Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Belief ascription 101

Oliver Kamm in the Times today:

When they called for defeat for British and American forces by Saddam Hussein, supposed leftwingers were giving support to a regime consciously modelled on Hitler and Stalin. When (as the SWP has done for the past two years) they entertain at their keynote events a speaker — a jazz musician called Gilad Atzmon — who explicitly believes that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are, whatever their historical provenance, an accurate depiction of modern America, they are allying with classic anti-Semitism. Far-right ideology is the literal content, and not merely the moral equivalent, of their political beliefs.

So X supported P in context C and had some dealings with Q, and it therefore follows that what P and Q believe is the "literal content" of what what X believes? Is that the idea?

I think it follows from this principle that David Horowitz can be relied upon to furnish us with the "literal content" of Oliver Kamm's beliefs and that the late Ted Heath was an enthusiastic adherent of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong thought (not to mention that Baathism provides the "literal content" of Donald Rumsfeld's beliefs). Shome mishtake shurely?

22 Comments:

Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

If anyone wants to do Kamm watching during this fallow period go for it; I am afraid I can offer you no help beyond admiration as I am not up to the job (actually, this is the kind of "support" that Iraqi trade unionists get from the Decents, so in a way I am helping).

There is a common thread in the politics of the totalitarian Left and the far Right, which is to make people’s wishes secondary to pseudoscientific abstractions such as race and historical forces

Hmmmm, thinking about what people actually want, rather than their underlying obvious and necessary desire for Western deomcracy? Seems a bit "relativist" to me.

4/25/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Sonic said...

Forgets to mention that Gilad Atzmon is Jewish and an ex-member of the IDF.

No doubt he beats himself up any chance he gets.

4/25/2006 09:52:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

In all fairness, I doubt anyone is seriously going to believe that someone called "Gilad Atzmon" is not Jewish.

4/26/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Delworth said...

Yeah but that's not sonic's point. sonic denies that Atzmon's anti-Semitic. His 'proof' is that Atzmon's Jewish. Er, that's it.

Kamm whipped sonic's lilywhite ass on this twice at HP.
http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2005/06/22/the_minutiae_of_nonsense.php
and
http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2005/06/20/more_atzmon_hijinx.php

Turns out that one of the leading Nazis (the Skokie marcher) in America is Jewish too!! Even sonic's own supporters begged him to stop humiliating himself at this point, but no dice. Confronted with Atzmon's own suport for the Protocols, sonic came up with .... "Atzmon's Jewish"!

In the end sonic coped by doing what he does best --running away from the trainwreck of his blogging.

4/26/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Delworth said...

That doesn't change it's meaning, Fuckwit. The SWP wanted Saddam to win.

4/26/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschetta Boy said...

[the following is a comment posted by Fatbongo at 1.06pm, which I have deleted and am reposting here. Sorry Fatbongo but I can't work out how to edit these things and your first paragraph seemed to me to have cross a line. In general please don't post anything on AW which you wouldn't say to the landlord of your favourite pub]

In the interests of reliable labelling at least, opinion-formers ought to exercise greater scrutiny. Even to describe Respect as anti-war is strictly inaccurate. The Socialist Workers’ Party, for which Respect is largely a front, stated during the Iraq War that “by far the lesser evil would be reverses, or defeat, for the US and British forces” — it appeared, in short, to be pro-war and on the wrong side.

You wouldn't have thought that someone who attacks chomsky for misrepresenting his source material would stoop so low as to selectively quote an article so as to change it's meaning.

what the article said was:

The best response to war would be protests across the globe which make it impossible for Bush and Blair to continue. But while war last by far the lesser evil would be reverses, or defeat, for the US and British forces

The reason being that this would prevent further US aggression

It would limit the ability of the US and its allies to impose suffering, war and death on an even bigger scale.

The article concludes:

Everyone in the anti-war movement should do all in their power to build protests against Bush and Blair's war. While war continues any military reverses they suffer will help the process of stopping them today and of preventing the bloody future they plan for us all.

4/26/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Anonymous James O said...

'That doesn't change it's meaning, Fuckwit. The SWP wanted Saddam to win.'

The SWP argued for an Iraqi victory as a 'lesser evil' - only after the war which Kamm had pimped and shilled for had been initiated by the Coalition.

4/26/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither Oliver Kamm nor the SWP, but international social democracy!

4/26/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Sonic said...

Mention the word Atzmon and my little stalker pops back up.

Sorry all.

4/26/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger fatbongo said...

sorry, Kamm is a pompous, rightwing 'fuckwit'.

4/26/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it with Gilad Atzmon and the the Decents? Or does Oliver just hate him cos Harry does too?

And can anyone explain how Jewish people can be anti-semitic?

These people are Zionists; http://www.seruv.org.il/english/combatants_letter.asp

Are they anti-Semites too?

4/26/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

Thanks fatbongo; as you surmised, it was the words "lying" and "cunt" which I objected to.

We get questions:

What is it with Gilad Atzmon and the the Decents?

Handy stick to beat the SWP with, no more and no less. FWIW, Atzmon is a genuinely talented saxophonist and a lot of people I know who take jazz seriously think he's very good indeed.

Or does Oliver just hate him cos Harry does too?

That quite possibly has a lot to do with it. Also because Atzmon is given to dope-fuelled[1] rants in which he gives away about a zillion hostages to fortune; it is true, for example, that he said what Oliver said he said about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

And can anyone explain how Jewish people can be anti-semitic?

It is a lot easier to be anti-Semitic than you'd think, these days. The trouble is that the phrase "self-hating Jew" is itself a bit anti-Semitic, so people have to say things like "noted anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon" and hope that the thicker readers don't notice.

[1]I mean that in an extended, metaphorical, non-actionable sense although come on, for fuck's sake, the man's a jazz musician.

4/27/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

Harry's Place is getting all hot under the collar about Robert Fisk's take on Mearsheimer and Walt's analysis of the US/Israeli relationship.

In Decent Land that no one can discuss the US/Isreali relationship without anti-semitic accusations being levelled, and hence there is no serious discussion of these matters. Presumably then, this means the teaching of international relations a problematic area for Decents.

I checked out Melanie Phillips site and (suprise, surprise!) she gone apoplectic about Fisk and co. too.

My Ctrl + F Nazi count on her site has just jumped from 8 to 11! (Three mentions of the Nazis in her latest article alone, including twice in one sentence.)

4/28/2006 04:14:00 AM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

"without anti-semitic accusations being levelled"

Sorry old boys that should really read" "without accusations of anti-semitism being levelled"

4/28/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Simon said...

What I find remarkable is that when anyone ventures a criticism of Israel on HP or elsewhere, several people immediately make with the "admit it, poster x. You hate Israel because you hate the perfidious jooooooos." (overwrought parodies of the kind of anti-semitic discourse which has barely existed in the western world since the 1950s are a stock-in-trade). And yet they still write posts suggesting that critics of Israel are not routinely accused of anti-semitism, and that the "it's not anti-semitic to criticise Israel" rejoinder is in fact a straw man.

4/28/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger fatbongo said...

Surely there is a difference between saying that zionist lobbyists have a disproportionate influence on US politics and the claim that any debate(!) about the Protocols is now redundant because it pretty much describes what is going on in the world today?

The former is about a conscious campaign to influence the US government to support/adopt a particular approach to israel and the the middle east - kicking in the arabs until they stop being uppity. The latter was a forged document which claimed that there was a sinister jewish plot for world domination.

The jewish lobby plus non-jewish supporters of hardline israeli policy, such as many of the neo-cons, have been very effective lobbyists but it is only one part of the picture. This also includes 'local cop on the beat role' assigned to israel, the oil grab strategy, crappy PR by the palestinians etc

This is not be very nice and you could describe it as sinister, but it's hardly a quest for world domination.

FWIW i think that atzmon isn't antisemitic. It's just that he belives that zionism is against the interests of the jewish people in the the same way that chomsky would argue that US policy is against the interests of most Yanks and i would argue that Blairs policy makes it more likely that I'm going to get blown up on the tube.

At which point the Decent's go mental again because the concept of 'blowback' is a ThoughtCrime.

4/28/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

guys this is all very interesting but it's not really about David Aaronovitch or Nick Cohen. Just sayin'.

I am sorry to be Mr Comments Board Nazi and all that, but I am very aware of the horrible precedent of "biasedbbc.blogspot.com" which gets these 200-comment threads which are punctuated by the moderators saying "look guys maybe the liberals are trying to brainwash children into the homosexual lifestyle but it's got nothing to do with bias on the BBC".

Maybe I should put a front page post up ...

4/28/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger fatbongo said...

I don't think that we've strayed too far.

The original post was about Kamm, specifically his criticism of the SWP's relationship with Atzmon.

This, plus the SWP/MAB link and 'the letters page of the guardian' appears to be the only 'evidence' that the Decents have of to support their argument that the 'Left is now the far right'.

The accusation that the Left is antisemitic and colludes with (islamo)fascism lies at the very heart of Decency as revealed in the 'Euston Manifesto' which was, as far as I know, signed by NC and Kamm.

Also, I thought that this blog had recently broadened it's remit to become a laboratory for the dissection of Decency.

Feel free to be a Bored-Nazi though.

4/28/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Anonymous bb said...

I suppose so, and it is not as if we haven't wandered a long way offtopic in the past, so rock on. I was just a bit worried that it was going to turn into a generic Israel flamewar.

4/28/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

"Can the use of the Star of David in critical political graphics or cartoons ever be anything other than antisemetic?"

That is the question I posed for the Decents at Harry's Place and Comment is Free.

And Lordy - are they struggling! :-)

4/29/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger marcuse said...

Atzmon is a brilliant jazz musician. He is also an anti-Zionist Jew, for which he has come under a lot of flack, from the Zionist lobby.

For his own political views, see his website.

Atzmon correctly describes Aaronovitch as:
"A Zionist journalist who specialises in collecting broken bits of information from London's Jewish web sites".

5/03/2006 09:17:00 PM  
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