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?


Anonymous Anonymous 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 Anonymous 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 The Rioja Kid 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 Anonymous 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  
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 Anonymous 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 Anonymous 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  
Anonymous Anonymous 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  
Anonymous Anonymous 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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