Apr 13, 2006

Euston Manifesto

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Today, 13-April-06, we — bloggers, academics, campaigners, writers, scientists, journalists, citizens — launch the Euston Manifesto. With this document we hope to publicly assert our progressive, democratic, egalitarian, internationalist principles in the face of recent attacks upon them from the Right and, to our dismay, the Left.

Many of us are of the Left, but we come from across the range of political positions. We are not founding a political party. There were differences amongst us over Western military intervention in Iraq. Our declaration is not definitive, final, or perfect; it is, we hope, the beginning of a renewed debate, grounded in a common set of progressive values. You can read and sign the document at our Website where donations towards our costs are also welcome.

While the group suggests that comments be closed on this announcement, I will leave them open on my site. We want to launch this movement in a co-ordinated way and make sure there is time for people to understand exactly what we stand for before criticising it. We welcome discussion of the Euston Manifesto across blogs, in the media, and in the public world and intend that the Euston Manifesto Group, the organisation founded upon the manifesto's principles, will promote such debate by organising meetings, sponsoring seminars, and publishing ideas.

18 comments:

Dariush said...

Well, it didn't take long to figure out what this thing is.

"Indeed, the reconfiguration of progressive opinion that we aim for involves drawing a line between the forces of the Left that remain true to its authentic values, and currents that have lately shown themselves rather too flexible about these values."

Ding-ding-ding. The "Decent Left" (read pro-war, pro-empire, Zionist Left) strikes again.

And sure enough, Mr. "Decent Left" himself, Michael Walzer, is a signatory.

Looking through the list of founders and signers I see:

Norman Geras (self-serving, hypocritical, warmongering, Jewish nationalist and chauvinist)

Engage (a pro-war, pro-Israel academic collective)

Nick Cohen (see description of Norman Geras)

David Hirsh (ditto)

Harry's Place (online home of the Decent Left, affectionately known as Little Green Soccerballs)

Paul Berman (see Geras, Cohen, etc.)

Kanan "those bombs are music to my ears" Makiya (because the only good Arab is a house Arab)

Michael Cooper ("anti-war" gatekeeper whose sole function seems to be to define the acceptable boundaries of the "Democratic Left" on the antiwar side. "This far, and no further.")

One episode in particular, to me more than anything else, defines who and what Cooper is. When the cartoon brou-ha-ha erupted he took the side of "freedom" and "absolute free speech" and really ripped into the US media for not daring to stand up to "terrorist intimidation" and reproduce the cartoons.

A few weeks after that, some Asian guy from California posted on a couple of threads in his blog. His very last post there he said something about how he, and many others like him, were beginning to doubt the official story of "The Holocaust"(c)(tm).

Cooper's reaction told me all I needed to know. Not only did he immediately ban him (his blog, he has the right to ban whomever, just funny coming from an advocate of "absolute free speech") but he also posted his IP address and where he was posting from. If such a thing could be determined from an IP address, I'm sure he would have posted the guy's home address as well.

Just another hypocritical hebe who adheres to one standard for his own kith and kin and one for the rest of the humanity.


Sorry Mike, but I would never have anything to do with any of these people for all the money in the world. There's not enough soap and water in the world to wash my hands of their filth.

Bill Baar said...

I signed. I only need to read dariush to remind myself why.

Dariush said...

I didn't. I only have to glance at Bill's blog to remind myself why.

historymike said...

I am for any group that wishes to push the collective dialogue to a higher level, Darisuh.

If, as you claim, there is a decided pro-Zionist bent to the group, I would withdraw.

My sympathies are greater with the Palestinians, who have been screwed for the better part of a century (even longer, if you consider the original 19th century Zionist movement).

However, a two-state solution seems to be the only way to avoid a bloody, protracted conflict - even beyond the untold number of people who have already died in the Palestinian-Israeli crisis.

Stefan Schmidt said...

Today, 13-April-06, we — bloggers, academics, campaigners, writers, scientists, journalists, citizens — launch the Euston Manifesto. With this document we hope to publicly assert our progressive, democratic, egalitarian, internationalist principles in the face of recent attacks upon them from the Right and, to our dismay, the Left.---Mike

Egalitarianism, Mike? Internationalist principles, Mike?

To think I had some hope for you : p

Newsguy said...

Curious. What does Euston mean? What's it stand for? Why was this manifesto named Euston? Maybe that would give us more of a clue as to its origin and meaning.

Dariush said...

How about a one-state, one man, one vote solution, Mike? ala South Africa?

What Edward Said proposed, in essence?

"What does Euston mean? What's it stand for? Why was this manifesto named Euston?"

Just the name of a location in England. An anarchist manifesto was composed there almost a century ago, but knowing the political bent of this group I highly doubt that that is what they were modeling themselves after.

Stephanie said...

Mike,

I've let some people know who I think might be interested in signing. I am not, but that shouldn't be too shocking. Though, I couldn't find your signature or a link back to you.
:-(

Dariush,
You obviously didn't read the whole thing.

"#7 For a two-state solution.
We recognize the right of both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples to self-determination within the framework of a two-state solution. There can be no reasonable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that subordinates or eliminates the legitimate rights and interests of one of the sides to the dispute."

Dariush said...

Stephanie,

I read most of it, including the section you posted above. The word that comes to mind is "dissemblance."

These people are not for any solution or process whose terms are not dictated by them and them alone -- with perhaps a few sufficiently neutered, self-abnegated individuals on the other side being allowed a seat at the "negotiating table."

I'm familiar with most of the drafters and signatories, having read their books (Walzer, Berman, Cooper, Makiya), their blogs (Cooper, Geras, Harry's Place, Engage), their columns for various newspapers (Cohen, Berman, Aaronovitch), their magazines (I subscribe to Dissent and The New Republic). I'm more than familiar with their respective worldviews, especially with regards to the Middle East.

I can think of at least two Israeli newspapers whose views are more balanced and nuanced than any of these fine gentlemen.

Bill Baar said...

There is a good deal more going on in this manifesto then a two state solution.

It's the idea that hebe's are driving politcs that needs to purged from the left.

Bebel called it Socialism of Fools.

The fools can be pretty lethel without... Bebel didn't live to see that. If may have chosen a stronger word for these fools had he lived longer.

Dariush said...

"It's the idea that hebes are driving politics that needs to purged from the left."

I beg to differ. What needs to be "purged", and not just from "the left" but from the entire political landscape, is the very idea that reality, historical truths and present day facts need to be turned on their heads (or at least very carefully vetted) in order not to offend the oh-so delicate sensibilities of a bloated, corpulent, overfed and underworked parasitic ruling class that is disproportionately, umm, "ethno-specific."


"There is a good deal more going on in this manifesto then a two state solution."

When I called these "distinguished gentlemen and intellectuals" the "Zionist Left", I wasn't just talking about Israel/Palestine, although I allowed myself to get sidetracked down this road in these comments. I was talking about their entire worldview and political outlook -- the whole kit 'n kaboodle.

War on Iraq, war on Iran, war on Syria, war on the Lebanese Shi'ites...

And, of course, the key difference between these gentlemen of the Zionist/Pro-War "Left", and the gentlemen of the Zionist/Pro-War "Right" -- the idea that the Middle East and the Islamic World will never truly be "free" until Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" is mandatory reading for all grade-school kids, every village has its own abortion clinic, every city its own red light district replete with nancy-boy bars, and every nation an annual gay pride parade.

In other words, all of the cultural poisons and pollutants which they which they have successfully transfixed onto the West, and which they now call "Western values", must be transferred en masse to the Muslim world in order for these fine, forward thinking, democracy-loving gentlemen to be truly satisfied.

Bill Baar said...

You called them hebes dariush.

Ahmadinejad is saying,
"Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation," Ahmadinejad said at the opening of a conference in support of the Palestinians. "The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm."

Maybe you should join him in his bunker in Teheran?

Lisa Renee said...

I can't sign it either, I find too much of what several of those who have signed it have written as very troubling.

I also do not believe there is a possible two state solution for Palestine and Israel, how anyone could think that there is given the way the two portions of land for Palestine has been established, I will never understand. Palestine will never be allowed to be a state of it's own, it will always be under the control of Israel until either Israel totally destroys it or the sheer numbers of Palestinian and Israeli Arabs grows to the point where it becomes an arab majority.

Any possibility for a two state option ended some time ago and even at that time the logistics would have probably never been successfully worked out. The recent events in Israel and Palestine have made me have to come to the realistic conclusion that it was time to end the pretense.

Dariush said...

"You called them hebes dariush."

Fine. Zhids it is. And for the record, I agree with Ahmadinejad 100%.

I don't know about "bunker" (oy, Hitler he is?), but If I run him into Tehran when I go back this fall I'll be sure to let him know you said hi. That is, if you and your "democratic", "humanitarian" friends haven't already reduced Iran to a radioactive heap by then.

Bill Baar said...

Fine. Zhids it is. And for the record, I agree with Ahmadinejad 100%.

Good, we know what you are dariush.

Go to Iran with Ahmadinejad. Come the revolution, and come it will, you can join Ahmadinejad meeting Ceausescu's fate.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Mike,

Bookmarked for now.

I will have to go back and read it carefully before making any decision though.

Funny, this is the second new site describing itself as democratic and progressive that I've bookmarked today, clearly something is afoot ;-)

And then, there's jonathan whose got me pondering neolibertarianism, OY!

Dariush said...

Bill: "Good, we know what you are dariush."

Who's "we"? What, was your mother in the room when you typed that? Why is it that guys like you always feel that they have to speak for a "we" rather than just for themselves?

The royal "we" is like, soooo over. Get over yourself, man.

"Come the revolution, and come it will, you can join Ahmadinejad meeting Ceausescu's fate."

Oh, fuckin' please. See above about getting over yourself. You and your neokahn, monarchist and MEK buddies are no more "revolutionaries" than Ahmad Chalabi, Timothy Garton Ash, George Soros or Vojislav Kostunica.

Kate said...

Mike - am not/will not be attacking you. I'm a moderate with conservative beliefs (concerned with keeping my family's collective nose above the waterline and their faith in God and family - this is who I am). But I won't attack. Ever. I just don't want to be attacked.

I want dialogue and sense. Somewhere, somehow. Seems a lost cause...

But please don't paint everyone with the same brush - it just fuels the far right's argument.