Norman Geras: 1943-2013

John Rentoul

norman geras 140x140 Norman Geras: 1943 2013Norman Geras, who died today, was a Marxist Blairite, which almost renders political labels redundant. More than that, though, he was mentor to a group of people, of whom I am proud to be a member, who could be called Gerasites. We learned so much from him about how to argue, and about how the internet could raise the quality and scope of political debate. His blogging was tight, clear and polite.

I’ll miss him.

His daughter Jenny writes: The blog and all its archives will remain online.

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  • reformist lickspittle

    A genuinely sad loss.

    He was a remarkable man, even though one did not agree with him all the time.


  • Jim Denham

    Norm a “Blairite” (“Marxist” or otherwise)? Cobblers!
    Read his Normblog: he was honest, self-critical, unpretentious and genuinely learned: the opposite of the shyster Blair and his epigones like Rentoul.
    Don’t insult the memory of this fine man by even mentioning the name of Blair in the same breath as ..The Great Norm

  • mightymark

    Actually, and I’m speaking as a huge admirer of his, it isn’t a wholly unfair, if perhaps a slightly simplistic description. Norm devoted a great deal of time, especially in his last months to writing in defence of his (perhaps idiosyncratic) view of Marxism. And while I could never work out exactly what his view of the Iraq war (since I assume that is your main target) was, he always seemed to me far more concerned with criticising the dafter, extreme and more blind opposition to it than its supporters. I think he probably was what some would call a “muscular liberal” much in the image of the likes of Nick Cohen, Chris Hitchens, Oliver Kamm and David Aaronovitch. He was certainly very critical of parts of what he called the “verkrappt” left especially over its obsessive hatred of Israel and (I think also) its alliance with political Islamism.

  • reformist lickspittle

    He strongly supported the war back in 2003 – about three years later he wrote a long and heartfelt piece saying that whilst it had largely failed in its objectives, it had still been the morally right thing to do.

  • mightymark

    Thanks RL. I thought perhaps, that it was something along those lines.

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