The Euston Manifesto, or how the left learned to stop worrying...

crackerjack

Well-known member
Mr Tea: Don't you think there are some problems that maybe the west can't solve? That it's better to admit that policing the rest of the world is none of our business, and even with the best intentions in regards to human rights and defeating extremists, we're only going to cock things up beyond recognition with interventionist foreign policies?
That, ideology aside, on a purely practical level, these actions simply don't work?

It sounds like maybe you're arguing for your own kind of ideology, one that condemns all intervention that doesn't first go through the snail-like bureaucracy of the UN. I agree there are problems the west can't solve, but are you happy to argue for a policy which washed its own hands of the blood of 1m Rwandans and would've left Serbian snipers to pick off Balkan Muslims at will?

There are limits to western powers, but there are terrible consequences to isolationsism too.
 

tht

akstavrh
they seem to subsist on a sect like paranoia and contempt towards their foes (largely imagined) whilst suggesting there is an undercurrent of commonsense that would here! here! to them if only it wasn't stifled by something or other (the effete liberalmedia, their lifeblood and paymaster) which is just like the complaints of american paleoconservatives
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
A lot of the anti-Eustonites in this thread seem to be saying there is never a case for intervention, ever. Is this what people think? Surely far more carnage would have occurred in, say, Yugoslavia had not NATO intervened?
 

sonofsophia

The Sky Goes on Forever
Wars of Aggression

That's the end result of their line of reasoning - the dark side of the idea of liberal interventionism, and it's quite inescapable. The essential qualities that Cohen attributes to Totalitarianism in "What's Left" are present in the idea: we have a pan-state constituency (all people want to be free), we have a global obligation (to make this so) we have the means at our disposal (overpowering strength). For me, it's not a question of whether intervention can "ever" be justified, but one of how on earth people pretending to recover the true liberal tradition for the 21st century can end up arguing in favour of force majeure.
 
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tht

akstavrh
The essential qualities that Cohen attributes to Totalitarianism

this reification seems to be a common thought contagion among these people, always conveniently appearing witin scud distance of israel and usually absenting itself from the liberal utopias of central asia
 
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Yes. Because the people behind the Euston Manifesto are secretly neo-Nazis. Well done.

Whatever you say.


"As far as the Americans were concerned, the Iraqi people were sub-human, untermenschen. You could almost split the Americans into two groups: ones who were complete crusaders, intent on killing Iraqis, and the others who were in Iraq because the Army was going to pay their college fees."

==============>Ben Griffin, the former SAS soldier who quit in disgust in June 2006 after witnessing the Iraq occupation at first hand. There's also an interview with him in the same Torygraph.
 

vimothy

yurp
This absurd 'initiative', based on the resentments of a collection of bloggers and journalists of the petit-bourgeois liberal-left (the introduction is co-written by Nick Cohen and Norman Geras), is quite possibly the most comically inept excuse for supporting imperialism that I have yet read. Identical in tone to the equally preposterous 'Unite Against Terror' statement, it retails the usual array of charges made by these purblind bigots. The anti-imperialist left is antisemitic, fascist, Islamofascist, totalitarian, anti-American, terrorist-loving or willing to accomodate all of these. Anti-Zionists are either antisemitic or tolerant of antisemitism. We are heterodox, while they - they Decent Left, the One True Left - are keeping it real." More ...


Lenin's Tomb??!! Give me a f**kin break ...

[Note the Hezbollah flag on the blog - Lenin is an imperialist and a warmonger, btw].
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Whatever you say.


"As far as the Americans were concerned, the Iraqi people were sub-human, untermenschen. You could almost split the Americans into two groups: ones who were complete crusaders, intent on killing Iraqis, and the others who were in Iraq because the Army was going to pay their college fees."

==============>Ben Griffin, the former SAS soldier who quit in disgust in June 2006 after witnessing the Iraq occupation at first hand. There's also an interview with him in the same Torygraph.

I was unaware any that any signatories to the Manifesto were members of the American armed forces.
 

vimothy

yurp
"As far as the Americans were concerned, the Iraqi people were sub-human, untermenschen. You could almost split the Americans into two groups: ones who were complete crusaders, intent on killing Iraqis, and the others who were in Iraq because the Army was going to pay their college fees."

What about, "as far as the Brits were concerned, the Americans were untermenschen ..." As a European, I've been hearing about the stupidity and evil greed of the average American for some time now and I must say it's getting rather tiresome.

I mean, really: how much more retarded can you be in your wholesale, blanket condemnations of a people? It's as self-contradictory as saying something like "all Australians are rascist".
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
This quote for all its flaws is clearly talking about American SOLDIERS, in which context it makes sense. 90% of Anti-Americanism in the UK is focused on Bush and his acolytes.
 

Guybrush

Dittohead
Regarding the Hezbollah flag: If find some fractions’ tacit support for Hezbollah and its equals slightly confounding, as one of ‘the Left’s’ (sorry, it’s a handy term) main criticisms of the U.S.’s Cold War policies has been the ‘our enemy’s enemy is our friend’ outlook.
 

vimothy

yurp
This quote for all its flaws is clearly talking about American SOLDIERS, in which context it makes sense. 90% of Anti-Americanism in the UK is focused on Bush and his acolytes.

Of course: "all American soldiers are racist" sounds much more rational. I also note with interest that Griffin adopts typical Jihadist historicism, describing Western troops as "crusaders".
 

vimothy

yurp
Regarding the Hezbollah flag: If find some fractions’ tacit support for Hezbollah and its equals slightly confounding, as one of ‘the Left’s’ (sorry, it’s a handy term) main criticisms of the U.S.’s Cold War policies has been the ‘our enemy’s enemy is our friend’ outlook.

Personally, I've stopped expecting consistency, though I still find it infuriating.
 

vimothy

yurp
Tenets such as "we are committed to democratic norms, procedures and structures" and "we are opposed to all forms of terrorism", while incontestable, have not been reprinted on T-shirts sold in Camden, or been scrawled by attractive poli-sci students in the margins of notebooks, as extracts from a great manifesto should.

Erm... largely irrelevant. What has that got to do with anything? Also, students tend to favour dodgier political ideologies like communism or incoherent anti-westernism. It's hardly a bad sign that they are uninterested in the mainfestio. After all, something as boring as defending liberty from fascist islamists is hardly going to float the boat of teenagers looking for a bit of rebellion-lite to go with their chomsky and home made bongs.

History's most memorable manifestos were all written with literary flair, and none is more quotable than that of the Italian futurists...

Interesting that you compare it unfavourably to totalitarian (fascist and communist) political manifestos, mostly because they are more quotable. Again, that seems irrelevant.

No criticism of the actual content, just the form. Did you sign it?
 

mos dan

fact music
Erm... largely irrelevant. What has that got to do with anything? Also, students tend to favour dodgier political ideologies like communism or incoherent anti-westernism. It's hardly a bad sign that they are uninterested in the mainfestio. After all, something as boring as defending liberty from fascist islamists is hardly going to float the boat of teenagers looking for a bit of rebellion-lite to go with their chomsky and home made bongs.

Interesting that you compare it unfavourably to totalitarian (fascist and communist) political manifestos, mostly because they are more quotable. Again, that seems irrelevant.

No criticism of the actual content, just the form. Did you sign it?

i didn't sign it, but that issue is entirely separate from the article: the entire piece is just an exercise in gentle, tongue-in-cheek humour for chrissakes. sorry if it's not funny enough for that to be clear - i was told to 'go easy on the jokes'. i don't actually rate political philosophies based on whether they get printed on t-shirts sold at camden market :rolleyes:
 

vimothy

yurp
Right, sorry, ignore me. It's been a long week of life, death and hard slog. And I'm finding it increasingly hard to tell what's serious and what isn't in the weird world of the British left. There's just so much that seems like parody, that the parody has obviously started to seem entirely real...
 

mos dan

fact music
fair enough mate! and this is so true:

And I'm finding it increasingly hard to tell what's serious and what isn't in the weird world of the British left. There's just so much that seems like parody, that the parody has obviously started to seem entirely real...

i wonder if cohen will have a sense of humour about me slightly dissing him in his own magazine (sort of). i am genuinely interested to see what come out of the 'one year on' conference...
 

crackerjack

Well-known member
The document lacked the rhetorical flourishes and inspirational bons mots that have distinguished the writing of great manifestos.

Ain't that the truth. Norm Geras is an unbelievably turgid writer. The only thing more boring is hearing him speak. I went to the Euston launch with an Arab mate who was torn between nodding off and walking out in disgust during Geras' opening speech.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Ain't that the truth. Norm Geras is an unbelievably turgid writer. The only thing more boring is hearing him speak. I went to the Euston launch with an Arab mate who was torn between nodding off and walking out in disgust during Geras' opening speech.

Oh dear. Perhaps the Eustonite Left needs its own Galloway? Or better by far, its own Boris Johnson? :)
 
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