Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Euston Manifesto

WARNING!!: If you suffer from any type of negative reaction to sugar in any of its forms it is strongly suggested that extreme care be exercised in reading the document in question.

The Manifesto is the intellectual equivalant of five pounds of cotton candy. Although it is but eight pages in length it incorporates all things nice, fluffy and ephemeral in bringing us progressive ideals without any threat of coercion whatsover.

This is a very sentimental document. It rejects the dead, mouldering concepts of Stalinism and Maoism without coming out with specific identification of which type of velvet will encase the new levelers boot. It is for a gentler, kinder rhetoric and rejects all manner of 'bad' identity politics while embracing full gender and racial equality without ever coming around to defining what that might entail - and with nary a word on how it is intended to be achieved.

In short, it is a sweet syrup, very suitable use in embalming this deadest of ideologies.

It would be nice to be able to offer a rebuttal but how can one rebutt fog? It would be easier to bottle a cloud.

PS - It ties in nicely with the WaPo drive to get the lefts crazy aunts off the front porch and up in the attic out of sight. One might wonder at the soft lefts desire to move the hard left off stage. Something to do with the publics rejection of leftist idiocy, one might presume.


Knucklehead said...

They are cute, aren't they! Manifestos. I wrote one of those when I was young. It was such fun.

I left links to their doctrinal documents over in the thread at Roger's Place. Cute and sweet as they are I ain't gonna link 'em again. One trip to the cotton candy stand is enough.

terrye said...

Right now I don't think the right is in too good a shape either.

flenser said...

That seems unduly harsh. I know I have been hoping for a more serious left to appear on the scene. Not one I would necessarily agree with on every topic, but one capable of doing more than spouting its hate and resentment.

I don’t expect them to start quoting Burke and Kirk, at least not yet. But if they act civilized that would be a major step upwards.

Rick Ballard said...


Were there any structure whatsoever involved I wouldn't have been as harsh. All that they have done is grabbed the Rousseau/Declaration of the Rights of Man/UN Declaration of Human Rights declension which supposes equality of outcome without regard to quality or quantity of input.

I find the fact that they have abandoned some of the language (or at least engaged in sufficient sophistry to mask intent) to be unremarkable. Why should I seek to tary with them as they meander into histories dustbin?

A shift in the language of the dialectic does not amount to an invitation to dialogue and even if it did, the concept of a synthesis involving precepts as espoused in this manifesto is rather uninteresting.

terrye said...

At least they acknowledged some mistakes.

Knucklehead said...

It's been a challenge but I've managed to track down a few more of the seminal documents.

Here, here, and here. One should not judge the manifestoers until one understands the profound intellectual depth of the tradition.

And always remember.

Rick Ballard said...


You may have been over kind. I don't quite see the rigor of thought espoused in the Manifesto that went into those quotes.

At least they acknowledged some mistakes.

Yes, and then immediately set themselves to making others. Their time might be better spent writing condolence cards to the families of the more than 100 million people killed by their previous "mistakes".

Admitting a mistake has nothing to do with rectifying the error made nor do they take a scintilla of personal responsibility for any "errors that may have occuured". The very epitome (if shallowness might have an epitome) of the left.

John Lynch said...

The document in question is only mildly interesting. The referenced documents have more fire in them, but are (slightly) more red meat for the harder left.

The interesting part of the manifesto is the -gate part. Is it manifesto-gate?

That is, the reaction, the backtracking, the reinforcing, the attacks.

So far, I see little backtracking from the "20" originators. I see some reinforcing with Normblogs defense. I see attacks of some ferocity - mostly from the blogging left.

I would say this has turned into a target of the left more than a target of the right.

While lightweight on matters the right considers substantive, its fatal flaw is that it does not inflame the right. The left, specifically the hard left, will not abide positions that do not repudiate all that the right thinks important.

Knucklehead said...


It's basically kittens and puppies so the "right", despite the joy we get from torturing kittens and puppies, isn't going to do much other than mildly ridicule the kittens and puppies tone of it.

What ticks off the "left", I surmise, is the (rather milquetoast) critique of their dogma that there is nothing on earth worse than the United States. The Left has their comfy little lives and easy money tied up in the industries they've built chanting the same old same old.

If the Left actually cared about stuff like Article 16 of their cherished Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or saving the little kiddies from guns, after all, they'd have to get in the faces of some nasty people in places where the hotel conference facilities aren't up to the standards to which they've become so accustomed. They'd also run the risk of being forced to see that the US (and British) military were doing the heavy lifting for their ideals. That just isn't something they can tolerate. Way too much cognitive dissonance lies down that path.

Rick Ballard said...


Perhaps it is meant as a divisive statement setting out, as Knuck noted, a feather pillow approach so that the softies may be easily distinguished from those "rough, hard men" (strictly rhetorically speaking) who appear to delight in being lambasted from the right. It is still a matter of grave indifference and an indication of the level of intellectual bankruptcy of the ideology involved.

It's sort of the low stakes, high intensity battle one might expect from a faculty dispute at a junior college. I would say that 'one might have hoped for more' except that 'RIP and the sooner the better' seems more fitting.

Now if the left ever has the wit to show up for battle saying, "look, capitalism provides more opportunity than any system of economics ever envisioned but needs careful monitoring and definite limits", then there would be something to discuss.

John Lynch said...

Knuck, Rick,

Good points both.

The showing up at a gunfight with this document seems out of character for some of the names on the list.

I wonder how this will play out.