The Left

Scoop

I came across the Cambridge-based The Henry Jackson Society via my tracking software as they kindly link to this blog. I shall be having a fuller read when time permits but initial browsing suggests there is much of interest:

Henry ‘Scoop’ Jackson – a household name in US politics until the late 1970s – has been much in the news lately. He is now generally associated with the development of ‘neo-conservatism’. This is indeed a very important part of his legacy, but the Jacksonian tradition is a much broader one. ‘Scoop’ was not only a ferocious opponent of compromise with the Soviet Union, but also a champion of Eastern European dissidents, of the Israeli Labour Party, a pioneering conservationist, a committed trade unionist who refused to cross the picket line, and an early supporter of the civil rights movement and sanctions against the South African apartheid regime.

His legacy therefore encompasses Tony Blair’s doctrine of ‘international community’ and humanitarian intervention as much as George W. Bush’s programme for the democratic reconstruction of the Middle East. It encompasses as much of New Labour – and even old Labour – as of the new Republican Right. Recognizing and celebrating this fact, the Henry Jackson Society seeks to promote a politics which is clear about the universal nature of human rights and democratic aspirations, subscribes to a progressive geopolitics through a forward strategy for freedom, and which is supportive of the market economy but sceptical of corporate interests where these conflict with our fundamental values.

I suppose to avoid unnecessary nonsense in the comments boxes I should make clear I’m not linking here as an unreserved recommendation or approval of every dot and comma of their statement of principles and nor do I know a huge amount about Henry Jackson himself – although the scattered references to him in various US publications I’ve been reading over the past two years or so has certainly aroused some curiousity.

But it is good to see an explicitly pro-democracy, anti-tryranny, group being formed. What a novel idea.

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