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Tag: totalitarianism

The indispensable Hitchens

Saturday, 16 December, 2017 3 Comments

What a tragedy that Michael Moore has been spared and Christopher Hitchens has not. The great contrarian died six years ago yesterday and his loss is more acute with each passing day. Speaking once about Moore, Hitchens said: “Europeans think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they’ve taken as their own, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities.” Here’s the late, great Hitchens in full flight.

“There is a widespread view that the war against jihadism and totalitarianism involves only differences of emphasis. In other words, one might object to the intervention in Iraq on the grounds that it drew resources away from Afghanistan — you know the argument. It’s important to understand that this apparent agreement does not cover or include everybody. A very large element of the Left and of the isolationist Right is openly sympathetic to the other side in this war, and wants it to win. This was made very plain by the leadership of the ‘anti-war’ movement, and also by Michael Moore when he shamefully compared the Iraqi fascist ‘insurgency’ to the American Founding Fathers. To many of these people, any ‘anti-globalization’ movement is better than none. With the Right-wingers it’s easier to diagnose: they are still Lindberghians in essence and they think war is a Jewish-sponsored racket. With the Left, which is supposed to care about secularism and humanism, it’s a bit harder to explain an alliance with woman-stoning, gay-burning, Jew-hating medieval theocrats. However, it can be done, once you assume that American imperialism is the main enemy. Even for those who won’t go quite that far, the admission that the US Marine Corps might be doing the right thing is a little further than they are prepared to go — because what would then be left of their opposition credentials, which are so dear to them?” Love, Poverty and War, Christopher Hitchens (13 April 1949 — 15 December 2011)

Hitchens


Where’s the omelette?

Thursday, 13 March, 2014 0 Comments

In the glory days of the Soviet Union, for which Putin pines so much, it was not uncommon to hear famous apologists for murderous totalitarianism — Sartre, Pete Seger, Picasso, Eric Hobsbawm, Neruda — say that one cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs.

“Where’s the omelette?” George Orwell asked when confronting an egg-breaking advocate of Stalinism in the 1940s.

When speaking of Vietnam, Cuba and Venezuela today, one should ask the same culinary-ethical question.

unbroken eggs


Martin Jacques: Our nominee for the Shaw-Duranty-Thurow Prize

Monday, 2 April, 2012

The Irish-born playwright George Bernard Shaw became an apologist for totalitarianism after being invited to visit the Soviet Union in 1931. In his intellectual conceit, the author of such works as Major Barbara and Pygmalion turned a blind eye to the murder of millions in the name of Communism, and he expended a lot of […]

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