The Left

Left Behind Again

Mick Hume asks the big question in this article:

What can it mean to be left wing today? Many will say it means being against the Iraq war (although some leading left-wing writers are among that war’s firmest supporters). But, as Brendan O’Neill has pointed out on spiked, everybody from Osama bin Laden to Ken Clarke is against it, too (see Ken Clarke and the suicide bomber, by Brendan O’Neill). In Britain, much of the opposition to the Iraq war is motivated more by fear of terrorism and moral defeatism than by an anti-imperialist objection to foreign wars of intervention. It represents essentially a conservative reaction and a retreat, rather than a radical challenge or attempt to move forwards.

Elsewhere, those identified with the left today often seem the most conservative voices in public debate about everything from science to free speech. They are also the most likely to put their trust in judges, in Europe or the House of Lords, rather than the people and their elected representatives. Left-wing bloggers are also now challenging traditional right-wing cranks for the title of champion conspiracy theorists.

What little remains of the left has, in short, abandoned any attachment to progress and the future. Instead it now stands for much of the anti-human worldview that we at spiked oppose most vehemently. That is why I have sometimes said that spiked is on the left, but not of it. We stand on the left as it was originally named, after those who stood on that side of the National Assembly during the French Revolution to champion reason, science, liberty and the secular values of the Enlightenment. We don’t want to return to the past, but to see those gains of humanity defended and developed in the changing context of the twenty-first century.

I’m not sure I agree Osama Bin Laden really is “against the war” in Iraq – his lot seem to be doing more than their fair share stoking it after all – but there’s still plenty of food for thought in the article.

via the other Mick H