Not much left | Bleader

Not much left

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Fred Halliday of the London School of Economics still wants to see a planned society that promotes equality, but he can’t stomach what passes for leftism these days. The money quote, from a long interview conducted with Danny Postel last November in Chicago:

“The antiglobalization movement has taken over a critique of capitalism without, to a minimal degree, reflecting on what actually happened in the 20th century. You can’t denounce capitalism in the name of a radical alternative without thinking about what happened when we tried a radical alternative. You can’t denounce rights as an imperialist creation without asking, well, what would a world without the concept of rights be like? You can’t support every ethnic and nationalist group around the world who shows up at Porto Alegre and then say this is all part of some emancipated caravan, given that they may hate each other, they may want to oppress women, they may be against modern medicine and so forth . . . .

“People are completely stuck in the past . . . . They don’t want to know that the Cuban project is totally bankrupt, and most Cubans wish Castro had died 20 years ago, and now fear that when he does die the island will descend into violence. Most people who support the Palestinians don’t want to know that the second intifada has been a disaster for the Palestinians—it has cost them economically very dearly—or that Arafat was a demagogue and an incompetent, and extremely corrupt. Or that Mao killed more people one way or another than Hitler and Stalin.”

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