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Old 01-22-2007, 04:31 AM   #1
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What's Left: How Liberals Lost Their Way

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There were many moments in the Thirties when fascists and communists co-operated - the German communists concentrated on attacking the Weimar Republic's democrats and gave Hitler a free run, and Stalin's Soviet Union astonished the world by signing a pact with Nazi Germany in 1939. But after Hitler broke the terms of the alliance in the most spectacular fashion by invading the Soviet Union in 1941, you could rely on nearly all of the left - from nice liberals through to the most compromised Marxists - to oppose the tyrannies of the far right. Consistent anti-fascism added enormously to the left's prestige in the second half of the 20th century. A halo of moral superiority hovered over it because if there was a campaign against racism, religious fanaticism or neo-Nazism, the odds were that its leaders would be men and women of the left. For all the atrocities and follies committed in its name, the left possessed this virtue: it would stand firm against fascism. After the Iraq war, I don't believe that a fair-minded outsider could say it does that any more.
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Read the whole thing; the big issues of secularism, reason and individual rights are presented as what is at stake.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:31 AM   #2
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I'm a bit confused, did you mean to link to this?
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:36 AM   #3
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Quite, the agony of multiple windows.
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:32 PM   #4
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Poor old Nick Cohen, the twists and turns people go through to justify their support for the war on Iraq never fail to amaze.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:32 PM   #5
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ah yes, TEH LEFT and their historical support for the crimes of Stalin, Pol Pot and now er, Saddam Hussein.

Do we really want to talk about fascism again, cause that one is very open to debate and discussion.

Also, at other times in the 1930s communists and facists were at open war, viz the Spanish Civil War. So I mean, not to ruin a good field theory or anything...

And of course all nice liberals are required to defend communism cause democratic socialism is the same as communism, guys.
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:54 AM   #6
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ha, well put zed.

but i'm not sure the irony will be acknowledged as such
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:28 AM   #7
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Originally posted by Kieran McConville
ah yes, TEH LEFT and their historical support for the crimes of Stalin, Pol Pot and now er, Saddam Hussein.

Do we really want to talk about fascism again, cause that one is very open to debate and discussion.

Also, at other times in the 1930s communists and facists were at open war, viz the Spanish Civil War. So I mean, not to ruin a good field theory or anything...

And of course all nice liberals are required to defend communism cause democratic socialism is the same as communism, guys.
Well obviously, from the article
Quote:
Saddam Hussein appalled the liberal left. At leftish meetings in the late Eighties, I heard that Iraq encapsulated all the loathsome hypocrisy of the supposedly 'democratic' West. Here was a blighted land ruled by a terrible regime that followed the example of the European dictatorships of the Thirties. And what did the supposed champions of democracy and human rights in Western governments do? Supported Saddam, that's what they did; sold him arms and covered up his crimes. Fiery socialist MPs denounced Baathism, while playwrights and poets stained the pages of the liberal press with their tears for his victims. Many quoted the words of a brave Iraqi exile called Kanan Makiya. He became a hero of the left because he broke through the previously impenetrable secrecy that covered totalitarian Iraq and described in awful detail how an entire population was compelled to inform on their family and friends or face the consequences. All decent people who wanted to convict the West of subscribing to murderous double standards could justifi ably use his work as evidence for the prosecution.
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