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Europe’s Left in Crisis

Alan Johnson

Both of Europe’s lefts—radical and social democratic—are in crisis. The radical left has been turned inside-out and upside-down by the fall of communism and the rise of reactionary anti-imperialism—the attitude that one must support any and every opponent of America and Israel as “the resistance” to “empire.” This left marches down the streets of London carrying placards reading “We are all Hezbollah now!” (No doubt, soon enough, “We are all Hamas Now!”)

The Stop the War Movement in London supports Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine,boosts Bashar al-Assad’s apologists, and protects the regime in Iran.

Labor’s left-wing former London mayor, Ken Livingstone, embraced the cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi as a man to “truly, truly welcome” to our city even though he is a reactionary Islamist cleric who defends suicide bombing against Israeli men, women, and children as “one of the most praised acts of worship,” supports the execution of homosexuals, and endorses wife-beating.

When the academic Judith Butler argued that “understanding Hamas, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of a global left, is extremely important,” no one bat an eye. (See 16:24 in this video.)

The democratic left-winger Moishe Postone has suggested the cause of this political and moral collapse is the absence on the European anti-capitalist left of either a positive vision of an alternative society or a viable strategy to achieve it. The resulting void is being filled by a negative presence: anti-ism…READ MORE AT WORLD AFFAIRS.