Jacobin columnist: Left increasingly focused on ‘moralistic policing’

Ben Burgis, a philosophy professor and columnist for the liberal magazine Jacobin, argued Tuesday that more progressive members of the Democratic Party are focusing on critiquing “individual morality,” rather than strategies to achieve policy goals. 

During an interview Tuesday on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Burgis discussed his new book, “Canceling Comedians While the World Burns: A Critique of the Contemporary Left,” in which he faults fellow leftists for focusing on attacks against people who do not live up to their moralistic standards. 

“It seems to me that many people who I agree with politically, who have all the same political goals as I do, as a leftist, as a democratic socialist… have bought into to a great extent a way of doing politics that’s much more about individual morality,” he said.

Burgis described the current push among liberals as more focused on “whether people are problematic as people, than it is about trying to appeal to the broadest possible mass of people in order to actually achieve all of those goals that we say we care about.” 

The author said that while the left may want to achieve universal health care, end conflicts across the globe and promote democratic socialism, members of the party now “have to pick between a focus on sort of moralistic policing of exactly how people are acting and operating at all times in petty ways,” and a “broader focus on those things that you say you care about.” 

Watch part of Burgis’s interview above.