They all seem to be experiencing left-right confusion. By chance, just as I was enjoying Hasan’s letter to Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail, explaining how much they had in common so that Hasan could write articles “critical of Labour and the left, from ‘inside’ Labour and the left”, I also came across Unger and Le Pen.
Unger, who is the sort of theoretical socialist that Ralph Miliband would have liked, has written an article for the IPPR journal Juncture, entitled, “Deep freedom: Why the left should abandon equality”. It’s subscription only but I wouldn’t recommend that you pay. Here is a sample:
According to widespread belief, the distinction between the left and the right, between progressives and conservatives in politics, is chiefly a difference between the relative weights that they give to equality and to freedom … This set of identifications results from a confusion between shallow and deep freedom or equality. It is, moreover, false to the history of progressive or leftist ideas. We should reject it … This essay contends that deep freedom should be the core progressive goal.
Then there is Marine le Pen, the leader of the French National Front, who says those who think her party is right-wing are “making a total analytical error“, and who wants to sue anyone who calls the FN extreme right or far right.
It has been a bit of a Molotov-Ribbentrop kind of day.Tagged in: mehdi hasan
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