TCS Daily


Euston, We Have a Problem

By Austin Bay - April 20, 2006 12:00 AM

On July 7, 2005, at 9:47 a.m., a terror bomb destroyed London's number 30 bus en route from Euston Station to Russell Square. The bomb killed 13 people.

On May 7, 2005 -- two months before the terror attack -- a group of British scholars, intellectuals and political activists met in a central London pub to discuss the War on Terror. Later that year, they would meet again, in a pub not far from Euston Station, to draft what has become known as "The Euston Manifesto." The name comes from the pub's location, but the connection to the terror attack -- and what to do about jihadist terrorism -- is not coincidental.

The pub crowd included Norm Geras, Professor Emeritus of Government at the University of Manchester. In a recent article in Britain's New Statesman, Geras and columnist Nick Cohen described their group as "of the left."

"Many of us were supporters of the military intervention in Iraq," Geras and Cohen wrote, "and those who weren't -- who had indeed opposed it -- nonetheless found themselves increasingly out of tune with the dominant antiwar discourse. They were at odds, too, with how it related to other prominent issues -- terrorism and the fight against it, U.S. foreign policy, the record of the Blair government, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, more generally, attitudes to democratic values."

The News Statesman article doesn't name names, but I'll wager "dominant antiwar discourse" serves as short-hand for the public rant of such "left-wing" luminaries as filmmaker Michael Moore, activist Cindy Sheehan, British member of Parliament George Galloway and websites like www.myleftwing.com (featured in a recent Washington Post article).

"The Euston Manifesto" offers an encouraging alternative "progressive" counter-point to the loud Left crowd. It rejects those who "indulgently 'understand' reactionary regimes and movements for which democracy is a hated enemy -- regimes that oppress their own peoples and movements that aspire to do so."

Its smackdown of knee-jerk anti-Americanism is long overdue, rejecting "without qualification the anti-Americanism now infecting so much left-liberal (and some conservative) thinking." U.S. failings "are shared in some degree with all of the developed world." The United States "is the home of a strong democracy with a noble tradition ... ." The manifesto abhors "generalized prejudice" against either the United States or its people.

Perhaps writing a manifesto sounds like a quaint, romantic gesture rife with 1930s socialist or 19th century populist nostalgia. Arguably, "manifesto" is also another Karl Marx-damaged term deserving repair.

James Madison's Tenth Federalist Paper is an essay, but it's also a manifesto of sorts, one with manifest historical impact. George Orwell's "progressive" intellectual opposition to Stalin and Stalinism certainly helped solidify liberal resistance to Soviet expansionism. "Containment" and the Truman Doctrine had the support of America's center-Left, and they were the philosophical and strategic foundations for prosecuting the 20th century's Long War, the Cold War.

"The Euston Manifesto" deserves attention for other reasons, journalist Marc Cooper (formerly with The Nation magazine) told me. "I think it is important that there be a viable and principled opposition to the Bush administration," Cooper said.

Free-marketeers (like me) will quibble with the Eustonites' socialist economics -- but so what? An honest intellectual attempt to focus on essential democratic principles deserves praise, for these are values we share.

Cooper isn't convinced the manifesto is a seminal document. "This is, after all, a statement by writers and not some organizing plan," Cooper observed, though he argued it is indicative of diversity of "left-wing thought."

I see it as an unusual example of fact-based and principled discussion from the political Left. The Eustonites "reject the double standards with which much self-proclaimed progressive opinion now operates, finding lesser (though all too real) violations of human rights which are closer to home ... more deplorable than other violations that are flagrantly worse. We reject, also, the cultural relativist view according to which these basic human rights are not appropriate for certain nations or peoples."

Read that last line as saying Iraqis and Arabs can handle democracy.

The Euston Manifesto is a courageous expression of support for the "liberty" and "liberating" components of classical liberalism.

(Note: The Euston Manifesto can be found on the Internet here. Norm Geras' website is here.)

Austin Bay is a syndicated columnist and TCS contributing writer.

Categories:

18 Comments

I feel much better now - but will still work to ensure that the Yanks ain't coming
So it turns out that there may be a few on the left who are a bit concerned about the rise of a new anti-liberty barbarism in the world. They even believe, mirabile dictu, that the U.S. and the American People may not be worthy of reflexive scorn in certain very circumscribed matters.

Of course they mostly share these concerns in obscure manifestos and at obscure meerings while their more colorful leftist co-conspirators dance and sing and scream at the tops of their lungs around the funeral pyre on which they are burning the last shreds of Western Civilization.

I'm so very reassured that they feel that way, for perhaps it means that Europe may wake up in time to have a prayer (am I still allowed to say that on a web site radable in Europe) of fighting off the Islamic fundamentalist threat. I hope so, and I wish them and their children well, but I'm working to ensure that my son and anyone else I can influence shares my determination that this time the Yanks ain't coming to the last minute party. Two betrayals in a hundred years is enough.

Britain definitely needs NEW LEADERSHIP......
and it will not come from your Labor Party and Mohammed Blair. Like it or not, the only group from the beginning who would clean up and rebuild your nation would come from the BNP. They want all the muslims out, no sharia law, a strong defense, basically no immigration, no abuse of welfare by immigrants while ethnic Brits get nothing or 2nd priority in their own nation, a more protected national industry that will not lay off Brits and send jobs to Asia, an education system that will be based on education not politically correct jibberish, and try to encourage a Christian Church to act Christian and not become a social experiment to appease muslims. The BNP represents the best of the old British Empire in the glory days. Honestly, to all reading do you thing Britain is stronger and better today or in the days of its empire. You dont need an empire, I am just saying maintain the original principles of it from the old days. What you people have today looks like an islamic colony or Beirut. Please save yourselves and vote for a party that will protect British people and NOT MUSLIMS AND THEIR RELIGION.
You people can not even protest outside a mosque without being arrested by your own police!! Did you see that story 1 or 2 weeks ago? This is not Britain, it is something more dark and sinister for all its people.

Not a bad Idea…
But, if Europe ends up embroiled in another major war, the U.S. will go and my family will be there…again. I believe in service, even if I disagree with the conflict. Stupid of me, I know, but it is what it is.

the difference
It's nice to see a movement from the left that understands the difference between loyal opposition and un-loyal ubstructionism.

I can see them now...all three of them
drafting an angry letter to the Times. To see where Britain currently is one has to witness the mindless gang violence and the inability of the courts to protect its citizens. Who cares what a few old lefties think when the mainstream Left controls the media, the government, academia and has just about finished its final touches on AirStrip One?

Where do you sit?
I can't condemn as pointless or trivial Leftists writing letters to the editor or chruning out a manifesto or even a grocery list. It's a start toward the redemption of the West. Unfortunately, it's once again the Left doing the work while the Right and the moderate normal people of the world sit back and do next to nothing. I'm not complaining that most do nothing. Many of the Left write nonsense for a paid living. It's what they do. And the majority of people, non-Leftists of all sorts, work at other, perhaps more productive tasks in the world. I suggest that even those who don't work at social criticism for a living can do more than what they do now in therir private occupations: I suggest that moderate and normal people, uninvolved private citizens and residents, can in fact take a seat at the banquet of democracy. It needn't be a profession, but it must be more than a hobby. It should be a deep and passionate private concern, given that it means ones life is directly involved in a physical sense. You, I suggest, can sit down with your mates and write and speak in public to your fellows. It's not restricted to professional Leftists to do that. You can meet your friends and neighbours and make political noise and come to the fore in your communities wherein you are actually important, significant in the public social sphere. I'm not complaining about you. I don't think you are complaining about the Leftists. I think it's time to sit down and start discussing the possiblilities of social reform. I think its time to find a pub or a coffee shop and meet your neighbours. I think it's time to start talking to people about the mess we're in.

The French, complain about them as we do sometimes, began a resistance against militant Islam and Left dhimmi fascism. Americans didn't do that. Sorry, it was the French who began the Blue Revolution. To this day we find concerned Americans doing not a thing to resist Islam and Left dhimmi fascism, and yet we find Canadians meeting weekly to form a resistance in Vancouver. In Toronto. In Montreal. Not in America. In the Land of the Free we do not find people showing up for meetings with their concerned fellow citizens to discuss ways of fighting back against community disintegration and dawa.

Briefly, we in Vancouver will meet again tonight, THursday, from 7-9:00 pm at the Vancouver Public Library in the atrium to discuss our opposition to jihad and dhimmitude here and around the world. We, like the French, wear blue scarves so others will know who we are and that they can join us. This will be our 15th meeting. Now you know about us.

Left nutters meet once in a pub and make the news. You meet once and we'll make it known. You won't be famous for it. Few will care. But unlike the Left, you can make a difference in your communities. Gather your friends, find your neighbours, meet in public, speak the unspeakable, and meet again to do it all over again. We sit in public and speak outrageous slanders loudly in public. We do so to give others a chance to hear the unspeakable. We publicly break tabus. those around us are shocked. When they get over it they'll join us.

Today, to my personal delight, the Canadian Dept. of Foreign Affairs has taken an interest in us for running a story on one of their staff being a terrorist supporter. The Canadian public is finding out about this story as well. They find out because we meet and exchange ideas and publish those findings, and we will not sit silently while the Left pumps out manisfestos. We meet, and we act. We sit in the library atrium. Where do you sit?

re: "dominant antiwar discourse"
The Next Conservatism Grand Strategy
by William S. Lind
The Conservative Voice, April 20, 2006

...The next conservatism should not allow itself to be scared away from sound strategic thinking by bogeymen. When a plague is raging somewhere else, as the plague of violent disorder will rage throughout most of the world as the state fades away, prudence calls for a quarantine.

AMERICAN INTERVENTION IN CENTERS OF DISORDER WILL NOT RETURN THEM TO ORDER; it is more likely to import their disorder here, in the form of refugees and immigrants. Nor does a defensive grand strategy call for "isolationism." We would not only maintain but strengthen our ties to other parts of the world that remained centers of order, of which China may emerge as the most important.

A DEFENSIVE GRAND STRATEGY is what America followed through most of its history and it served us well. It helped keep the federal government small and it allowed our capital to go into industry rather than armaments. As conservatives we know that what worked once can work again.

In the Fourth Generation world of a disordered 21st Century, we will do well to maintain both order and liberty here at home. Crusades to "make the world safe for democracy" will render neither the world nor our own country safer for anything.

http://www.theconservativevoice.com/article/13983.html

William S. Lind is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation.

Only someone as dishonest as Hampton would cite a "conservative"
whose main political credential is as advisor to that well known conservative Gary Hart. Exactly what makes this man a conservative? He receives funding from well known conservative organizations such as the Ford and McArthur Fondations as well as several WWP fronts.

So in Hampton's world as long as you mention conservative in your title you can spin it.


Caught you again. What a fraud our Hampton is.

Manifesto as loaded term
The claim that the word manifesto was fatally damaged by Karl Marx is a fairly US-centric one I think. In Britain, political parties put out manifestos for each elections, laying out their policies or (in some cases) vague statements of principle by which they plan to govern.

That said, the Euston lot clearly do have pretentions towards the grand political theory side of things.

Tarring with too broad a brush
Naturally, it's not rhampton who is doing the labelling, but William S Lind who is doing the self labelling.

Individual definitions differ as to who is or is not a "conservative". Mr Lind seems to think he qualifies. In any case, read the man's work and then you can comment directly on it:

http://www.d-n-i.net/lind/lind_archive.htm

To call someone a liar for merely quoting from an article is mud work of the lowest order. You might banish this tactic from your repertoire.

The Mainstream Left
Impressive, how only three people can manage among them to control the British media, government, academia and also find the time for working on AirStrip One. They should write a book on time management.

The wit and wisdom of Willaim S Lind
As recognition of the defeat in Iraq spreads, so also does the process of sweeping up the debris. Both civilian observers and a few voices inside the military have begun the “lessons learned” business, trying to figure out what led to our defeat so that we do not repeat the same mistakes. That is the homage we owe to this war’s dead and wounded. To the degree we do learn important lessons, they will not have suffered in vain, even though we lost the war.

Most of the analyses to date are of the “if only” variety. “If only” we had not sent the Iraqi army home, or overdone “de-Baathification,” or installed an American satrap, or, or, or, we would have won. The best study I have thus far seen does not agree. “Revisions in Need of Revising: What Went Wrong in the Iraq War,” by David C. Hendrickson and Robert W. Tucker, puts it plainly:

Though the critics have made a number of telling points against the conduct of the war and the occupation, the basic problems faced by the United States flowed from the enterprise itself, and not primarily from mistakes in execution along the way. The most serious problems facing Iraq and its American occupiers – “endemic violence, a shattered state, a nonfunctioning economy, and a decimated society” – were virtually inevitable consequences that flowed from the breakage of the Iraqi state.

It is of interest, and a hopeful sign, that this blunt assessment was published by the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute.


(from http://www.d-n-i.net/lind/lind_archive.htm)

Still demonstrating impressive ability to ignore the obvious
Have you considered a remedial reading course to assist those drug addled brain cells?

"Observe them for love of mockery"
Since you make a virtue of such a tactic as does the commissar one has to point out the depths to which these trolls are willing to descend in order to use fraud and describe it as "enl;ightenment" or "false but accurate."

Yes I qam sure Mr. Moore describes himself as a conservative as well and even you describe your comments as "truthful."

Loved the way you void addressing the point, which is to post an argument supposedly repesenting a concservative point of view by a Marxist (one only need read his coulmns to realize hw can only be described as conservative is if a Maoist were to describe his Marxist tendencies) is truly representative of the Left.

Nice try. Troll on!

Ah the braying of another troll
A review of the publications will also reveal many articles by members of the Russian and PRC military and governments. None of which constitute an endorsement of these statements but rather are published to demonstrate what enemies are thinking.


Nice try Troll. Troll on commissar!

Commie Marines? Pinko Heritage Foundation?
Free Congress Foundation -- Center for Cultural Conservatism
Read William S. Lind's ground-breaking articles for the MARINE CORPS GAZETTE on how warfare would change in the post-Cold War era and his contributions to the Free Congress Foundation's series, "The Next Conservatism"
http://www.freecongress.org/centers/cc/index.asp

"When I think of Paul Weyrich and the Free Congress Foundation, three things come to my mind: leadership, conditions and high standards. Free Congress has CONSTISTENTLY LEAD CONSERVATIVES in recognizing our weakness as a movement and CORRECTING COURSE... When our economic policies failed to solve America's problems, Free Congress drew our attention to the vital importance of culture."

Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D.
President, The Heritage Foundation

you forget
that your friends in the lunatic left are not the country, nor are they particularly representative of the country.

Euston, We Have Another Problem
"We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language." - Oscar Wilde

This is refreshing, I suppose. Who would have thought that a bunch of leftist Brits could be capable of thinking on this (still somewhat primitive) level:

"Its smackdown of knee-jerk anti-Americanism is long overdue, rejecting 'without qualification the anti-Americanism now infecting so much left-liberal (and some conservative) thinking.'"

These Euston Brits are well advanced compared to their American fellow travelers, who have no other purpose beyond mindless strident anti-American rhetoric. The American left is scarcely able to put a subject and a predicate together, except for the purpose of condemning the winners of American elections and trashing American values and morals.

Now, if we could get the Eustonians to give up their failed socialist politics, we could make real progress against real problems - like the Islamist head-hunters and human-sacrificers.

TCS Daily Archives