Sunday, July 18, 2004

Confusion of the Left

Although the debate on the Iraq war has died down a bit, there is still reason for scrutinizing the rift between the "anti-Imperialist" Chomskyite Left and the democratic and antitotalitarian Left.

The problem with the Chomskyite Left is that amidst all of their pseudo-revolutionary, anti-globalization rantings they do not have much of an ideology. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the far Left can no longer lean on Communism -- although some Neo-Stalinist groups such as Stop the War Coalition in the UK seem to be ignorant of the fall of the Soviet Union. Theirs is a strange mix of life-style anarchism, anti-Americanism, Anti-Occidentalism, Isolationism and "anti-Zionism" (which often comes down to pure anti-Semitism).

All these ingredients make the anti-war Left a pretty reactionary lot. Galloway's and the Socialist Worker's Party's flirtation with radical Islamists in the UK is one proof of this. Siding with religious fanatics with a hatred for modernity and liberal democracy can hardly be called progressive.

This dark mixture of ideas is not only cynical, but also dangerous. We live in a time when the greatest totalitarian threat is coming from radical Islamofascism. Having a so-called Left that not only chooses to ignore this fact, but who actually co-operates with Islamofascists and has been unwilling to (as in Iraq) refuse to support the toppling of a dictator in order to free a people from oppression is appalling.

I am afraid that these sentiments are not exclusive tho the far Left. Some people mith moderate leftist views also hold them to be true. The problem is that people on the Left harbouring these anti-democratic ideals seem to be quite vociferous.

What is the remedy to all of this? I am not sure. But I know that there is a need for the democratic and moderate Left to regroup.

There is a need for a strong democratic centre-Left or moderate Left with clear principles and the ability to combine idealism with pragmatism. A democratic movement wich is as libertarian as it is egalitarian, and which is -- this is the important part -- strongly antitotalitarian. This movement also needs to be clearly internationalist in its approach, as opposed to the current isolationist tendency of the anti-war Left. It also needs to recognize the fact that regime change and liberal interventionism sometimes is necessary and perhaps even vital to world peace. In these days of religious fanaticism it also needs to promote the Humanistic values we have inherited from the Enlightenment.

These are confusing days, but the choice between supporting liberal democracy or clerical Fascism should be crystal clear.


At July 19, 2004 at 4:24 PM, Blogger Francois Brutsch said...

Greetings from Geneva, Switzerland (and London, UK)! Nice to find also outside Britain and the US some leftwing anti-islamofascism blog! I added you on our blogroll at Un swissroll (in French). Francois Brutsch

At July 19, 2004 at 4:34 PM, Blogger Frederick said...


Thanks. I'll check out your blog as soon as I get a chance. However, there could be a problem since my French isn't what it ought to be after all those years at school...

At July 19, 2004 at 6:23 PM, Blogger Ian said...

Just to wish you good luck, Frederick, from someone who visited Sweden for the first time last month. My thoughts were "This seems to me a great country, but does anyone here have a sensible take on the current crisis of the left?". Apparently someone does, so: keep up the good work!

Ian (liberal hawk South African living in Berlin...:))

At July 19, 2004 at 7:47 PM, Blogger Frederick said...


Thanks a lot. It's good to know there are more people on the same wavelength.


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