Thursday, April 24, 2008

The open society and its enemies

Over in Britain, a debate has erupted over the state of the left and liberalism, a debate that is just as valid here.
Indeed, it echoes much of my 'whats left/ liberal facists' post earlier this month.
The Guardian kicked off the UK debate, with playwright David Edgar noting a raft of former leftists in 1960s Britain becoming backers of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
Anyway, Edgar writes:
"Just as past generations sought to reposition the fault-lines of 20th-century politics (notably, by bracketing communism with fascism as totalitarianism), so, now, influential writers seek to redraw the political map of our own time."
Next in the Guardian debate, Journalist and author Andrew Anthony refers to the story of former Islamic radical Ed Hussein.
"If you can really view someone who leaves an imperialist, anti-semitic, anti-democratic, ultra-religious party like Hizb ut-Tahrir and comes out in favour of democracy and religious tolerance as a defector moving rightwards, then it shows your political - not to mention, moral - compass is in urgent need of repair.
Edgar's complaint seems to be that when leftwingers criticise some aspect of the left, they then jump the centre and head straight for the right. Well, it's easy to name examples where that's true, but really what Edgar is arguing is that unless you sign up to his vision of the left, you have by definition joined the ranks of the right."
Indeed, Anthony looks at the views of many leftists today.
"We are still told by members of this "alliance" that it's racist to oppose Robert Mugabe, imperialist to applaud Tibetan protesters, that religion is the vanguard against Enlightenment liberalism, that people are defined first and foremost by their ethnicity and religion, and that if you strongly object to these positions, you can take the door marked "neocon defector".
It's all very well calling yourself progressive, David, but whatever happened to progress?"
Indeed, as Daily Mail and Spectator writer Melanie Philipps notes of such 'defectors':
"they have merely understood that one cannot be a true progressive and at the same time support the continuation of certain tyrannical regimes that enslave and murder their populations, even if they do belong to the sainted third world".
And Phillips come up with some fine quotes I am sure the leftists who read this blog will surely enjoy:
"The left believe a wide range of lies.
Others believe in the truth instead.
Therefore to the left, those people are ‘right-wing’.
Therefore truth is actually a right-wing concept.
Therefore truth is evil.Therefore truth has to be relabelled lies while lies of course remain unchallengeable truth."

"It is no exaggeration to say that, since the vast majority of the media and intellectual class in Britain are on the left, this mindset has quite simply poisoned British public debate and brought us to our current state of suicidal irrationality in the face of an unprecedented global threat."
And noting how the left always believe they are right, Phillips recounts her own journey from a soft-left journalist of the 70s and 80s discovering socialism wasn't working; to today where her conflict with Islamism, now means Phillips is now pilloried as a member of a Zionist far-right.
"The thing is, I don’t think I was ever really left-wing: more a soggy liberal just going along with the consensus. Then I was mugged by reality, as the saying goes; and the rest is history. But I still believe, as I always have done, in creating a better society; still believe in encouraging the good and discouraging the bad; still believe in fighting harm and tyranny rather than appeasing it."

Indeed, as a follow up to a recent post when I referred to the facism of the left, I was attacked over it. On other occassions I have been branded a facist myself.
I support 'family values', a minimal state and free markets where possible. I'm tough on crime and hawkish on defence.
But I support gay rights, I have no issue with gay marriage or something similar; I support women's equality, I support a woman's right to choose upto a certain age limit of the foetus; issues leftists supposedly support but now their multiculturalism threatens these tolerant western values.
The rise of Islamism, the neocons, the George W Bush presidency and the War On Terror has created turmoil within the left due to the left's many contradictions. Perhaps, this is why we have what I have called left-wing facists, while seeing myself as a conservative liberal or a liberal conservative.
Indeed, any leftist who is soft on Islam needs to look at the ideology they are supporting.
An ideology that oppresses women.
An ideology that wants to kill gays.
An idealogy with imperialist ambitions of global takeover.
An ideology that also opposes free speech.
An ideology that is non-secular, that is not based on reason, and is as barbaric and primitive as the worst forms of Christian fundamentalism.
So Liberals, whose side are you on?


Psycho Milt said...

...when I referred to the facism of the left, I was attacked over it.

You're saying that people who aren't fascists objected to you calling them fascists? Er, is there some reason you found this surprising?

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Very good post FFM. Gooner and I were only saying the same thing over a beer yesterday. Mind you, we were focusing of 'Labour' as the lying left. The Greens are lefter. Honest left, just stupid.

Anonymous said...

On Anzac Day we might reflect on the words of Mustafa Gemal Ataturk. He was the one responsible for giving us a military hiding. He went on to survive the campaigns in Palestine, the Greek invasion of Turkey, the civil war and a few others besides. He recognized the difference between Judeo-Christian civilisation and the barbarity and retrograde nature of islam and he repudiated it. He loved Turkey and wanted to see it free.

"To that end, I will not permit my country to be ruled by the theology of an immoral Arab"

Take that, Mohammed!

Clunking Fist said...

Obviously, pyscho, FFM isn't saying ALL lefties are fascists. He's is saying the ones THAT AREN'T STUPID are fascists.


And don't worry, the right has it's (fair?) share of disagreement: conservatives v libertarians v (as FFM) liberal conservatives.

Clunking Fist said...

And I apologise to libertarians: they argue that they aren't right wing.

Some of them ARE quite rabid, though...