Saturday, August 02, 2003

Samizdata says we're all lefties now

This entry on Samizdata is probably more revealing than it is meant to be. Firstly it quotes a left winger on the war who puts a impeccably left wing argument. In short it is that we are our brother's (or distant cousin's) keepers, and that the role (or one of the many roles) of the nation state should be to rid humanity of injustice, etc, etc.

Well that is impeccably leftwing reasoning. In fact I would say that for most leftwingers the idea of helping the helpless with state force is the essence of being left wing. And the Samizdata writer agrees with this reasoning, so on this issue (if on no others) he is a left winger. More to the point that reasoning, that the Iraqis need to be liberated by us is the main argument that Samizdroids use. The national interest, even the flawed Anglosphere argument for subsuming ourselves to America, is rarely used.

A lefty by definition is someone who agrees with left-wing reasoning, Samizdata agrees with left wing reasoning. So the logic follows that Samizdata is left wing, on this issue. I would also say that it is radically un-libertarian, on this issue - but, hey, I'm not really a libbo so conducting purity tests on others is not really on.

What would the "right wing" argument on this be? Well it would go something like this, yes it's great that Saddam's no longer oppressing the Iraqis but it's really none of our business and if the Iraqis wanted liberation that badly (or saw Saddam as even more evil than a theocracy or being ruled by the tribe over the hill or whatever) then they should have just got on with it. Of course others will differ and many right wingers will find reasons to support the war that do not involve a utopian pan-humanism, after all being right wing really is just a way of saying that you're not a left winger.

Conversely if you agree with left wing reasoning you are a leftie.


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