The question of defining the left is not so simple at this point because of a generation of confusion since 1989 (and before!)so I will cite my own perspective on this in a form I am sure not many of the current so-called left will accept. Yet it is in the mainstream of the classic left too influenced by Marxism now, although the figures of the early socialists and Marx/Engels remain the classic saga
Anyone who calls him/herself a leftist must address the issues of the JFK/9/11 conspiracies and the conspiracy theory-mongering of leftists starting with Chomsky that plays into the hands of the US and Mossad.. Anyone who peddles the official versions is a dupe and no leftist…
The other contentious issue is Darwinism and the debriefing of its ideological theory of natural selection. Here again Marx’s errors have haunted the left. Time to be done with it as a theory leaving the robust empirical data of evolution. The confusion created by Darwinism has destroyed the old left, cf. the Stalinist (suppressed) history here…
I point to my The Last Revolution:
The_Last_Revolution_Postcapitalist Futures_ ED5_4_17_23
This is free online at redfortyeight.com and essentially done with versions in Kindle and paperback at Amazon.
The book is what books on the left (probably) should be from now on: self-published outside of the big publishers using the new technologies of book production.
This perspective calls
for a new take/clean break with older lefts dominated by Marxism.
It frees itself from groupie leftism, Gandhian pseudo-activism, bolshevism, etc…And historical materialism and dialectical materialism, the useless idealism/materialism debate, etc…
I take the position that Marx’s praxis is one thing but his theories are a millstone around the neck of the left. Marx/Engels took up the early socialists and made a starting point, but then they created a monopoly of the subject and turned the early internationals into crackpots on theory. The far more thought out work of the Kantian ethical socialists was virtually banned.
So the Last Rev offers a new view of history and evolution, a history that is not the dated theory junk of scientism, etc…
The stance is that of neo-communism (the term communism is dropped) in a complete restart that denounces Bolshevism, Russian, Chinese or otherwise.
It reviews the history of socialism/communism and tries to clarify the confusion over economics and markets in a transition to a sane postcapitalist economy, with a new International. In that context it creates a foundation for an ecosocialist resolution of a neo-communist culture and economy with a special democratic four party state. Its model of ‘democratic market neo-communism’ shows the utterly simple solution to the confusion created by Marx et al, e.g. state capitalism, wrong ideas of planning, failure to define a Commons, botch of social democratic rights, etc…
This material in the text is quite elaborated in a way that Marx refused to do with the horrific result starting with Lenin.
A lot more to say here, but using the term ‘left’ is mostly gibberish in the fashionable celebrity left or the realm of the left websites and journals. The left has also been crippled by infiltration by covert agencies
The above is too much no doubt for those who think themselves on the left. It will be cancelled at once by the left cocktail circuit, so-called socialist websites, and publishers. In fact, I fear we have no left at all.