Not so it seems. Before Marx the non-revolutionary, reformist, 'left' (anachronistic, I know) was broadly on the side of the little people and of an increase in individual freedoms and, above all, maintaining a healthy suspicion of an over-mighty executive. Now it is more and more characterised by a belief in regulation and control and, arguably, a fear of the very people it claims to represent. In many ways despite the fall of communism, in terms of social policy, if not in economics, the 'marxists' have won - ironically, particularly in the west which for so long resisted the political and economic imbecilities of Soviet-style socialism.
It's particularly tragic that the mainstream Churches (out of a laudable concern for the poorest in society) have largely swallowed the myth of a benign and ever-expanding State, with - now - its own not-to-be-questioned secular value systems which are increasingly seen to be at odds with the Gospel and the Christian tradition. Having largely been responsible for the founding of state education, the Church will very soon be hard put to defend even its current role, regarded by secularists (quite contrary to the evidence, but when was that ever a factor?) as inherently divisive and elitist.
This is Brendan O'Neill on the British left's hatred of 'free schools', a modest enough measure of change and deregulation but something running contrary to the prevailing philosophy that 'education' should be a primary tool of social engineering and more concerned with inculcating 'correct' attitudes (that is, the prevailing fashionable liberal nostrums) rather than ... well .... learning things...
" ...It also reveals a lot about the modern Left’s unthinking devotion to the state, and its corresponding distrust of anything that exists outside of the state. What Roach is effectively saying is that if the all-knowing, all-caring, super-multicultural state isn’t on hand to tell children to be racially respectful, then those children will drift towards hateful thinking. He seems so enamoured of the state that he cannot conceive of the possibility that non-state actors – whether it’s parents, neighbours, teachers not tied to state-style diktats – just might be able to inculcate children with some pretty decent moral values. In the modern Left’s worldview, if the state isn’t permanently on standby with its ready-made list of values, bucketloads of welfare cash, parenting advice and whatnot, then ordinary people will starve, go mad, turn racist and end up as fodder for fascism..."Read it all here