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Category Archives: The Left

Ahistorical pomposity and gnostic sneering: why academics write deep crap about “neoliberalism”

Humanities and social science academics write a remarkable amount of nonsense about “neoliberalism”, typically understanding neither the reasons for the general shift in public policy nor the motivations and ideas behind it. A nice example of such nonsense is provided in a post by philosopher Robin James: neoliberals think everything in the universe works like a […]

The Jacobin impulse

What makes the decent Left decent is not that it is Left, but what it shares with decent folk who are not of the Left. Failure to grasp that leaves one claiming that any person of the Left is morally and intellectually superior to any person of the “Right”: so Pol Pot is morally and intellectually superior […]

The vicious logic of equality

The Left likes to view itself as the champions of equality, compassion, tolerance and support for the oppressed. As with many people, my most dramatic experiences of the Left are of people who are entitled, self-righteous, vicious and nasty. Some of the latter has been on display in the recent round of commencement addresses in […]

First they came for the pagans and the queers

The upside of Mozilla’s purging of Brendan Eich is various folk are getting the point that penalising opinion and purging workplaces is so not a good idea. The downside is a lot of folk just don’t get the bigger issue. This piece, for example, First They Came For The Mormons, exemplifies the common notion that “this” started with […]

Copa Havana

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has said that he decided to step down and transfer power to his younger brother, Raul, because he was diagnosed with a fatal illness in 2006. In an article published to mark his 87th birthday, Fidel Castro said he didn’t expect to survive the stomach ailment and live for so […]

Meet the New Boss

Kevin Rudd has ousted Prime Minister Julia Gillard as leader of Australia’s Labor Party. He won by 57 votes to 45, in a leadership ballot of Labor lawmakers. The change comes ahead of a general election due in September, which polls suggest Labor is set to lose. This is the latest twist in a long […]

You Turn If You Want To

Downing Street has released the names of more guests who will attend Lady Thatcher’s funeral, including US politician Newt Gingrich and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Advertising magnate Lord Maurice Saatchi, internet pioneer Sir Tim Berners-Lee and singer Katherine Jenkins have also accepted invitations. The ceremony will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral in […]

Remembering Maggie

The death of Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (née Roberts, 13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013), the longest serving and most controversial British Prime Minister of the C20th, has and will let loose a storm of picking over the bones of her Premiership and legacy. I would caution against examinations that look at British economic statistics alone, […]

Check your expectations (1) right-wing wimps and left-wing weaponistas

There is a joke in modern American politics–the Republicans want a big defence force they don’t want to use anywhere and the Democrats want a small defence force they want to use everywhere. Implicit in the joke is that the Republicans like military spending and the Democrats don’t. Because the right is “strong” on defence […]

What’s left out

In a his excellent The World Is Not Enough blog, Charles Richardson comments on an essay by Israeli journalist Yossi Gurvitz.  Gurvitz’s essay applies the analogy of Germans expelled from the Sudetenland, Silesia, Prussia etc after 1945 to the Palestinians expelled from Israel in 1947-48. As Charles notes, it is a revealing analogy. But revealing not […]