Friday, April 11, 2008

Nick Cohen On The Idiocies At Large On The Left

From Vänster om, höger om ("Left turn, Right turn"), in the Swedish magazine Axess, English version here:

"In the past conservatives made excuses for fascism because they mistakenly saw it as a continuation of democratic right-wing ideas, while left-wingers condemned it without equivocation. Now in Europe and North America leftists excuse fascistic and reactionary movements and ignore their victims, even when the victims share left wing ideals.

"Their native far-right parties are an exception. As long as racists are white, they have no difficulty in opposing them in a manner that would have been recognizable to the traditional left. But give them a foreign far-right movement that is anti-Western and they treat it as at best a distraction and at worst an ally.

"If the worst side of the old left was its failure to confront communism, the best was its camaraderie. European socialists supported strangers who shared their values. Today an Iranian feminist, an Iraqi democrat or a Kurdish socialist is highly unlikely to receive solidarity from Europeans who call themselves left wing, particularly if the supposed leftists are middle class intellectuals. At best they will be ignored. At worst they will be denigrated. . ."

Half a century ago, who knew things would turn out so weird?

UPDATE: Here's Nick in the Guardian today, on how Britain's approach to wealthy despots is to slobber on their slippers.


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