The Ottowa Citizen: Will the real left please stand up?

For many decades, and more noticeably in the aftermath of 9/11 and the launching of the “war on terror,” there has been a vacuum on the political spectrum. It has been harder for the so-called democratic or non-communist left, (or American Democrats in the Kennedy, Humphrey and Johnson tradition) to find an intellectual and political home.

People who sought to combine a progressive domestic agenda—strong support for the liberal welfare state, free trade unions, gender and racial equality, free speech, fair trade—with a robust, proactive and pro-democratic foreign agenda, had nowhere to turn. One or the other would have to be sacrificed.

So this past spring a group of British intellectuals and academics, led by Norman Geras, an emeritus professor of politics at Manchester University, drafted and publicized the Euston Manifesto.

The purpose of the document, a statement of 15 broad socio-political principles, was to create a coherent vehicle to rally left-liberals and other progressives who were disillusioned by some of the anti-democratic, neo-isolationist and reflexively anti-American tendencies of the contemporary left.

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