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The Popular left

Recently, I signed The Euston Manifesto, which I consider a timely reaction
against the worrying direction the left seems to be taking in our current
political climate. The political stance of what could be called the
‘popular’ left appears to include the toleration of the actions of
extremists and terrorists, under the guise of appreciating ‘cultural
diversity’. Of chief concern is the dangerously prevalent concept of
cultural relativism, namely the idea that ‘who are we to judge?’ with regard
to the practices and ruling systems of other cultures and nations. If
tyranny is essentially a feature of other cultures, just as democracy is a
feature of ours, how can we justify any criticism and intervention?
Thus, inhumane practices such as beheadings and genital mutilation can even
be perceived by the popular left-liberal conscience as ‘difference’ as
opposed to downright barbarism. The atrocities of September 11 can be
excused as the long-term result of American foreign policy. In light of
this, it seems that in recent years the scourge of ‘political correctness’
has denied us the ability to judge and criticize for ourselves. Non-thinking
and uniform agreement appear to have usurped the original liberal ideal and
ultimate goal of democratic freedom of speech, espoused by all peoples in
all nations. The popular left has abandoned this aim in favour of
thought-policing everyone else into their own politically correct way of
This manner of ‘liberal’ thinking can be considered a pop phenomenon as it
has developed in particular amongst those of the younger generation who
generally think of themselves as ‘cool’. My own experiences of the dominant
popular left at university left me wondering whether I was actually a
liberal at all, because I was constantly at odds with the majority of my
politically correct fellow students, who of course claimed to be of the
liberal-left. I had considered myself a liberal for as long as I can
remember, but for moderately criticizing other cultures, I was labelled a
‘conservative’ or even a ‘fascist’ by some of my peers. Free speech, which
is in my opinion the hallmark of true liberalism, seemed to be decidedly
outmoded. Pop lefties draw no distinction between moderate religious and
cultural criticism and outright racism. However, I also discovered that
despite the adamant PC standpoint of such individuals, they will shamelessly
condemn and insult the U.S, its entire population, culture and leadership.
It almost seems the pop left is so busy Bush-bashing it has neglected to
look at the wider picture.
Thus, the hypocrisy and loss of sense of proportion behind this popular way
of so-called liberal thinking is all too obvious. As they become greater in
number the popular left inevitably become increasingly arrogant,
self-righteous and intolerant of the views of others, just as they preach
‘tolerance’ of other cultures. Pop-left thinking is creating a society where
we are increasingly afraid to speak our minds. As a liberal, and definitely
not a pop-liberal, I maintain that freedom of the intellect and the ability
to criticise other cultures is fundamental. Democratic free speech, not
political correctness, must be upheld above all else if we are to remain a
free society. Too many people, largely those of my own generation, appear to
have forgotten this. I have renewed hope that the emergence of schools of
thought such as The Euston Manifesto will bring my generation back to its

Ms. Kok

permalink | inviato da il 12/5/2006 alle 14:3 | Leggi i commenti e commenta questo postcommenti (8) | Versione per la stampa
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