Friday, May 06, 2016

response to Daniel Finkelstein

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Jim Holloway"
Date: 5 May 2016 16:34
Subject: West-hating left

I would like to disagree with your article in yesterday's Times.
I don't believe that the left in general holds America to be evil; it is rather that American dominance inevitably multiplies the impact of such "evil" as any country may be given to. There is much to admire in America and much to despair of; much the same as Britain in its time of Empire.

I thought that your examples of the let's errors were ill-chosen. Soviet communism achieved nothing?  How to account for Soviet success against the Nazis,  almost unaided, compared with Russia's collapse in 1914-18, facing a Germany being ground down on the Western front by France and Britain?
Who can doubt the misguided idealism within the Russian revolutionaries?
Stalin undoubtedly carried out monstrous atrocities,  yet it remains the case that in both scale and intent they are hard to compare with Hitler's crimes. In only a few years, he accomplished the destruction of millions of Jews and others; his plans for the future of Poland and Russia are terrifying and chilling. Nazism intended to reduce the world to slavery in the service of the master race; communist ambitions were a flawed attempt to create a New Man who would be naturally free. Nazism,  I would claim, was beyond hope of reform; soviet communism did eventually collapse, faced by its own contradictions.

Malcolm X encouraged black people to think they were victims of colonialism? And was he wrong? They were certainly victims of something,  even in his own time and country.

You say Pan-Africanism adopted. ... as if it was a party or individual. You criticise the statement that 9-11 was perhaps the most successful terrorist attack in history: and was it not? Provoking America into disastrous wars, surely exactly bin Laden's intention?

The left, like any such label, covers many tendancies and groups. I do not feel that your article contributes to making a helpful distinction among them.

If you have read thus far, I thank you for your time.

Jim Holloway


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