Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Thursday, August 14, 2008

An Urgent Appeal: Can you help?

Our world is in crisis. Recession and war spread. The environment is steadily being destroyed under capitalism. The gap between rich and poor is wider than ever, reaching historically grotesque proportions. Just one tenth of the US defence budget could mean that no one in the world had to starve or die of preventable diseases because of lack of access to clean water. The case for another way of organising society - the case for a world where the needs of people come before the drive for profit - the case for socialism - has never been more self-apparent.

There are billions of people suffering in the world today. It is hard to think about individual cases. But please spare a moment if you can to just think about what you could do to help just one person. Meet Douglas Murray.

Douglas has had to survive a very tough upbringing indeed, possibly one of the toughest in the world. He was born into the British ruling class. He managed to survive, but was left scarred for life:

Eton and Oxford educated, an Anglican — sorry, a "practicing Anglican," as he corrects me — and complete with the chiseled features and upper-class accent one associates with the British aristocracy...

Having survived that ordeal - and who knows the kind of brutality, sadism and sheer horror he must have experienced in the process - then something even more terrible then happened to Douglas. He experienced an ordeal that would transform his life for ever. He became a victim of crime - in this case - a thought crime. As Douglas tells us, he was 'repeatedly mugged by reality'.

Mr. Murray was, however, "repeatedly mugged by reality" by three pivotal events — Kosovo, the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the reaction to those attacks on America.

Did he suffer directly from any of these events, I hear you ask? Was he perhaps caught up on the end of a NATO airstrike while on holiday backpacking around Serbia? Was he unfortunate enough to be on one of the planes that was hijacked on that fateful day? Was he on the recieving end of a racist backlash in America or detained in Guantanamo Bay for years on end without a trial or contact with his family?

Well, not quite, as it happens. But, as I am sure you will agree, what he experienced was even worse.

Kosovo was his "defining conflict." It shocked him that the governments of Europe were prepared to allow another genocide take place on European soil. The September 11, 2001, attacks provided the second jolt, and the third came with the "reaction to 9/11." He witnessed a large swathe of people in Europe and in America who still "didn't get it" and whose reaction was self-blame rather than seeking to defeat the terrorists. Realizing that the world he loved faced real danger, he turned to the practical world of policy and became a neocon.

Yes you did read that right. Douglas became a neoconservative. Initially, Douglas's 'early interests lay in literature and the arts, and not in practical government policy' but now he became political. What unimagineable torment must he have suffered? Can you imagine the intellectual turmoil such a transition must have thrown him in? To go from Eton - the bastion of Conservatism - to end up a NeoConservative. His parents must have been mortified (but we hear that as of yet they have not disowned him and blocked his inheritance, despite what must have come as a terrible traumatic shock for them) .

However, having survived being 'repeatedly mugged by reality', Douglas was now a neoconservative. Having bravely 'come out' to his parents about his shock transformation, he decided to bravely 'come out' to the world. Can you imagine how brave a decision that was - given the climate of fear after September 11? I mean to declare openly that you shared the same ideology as the most powerful man in the world, the most powerful government in the world, and the most powerful people in the world?

Douglas bravely wrote a book. He had the courage to give it a stirringly powerful title: Neoconservatism: Why We Need It (you don't go to Eton and study literature at Oxford and not be able to come up with a thought provoking and imaginatively evocative title for your book). He wrote lots of articles for various publications. He got to give speeches in the White House. For a time things were not so bad. Douglas looked like he might pull through in the end after all.

But then something terrible went wrong. After being declared 'The Right's answer to Michael Moore' and 'A brilliant young British intellectual', people who were not neoconservatives simply didn't buy his book or his arguments. Something perhaps about the title - and seemedly something about him - put people off. But without reading him, they remained wedded to the idea that maybe neoconservatism had some flaws and maybe, actually, 'they didn't need it' after all.

Douglas tells us that sales of his book fell after the 'War or Terror' began. As Douglas remembers, 'we were accused of killing hundreds of thousands of people'. He became an outcast in Britain - the country he loves almost as much as America and Israel.

[Douglas] is known on the British television chat show circuit as 'Britain's only neoconservative.'

But with your help there is hope for Douglas. He tells us he is going to be brave and summon up the courage to write another book.

I ask him what his next project will be. A career in politics perhaps, I suggest. He laughs and says he's not sure they'll have him. For the moment he's working on a book on Europe, which, he is at pains to stress, isn't lost just yet.

Yes, Europe is 'not lost yet'. Nor with your help is Douglas. Can you help?

£100 can ensure food for one day for Douglas Murray.
£50 can buy one hardback copy of Neoconservatism: Why We Need It.
£25 can buy one second hand copy of Neoconservatism: Why We Need It.

If you can't spare money, Douglas tells us he needs help thinking of a title for his forthcoming book on Europe as he is suffering from writers block of all things. He is currently tempted to go with Europe: It's Not Lost Yet but he is not sure whether this will sell. He is also considering the titles Europe: We Don't Need To Bomb It Yet and Europe: Lets Bomb Some of It But Please Don't Hit Me Or My Friends and Family. Douglas needs to sell books if he is to survive as an 'author and broadcaster' and he tells me he currently has rather a lot of unsold copies of Neoconservatism taking up room in his garage.

Can anyone help?



At 4:37 pm, Blogger pauly said...

Clearly your snarkiness is the result of a moral failure to grasp the seriousness of the threat to Our Way of Life.

At 12:47 am, Blogger michael greenwell said...

i am happy i never before came across this person till i read this.

At 1:57 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Read this on what he has been up to lately. The guy is almost crying out to be shot after the revolution...


Post a Comment

<< Home