Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Is "Tough-Minded Progressive" an Oxymoron?

Maybe not. Check out the Euston Manifesto. I doubt we’ll ever hear this much sense from American "Progressives" (though note that Paul Berman is a signatory of this manifesto), but we’ll get a sense of this when we see the Left’s reaction to Peter Beinart’s forthcoming book, The Good Fight: Why Liberals--and Only Liberals--Can Win the War on Terrorism and Make America Great Again. Most people on the Left didn’t like the short version of this he published in The New Republic last year.

Discussions - 6 Comments

Didn’t "like" it is putting it mildly. David Horn excoriated the guy. And the ADA totally disavowed Beinart’s quoting of Schlesinger Jr’s Vital Center treatise and his historical reciting of their anti-commie roots.

In light of the historic standard of a post-Vietnam liberalism, one can admire Beinart for plowing forward with his silly thesis, or one can simply shake their head at his insistence to bang his head up against a brick wall.

My kind of guy .... almost so close!


The social and economic foundations on which the liberal democracies have developed are marked by deep inequalities of wealth and income and the survival of unmerited privilege. In turn, global inequalities are a scandal to the moral conscience of humankind. Millions live in terrible poverty. Week in, week out, tens of thousands of people — children in particular — die from preventable illnesses. Inequalities of wealth, both as between individuals and between countries, distribute life chances in an arbitrary way.


These things are a standing indictment against the international community. We on the Left, in keeping with our own traditions, fight for justice and a decent life for everyone. In keeping with those same traditions, we have also to fight against powerful forces of totalitarian-style tyranny that are on the march again. Both battles have to be fought simultaneously. One should not be sacrificed for the other.

Yep, millions live in terrible, retched, abysmal poverty that in no way was caused by liberal democracies.

Moreover, the very fact that wealth is given away to corrupt, despotic governments that, in turn, do not use the money to better their people, but to wage war or to enrich themselves is testament to the consistent and profound lack of understanding that those who preach like Coughlan have about mankind.

It is noble to want the standard of living of others to raise to actually be considered living, but what we have today is people trying to shame countries like the United States to give away all or most of its wealth in the hope ... HOPE ... that others may actually benefit from such generosity. The problem is when this desire to better the condition of others blinds people to the real problem, which is socialist/communist/despotic/totalitarian governments.

Yep, I have the left and the right in that list.

Freedom is scary, but it is worth it. Universal government given right to .... (place issue of the day here) ... is never the answer.

And, no, American liberals ... well, at least the vast majority of its public leaders ... would never align themselves with The Euston Manifesto.

While I have several issues with the manifesto, it does have numerous good points.

Oh, by the way Coughlan, I am in no way referring to what you posted above on this thread in regards to fighting poverty and tyranny, I agree with that, generally, but am referring to previous debates we have had before.

I like it, too. I am surprised at the lack (so far) of criticism of the emphasis on pursuit of equality, and also the acceptance of unions. My understanding is that equality as a priciple of justice means that equity and competition fly out the window.

But, as for me, I would suggest that this manifesto explicates the best of libealism, and that there is little that is truly new, here. That is not to say that it is not a refreshing, non-reactionary explication, but rather to confess that I wish I had written it, or most of it.

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