Letters to the editors

Long live the Left!

Re: “The right is not right on race” (October 15, 2010).

Dear Editors,

Contributor Omer Aziz is right to criticize those on the Left who have apologised for or even embraced Islamist reaction, and deserves credit for acknowledging that the Left is in serious decline. But he seems confused about just what “the Left” actually is.

Mr. Aziz seems to identify the Left with what he calls “fundamental liberal values.” This is not wrong per se, but it would be an incomplete definition.

The Left arose out of the Enlightenment, where liberal values were most clearly and nobly articulated, but leftists also recognized the failure of the liberal Enlightenment to live up to its own billing.

This was the problem captured by Marx in his Theses on Feuerbach: “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.”

The problem today is not, as Mr. Aziz suggests, that leftists are doing an inadequate job of combating manifestations of racist demagoguery, nor is the problem a failure to duly condemn Osama bin Laden (although we should do both).

The problem, rather, is that the Left has turned its back on its own purpose: the world-changing project of human emancipation through the abolition of capitalism.

Queen’s students (hopefully including Mr. Aziz) interested in investigating this project should look into the campus activities of Platypus, a new education and discussion group that proclaims “The Left is dead! Long live the Left!”

Ryan Hardy, Law ‘12
Campus Activities Coordinator,
Platypus Affiliated Society

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