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The Euston Manifesto.
September 1, 2006 11:13 AM   Subscribe

The Euston Manifesto. We are democrats and progressives. We propose here a fresh political alignment. Many of us belong to the Left, but the principles that we set out are not exclusive. We reach out, rather, beyond the socialist Left towards egalitarian liberals and others of unambiguous democratic commitment. 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. It involves making common cause with genuine democrats, whether socialist or not. via
posted by semmi (28 comments total)

 
Meh. Copyright reform, dileberative democracy, and proportional voting systems are all better & more attainable.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:23 AM on September 1, 2006


Sometimes, you just have to be blunt.

Fuck the "Decent Left." The signers of the Euston Manifesto are weasel-wording apologists for imperialism, and the Euston Manifesto is a right-wing document. Fuck Dissent (the Via link) too. Social democracy has become a dried-up, right-wing tendency, and this is embodied in its support for the American/British adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan today. They support the "war on terror," the US and British actions in the Middle East (some aren't for Iraq, but do support Afghanistan), and Israel -- joining the pro-Israeli noise machine in the West that tars anyone who speaks against Israel's policy as an "anti-Semite." Any group that doesn't take a coherent anti-imperialist stand today is not on the Left (speaking in a worldwide political spectrum, not the much narrower Republican/Democrat gap in the US).
posted by graymouser at 11:29 AM on September 1, 2006


Wasn't everybody done fighting about this thing months ago?
posted by furiousthought at 11:36 AM on September 1, 2006


It is by now getting a bit boring to find the mantra that being against Israel is being anti-semitic. In fact, many Israelis oppose Israeli policies and are not anti-semitic; and there are many who do not favor theIraq war who nonetheless feel that war with Afghanistan was justified: after all, The taliban would not give up Ossama after 9/11 and in fact allowed his killer group to train in that country. I assume then that there is such a group that does take a "coheerent" anti-imperialst stand" in the US. But what candidates are they putting up for political office to offset these pro-imperialst.Please: some names.
posted by Postroad at 11:41 AM on September 1, 2006


I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.


Revelations, 3:15-16, KJV
posted by unSane at 11:42 AM on September 1, 2006


A lot of rhetoric, which I suppose is to be expected from any manifesto, but once you start looking at the none-obvious stuff (i.e. apart from "We like open exchange of ideas", "Human rights for all", "racism bad", ...) there's not that much in there, and what is in there is either overly broad or plain misguided.

What's far more interesting is what isn't there: This manifesto isn't about a fresh political alignment, it's about a point of view of the conflicts in the middle east. What it boils down to is "We're left wing, but we support the invasion of Iraq and other western activity in Iraq" (the left wing claim is a bit of a mixed bag given their signatories, but we'll gloss over that).

Not only isn't it a political alignment, it's not fresh either. Since 2003 (and even before that), there has been a small part of the political left that supported the miliatary actions of the US, and this manifesto is merely a restatement of their views.

There is a strong case to be made for the overthrow of saddam, the problem was with the way in which it was done, and to a lesser extent with the motivations of those doing it.

(damn you for making me comment on what essentially boils down to an Iraq post)
posted by fvw at 11:44 AM on September 1, 2006


I've never done this before, but...

Metafilter: I will spue thee out of my mouth.
posted by Falconetti at 11:57 AM on September 1, 2006


Hmm.... I'm the only Republican on Metafilter, and I can get behind all of this. What does that say about the "Progressive Left?"

NB: I say "get behind" in a general sense. Please, no nitpicking.
posted by MarshallPoe at 12:02 PM on September 1, 2006


I'm the only Republican on Metafilter...

What?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:06 PM on September 1, 2006


Okay, monju_bosatsu, there are two of us now.
posted by MarshallPoe at 12:07 PM on September 1, 2006


Hmm.... I'm the only Republican on Metafilter, and I can get behind all of this. What does that say about the "Progressive Left?"

That they have nothing to do with the Euston Manifesto.
posted by unSane at 12:15 PM on September 1, 2006


Lame and stupid. At "Two State Solution" for Israel/Palestine as a fundamental principle? Opposing "Anti-Americanism" as a fundamental principle?

These people are way out there, and they don't even realize it. First of all, no one really gives a shit about the Palestinians or thinks about the issue much unless there's a war going on at the time. Secondly, even mentioning Stalin and Mao is going to turn people off. They're basically apologizing for defending them. But who ever defended them? Not anyone I know, only the far far fringe.
posted by delmoi at 12:16 PM on September 1, 2006


huh, is monju a republican now? News to me. I think he was refering to Dios at least, plus there are a couple of others.
posted by delmoi at 12:18 PM on September 1, 2006


"pootergeek.com"?
posted by rxrfrx at 12:21 PM on September 1, 2006


I heard it said on meta that every time you use a mathematical equation in your book/article/presentation, you lose half your audience.

Does anyone else feel that the same applies to use of the word "manifesto"?

I got three words into this FPP before thinking "some git trying to gussy up his personal pet peeves to try to get others to help carry his flag". I seem to be pretty bigoted about this word. I don't think it's anything to do with it's more famous contexts, but because whenever I hear it bandied about these days, it always seems to be something odiferous that it's attached to.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:23 PM on September 1, 2006


I'm decidedly non-Republican, and I thought it wasn't half-bad. In particular, I think the left has a lot more "the enemy of my enemy" type thinking than is healthy, either in principle or in practice.

That said, it seems naive to pretend that these nice principles and moderate policies don't put one in a position to be coopted and neutralized by the other side. In particular, I don't see how their position on Iraq doesn't give the administration enough of a fig leaf to continue doing exactly what they've been doing so far.

In the end, I'm not sure the left needs a(nother) manifesto so much as it needs good tactics. It needs a way to recognize the necessity of fixing Iraq, and to support the methods to do so, without forgiving the lies that took us there or the incompetence that created the current situation. It needs a way to recognize that Israel and the US are much less fuckedupinsane than most of their enemies, without implying that this gives them license to engage in equivalent behavior. In short, it needs to figure out how to avoid being polarized by its polarized opponents.

If somebody could figure that out, that would be worthwhile. Short of that, these lofty ideals are worth their weight in horsefeathers.
posted by bjrubble at 12:45 PM on September 1, 2006


This is a Manifesto for Professed Lefties Who Secretly Are Relieved That They're Safely Here and Well-Off and Safe, and Not Over There, Where The Bad Shit Is Happening.
posted by Artful Codger at 1:06 PM on September 1, 2006


.. in other words, hypocrites.
posted by Artful Codger at 1:08 PM on September 1, 2006


Why did they release it under the Creative Commons License? Are they hoping someone will remix it? Do they expect fanboys to make "Euston Manifesto" slash fiction?
posted by Iridic at 3:01 PM on September 1, 2006


Manifesto of the Third Camp against US Militarism and Islamic Terrorism. (And a piece on why it has more to recommend it than the Euston bogsheet and its coterie of wannabe-neocons..)
posted by holgate at 3:08 PM on September 1, 2006


What's with this post? The Euston Manifesto was last year's crap. Or was it the year before?
posted by facetious at 3:22 PM on September 1, 2006


> This is a Manifesto for Professed Lefties Who Secretly Are Relieved That They're
> Safely Here and Well-Off and Safe, and Not Over There, Where The Bad Shit
> Is Happening.

Well, that pretty much accounts for all of 'em, doesn't it. I am reminded of the human tsunami of folks who said "That's it, I'm leaving for Canada" right after the 2004 election and then forgot all about it within a week. Because, you know, it's cold up there and we think it'll be more effective to stay here and oppose the Beast from within where it's comfy.
posted by jfuller at 3:38 PM on September 1, 2006


Obviously I didn't bother to read the whole thing, but they support the war in Iraq? How does opposing the desires of 60% of the people somehow constitute a jaunt towards moderation?
posted by delmoi at 5:25 PM on September 1, 2006


For crying out loud. It's a luke warm combination of motherhood and apple pie. As a UK Conservative there's not much there that would cause me problems (some bits where we might have to equivocate on interpetation). But far more irritating than its diet coke policies is the fact its so terribly written, studded with pointlessly elaborate verbiage and refusing to come to the point and simply say what they mean - the point of a manifesto is to tell people what you think not bore them into submission. Equally I hate the pretention of this kind of thing - the idea that a few self important loons putting their name to something is of the slightest import to the rest ofthe word in anyway. If Bush, Putin or Hu Jintao sign up it might be worth paying some notice to - until then I'll pass.
posted by prentiz at 5:41 PM on September 1, 2006


Well, it's pretty difficult to get into Canada, actually, jfuller. Unless you've got a job lined up (but that seems to be kind of difficult) or you can get an awesome score on their Skilled Worker test and have a few thousand dollars and 24+ months of time to sit around and wait for them to process your application, you're basically screwed.

Anyway, yeah, I guess I agree with the consensus so far: overblown bullshit, thanks for coming out. (Worth the discussion, though.) I am, however, increasingly confused and concerned about how, in situations like Israel-Lebanon, the Democratic Party swings right around to kneejerk defend Israel as though there's not even anything worth discussing about it, despite the fact that a great swath of The Countries That Aren't America were pretty quick to call Israel's actions completely disproportionate.

So, yeah, I think finding a new political perspective outside of republican-democrat is really important, but this isn't it.
posted by blacklite at 6:46 PM on September 1, 2006


>> This is a Manifesto for Professed Lefties Who Secretly Are Relieved That They're
>> Safely Here and Well-Off and Safe, and Not Over There, Where The Bad Shit
>> Is Happening.
>
>Well, that pretty much accounts for all of 'em, doesn't it.
>

If you leave out the "lefties" part, it includes a lot of people, maybe most
people, including people like you 'n me who sit in our nice safe housies, in
front of our state of the art computers, after a hearty meal and a bottle or
two of wine, and type our smug opinions into MetaFilter as a break from
browsing for Asian porn or watching our bid on Ebay for a mint baseball card.

But there are others, who genuinely give a rats ass, and even a few of us, when
we can tear ourselves away from our toys and our online trades, who wonder
where our principles went and why the most powerful, and certainly one of the
most interesting nations on the planet can so quickly abandon their most dearly
held beliefs, and truth itself, to maintain their hegemony over the rest of
the world, cheap stuff on the shelves, and cheap gas in the tank.

>I am reminded of the human tsunami of folks who said "That's it, I'm leaving for
>Canada" right after the 2004 election and then forgot all about it within a week.
>Because, you know, it's cold up there and we think it'll be more effective to
>stay here and oppose the Beast from within where it's comfy.
>

Well, you need a bit more than a dislike for Republicans to come here. Not a
whole lot more, but we do have standards here, y'know.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:56 PM on September 1, 2006


I must join graymouser in scorning the 'Decent Left', and Artful Codger too. And most Mefites may not know this, but there's always been more to the Left than Stalin and Mao -- who were never all that Leftist.
posted by davy at 8:51 PM on September 1, 2006


Hmm.... I'm the only Republican on Metafilter, and I can get behind all of this. What does that say about the "Progressive Left?"
posted by MarshallPoe at 12:02 PM PST on September 1


You may have registered in 2005, but sometimes I think that you started actually reading the site about a week ago. You pretty clearly an intelligent guy, so why are so many of your comments so dumb?

First: you're not the only Republican on MetaFilter. Not even close. We have a few 100% gen-u-ine goosesteppers here, so please don't pretend like you're MarshallPoe, unique twinkling star. You're just another fucking member.

Second: the progressive left is as bound to the ideas in this "manifesto" as you are to the slogan "Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required" that your charming Republican friends made up.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:54 PM on September 1, 2006


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