, taxpayer-funded abortion, and censorship of Christianity in public places.
Anarchist thinker Mikhail Bakunin critiqued prominent leftist theoritician Karl Marx in 1873 with these words,
- "..if the proletariat is to be the ruling class, over whom is it to rule? ...the peasant "rabble" who, as it is known, does not enjoy the sympathy of the Marxists who consider it to represent a lower level of culture, will probably be ruled by the factory proletariat of the cities. Or, if this problem is to be approached nationalistically, the Slavs will be placed in the same subordinate relationship to the victorious German proletariat in which the latter now stands to the German bourgeoisie." 
It should be noted that Bakunin was also a leftist, and in fact, the only difference he had from Marx was the exact extent that they should get rid of government. In addition, he also declared regarding anarchism: "Let us put our trust in the eternal spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unsearchable and eternally creative source of all life--the passion for destruction is also a creative passion!"
In the United States men such as Eugene Debs, Maurice Hilquit and Norman Thomas believed they could, by a gradual series of alterations in the structure of society, create a truly democratic world in which all people would enjoy not merely freedom, but prosperity. They believed this could not be achieved under the system of private property and profit. They advocated a gradual acquisition by the State of all the great utilities, transportation, communication, and basic industries such as coal, oil, and steel.
The dream of a cooperative commonwealth in which all would share equally in the prosperity created by an economic system owned by the people was the vision of Socialists. This in theory would end poverty, ignorance and crises. The idea was to nationalize banks, railroads, all means of transport, mines, and a few basic industries, but leave some factories, stores, farms, entertainment industries, etc., in the hands of private owners. The government would assume responsibility for making the economy work, for the well-being of all the citizens, their protection from the hazards of life, poverty, sickness, and old age. To make the whole economy work continuously without occasional boom-bust cycles, the government would create economic planning boards which would continuously study and observe the functioning of the economic system and make plans covering production, prices, distribution, financing, profits, wages, hours, etc. Thus there would be Planned Capitalism, with the State responsible for the planning and for ensuring the carrying out of its plans through great government bureaus armed with the necessary powers to enforce compliance.
In the 1920s Benito Mussolini had adopted the Planned Capitalist State and gave it the name "fascism". Adolf Hitler adopted the same idea and called it National Socialism. Mussolini and Hitler both realized that a system which imposes a vast complex of decrees upon a people while subjecting them to confiscatory taxes to support the immense activities of the government cannot be operated except by an absolute government that has the power to enforce compliance. Prior to World War II, this type of system had spread all over Europe. For nearly 70 years all the countries in Europe, with Germany in the lead, had been experimenting with the idea of the welfare state, the State which attempts to provide its people with jobs and protection from all the hazards of life.
This system is the direct opposite of classical liberalism. It is the negation of the classical liberal philosophy which for decades has been fighting to emancipate the people from the tyranny of the all powerful State. During the New Deal this doctrine became known in America as "liberalism". Liberals did not admit that it implied the restoration to the State those very powers which had been stripped from the State as the means of giving people freedom. They called it the Planned Economy. But it was and is fascism by whatever name it is known. Incrementally the government must be made stronger, and the rights of the citizens reduced.
Modern leftists in the United States have come under increasing criticism as advocates of thought control. Author David Limbaugh cites, "Consider the subjects of evolution, global warming, special rights for homosexuals and abstinence education. Consider efforts of the Left to silence conservative talk radio. Consider the mainstream media's arrogant denial of its transparent liberal bias, pronouncing itself to be above politics and inherently objective and its critics somehow skewed....Consider the leftist refrain that red state conservatives do not merely possess a different world view, but are not part of the 'reality-based community.'"
Decline of the secular Left
During the French Reign of Terror of the early Enlightenment, the Left attempted a de-Christianization movement to replace the "reactionary" worship of God and replace it with the worship of national patriotism, or the Patrie. Many churches were closed and either converted into Temples of Reason, or otherwise demolished outright under the order of Jacobin leader Maximilien de Robespierre under the pretense that their design was "undemocratic." The Left even formed a new calendar secularizing Christian holidays. This calendar was short lived though and was never accepted in the rural, more religious parts of France. In addition, it was also stated that the Left-wing had some origins in the Book of Revelations when Jesus transfigured people on his right and left as sheep and goats, respectively.
Leftism and the use of mockery rather than reasonable argumentation
See also: Atheism and mockery
In a BloombergView article, Stephen L. Carter wrote about the Left:
|“||But the left has work to do, not only on policy and organization but also on attitude. Too many of my progressive friends seem to have forgotten how to make actual arguments, and have become expert instead at condemnation, derision and mockery. On issue after issue, they’re very good at explaining why no one could oppose their policy positions except for the basest of motives. As to those positions themselves, they are too often announced with a zealous solemnity suggesting that their views are Holy Writ -- and those who disagree are cast into the outer political darkness. In short, the left has lately been dripping with hubris, which in classic literature always portends a fall.||”|
Although the secular left is known for ridiculing religion since at least the time of French Revolution (see: Atheism and mockery), the secular Left is known for its humorlessness when it comes to others mocking of its ideology (See also: Atheism and humor and Atheism and intolerance and Atheist hypocrisy).
- Michael Bakunin, Statism and Anarchy, (1873), in Sam Dolgoff, Bakunin On Anarchy, (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1972), p. 330.
- Reaction in Germany, 1842
- Leftist Thought Control, David Limbaugh, Human Events, 05/04/2007.
- John Hall Stewart, A Documentary Survey of the French Revolution (Macmillan, New York, 1963).
- Operation Parricide: Sade, Robespierre & the French Revolution
- Trump and the Fall of Liberalism by Stephen L. Carter, BloombergView
- Atheists & Agnostics in America Tend to be Politically Liberal
- Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.”
- James Adair (2007). Christianity. JBE Online Books. Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “Although the Civil Constitution called for religious liberty, which was extended to Jews as well as Christians, many revolutionaries pushed for the establishment of a new state religion, either the Cult of Reason (atheists) or the Cult of the Supreme Being (Deists). Although the Civil Constitution called for religious liberty, which was extended to Jews as well as Christians, many revolutionaries pushed for the establishment of a new state religion, either the Cult of Reason (atheists) or the Cult of the Supreme Being (Deists). Changes to the calendar eliminated references to Christian holidays, and even the ancient seven-day week, and a list of officially recognized saints included such famous thinkers such as Socrates, Jesus, Marcus Aurelius, and Jean-Jacques Rosseau. A period of political persecution, often with religious overtones, broke out, known as the Reign of Terror. Thousands of people were executed by the guillotine, including many of the original leaders of the French Revolution.”
- William Belsham (1801). Memoirs of the reign of George III. to the session of parliament ending A.D. 1793, Volume 5. G.G. & J. Robinson. Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “Reign of this portentous period, it has been eloquently tenor, and energetically observed, "that the reign of atheism in France was avowed the reign of terror. In the full madness of their career, in the highest climax of their horrors, they shut up the temples of God, abolished His worship, and proclaimed death to be an eternal sleep:-in the very centre of Christendom, Revelation underwent a total eclipse, while atheism, performing on a darkened theatre its strange and fearful tragedy, confounded the first elements of society, blended every age, rank, and sex ,indiscriminate proscription and massacre, and convulsed all Europe to its centre, that the imperishable memorial of these events might teach the last generations of mankind to consider religion as the pillar of society, the parent of social order, and the safe-guard of nations." It is wonderful that, amid the horrors of this dismal period, while "the death dance of democratic revolution" was still in rapid movement, among the tears of affliction, and the cries of despair, "the masque, the song, the theatric scene, the buffoon laughter, went on as regularly as in the gay hour of festive peace."”
- William Kilpatrick (2012). Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. Ignatius Press. Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “Actually, it's helpful to think in terms of two Enlightenments: the Enlightenment that cut itself off from God. The former led to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the abolition of slavery, and the civil rights movement. The latter led to the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, the suppression of church by state, and the godless philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche and their offspring-National Socialism and Communism. More recently the abandonment of God has led to the regime of cultural relativism that regards rights as arbitrary constructions. It's this second Enlightenment tradition that Cardinal Ratzinger referred to when he wrote, "The radical detachment of the Enlightenment philosophy from its roots ultimately leads it to dispense with man." Actually this transition happened no "ultimately" but almost immediately. The first instance occurred when Enlightenment worship of abstract "reason" and "liberty" degenerated quickly into the mass murders committed during the anti-religious Reign of Terror in France. "Liberty, what crimes are committed in your name", said Madam Rolande as she faced the statue of Liberty in the Place de la Revolution movements before her death at the guillotine. She was one of the early victims of a succession of secular systems based on rootless notions of "liberty", "equality", and "reason". As many historians have pointed out, the atheist regimes of modern times are guilty of far more crimes than any committed in the name of religion. Communist governments alone were guilty of more than one hundred million murders, most of them committed against their own people.”
- The Imploding Leftist Establishment, American Thinker
- V. I. Lenin, "Left-Wing" Communism, An Infantile Disorder (1920) V. I. Lenin, Selected Works, English edition, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1952, Vol. II, Part 2.
- John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), THE MOTIVATIONS OF POLITICAL LEFTISTS