The Euston Manifesto

Austin Bay’s column Anti-Americanism smackdown in the Washington Times describes a sign of hope for rational discourse from the left.

On May 7, 2005 — two months before the terror attack — a group of British scholars, intellectuals and political activists met in a central London pub to discuss the War on Terror. Later that year, they would meet again, in a pub not far from Euston Station, to draft what has become known as “The Euston Manifesto.” The name comes from the pub’s location, but the connection to the terror attack — and what to do about jihadist terrorism — is not coincidental.

The Euston Manifesto defines fifteen values related to current events and the ideologies of the progressivist movement often correlated with left wing politics. It is a response to the rhetoric often seen from the left such as in US Democratic Party leaders or the Daily Kos. The conclusion of this manifesto makes this clear:

It is vitally important for the future of progressive politics that people of liberal, egalitarian and internationalist outlook should now speak clearly. We must define ourselves against those for whom the entire progressivedemocratic agenda has been subordinated to a blanket and simplistic ‘antiimperialism’ and/or hostility to the current US administration. The values and goals which properly make up that agenda — the values of democracy, human rights, the continuing battle against unjustified privilege and power, solidarity with peoples fighting against tyranny and oppression — are what most enduringly define the shape of any Left worth belonging to.

The Euston Manifesto has received a lot of attention lately in right wing and conservative circles. Some may say this is because it disdains anti-Americanism, is pro-Isreal, or supports the liberation of Iraq. However, it also contains leanings towards socialist economics and some leftists hubris. What does attract attention from the more conservative is that it is rational, addresses ideas and ideals, and provides a solid foundation for productive discussion and debate. In other words, it appears to have an intellectual integrity that many other liberal or progressive offerings lack.

Comments are closed.