The Left

The Norm Challenge

Norm wonders what meaning we can give to the original goals and aspirations that went under the name of socialism, and lists the following potential topics for consideration:

“Working out a morally defensible view on military intervention (against genocide threatening or in progress, humanitarian crisis, regimes of extreme tyranny and oppression) which goes beyond the stock and useless responses of ‘all about oil’, ‘imperialism’, ‘he-was-our-son-of-a-bitch’, etc, to some of the moral and political complexities on the ground; addressing the scandal, the daily catastrophe, of global poverty and developing specifically-left responses to it; ditto issues of continuing need and severe deprivation even within the wealthier heartlands of contemporary capitalism; continuing to fight racism (in all its forms); paying attention to the terrible oppression, including enslavement, of women and children in sex and other trafficking; more abstractly – as this is bound to be today, given the weakened state of the left – asking, in common and sober and non-bullshit forms of inquiry, what meaning we can give to the original goals and aspirations that went under the name of socialism.”

What a great idea. If something can be retrieved from the wreckage that the modern Left has become it may that, if enough people take up the Norm Challenge, a revival will begin in the blogosphere.

I will be thinking about the topics Norm has listed over the next few days and hope to have something posted here shortly. If enough of us take up the Norm Challenge this could be the beginnings of a useful
debate.

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