Thursday, 5 August 2010

Political Correctness Gone Right

I've never been one for tribal political ideas of 'left' and 'right'. I generally think of myself as being left-wing because I am an anti-war social democrat who supports a large degree of immigration.

However, I do see that in some regards the mainstream left and right are far more similar than either would acknowledge. One way in which this comes out is in what is called 'political correctness': in other words taking the view that minorities should be granted privileges. I say 'what is called' because I don't think anyone describes themselves as 'politically correct'.

Yet, whilst this is generally something that causes whinging on the right, in some ways they are the worst perpetrators.

Take the recent Shimon Peres comment that "There is in England a saying that an antisemite is someone who hates the Jews more than is necessary." Really? Who said this and where? Could it just be some self-pitying bullshit that he invented?

What gets to me is the apologetic nature of the responses to Peres' comment. Given how much theft and murder is committed by the Israeli state, I'd guess he was in a pretty poor position to lecture other countries about their record of tolerance. And even aside from insulting our culture, isn't this exactly the kind of ghettoising victim mentality that the right are supposed to dislike?

However, where is the right wing furore over this? Where is our Tory leader, who has just been acting Mr Big in South Asia to stick up for British national pride?

And incidentally, a word about some passports...


  1. Spot on. I think Ayn Rand is perhaps another example of the right-wing victim mentality. In Rand's mind, progressive taxation and other relatively mild left-wing policies were the equivalent of enslaving the rich to altruism. For creative demigods, Rand's heroes whine and complain a lot.

  2. @John
    I've never read any of Ayn Rand's books; they sound like comedy gold but they are massive.

    For more rightist whinging there is a Russian site called Mat Rodina which claims that Putin/Medvedev really embody the Austrian ideal of economics. Ther were lots of funny comments by midwesterners asking how to migrate to Russia: apparently hoping to do a John Galt and bring the USA to a standstill.

    Whilst I have a lot of time for Russian culture the weather, consonant clusters, Islamic terrorists, lack of drinking water and lethal public transport have always deterred me from wanting to go there. Being offered a flat tax seemed to make these things seem trifling by contrast to these middle Americans.

  3. @Gregor,

    Interesting. I never knew American libertarians thought of Russia as a Galtian paradise. In fact, I thought many of them hated Putin for standing up to the oligarchs on occasion. That being said, I don't know all that much about Russia, so I may have missed something. I understand the poor have not done all that well under Putin/Medvedev, and that the infrastructure, especially in Siberia, is rotting, so that might be attractive to libertarians. A flat tax would certainly be up their alley too.

    In my experience, libertarians usually hail Somalia as the prime example of a working libertarian society. However, I don't think many have moved there from the socialist hellhole that is the United States. This probably is not surprising, since many of the more hardcore libertarians seem to be nerds who would never last a day in Somalia.