Friday, May 12, 2006

Euston: You have a problem

I promised Paulie a response to his reply to my last post on the Euston Manifesto. The problem is that, as I've already said, something has bothered me about the thing the whole time, but I can't quite figure it out. Unity has come close to putting his finger on it:
That being said, it may well be the case that a schism does emerge from the aftermath of the Iraq war, not between the ‘decents’ and the ’stoppers’ but between an overtly ideological/utopian minority, which encompasses both, and a mainstream ‘rational’ left which, quite frankly, is getting sick and tired of being lectured about principles it well understands and labelled as lackies and ‘useful idiots’ by the ideologues for simply daring to think things through for themselves and arrive at their own conclusions on the many rights and wrongs of a complex situation like Iraq.
I agree with much of the Manifesto, disagree witht he analyisis and assumptions of part, and really dislike the holier than thou attitude of some of its proponents. It really bothers me to see comments such as:
Who doesn't support the Manifesto, and why?
- Um, Andrew? Because I haven't been persuaded yet, and yet you seem to assume I'm indecent and wrong if I don't. Also
(For instance, consider the familiar argument: "We should go to war in Iraq." "No we shouldn’t — and Donald Rumsfeld met Saddam Hussein twice! The US supported Saddam against Iran!" etc.)
Actually, the latter was usually used as a rebuttal of the "Hussein is teh evil" argument put out by the pro- lobby, if he was so evil, why was the principle supporter (now) of invasion backing him (then)? Hypocrisy or simply money grubbing? Or maybe a change of heart, in which case why not rebut it, apologise, etc?

Euston is a mix of apple pie, pointless generalisation and horrible simplicities. I think I like the other alignment Unity suggests. I'm not a Euston signatory, I'm a member of the rational left. Paulie:
The Manifesto was written because there are seriously people out there who would urge you to identify with theocrats and dictators against liberal democracies.

My only criticism of the Manifesto is it's blandness.
To the former point, yes, and I already oppose them, I don't need a set of pledges on masses of topics to prove that. The latter? That's its main problem.

It may, or may not, be a laudable project. Doesn't mean I'm going to like it.
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