20 April 2006

Attacking THEM

It is inevitable (and good) that a high visibility declaration like The Euston Manifesto shall come under attack from all imaginable (some hardly, but...) points of the political compass.

Unfortunately, as the days pass, the voices of criticism that are heard more and more clearly are the cries of the "marginal" but extremely shrilly and extremely forceful extremes of that compass. These on the far right and far left. The ones you can hardly argue with, that will just not listen to a voice of moderation and sense. Which voice is normally sensible and moderate and simply does not raise to the decibel level of the extremists' histrionics.

There are three categories in this small but loudmouthed company I will mention here:

1. Selective nitpickers

This group disregards selected passages of the document, attacking other statements ripped out of the context. Norm himself deals with cases like these in his post of April 19.

2. "You are dealing with a tiny margin of no consequence".

A very widespread argument which has a simple purpose: to diminish the value of THEM by diminishing its "target". Two things should be said:

a) The purpose of THEM is not just negation of some tiny minority, but definition of a broad moral and political credo that should be valued by its own merits.

b) The worst atrocities in history were perpetrated by movements that started as a small marginal group of no consequence. I shall never tire repeating this to idiots of all colors.

3. Yeah, I know what you have written, but this is not what you think. What you really think is...

Surprisingly, this line of "argument" comes not only from an assorted E-space riffraff, but from persons with academic credentials as well.

Matt The Insomniac mentions this extremely irritating category as well here.

Of course, so far the most revolting example of this genre comes from here (do not bother to read after the line marked 2), that's quite enough). But there are many more of that ilk.

Oh well. I have put our reason for signing THEM as: "this looks like a voice of sanity in our oh so crazy days". I stand behind this statement, and the current wave of "criticism" only provides more support to it.

Too bad.