Thursday, 10 September 2009


Every so often, I'm reminded of why blogrolled Dave's Part. Although he does occasionally lapse into hilarity-inducing Labour tribalism, every so often he comes up with some serious, thought-provoking goods.

Like this:

OK, DO you want to cheerlead the guys that throw acid in schoolgirls’ faces, or the men who killed dozens of Afghan civilians in an airstrike on two stolen fuel tankers last week? Hopefully, by the time you have finished this post, you will agree with me that such a proposition represents a false counterposition for the left.

Among many other points, was this, something I happen to agree with quite firmly:

Given the welter of conflicting principles on offer, in the nature of the case the majority of the left prefers to base morality on weighing up the consequences of major politic choices. The pro-war left has frequently invoked the introduction of liberal democracy to Afghanistan as good grounds for supporting the war.

We might want to call the idea that liberal democracy can be imposed by force of arms the Fukuyama Fallacy. It has been put to the test, and found wanting, in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

With perhaps the sole historical - but nevertheless partial - exception of Japan, democracy has always arisen either organically or not at all. Few of the pro-war left can look upon the putrid and corrupt vote-rigging government in Kabul with any sense of satisfaction.

I urge you to go read the whole thing, especially if you consider yourself "of the left".


ukipwebmaster said...

Nigel goes on the attack:

Tiresias said...

Seems sensible to me. Nick Cohen's "What's Left" correctly diagnosed the stupidities the left have fallen into in choosing an enemy (a "hegemony" of one sort or another) and then defining their position in unwavering opposition to it.

But then he fell into exactly the same trap. He defined himself as a defender of the rationalist enlightenment/opponent of obscurantism (fair enough) and inferred from that an obligation to export liberal democracy to the world. Like most of his stripe he values the purity of his own conscience above the utilitarian good and thereby stands condemned as a buffoon.

This Dave character, whom I haven't had the pleasure of following, seems to be wise to the fallacy.

Mark Wadsworth said...

It's a completely false choice. I don't like Islamists and I don't want to wage war on Afghanistan either.

JuliaM said...

Can't really cry hot tears of sympathy for the 'Afghan villagers' either, since they were stealing fuel from those hijacked tankers at the time.

In fact, I feel about as much for them as I do for the occasional Nigerian crowds that have a habit of forgetting not to smoke while they are stealing petrol from ruptured pipelines...