Thursday, May 08, 2008

Another Leftbehind

That is, one who left behind a cozy socio-political mansion on the left to wander in the post-9/11 wilderness. The common factor in so many of them is this "hinge":

9/11, Anthony confesses, was a hinge-moment in his political trajectory. What it did was to force him to reflect on the importance and fragility of the western liberal democratic polity, and gave him a stinging awareness of the existence, and terrifying murderous ferocity, of those who want to destroy it, and to usher in a system of governance infinitely worse. In particular, it alerted him to a profound lacuna within the world-view of the liberal-left: an inability to imagine, or to properly come to terms with, the existence of evil or horrific violence unrelated to the dynamics of global capitalism. For Anthony, 9/11 marked the beginning of a period of systematic political self-reassessment. ‘In a sense’, he says, ‘11 September was the ultimate mugging, a murderous assertion of a new reality, or rather a reality that already existed but which we preferred not to see’ ....

From a review of Andrew Anthony's "The Fall-Out: How a Guilty Liberal Lost His Innocence" by Simon Cottee.