Ok, I've never really heard anyone here explain what the left is (except the one dude with the asinine and convoluted definition about 'how the left doesn't exist because people don't perceive the left or it doesn't do the same thing as 100 years ago).
I've obviously used this place as a bit of a platform to rant against muhleft or the left (tm), and I genuinely appreciate the latitude the mods have given me to do that - since I feel like critique of the left has always been a tradition within the broader termed left. (Bolshevik split with the Mensheviks, the anti-revisionists broke from the USSR, in the west the 60s new left broke from the old, etc).
In some ways, the fake and ghey left is an example of a section of the broader left trying to distinguish themselves from the rest, albeit on a misguided cultural footing within the lap of finance capital.
But, this still an open question: what is the left.
I always find myself returning to the Marx quote - the free development of each is the free development of all.
This presents a sort of paradox, since development (on the individual and collective level) itself is never free. It always has an expense. Moreover, often development occurs faster through episodes of adversity, challenge, and even necessity.
At the same time you have a situation in which something is to lacking of freedom, has very little optionality or autonomy, it becomes stunted or dies, or it develops accordingly as cattle.
So you have these two (four really) qualities you wanted to maximize: collective and individual liberty and development. Of course, you cant completely 'max out' one without sacrificing stats in the others, but you can arrange a society in which all are raised a great bit.Post too long. Click here to view the full text.