The problem with Michael Ignatieff (and so many other liberal American pundits)

Mariano Aguirre has written a trenchant critique of the politics of the pundit Michael Ignatieff  in  OpenDemocracy.net.

This piece highlights a depressing trend in American political life, the willingness of many self-described liberal and progressive intellectuals to propagandize for the immoral and disastrously short-sighted "Neocon" foreign policy of the Bush administration and its allies.

Since 9/11 there has been a parade of liberals who’ve finally come out of the closet as Realpolitik pragmatists when it comes to Muslims (Christopher Hitchens is an excellent if confusing example, his own diatribe against the murderous arch-pragmatist Henry Kissinger not withstanding).   People who long professed the most sacred reverence for human rights, international law and justice have turned into various sorts of "cruise missile liberals" (perhaps the more apt metaphor now is "embedded liberal") now that the pillars of the Establishment have endorsed the "Islamofascism" cop-opt.

OpenDemocracy is an innovative and refreshing online publication, btw.  I’m constantly amazed at the caliber of contributions and the big names they get to write for them.  (Not that this fact is in any way connected with the previous observation, but I should note that I have been published by them–I wrote a piece for them in January 2004 on the hijab controversy in France.)

  • danielle

    Aguirre is a self-acknowledged Trostkyite.

  • svend

    Thanks for the comment. That’s an interesting point, but it doesn’t make much of a difference to me. I’m more interested in his arguments than whether he runs afoul of widespread American philosophical hangups (i.e., this need to demonize all Communists). As European politics shows, Communists come in as many shapes and sizes as Capitalists.


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