Thursday, May 04, 2006

Late passenger for Euston

Paul Anderson, who despite misgivings, has signed the Euston Manifesto:

"The schism on the left is not between 'pro-war' and 'anti-war' leftists, but between anti-totalitarian secular democrats and those whose overweening anti-imperialism leads them to support any opposition to capitalist pig Amerika. I cannot see Ba’athism, the Iraqi 'resistance' or radical Islamism as in any sense 'progressive'. And I believe that democracy is the best answer to imperialism."

Excellent, excellent - and in light of the misinformation being spread about the Manifesto, a point that can't be stressed enough. For my own part, although I supported the war, I would have not signed my name to any statement that excluded those who did not, that would be to make the EM group something of a sect, a cult even, and a far too narrow definition of the anti-totalitarian left.

Phil from Paul's comments expresses his disappointment on the following grounds:

"(T)he tendency of the EM initiative is to paint those who reject it as actually opposing either democracy or secularism, and hence as being either wicked or stupid. This kind of loyalty-oath politics is bad news - it's a mirror-image of Chomskyan 'anti-imperialism'."
If some who have signed display this tendency, that is regrettable - but it is not my understanding of the EM initiative itself. Where this so, I wouldn't have signed it. Of course one can be anti-totalitarian left without signing. For some, the Manifesto simply wasn't socialist enough and that's fair dos. "Loyalty-oath" politics of the kind rightly attributed to some in the Chomskyan tendency is anathema to me and, I trust and assume, to the original authors of the Manifesto. Indeed part of the reason for signing was based on a rejection of the eccesiatical spirit that has infected the left for so long. Cannae be daein' wi' these secular bishops, neither I can.

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