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Illiberal lefts

Nick Cohen is right to criticise leftists for tolerating tyrants, but haven't parts of the left always been illiberal?

By David Clark   March 2007

In the past few weeks it has been hard to avoid the arguments put by Nick Cohen in his book What’s Left?: How Liberals Lost Their Way about what the opposition to the Iraq war and the wider war on terror reveal about the condition of the modern left. The conclusions Cohen arrives at are unsparingly critical and deeply pessimistic. Robbed of its historic purpose by the defeats of the 1980s, much of the “liberal-left” (Cohen’s cover-all term for every shade of left opinion) has experienced a “dark liberation” from responsible politics and opted for a self-indulgent oppositionism which at…

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