Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Dull Old Europe

Christopher Hitchens writes a short review of Patrick McCarthy’s Language, Politics, and Writing: Stolentelling in Western Europe. He reveals (and regrets) its dull and vapid tone and points: "But what his collection of essays illustrates is something insufficiently remarked upon: the evolution of the European left into a status quo force, somewhat inclined to sit out the storm and to content itself with essentially voyeuristic comments on the brashness of the United States. (The great exception, if it is indeed to be counted as a ’left’ one, is Tony Blair, who receives only the most superficial mention here.) I was once as happy as anyone to sit with McCarthy and to discuss Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks or the ambiguities of Sartre’s Les Tempes Modernes. I still enjoy these pursuits, though they occasionally strike me now as comparable to well-conducted tours of Atlantis. Perhaps that’s why the cultivated guides have such a marked tendency to gurgle, as they make their appointed rounds."

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