Death of a socialist(ism)…?

Johann Hari interviews Chris Hitchens, one time hero of the international left, who since 11th September 2001 has found it impossible to hold a consistent political line that cuts across a bundle of issues. An excellent and sympathetic insight into an individual whose stance perhaps symbolises the increasing fragmentation of political agendas in what’s left of the ‘West’.

  • peteb

    An article in Reason online, dated November 2001 but including an interview that took place in “late August” of that year, suggests Hitchens had reached the conclusion that his answer to the question “Are you still a socialist?” was no longer a confirmed ‘Yes’ before 9/11 – “[If asked]I no longer would have positively replied, “I am a socialist.”

  • Mick Fealty

    Excellent digging Mr b. A good corrective. But I’d say the principle still stands in terms of the fragmentation of political bodies of thought.

  • peteb

    I’d agree with the “fragmentation of political bodies of thought”, Mr F.

    but then I’d also point out that Mr H’s answers in the Reason article support the argument that his stance has always been an individualistic one – those who subscribe to the “political bodies of thought” are just in a process of catching up with him.

  • Sonny

    Well, if the US is so opposed to Islamic fundementalism…why oh why did Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan support the Mujahadeen (aka the Taliban) takeover of Afghanistan in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s? And why does George Jr. Bush (and every other President before him since FDR) support the Islamic fundementalist fascist regime of Saudi Arabia but not (since 1991 anyway) the nominally Islamic (but nonetheless) fascist regime of Sadam Hussein? And why did George Sr. Bush ally with the Islamic fundementalist fascist regimes of Hafad Assad’s Syria and Saudi Arabia to re-establish the Islamic fundementalist fascist regime of Kuwait after the invasion of the nominally Islamic (but nonetheless) fascist Sadam Hussein? Me thinks this ain’t so much about religion and democracy as the likes of Christopher Hithchens and both George Bushes would like us all to think…as it is about oil and Hitchens perhaps needing more money from better paying mainstream rags to get his kids though college. And if you don’t think so…watch what happens to any so called democratically elected client state regime/government of post-Sadam Iraq if it becomes too independent (i.e. anti-British & anti-American). It’ll most likely go the way of the Diem Brothers no matter how democratic or religiously tolerant it may be.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “Well, if the US is so opposed to Islamic fundementalism…why oh why did Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan support the Mujahadeen (aka the Taliban) takeover of Afghanistan in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s?”

    For much the same reason that if the Soviet Union was still in place today the CIA would in all probability be supplying the Chenchen Islamic fundamentalists regardless of Beslan et al.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Chechen

  • Sonny

    “For much the same reason that if the Soviet Union was still in place today the CIA would in all probability be supplying the Chenchen Islamic fundamentalists regardless of Beslan et al.”

    Which means this so called war on terrorism isn’t so much about being anti-Islamic fundementalism as it is about not having a service-able Islamic fundementalism to help shore up oil based Anglo-American global capitalism.

  • Christopher Daigle

    Well, if the US is so opposed to Islamic fundementalism…why oh why did Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan support the Mujahadeen (aka the Taliban) takeover of Afghanistan in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s?
    ——————-
    Because in the realist conception of International Relations the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Besides the Taliban didn’t enter the picture until the 1990s.

    —————–
    And why did George Sr. Bush ally with the Islamic fundementalist fascist regimes of Hafad Assad’s Syria and Saudi Arabia to re-establish the Islamic fundementalist fascist regime of Kuwait after the invasion of the nominally Islamic (but nonetheless) fascist Sadam Hussein?
    ———————
    I dont think any of those regimes can be seriously considered as fascist.
    And it is a little difficult to refer to Syria as “Islamic” when the state apparatus, including the president, army and police, is completely dominated by non-Muslims.

  • Fraggle

    what I’d like to know is what fundimentalist terrorist organisation was responsible for the chemical weapon attack today at queen’s