Sullivan on the Euston Manifesto

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Andrew Sullivan’s piece “The Left Awakens” talks about the Euston Manifesto, calling it “an important British-based statement of left and liberal principles in the new era of fundamentalism.” He refers to “the anti-Americanism, moral relativism and defeatism of the cut-and-run left,” and concludes:

We must fight that tendency as relentlessly as we must fight Christianism and Islamism. But a new coalition is forming - against all these isms. For freedom. For the West.

Food for thought: Do Sullivan’s criticisms of the far right (“Christianism and Islamism”) and the far left (“anti-Americanism, moral relativism and defeatism”) balance each other to make him a centrist?

Back to the Manifesto itself: It is a fine statement of principle, particularly this passage on freedom of ideas:

We uphold the traditional liberal freedom of ideas. It is more than ever necessary today to affirm that, within the usual constraints against defamation, libel and incitement to violence, people must be at liberty to criticize ideas — even whole bodies of ideas — to which others are committed. This includes the freedom to criticize religion: particular religions and religion in general. Respect for others does not entail remaining silent about their beliefs where these are judged to be wanting. [emphasis added]

Most people will not have heard of the signatories, except perhaps Norm Geras, Paul Berman, and Michael Walzer; nonetheless, the manifesto is worth reading for insight into modern progressive thought.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on April 25, 2006 6:49 PM.

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