Sunday, February 1, 2009

Former Trots Make Good

Recently I was reading about a group of former British Trotskyists from the now defunct Revolutionary Communist Party who evolved through the pages of their journal Living Marxism from stagnant Leninists to a group of smart left-libertarians with solid critiques of the liberal establishment, the therapeutic state and the cult of the victim. As a former Trotskyist myself, this story held some personal interest. Also, it is nice to see ex-Trots actually move on to something worthwhile rather than become tired social democrats or cretinous neoconservatives (or some unholy synthesis of the two).

The most interesting part of the whole story, however, was the behavior of certain leftists (especially environmentalists given LM's questioning the authenticity of global warming fears) as the group moved towards more independent positions. Guardian journalist George Monbiot has developed an especially strange obsession with the group, accusing them of sinister entryism, being stooges for corporate lobbyists and of being a cult. It seems that any amount of independent thinking will get one cast out of the Left 'community' faster than Hester Prynne and with all manners of absurd accusations in tow.

The death of their journal came about after they lost a libel action made against them by Independent Television News. This came about when an article was published in LM which correctly pointed out that ITN coverage of the Serbian conflict was incorrectly labeled with the express intent of providing bias against the Serbs. You see the group around the LM journal noticed from their years with the organized Left that when war and imperialism was being waged under the guise of 'humanitarian intervention' there were considerably fewer people to demonstrate against it. Their new site, Sp!ked Online (which was created after LM was forced to fold due to the loss of the libel suit), is also quite astute at pointing out the class prejudice and moral superiority inherent in liberal activism.

Of course, I don't share their Sinophilia or desire to keep the borders open, but it is certainly nice to a see a group of writers and activists who are solidly antiwar (that is opposed to it even when waged by a Democrat president), support Irish republicanism even after the peace process, and who are solid libertarians but not afraid to use Marx as a way to understand capitalism. Anyway, Sp!ked is in the links section, so check it out for yourself.

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