Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's left

When I was in my teenage years I used to get very angry when the media used to report that the communist party was supported by the USSR. However after I read "Homage to Catalonia" by George Orwell, I find that virtually all communist parties were under Moscow control.

Still knowing this I still had a lot of problems finishing "What's left -- how the left lost its way". Nick Cohen is a journalist from the left who writes for the Guardian newspaper and the New statesman magazine. He had written a book called "Pretty Straight Guys" about the nasty new labour using fear for political purposes.

Cohen starts the books with the good things that the left has achieved. However, he also recounted the many problems with left in particular in relation to Stalin and the USSR. He also criticizes people like Noam Chomsky for various strange views.

To give you an idea of the main topic of book, one of the chapter titles is "The disgrace of the Anti-War Movement". What he particularly didn't like was the support for Sadim Hussian and pals, and Islamic extremism, by a vocal section of the anti-war movement on the left.

Cohen is in favour of an interventionist policy where the UK sends the troops in whenever we see bad things in the world. This seems in impracticable to me, particularly as the UK is broke at the moment. It is not fair for the troops, some of whom joined to protect the UK (or for the water-skiing). As recent history as shown it is very difficult to impose order from outside. Of course things get complicated when genocide occurs.

I am glad I read the book. It made me think about the issues more.