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Thursday, September 15, 2005


Aaron Azlant

I always think that this excerpt from Orwell is apropos anytime that I hear about the hard left bullying people out of a dialogue:

"There are families in which the father will say to his child, ‘You'll get a thick ear if you do that again’, while the mother, her eyes brimming over with tears, will take the child in her arms and murmur lovingly, ‘Now, darling, is it kind to Mummy to do that?’ And who would maintain that the second method is less tyrannous than the first? The distinction that really matters is not between violence and non-violence, but between having and not having the appetite for power. There are people who are convinced of the wickedness both of armies and of police forces, but who are nevertheless much more intolerant and inquisitorial in outlook than the normal person who believes that it is necessary to use violence in certain circumstances. They will not say to somebody else, ‘Do this, that and the other or you will go to prison’, but they will, if they can, get inside his brain and dictate his thoughts for him in the minutest particulars. Creeds like pacifism and anarchism, which seem on the surface to imply a complete renunciation of power, rather encourage this habit of mind. For if you have embraced a creed which appears to be free from the ordinary dirtiness of politics — a creed from which you yourself cannot expect to draw any material advantage — surely that proves that you are in the right? And the more you are in the right, the more natural that everyone else should be bullied into thinking likewise."

--From "Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool"


Flatlander tries to imagine a situation in which Hitchins is on stage with someone -- anyone -- else and the anyone else wins the prize for arrogance. Fails.

Mahmoud ibn floupi al qoholic ibn poop

It always boils down to Israel and the Jews.

John Lowbridge

Only those of the English persuasion can see through Galloway to what he really is. A superior Monty Python sketch cames to mind. Where, oh where, is Galloway's Spiny Norman. Hitch does a commendable job, but he's too civilized. Galloway's head will have to be nailed to the floor. Come the day.


Great Orwell quote, Aaron Azlant.


That essay really is one of GO's greatest. It's not anthologized enough.


I think a debate between Hitchens and Galloway is not going to be very fruitful; Hitchens is incoherent and denies reality, and Galloway is an ideologue. A sensible debate would be between Christopher Hitchens, a former leftist, and someone like John Mearsheimer, a conservative realist. While both have extrmely opposing views on most everything, they would both, at least, let each other finish speaking, and we would get a much more fruitful debate.

A great interview with Mearsheimer:

All I can say is this: all of Hitchens' predictions about the effect of the war and its aftermath have so far proven woefully incorrect; Mearsheimer's, however, have proven remarkably prescient. And one can certainly not accuse him of ideological bias: Mearsheimer voted for Bush in 2000. He was forced to vote for Kerry in 2004, however, out of an excess of intellectual honesty.

mark buehner

"all of Hitchens' predictions about the effect of the war and its aftermath have so far proven woefully incorrect"

Which predictions would those be? Hitchens was a strong supporter of the Kurdish resistance groups for years, and the takedown of Hussein's fascist police state was reward enough for a progressive like Hitchens. Dont mistake him for a grand neo-con. And lest we forget there have been free elections in Iraq, Syria has been ejected from Lebanon with elections coming, and at least token democratic reform has taken place from Egypt to Saudi Arabia. I would call that (and Hitchens would agree) some major progress against the forces of reactionism in a region where any kind of social progress has been measured in inches per decade, at best.

John Lowbridge

I applaud Mark's request for some expansion of "all of Hitchens' predictions about the effect of the war and its aftermath have so far proven woefully incorrect". Even if some compelling example could be cited, which I doubt, this is a Gallowayish diversion from the proposition before the house. Oxford Rules, guys.

While we're getting down to business, perhaps we could request an example or several of Hitch's incoherence and denial of reality. I for one must have been missing that in reading his efforts these many years.

Please don't regurgitate Andrew on Hitch's recent excoriation of Catholicism and all such cults, let's stick with the matter at hand.

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