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Then there is Jeremy Corbyn, the most successful figure of the extra-parliamentary Left in the West. His Leninist grassroots populism raised turnout among voters aged 18-25 from 43 per cent in 2015 to over 66 per cent in 2017. The effect of such a campaign in London and other university cities was devastating for the Conservatives, who had no idea what hit them because they hadn’t any means of communicating with the twentysomethings. While the Tories relied on leaflets and emails, Labour was flooding social media and even deployed bots on dating apps such as Tinder. Behind the slick and adroit presentation of himself as an insurgent “bad boy”, though, Corbyn and his cadres remained the cold-blooded Marxists they have always been: only after the election did a photograph appear of the smiling Corbyn flanked by his two Wykehamist lieutenants of the extreme Left: James Schneider of the entryist youth organisation Momentum and Seumas Milne, the former Guardian guru who now masterminds Labour’s agitprop. These people hate the West and we should be under no illusions about what would happen if they ever gained real power. Continentals may delude themselves that after Brexit and Trump, the “Anglo-Saxons” won’t matter any more in the Western alliance and so they can contemplate such a putsch by the far-Left across the English Channel with equanimity. History suggests otherwise.

Churchill’s third criterion requires us to defend the independence of smaller states against the depredations of their larger neighbours. Good examples of such interventions were the liberations of Kuwait from Saddam Hussein in 1991, of Bosnia and Kosovo from Milosevic in the 1990s, and of the territories in Iraq and Syria conquered by the Islamic State over the past three years. In the latter case, few Western forces were directly involved, with the result that this proxy civil war has dragged on for some seven years. After our recent failure to deter Russian aggression in Ukraine, the West has little to boast about in any case. It is true that deterrence still works on behalf of the weak against the strong. But Nato and the EU have failed to raise the price of Putin’s attempts to extend his sphere of influence, while elsewhere the Chinese, Iranians and others have expanded with impunity. Meanwhile the explosion of human rights and international law, invoked by NGOs who mobilise the power of images, have constrained Western governments but often leave more authoritarian regimes largely unscrutinised.

In the Western media, and especially the social media, it is almost an article of faith that Americans and Europeans are both merciless and mercenary. In a phrase that has resonated ever since 1940, when Michael Foot denounced the authors of appeasement, we are the guilty men. It is allegedly we who, rather than protect the sovereignty of smaller states, invade, bomb or coerce them. The West is thus weakened, not only in its practical capabilities — what we can do — but in its moral authority — who we are. We might call this phenomenon moral masochism. It is especially prevalent among the young and among their educators in schools and universities. There are treatments for moral masochism: reading and travelling widely, as opposed to the virtual literacy and mobility of the web, for example. But there is no cure. Many academics spend a lifetime teaching and writing as if the West were the source of all evil and very little else.

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amcdonald
September 15th, 2017
12:09 PM
Freedom Day June 24 2016 The glorious chaotic dawn of our Brexit victory Julie Burchill Kate Hoey Gilbert & George John Lydon Ringo Starr ("Don`t tell Bob Geldof") Morrissey Brexitannia not Remainia We scored 17.4 million goals Remainia scored 16.1 million goals A clear win by Brexitannia The Toeies are still the Nasty Party,the gruel- propaganda party reduced to delusions of adequacy. It`s Julie Burchill not Winston Churchill . It`s Camille Paglia not Hilary Clinton in the USA. I'm popular culture it`s Ringo Starr not Bob Geldof. The Lady of Burma is being compared to Hitler by the Left for not barking for Islam .

Lawrence James
September 4th, 2017
12:09 PM
'Democracies do not fight one another ?'The Confederate States of America v the United States of America . . . Britain against the Boer republics . . . the North German Confederation against France in 1870 ?

Stephen Blendell
August 30th, 2017
7:08 PM
For those who might be interested, there is now one authoritative treatise on liberty, its history and the various types of liberty."Liberty's Progress?" by Prof Gerard Casey has just been published - coincidentally to coincide with this edition of Standpoint!

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