Saturday, February 18, 2012

Face up? Oh come ...

Raedwald has a coldly furious and entirely admirable posting about the nasty little sins in the past of the Labour Party and the socialists in general. Not just the wholesale approval of the Communists gulags and execution chambers but
the shared ideology between the British left and the Nazi party, an ideology based on racial purity, Eugenics, State control over breeding and marriage and the horror of 'involuntary euthanasia', or State murder, an ideology that persisted in Polly Toynbee's beloved left wing Scandinavian countries into the 1970s with compulsory sterilisation.
George Bernard Shaw not only approved of Stalinist wiping out of the peasantry and made mocking comments of the starving men, women and children he encountered but also wrote to Beatrice Webb, another worshipper of Stalin:
We ought to tackle the Jewish question by admitting the right of States to make eugenic experiments by weeding out any strains they think undesirable, but insisting they do it as humanely as they can afford to.
One wonders what was it he exactly envisaged.

He links to an article by Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian's Comment is Free section, which says, inter alia, that it is time the Left faced up to some of its nasty little secrets, in this case past support for eugenics. Of course, this argument has been voiced before, not least by Jonah Goldberg in his book Liberal Fascism. However, if anyone thinks the Left will ever face up to any of it, then a reading of the vicious and self-righteous responses to Mr Freedland's article should disabuse them.


  1. Freedland wrote about this in 1997 also:

  2. Freedland is right about the history of course, but he is being disingenuous. Eugenics as a philosophy ran across the entire political spectrum in the early 20th century. It is equally disingenuous to argue that because there were left wing supporters of eugenics in the 1920s or even the 1970s, that all people on the left thought the same way, then or now.

    There are plenty of arguments that can be used against the modern left - what Shaw and the Webbs believed isn't one of them.

  3. Well, actually, Ian what Shaw and the Webbs believed is an argument to be used agains the Left thought not the only one, because the Left still venerates those old frauds and others of that ilk, such as Eric Hobsbawm. Plus the Left tends to use arguments of that kind against the Right. How often do you hear comments about the Daily Mail (not a paper I particularly like as I have made clear) being so obnoxious because back in the thirties it "supported Hitler"?

  4. Your stereotypical image of the left is so divorced from reality that it is really difficult to take you seriously. You talk as if there is a single entity which makes as much sense when talking about the left as it does about the right, or about libertarianism, which is to say none all. It is like equating Ayn Rand with Benjamin Tucker. Far from being venerated the Webbs are reviled by many. They are an irrelevancy.

    As for the Mail it is obnoxious for what it says now. The fact that it has been behaving the same way for 70-80 years is merely the icing on the cake.

    Not does it make an argument any stronger to say, 'my opponents use it against me'. If it is invalid it is invalid.

  5. But it is not invalid. The fact that you immediately lose your temper and start stamping your foot(metaphorically, of course) in anger proves it. The Left is far more of an entity than the Right is, which is divided at the very least between the libertarian and the social conservative Right and almost all of the Left reveres people like Shaw and the Webbs. The Left, by and large, supported and still supports some very nasty regimes and has not owned up to that. Their ability to find excuses for Communism and its supporters is an entirely valid argument against them. (Well, you, I presume.)

  6. Who's losing their temper? I'm disagreeing with you, I'm saying you don't know the left anything like as well as you think you do. If you think it is only possible to diagree by losing your temper, that's your problem, not mine.

    Try telling a member of the SWP they revere the Webbs. Once they stop laughing - if they are so polite, the SWP are not renowned for a sense of humour - you can ask them to explain just how wrong you are.

  7. Collectively the left, as morally bankrupt as they are, is the source of vast human misery, the death throes of Greek solvency (and that of all EU members, and the USA) is solely the fault of socialist/ communist policies, and now it is for everyone to see, left wing policies are unsustainable, they have run out of other peoples money to squander and end has come, and you Helen is correct the left, as control freaks are evil and anti human.

  8. I don't think there is any point in taking this any further since clearly you much prefer playing in your own little sandbox without any chance of contradiction.