[Marxism] More on Euston

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 18 08:17:38 MDT 2006

Sunday, April 16, 2006
The peculiarities of the pro-war 'left'

For certain sections of the British media, twenty bitter old ex-lefties 
sitting in a London pub is news - that is the conclusion that must be 
drawn, it seems, from the response to the Euston Manifesto, which is the 
latest attempt to make the term 'pro-war left' seem like something other 
than an oxymoron.

I personally think that the pro-war 'left' represented by the Euston 
Manifesto ought to be of more interest to sociologists and psychologists 
who study unusual ideas than to newspapers and bloggers. In the last few 
weeks we've seen the largest student-worker protests in France since 1968, 
the largest strike in Britain since 1926, a popular uprising against 
capitalist globalisation and US free trade in Ecuador, the defeat of 
Blair's Mussolini-loving friend in Italy by a coalition including 
communists and socialists, surging campaigns for left-wing, anti-US foreign 
policy Presidential candidates in Peru and Mexico, and the continuing 
socialistic measures won in Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution (the 
expropriation of four hundred apartment blocks in Caracas, for example).

Do any of the people involved in these real-life struggles need saving by 
Norm Geras and the handful of other British bloggers who seem to comprise 
almost the entirety of the pro-war 'left'? I doubt it. The authors of the 
Euston Manifesto have chosen to ignore reality in favour of a blogworld of 
caricatures; the real-life left will continue to ignore them.

But that still leaves sociologists with a preoccupation with oddball 
political tendencies to ponder the peculiarities of the Eustonites (and 
yes, I'll admit: I'm obsessed with oddball political tendencies - how else 
could anyone else become a commie in Kiwiland? ;). Reproduced below is a 
paper on the pro-war 'left' which I gave to the 2004 conference of the 
Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand, and which was republished 
in the most recent issue of Red and Green, the journal of analysis and 
theory published (offline, alas) by members of the Alliance Party.




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