On 15 February 2003 about a million liberal-minded people marched through London to oppose the overthrow of a fascist regime. It was the biggest protest in British history. The scene was replicated throughout Europe as millions of liberals marched to oppose the overthrow of a fascist dictator called Saddam Hussain. To state the obvious : aren't liberals supposed to be against fascist dictators?
So Cohen begin ...more
Below is a blog I wrote in February, 2007 in response to the publication of extracts from the book in the Murdoch press.
Guardian or Turncoat?
It's been both amusing and thought-provoking to read extracts from "What's Left? How the Liberals Lost Their Way", by Nick Cohen.
To be honest, I can't understand what his point is from the extracts that I've seen.
I assume he is saying that Western left-liberals have so disappointed and embarrassed him, that he's going to cease being a ...more
Briefly stated, Cohen'a argument is that some persons and groups identified with liberalism and the left seem to have moved towards agreement with some persons and groups on the right over the last decade or so, particularly as regards foreign policy matters and especi ...more
The absurdity of self-proclaimed Leftists - nominally supporters of human ...more
That dissatisfaction has prompted me to check out authors, thinkers and social media personalities who span a wide range of political and ideological beliefs, but have at their core an attachment to Enlightenment values. Cohen gives the reader a history lesson in the evolution of t ...more
1) The far left are nut jobs.
2) Be critical of your fellow lefties because you really aren't all on the same page.
3) If you're going to criticize someone don't look for moral equivalences
These are all things I already knew.
Besides that Cohen overplays his hand in a number of places, at one point saying that the Baathists were fascist right from the word go (they were nationalist/independent way back when and the fascism sprouted lat ...more
Why he wrote so, when femminists lobbies put President Clinton under pressure to stop courting the talebans and go fight them in 1992?
Cohen lays out a sickening litany of symptoms that add up to a depressing tendency of left-wingers to abandon all principles just when they matter most.
A must read for any who think that American/Western power is the worst of all possible worlds.
Possibly because of this, there is as much drivel written on politics as on any other subject around, across printed and social media, and let's not leave out academia - after all the problem with social science, is that it's not a science at all.
Trying to ...more
Nick Cohen dissects the mess the Left has got itself into. For too many on the left they seem to be full of self loathing of their own western values and a blind anti-Americanism. A belief in relativism which is used to negate universal rights which the Left is supposed to uphold. For some it's better to be supporting a dictator or reactionary theocratic regime just because they oppose the United States. I consider myself to be politically to the Left of centre so to see m ...more
As a disillusioned man of the Liberal Left myself, I find Nick Cohen's Britain-centric account compelling. If you want to know why the "liberals" have been so helpless in the face of the populist-racist threat, here is an excellent if dispiriting place to start.
I'm not sure how best to edit down 1600 words I've written on What's Left to a more concise review.
I'd consider myself on the left, so the book's critique is personal, but I'm also uninvolved enough to be able to (to have the luxury of?) not being too committed.
Cohen's main thesis goes something like this. The left has forgotten that there are worse things than liberal democracy. I would include, though Cohen doesn't, that there are worse things than war. The left has lost the ability to critici...more