My book What’s Left? is about deceit and the rich world’s left, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the most deceitful piece to be written about it in any journal in any country should appear in a magazine of the intellectual left produced in New York (“Choosing Sides,” by Johann Hari). As readers were not given an honest account of its contents, I should begin by saying that I ask how wealthy socialists, liberals, and feminists in Europe and North America came to turn their backs on the victims of movements that in their misogyny, homophobia, and racism represented everything the left is against—or says it’s against. I ask whether the betrayals are merely a product of a justifiable revulsion against the Bush presidency that will go when he’s gone or whether there are deeper and more uncomfortable causes that call into question what it means to be left wing today.
When presented with an uncomfortable argument, serious editors usually invite a critic to present a clear account of what is said, correct mistakes, and argue with interpretations and extrapolations. The trouble with looking for a critic in the British media is that normal intellectual standards are collapsing over here. At this writing, even the once-respected BBC has admitted to fixing competitions and deceiving its viewers as a matter of routine. The behavior of much of the press is worse, and if you trawl what used to be called Fleet Street for a reviewer you run th...
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