From Here to There to There
It can be interesting sometimes, seeing the way a thought goes from one blog to another to another – forming a little cyber-chain. I noticed this one yesterday. First I saw this post at normblog:
Well, I’m sometimes dazed, actually, more than I’m confused, about the way certain others of Marxist persuasion, or merely formation – and indeed others, more generally, on the left – have found it possible to align themselves lately on matters relating to human rights.
That post directed me to this one at Harry’s place, which quoted from and linked to an interview with Christopher Hitchens that I posted in News a few days ago – a very interesting interview it is, too. Harry says this about it:
Hitchens doesn’t appear to have much interest in belonging to either camp. He has his principles, his views on the main issues and is willing to lend his backing to those who he sees as acting in a progressive fashion. That he has more in common with neo-conservatives than the psuedo-left is obvious – any leftist who supported the armed removal of Saddam was (and is) in the same position. Hitchens’ response to taunts that he is no longer part of the left is generally a defiant “so what?”
And Harry’s post sent me to Socialism in an Age of Waiting, the new blog we met the other day – where I find, writing this and following the link today, that there is a whole slew of new, long posts on the subject, as well as (keep scrolling down – there are no permalinks there yet) the post Harry originally linked to, dated December 9. I’ll quote this bit from the December 9 post:
It seems to us that, whether as socialists, liberals, conservatives or “none of the above”, too many of those who comment either on politics, or on non-political matters from an avowedly political perspective, still approach each issue in terms of total acceptance or total rejection. It is as if you must be either pro or anti, progressive or reactionary, on-message or off, and must never admit to doubts, or hesitations, or second, third or fourth thoughts.
Yup. And among the many problems with that approach is that it leads to orthodoxy-hugging and heresy-sniffing. Maybe one unforeseen side-benefit of the Iraq war will be to teach people to tolerate ambiguity and expect complexity when it comes to political thought. That could be good.