Monday, September 26, 2005

Democratiya

A good site if you're a person of the left who's come to believe President Bush and Prime Minister Blair are the only leaders with any sense of Social Justice and share this belief,
Democratiya believes that in a radically changed world parts of the left have backed themselves into an incoherent and negativist 'anti-imperialist' corner, losing touch with long-held democratic, egalitarian and humane values. In some quarters, the complexity of the post-cold-war world, and of US foreign policy as it has developed since 9/11, has been reduced to another 'Great Contest': 'The Resistance' (or 'Multitude') against 'Imperialism' (or 'Empire'). This world-view has ushered back in some of the worst habits of mind that dominated parts of the left in the Stalinist period: manicheanism, reductionism, apologia, denial, cynicism. Grossly simplifying tendencies of thought, not least the disastrous belief that 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' are once again leading to the abandonment of democrats, workers, women and gays who get on the wrong side of 'anti-imperialists' (who are considered 'progressive' simply because they anti-American).

This attitude is especially unfortunate at a time when there is 'reform ferment in the Arab world, an emerging democracy in Iraq, and the colour-coded democratic revolutions in post-communist societies', as Michael Allen notes in the inaugural issue of Democratiya. In this historical moment, as an editorial in The New Republic noted, '[L]iberals must realize their own future is at stake. Should democratization succeed with Democrats deeply involved, they will be able to claim a share of the credit. But, should it succeed despite their puerile detachment - or, worse, their objections - [Baar's emphasis] Democrats could well be branded as the party that opposes bringing human rights and responsible governance to people who don't yet benefit from them'. To which Norman Geras has added, 'For "Democrats" in the US, read "the left" in Europe'.

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