I've recently read on this bbs the term "dirt bag left"

Who is this “dirt bag left” ?

What are their defining characteristics ?


It’s the section of the left that rejects “civility” politics and prefers sarcastic humour over moralistic scolding. Chapo Trap House podcast is the ur-example. That said, the term basically means nothing these days. It tends to get thrown around as yet another fucking label.


Seems to me I’ve seen it used in conjunction with white men not wanting to address issues of race and gender, but would rather ignore those things as “not real”. Think people like Joe Rogan. They don’t care about women and people of color, or LBGQT+ folks, either. Is it really “civility politics” to address these issues and treat people who aren’t white dudes as human beings who face different kinds of oppression?


Yup. They call themselves leftist, and often tend to be stans of people like Bernie Sanders because they claim to be about breaking down class barriers… provided they don’t have to actually stop being sexist, ableist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, antisemitic, anti-Islamic… they don’t really want a classless society, they just don’t want the classes to be income-based.

No fucking thanks.


I find these answers useful to me understanding this.

I had not thought of Joe Rogan as on the left at all so I find that interesting.

I also like this bit:

they don’t really want a classless society, they just don’t want the classes to be income-based.

… to be worrying for me. Like, I hadn’t thought of that. And I need to spend some time thinking about it. Thank you.


Really? From what I have seen online, I hadn’t seen anything associated with the Dirtbag left as being hateful or ignoring those issues- They just tended to go in hard against clueless neoliberal pandering on identity, and their own analysis tends to be universalising, class based stuff. And Joe Rogan wasn’t really one of them, his podcast just got used as platform by some of the Dirtbag left, because he had an audience and would let them air their views. His audience containing a lot of people who need to be won back from the right was a bonus.

The worst I’ve heard is the CTH reddit channel getting taken over by a bunch of full-on tankies, so It’s probably good that that got nuked. Stalinism can fuck off.

Like I said, though. It’s all just labels at this point, and it doesn’t really matter if people use it as a slur or a reclaim it for themselves.

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I have not been on CTH, but others who have said it included a good deal of sexism and racism. :woman_shrugging:


They devoted an entire episode to mocking the victims of MOVE. They just recently were a driving force behind harrassing a disabled Jewish woman off Twitter, with ableist, anti-semitic attacks.


How is any of that helpful to making a better society?


I had a look at r/CTH before it was quarantined, and I felt unsafe there.

Other people say that the community was supportive when they came out as trans, but I couldn’t see how it would be. Maybe I just have higher standards for what is and isn’t transphobia, or maybe it’s because I grew up in a place that could be considered dirt bag left (nominally left wing, but with big problems around racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia.) Just because they are better than conservatives doesn’t mean I should support them. They can and should be better.

CTH isn’t the worst of the dirt bag left either.

Another left wing podcast with a banned reddit community.


Right? If they’re not wiling to acknowledge that specific groups in our society suffer from greater oppression than white straight cisgendered working class men, which is absolutely reality, then why the hell should we believe they’ll support the struggles of people who don’t look like them?

JFC, grow the fuck up assholes.


It means anyone to the Left of the DNC who doesn’t sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, and refuses to give enthusiastic tongue baths to the "moderate centrists’ " cloacae


Except they seem to deny racism, sexism, transpobia, etc. :woman_shrugging: These things exist and they intersect with class issues. Ignoring reality doesn’t fix shit. We can work on class as it intersects with other things. Ignoring things outside of class will only perpetuate them.

Or maybe you think me, @the_borderer, and @MalevolentPixy are on the right of the democratic party? I don’t see how you can have interacted with all of us for as long as you have and possibly believe that, though. None of us are shy about our political views and all of us are pretty fucking well informed on a variety of issues. Plus, you know, our lived experiences are fucking valid. I’m sick of being told that they are not, as a matter of fact.


No it doesn’t.

I’m politically so far to the left from the DNC that I can’t see it because of the curvature of the earth. If the right wing of the Democratic party are using “dirt bag left” as you describe then they don’t understand what it is (and how they have also some of the same behavior issues). It is the same as when Trumpists accuse antifa of being fascists, just because they say it is doesn’t mean it is.


I won’t deny that the Democratic party has used various issues of oppression to try and ignore the issues of class. Absolutely… but they’ve also not been great on actually moving on these issues in a productive way. The Democratic stance of “legal but rare” did not protect us from many states imposing real restrictions on abortion that had a disproportionate impact on working women, especially women of color, in accessing their right of bodily autonomy. It did not protect the Black community from the war on drugs. It did not help the LBGQT+ community where most of the recent, modest gains have come from the courts (nationwide at least) and have revolved around the most heteronormantive aspects of the struggle for equality (marriage rights).

Any decent literature on race, gender, LBGQT+ are going to be intersectional, and focus on the class aspects of these issues - that working class people of various categories are always going to be more oppressed. These are real issues faced by real human beings. The only moral position is to embrace those struggles and to work to dismantle all axes of oppression. As long as one of us are oppressed, we’re all vulnerable to being oppressed.


I find it a useless term because there are two almost mutually exclusive definitions of dirtbag left:

  1. Edgelord left. Taking the low road when they go low because if we take the high road, we just get punched in the face. It’s not really clear what left they stand for because a lot of these people say really shitty things, but they identify as left. See r/elchapotraphouse (or don’t ‘cos it’s gone, good riddance)

  2. Hollywood-commercial left. Think Harvey Weinstein. Think greenwashing. Think Clinton. They identify as left, but they’re just saying shit while doing the minimum possible to retain as much power as they currently have.

Both these groups of people refer to the other as the dirtbag left, but, speaking for myself, both are pretty undesirable.

Anyway, as it stands, the term is pretty useless when used by your average person because it’s not really clear what’s being referred to without plenty of context.


No. That’s not it at all.


And you’re all such pushovers? Always backing down to dirtbags.


Primly and properly, too. :grimacing: