Not Saussure

January 28, 2007

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds

Filed under: War on Terror — notsaussure @ 9:05 pm

Via Smokewriting, an article by one Nick Cohen from the New Statesman of 14 January 2002:

“Anti-Americanism” is a transparent slur that libels and subverts the best of American freedom. It’s a propaganda insult that is as contaminated as “terrorist”. Right-wingers in London and Washington use it shamelessly to suggest that those who are not happy with their abysmal status quo are the moral equivalents of blood-drenched murderers.

Cohen’s article concludes

American politics cannot be reformed by Blair or anyone else. Anti-Americanism is a prejudice, and it remains crass to identify a people with their government. But with no alternative to the present regime in Washington in sight, a depressingly convincing justification for anti-Americanism remains: that there is little about modern America to be for.

Of course, much has changed since 2002. I don’t think Nick Cohen then fully appreciated the merits of torture, for one thing.

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5 Comments »

  1. I do like it when someone can be taken to task for their inconsistent rantings.

    Except when it’smy turn, obviously.

    Comment by cityunslicker — January 28, 2007 @ 9:51 pm

  2. Hmmm you are quite severe aren`t you. I like the piece on Welk Stall Running..
    Good stuff

    ( Picked up the address on CU)

    Comment by newmania — January 29, 2007 @ 12:28 am

  3. Me, severe? I’ve never advocated torture, though Nick Cohen does sometimes make me wonder if exceptions may not sometimes be made.

    I’ve no objections to people changing their minds about things, though I do wonder what’s happened over the last five years to make Mr Cohen so radically revise his views. Maybe he just now sees things from a different angle, in which case I wonder how considered and deeply held any of his opinons may be taken to be. In the meantime, I incline to the opinion expressed by Jon Swift, America’s most reasonable conservative, in one of his Amazon reviews of books he hasn’t read; writing of David Horowitz’ Left Illusions, he very wisely says,

    I have not actually read this book but the author is a former communist who suddenly changed into a conservative. I think if the McCarthy hearings taught us anything, they taught us that you can’t trust former communists even if they were communists a long time ago. 

    Glad you enjoyed my views on whelk stalls (come to think of it, doesn’t Dr Reid’s example rather support Mr Swift’s point?)

    Comment by notsaussure — January 29, 2007 @ 6:06 pm

  4. …, and it remains crass to identify a people with their government.

    I’m not sure of the extent to which this is true in absolute terms. However, I do think that the peoples of a democratic country can reasonably be identified more closely with their government than those of a dictatorship or some other sort of country.

    Best regards

    Comment by Nigel Sedgwick — January 29, 2007 @ 7:59 pm

  5. I think you’re well in order here and I made an article on your post, then took it to discuss with my Minister today and he couldn’t pronounce your name Notsaussure. I tried to explain it was your pseudonym. He liked your sentiments.

    Comment by james higham — January 29, 2007 @ 8:47 pm


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