An end to all tyranny

It is 12 January 2003 and US president Bush has rallied his troops for what he calls “The first war of the 21st century”. What is your view of this crisis, where, briefly, do you stand? This is the question we are putting to people around the world, especially those with their own public reputation and following. Our aim, to help create a truly global debate all can identify with.
Arnold Wesker
12 January 2003

There seem to be two kinds of left-wing reasoning. (Many more, of course, it's in the nature of the left to fragment itself - which is both good and bad.) The kind that reasons all tyranny must be brought down; the kind that reasons anything the right supports must be wrong.

By March 1933 in Germany the Communists refused to join a United Front with the Social Democrats thus leaving the way free for Hitler to come to power. British Communists later opposed the war with Hitler because it had been declared by a right-wing government. They changed their minds when the Soviet Union entered the battle.

Having campaigned for years against the tyrannical Argentinean generals who slaughtered thousands, many unaccounted for - 'the disappeared ones' - the 'right-is- wrong' left then refused to support the war against Argentina's invasion of the Falklands because it was lead by the right-wing leader, Margaret Thatcher. She brought down the fascist generals, and democracy returned to the Argentine.

One of the most dangerous, murderous tyrants of recent times, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, has usurped the sovereignty of his people and dragged them through three bloody wars, one of them against his own Kurdish people. Bush and Blair are attempting to lead an international force to physically disarm and overthrow him.

The 'right-is-wrong' left opposes a war with Iraq.

I belong to that part of the left that reasons all tyranny must be brought down.

Originally published as part of a debate on 12 January 2003 Writers, artists and civic leaders on the War: Pt. 1.

See also Writers, artists and civic leaders on the War: Pt. II


Peter Geoghegan: dark money and dirty politics

Democracy is in crisis and unaccountable flows of money are helping to destroy it. Peter Geoghegan’s new book, ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’, charts how secretive money, lobbying and data has warped our democracy.

How has dark money bought our politics? What can be done to change the system?

Join us for a journey through a shadowy world of dark money and disinformation stretching from Westminster to Washington, and far beyond.

Sign up to take part in a free live discussion on Thursday 13 August at 5pm UK time/6pm CET

In conversation:

Peter Geoghegan Dark Money Investigations editor at openDemocracy and the author of ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’.

Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy.

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