The cutting edge
Terry Glavin: Antifaschismus: Shifting the Paradigm, In for The Long Haul. (Also followed up here: A tribute to "activists with impeccable credentials on the European left.")
Decency, propaganda and the left:
Martin has a post on that subject, referencing mine, and also recommending The Propagandist. I've been meaning to recommend the latter for a while too, partly because my blog is listed among "allied propagandists". It describes itself as a blog of the anti-fascist left and thinking conservatives. It has some good contributors, including some people I respect, such as Terry Glavin, Eamonn McDonagh, and Ben Cohen. I applaud the ambition to bring together commentators from across the increasingly irrelevant left-right divide. But, like Martin and Terry, it is a little uncomfortable to be in the company of some of the "thinking conservatives", and I feel odd being aligned with such as the Infidel Bloggers Alliance, Diana West, and No Dhimmitude.
As Martin and Terry note, these bloggers see the key battle as between "Western values" and its enemies, whereas we (in Martin's words) prefer to talk about "defending democracy, pluralism and freedom of thought and expression - which I believe are universal rather than specifically 'Western' values." The West may have given birth to some of these values, but it has upheld them very poorly, from the slave trade to the destruction of many of the Native cultures of the Americas to the violence of colonialism to the violence against Jews in the heart of the West. And, as Terry puts it,
I know no one in "the west" fighting for democracy, free thought and equality the way our Afghan and Iranian friends fight. Among my comrades, none are more fervent in their devotion to the cause of toleration and human rights than those of them who happen to be Muslim.Read Terry's blog for some examples of this heroic devotion.
Flesh is Grass: Unlucky roads – Roma in Europe (on Roma rights and the left crying racism); Tendance Coates: Michael Ezra and the falsification of history (on Roma rights in Serbia, Harry's Place, the white working class and swearing).
The English Defence League and its enemies:
As usual, a round-up of links, rather than any specific endorsements of analysis. The AWL on the EDL in Bradford; Schnews: out of their league; the EDL's Muslim mascot; Anti-fascist strategies tested at Bradford; and lots more from the Stop Racism and Fascism Network.
One interesting thing about the EDL moment is proliferation of "defence leagues". I guess the Jewish Defence League (JDL) was first, and I've read Islamists claiming that they were going to demonstrate against Al-Quds day, although I'm not sure if they did, alongside the EDL. Then came the EDL, then its fake "Welsh" and "Scottish" offshoots. And then Aki Nawaz, ex of Fun-Da-Mental, starts a Muslim Defence League. And now Trot sect Workers Power are proposing an Anti-Fascist Defence League.
Oh, and the latest, a European Defence League. This last is important, and links to the stuff above, because this is the link-up between the EDL and the US/European counter-jihad movement, which includes the likes of Robert Spencer, Pam Geller, and Gert Wilders. To quote Marko:
A great struggle is brewing all over Europe and beyond. On the one side stands the liberal order and its defenders, representing the values of secularism, internationalism, cosmopolitanism, pluralism and respect for human rights. On the other stands the forces of reaction, which itself is composed of two rival but essentially similar wings. Extremist Muslims (an unrepresentative minority among the Muslim communities of the democratic West) and certain fellow travellers on the extreme Left represent one wing of the anti-liberal reaction, and assault the liberal order under the banner of anti-Semitism (or ‘anti-Zionism’), anti-Westernism, anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism.
But it is the other wing that is the Western liberal order’s more dangerous enemy – if only because non-Muslims vastly outnumber Muslims, so there is a much larger constituency for this current of reaction to draw from. This current represents the white nativist reaction against the liberal order: anti-cosmopolitan, anti-EU, often anti-secular, but above all extremely nationalist, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. It is on the basis of hostility to Islam and to immigration that the new far-right is mounting its assault on liberal values and the Western liberal world.
Cutting edge Deptford; The non-crazy left; Noga reads Hitchens; Andre Glucksmann on the Jerusalem syndrome; The Independent's 21st century racism; The forgetfulness of Monsieur Minc; and lots more links.
And here, for Terry, and for all the wonderful people I spent time with in Belfast last week, the Fureys singing "Mountains of Mourne".