Monday, April 17, 2006

The Euston Manifesto

It's definitely worth checking out.

What's afoot here seems to be to unify the liberals who are center-ward of some of the shrieking lefties.

The shrieking lefties are...well...shrieking about it.

These guys could be full of it for all I know, but there's a good chance that they're my kind of folks. Whenever people start sqealing about the dangers of standing in the middle of the road...well, that's one sign that there might be something intersting going on.


Blogger rilkefan said...

No, that's a full-on "we were wrong but don't accept any consequences for ourselves or for the Bush admin and dissent in time of war is traitorous" innuendo/smear/CYA/POS.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Are you sure?

I mean, you probably know more about this than I do, but cough up the info, bro--inquiring minds want to know.

2:44 PM  
Blogger rilkefan said...

I don't have anything that will convince anyone who doesn't come to the same conclusion on reading the document, but see here to see essentially my view expanded.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yup, good point Rilkefan.

I skimmed over the part quoted by Tbogg (excuse: on way to class. Defensive maneuver: only said material "looked interesting").

But that sounds fairly damning to me. But it IS one passage out of a bunch of decent stuff...

To elaborate on the point, though: They seem to be trying to say that it doesn't matter that we were deceived into the war...that we should be ignoring that fact...that a concern about American democracy makes us insufficiently democratic...

There are quite a few important reasons why that's wrong...maybe fodder for a future post.

Anyway, thanks for the heads-up. I blogged in haste.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

In the comments section, written by one of the founders:

(If anyone's interest[ed] in debating the substance of what we have to say, we're up for that too, but, to be honest, all the hysterical name-calling from the old Left has been far more useful to our cause. Thanks again.)

# posted by PooterGeek

5:16 PM  
Blogger rilkefan said...

tvd's quote shows they've got an MSOC attitude to criticism from the left, i.e., "F___ You". Well, an attitude as interesting to me.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Katherine formerly of Obsidian Wings, who I respect unconditionally, reads a paragraph that brushes by the U.S.'s human rights abuses to bash Amnesty International, and says, "If this is decency, count me out."

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll just poke my head in long enough to point out that calls for a "sensible Left" contain the implicit criticism that the Left up until now has not been sensible.

But when you take a look at how many of the Left's critiques about Bush have been proven right in the past 3+ years, I'd say we're in far more desparate need of a "sensible Right" than vice versa.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I dunno...

Now, our politics are not all alike here, but the Pootergeek quote isn't a deal-breaker for me...

Gotta say, I'm way fed up with the left, too. I'm ON the left only if we divide the political spectrum roughly in two. I'm way, way MORE fed up with the right...but I'd be super groovy with, say, a party that included a little less of the more extreme parts of the left and a a little more of the more centrist bits of the GOP.

It's the shriekiness that gets me, really, and you find that at both extremes of the spectrum...but when you divide the spectrum in two you're going to get stuck with one of the ends...

7:19 PM  
Blogger rilkefan said...

Yeah, yeah, the far left is shrill, the median right is this.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has been observed before, but I don't think shriekiness corresponds to extremism, at least on the left. Atrios and Kos aren't that far out to the left on policy matters, and (been reading blogs way too long) Media Whores Online had very nasty things to say about Said, Chomsky, and Sontag. In a very shrieky way -- called 'em "The Bin Laden Left."

The PooterGeek quote isn't a dealbreaker for me, but the parts quoted by tbogg (not usually my favorite blogger, btw) and Katherine are. Both passages attack people on the left for criticizing US/UK policy. But the basis for the Eustonian's attack is not that the policies are right, it's that it's not the time for criticism, or that the criticism is shrill, or something. The existence of shrill but accurate criticism is a much less pressing problem than the existence of awful policy in the US and UK.

(It might be said that I'm the fourth in the line of carping critics; I am carping at the Eustonians, who are carping at Amnesty International, who are carping at the US. But I think the in this case AI is getting something right.)

About the gulag remark, someone at Obsidian Wings said (approx.) "So we're all agreed: It's bad to lock people up with no trial on suspicion; it's bad to call that a gulag; and of the two, the second is far worse?"

9:27 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Man, that low-hanging fruit. So tempting.

The further one goes out to the extremes to criticize on the other side, the more one holds a mirror to oneself.

We are what we hate.

It is true that the further from the center you go out, the easier it is to scoop up an audience who will reward you with material success.

Malkin, Coulter, Franken. Michaels Moore and Savage. Kos. Infotainment. Reason and reasonableness don't pay, and when a PD friend of mine turned me down for a radio talk show based on principled discussion, I had to admit he was right.

Evangelists and pornographers both rake in the dough, and pop politics is a combination of both. That's why, in this commercial society, true judiciousness and statesmanship is not only priceless, but invaluable.

I think the Euston Manifesto folks genuinely believe what they believe. There's no money in holding their positions. Right and left money alike will pass them by, for their lack of entertainment value, some a bump in the road.

What was that we just ran over? Oh, well. Couldn't have been important. Let's just go on our merry way.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Matt W wrote:

(paraphrasing something at OW):

"About the gulag remark, someone at Obsidian Wings said (approx.) 'So we're all agreed: It's bad to lock people up with no trial on suspicion; it's bad to call that a gulag; and of the two, the second is far worse?' "

Yee-ouch. That's some killer shit right there.

I keep flip-flopping back and forth on this kind of stuff. In a sense I've got the greatest position because--since lots of both right and left annoy me, I can enjoy some of the zingers aimed in each direction.

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TVD's observation that these guys must truly believe this is a non-starter.

Just as money will pass them by, so has reason. Let's stop talking about belief and start talking about facts, and I think a lot of the lefty shrillness will disappear.

Look at the administration, and look at the press conferences, and look at what we "know" now that we didnt' "know then, and I have to say I think that many on the left are completely justified in thinking that we have a monopoly on facts. Which don't matter, because belief is what it is about.

As so often pointed out, we (lefties) don't want the press to be more liberal. We want them to do their goddamn jobs and report the facts.

Liberalism will, of course follow if our calculations are correct, but I see nothing wrong with demanding factual information.

A lot of people and money and prestige get burned up in the meantime while we offer a balance of opinion but no actual factual info.

1:35 AM  

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