Monday, May 15, 2006

The Death of the Intelligent Left

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Hitchens in the Sunday Times of London:

The third reason, not quite so well laid out by the rather 10th-rate theoreticians of today’s left, is that once you decide that American-led “globalisation” is the main enemy, then any revolt against it is better than none at all. In some way yet to be determined, Al-Qaeda might be able to help to stave off global warming. (I have not yet checked to see how this is squared with Bin Laden’s diatribe of last weekend, summoning all holy warrior aid to the genocidal rulers of Sudan as they complete the murder of African Muslims, and as they sell all their oil to China to create a whole new system of carbon emissions in Asia. At first sight, it looks like blood for oil to me.)

This hectic collapse in the face of brutish irrationality and the most cynical realpolitik has taken far too long to produce antibodies on the left. However, a few old hands and some sharp and promising new ones have got together and produced a statement that is named after the especially unappealing (to me) area of London in which it was discussed and written.

The “Euston Manifesto” keeps it simple. It prefers democratic pluralism, at any price, to theocracy. It raises an eyebrow at the enslavement of the female half of the population and the burial alive of homosexuals. It has its reservations about the United States, but knows that if anything is ever done about (say) Darfur, it will be Washington that receives the UN mandate to do the heavy lifting.

You can read and sign the Euston Manifesto here.

Hitchens is rightfully appalled that the left he was once a central figure of has disintegrated to an anti-American/anti-democracy group that will cozy up to the most ruthless of dictators and become said dictators apologists. You can rattle them off, Chavez, Castro, Milosevic, Hussein and Hezbollah. They are all supported by todays sorry excuse for an ideology that was once intelligent and thoughtful but is now reactionary and debased.

These pseudo-intellectuals are found at sites such as this, this and this. Why did I select those sites? Because they've forgotten what a liberal is supposed to be and have bastardized the meaning. They are at the forefront of the neo-liberal movement and have grown into a force on the Democrat side. They attract tens of thousands of people who are being shaped by what they write.

As a quick example, let's look at what is on the frontpage of Daily Kos:

On ABC News, Call Records, And The Protection of Sources

Air America Coming to YearlyKos, With Wireless!

Feds Tracking Press/Source Phone Calls

Now let's go to the right-wing equivalent, LGF:

Dutch Muslim Group Celebrates Hirsi Ali's Departure

Iraqi Cleric on Al Jazeera: "This Arab Islamic Nation Must Obtain a Nuclear Bomb"

Journalism, RoP Style

This is a representative sampling of the front pages of both sites. You tell me who has the more important posts.

While I don't profess to being a liberal--far from it actually--the right side of the blogosphere is closer to the liberal movement of the middle part of the last century than todays "progressive movement" is. While we are pointing out daily the abuses wrought on the people of Darfur, China, Iran and in the past Rwanda, "progressives" are writing made-up stories about Karl Rove indictments and praising Hezbollah as Noam Chomsky did last week.

If Bill Clinton had freed 50-million people from barbarous oppression as Bush did, we would've given him the praise he deserved (instead he bombed the Iraqi nation for the duration of the impeachment trial and stopped the day the trial did). These people were subject to rape, stoning of homosexuals and imprisonment for uttering a bad word about their "leaders" even in the privacy of their homes. Sadly, todays left can't bring themselves to applaud the freedom they now have. Instead they point out the lack of electricity or count the American military dead with glee. (Update: a great example of how these people think can be found here via this site who, again, linked with glee.)

How did the true liberal movement digress to the grotesque state they now have become?

There is no argument that would suffice in protecting wanton criminals who rule through brutality and fear.

The neo-liberals in this country--out of shame most likely--defend the tyrannical dictators by comparing them to Bush and in some circumstances saying that Bush is worse. Who could be so intellectually dishonest as to even conceive of that analogy?

That's a question I fear we may find an answer to soon enough.

Update: If you want a clear indication of what I mean, read the first comment. That is what now passes for intelligent debate on the neo-left. It's sad that he didn't even rebut the basic points made here. Sad but par for the course.

Update (5/17): Do you want more proof that the far left is the mainstream? How about Indymedia quashing the Flight 77 video conspiracy theorists but Google doesn't.

Let's make this clear, Google cites Indymedia as a news service but not LGF.

Update (5/17): I should make clear that Charles' site, as have most of ours, migrated to the right center while the left has made a hard run to the fringe. I don't consider LGF as a conservative site, but I do consider it a center-right site based on the current political climate.

I was also left of center political animal once, then I saw what they were becoming and was appalled. That was in the mid 90's and the disintegration of what was once the liberal movement is complete.

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