Kommentar

Nick Cohen og Norman Geras har stilt seg i spissen for et nytt venstreliberalt manifest, i frustrasjon over at det bare er en type meninger på sentrum-venstresiden som blir presentert, og som de ikke kjenner seg i igjen i.

De er lei antiamerikanismen, toleransen for intoleransen, den manglende evnen til å skille hva som er viktig, for ikke å si alvorlig, fra mindre alvorlig. Det hele begynte med at noen likesinnede møttes en kveld i London. Blogosfæren har vært viktig som møteplass.

Det er ikke noe entydig, men en fastslåen av noen viktige prisnipper, hva som er viktig i vår tid.

We are democrats and pro-gressives. 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 their 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.

We then go on to a statement of principles. There is no space here to present them in detail, but this is a brief summary:

We value the traditions and institutions of the liberal, pluralist democracies, and we decline to make excuses for, to indulgently «understand», reactionary regimes and movements for which democracy is a hated enemy. We hold the fundamental human rights codified in the Universal Declaration to be precisely universal. Equally, violations of these rights are to be condemned whoever is responsible for them and regardless of cultural context. The manifesto speaks of our attachment to egalitarianism in all domains.

We reject the anti-Americanism which is infecting so much left-liberal thinking. We support the right of both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples to self-determination within the framework of a two-state solution. There are paragraphs opposing racism and identifying the resurgence of anti-Semitism; on terrorism and against the excuses made for it; on humanitarian intervention when states violate the common life of their peoples in appalling ways.

We argue that the time is long overdue to break with the tradition of left apologetics for anti-democratic forces and regimes; that there is a duty of respect for the historical truth; and that it is more than ever necessary to affirm that, within the usual constraints against incitement, people must be at liberty to criticise beliefs – including religious be liefs – that others cherish.

Dette fra introduksjonsartikkelen i New Statesman.

The Euston Manifesto
Norman Geras and Nick Cohen

Hjemmesiden: The Euston Manifesto