A master class on BBC Newsnight.
“The Daily Mail is the worst of British values, posing as the best”.
“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.” (Lord Keynes)
From memory, I think Lord Keynes was referring to Marxism with this comment – an ideology which he rightly despised. Eric Blair (Mr Orwell) was a lifelong committed socialist, but was so enraged by totalitarian Marxism, that he ended up responding with his anti totalitarian classics Animal Farm and 1984.
Yet many intellectuals at the time were Marxists, and apologists for the reprehensible crimes of this ideology. If Red Ed’s father was a Marxist, Should we excuse him now? After all, many other perhaps kindly, intellectual academics in English Universities were in the 1930’s.
It is worth reminding ourselves what Marxism did to the world.
Chairman Mao was responsible for the deaths of more than 60 million souls, Lenin and Stalin perhaps for 40 million more untimely deaths. Yet this is not just mere statistics. The suffering, cruelty, and inhumanity of this ideology cannot be described in words, even by the surviving victims.
Collaborators to Marxism are akin to collaborators to Nazism, in my mind.
Curiously, the public treats these criminals against society differently. Why so? If Red Ed’s father had been a Nazi apologist, would this have been worse than being so for the Marxists? I don’t see it.
Furthermore, supporting Marxism effectively means you do not support the democratic process, you do not support Western liberal values and you do not support any concept of their being any human rights at all. By definition, this proves the fundamental Daily Heil argument.
If my father had been a Nazi or a Marxist (God rest his soul), I would feel compelled to apologise for his terrible judgement on his behalf (of course he wasn’t).
There is much shame experienced by children of prominent Nazis. I can understand this, be it fair or not. Perhaps the general public do not realise the crimes the Marxists implemented, which match the Nazis in most respects.
If Red Ed’s father was a Marxist, the Daily Heil is fundamentally fair and correct in their argument.
Ps. Campbell is a boorish, drunk buffoon and bully who played a leading role in vandalising the UK economy. Enuff said.
Thanks for your comment. As an exercise, I read it through transposing the word ‘Muslim’ where you used the word ‘Marxist’. Then I did so again interchanging the word ‘Christian’. Both ways it kind of made sense … which I found revealing. Try it.
What that exercise makes me think is the ‘debate’, as is so often the case, comes down to tribalism or sectarianism.
I think you put your finger on the key issue with your reference to Eric Blair/Orwell:
…was so enraged by totalitarian Marxism, that …
Gee, poormastery, what ‘ideology’ could possibly follow the word ‘totalitarian’ and be, you know, OK? Totalitarianism, which smacks of slavery, *is* enraging, whether from the ‘right’ or the ‘left’ or from outer space.
Another time, let’s discuss the fundamental error of painting all variations of a loose system of ideology or ethics with the stench of the extremists. It’s a problem, and a common one. Socialism of the sort John Key says all New Zealanders are in favour of is not the foothills of totalitarian Marxism, necessarily, is it? And, say, a political party having links to trades unions doesn’t mean its a stalking horse for the Communists, does it?
As for the Daily Mail, well, it seems we see that publication differently. There’s a great description of the Mail (not to detract from Campbell’s fine “…the worst of British values, posing as the best” comment) here at Rational Wiki
The Daily Mail is to the U.K. what the New York Post is to the United States, and what the Drudge Report is to the Internet: to whit, gossipy tabloid “journalism” for those who cannot digest serious news, with a flippantly wingnut editorial stance. The Daily Mail is notable among British tabloids for rejecting the standard red-top banner order to try to appear more upmarket and respectable, although it does sometimes go in for the full front-page picture or headline characteristic of the working class rags. It is also notorious for its frequent harassment of individuals, campaigns of hate directed at various minorities, and willfully deceiving and lying to its readers.
Obviously not written by a fan, but is it inaccurate, poormastery? I don’t think so.
Hi Peter, you ask:
“Gee, poormastery, what ‘ideology’ could possibly follow the word ‘totalitarian’ and be, you know, OK?”
Ralph Miliband disagrees. He did not support democracy. He supported totalitarianism. He did so even after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Are you actually trying to deny that this guy was an extremist?
Sorry, that’s just plain nuts, in my view.
Frankly, any comparison with political views in NZ is ridiculous.
I agree the Daily Mail is generally tabloid nonsense. This is irrelevant to the issue.
We will need to agree to disagree on this one.
No, actually I don’t have an opinion about Mr Milibrand senior’s extremism or lack thereof, nor his ‘support’ for totalitarianism. I will, as always, bow to your greater knowledge of these things.
So, let’s accept he was an extremist. So? Does that make him fair game for unfair demonisation, or use in ill-motived attempts to torpedo his son’s political career in favour of the Party that supported General Pinochet? (Hmm. A hint of totalitarian extremism there, too?)
Personally, as I have said before, I don’t have a Marxist bone in my body, and (did we ever discuss this?) given my family history, I have not a scintilla of affection for the violent imperial actions, over decades, of the CCCP/Soviet Union and actions of the Communist Party, Russian or Chinese variants, based on events in living memory (i.e. my parents). The Domino Theory was an observable reality (Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia…Indo-China, SE Asia) I don’t doubt it.
I do have an opinion about the Daily Mail’s ‘The Man Who Hated Britain’ hit-piece and their shabby treatment of Mr Milibrand junior’s ‘right of reply’. A negative opinion.
Sadly, I disagree with you about the place of comparisons to NZ politics. Sorry. The same Thin-end-of-the-wedge BS (‘That’s the road to Communism!’, ‘Did you know Ken Douglas went to Moscow? shock-horror) is spouted as political currency here.
Thanks for discussing this. – P
Thanks for firmly putting poormastery in his place. Long time coming.
Lord Keynes … i always thought he had an actual name/s … wasnt it John Maynard Keynes or similar …. Lord Keynes …???
Frankly … it isnt marxism that solely did this or that …neither is it Fascism or Naziism … successive groups of mankind have done this to the world without ceasing over decades and beyond. The fatcat neo liberals are still doing it .. much like beating someone up with a jandal or rolled up magazine … so you cant see the bruising. It just isnt that visually evident … YET. It doesnt detract from the evil perpetrated or the downstream generational effects of same.
That relentless droning i hear now … is poormastery powering up his superior intellect …
Cheers Ivan, but I intended no such putting in place. I genuinely respect poormastery’s view of the history of tyrants and fascism (whatever the cut of their suit). It’s one of the things I appreciate about him, that perspective, whether I agree about all matters (unlikely with anyone — you should meet my brother!)
So, when I said I bowed to pm’s greater knowledge, I meant it, with zero snark.
Keynes — well, what legend. A little like Churchill: a quote for all occasions. (I respect him too.)
Thanks for your comment. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the crimes committed in various ideologies’ name and the downstream interpretations. Bleurgh!
I mean if we were to judge Christianity by the Spanish Inquisition imagine where we’d be, eh Ivan? 🙂
Sorry about the typos. Writing as I walk.
I do judge Christianity by the inquisition mate … and its only changed its sheep pelt over the centuries to fool the masses. The auto da fe is now simply taking on another form …. we are now so elegant we ‘burn’ people metaphorically or in a manner that doesnt show much visual damage. And excommunication … now thats been elevated to an artform in the Christian circles. Islam is Christianity without the chastity belt and westernised-semitic propaganda … unfettered …
Poormastery has a highly biased view of history … and he cunningly hides it in long paragraphs and supporting viewpoint references … one feels like someone spotting that the emperor in fact – is buck naked …
If i was being totally honest … he just pisses me off and rips my undies …
But he is a nice guy im sure …
JM Keynes is a hero … undoubtedly …
Smartphones and walking … arrrgh
“Smartphones and walking … arrrgh”
I know, right? The track next to the blue section was when I was writing to you … look how much I slowed down!
You’re a bloody showoff mate … techo geek showoff … you wouldnt slow down for me … it was probably to adjust your corset.
So … Len Brown worked hard for a dragon baby it seems … i didnt vote for the cretin this time and now the total non entity who promised much delivers up to the right wing of politics the ideal story for them to feast on.
It probably runs contra to your “thread” … but hell .. did God invent blogs or did he (or she – or it) ….
Dragon baby … eeech … and we want this type of imported thinking …
“Does that make him fair game for unfair demonisation…”
I think the crimes of Marxist totalitarian thought makes demonisation of apologists to this cause not just fair but the responsible action. We should call a demon¨a demon.
“…or use in ill-motived attempts to torpedo his son’s political career…”
It depends upon Red Ed agrees with his father’s views. Perhaps he should comment on this.
“…in favour of the Party that supported General Pinochet? (Hmm. A hint of totalitarian extremism there, too?)”
Yes. General Pinochet was a thug and a monster. Yet two wrongs do not equal one right.
“‘Did you know Ken Douglas went to Moscow? shock-horror) is spouted as political currency here.”
The idea that Ken Douglas was a life-long Marxist is absurd to me (I would say he was a socialist). I doubt he wanted a workers revolution to overthrow the government, followed by class warfare ad infinitim to be perpetrated against “enemies of the State”. Ralph Miliband, on the other hand, did support Marxism, until his death.
“If i was being totally honest … he just pisses me off and rips my undies…”
ROFL. Thank you for the feedback, and sorry about the collateral damage to your undies.
You’ve caused me extreme damage to my undies mate … i try not to be bitter about it but try to see it from my point of view.