Dead Men Left

Monday, November 21, 2005

Ideological vanity

Back, kind of. Ran into this, on the German elections, from Denis McShane. McShane, formerly minister for Europe, appears to be the rent-a-Blairite of choice for the more aspirational elements of the British press. The link above goes straight to his recent article in Prospect, a dismal rag apparently designed for Tories who feel a little guilty about themselves. This paragraph stands out:

The tragedy of the Weimar Republic was the ideological vanity of those who created the USPD and the other factional parties that tore apart German social democracy. Oskar [Lafontaine] is a middle-aged man in a hurry and he did profound damage to the cause of social democracy in Europe for which history will never forgive him.

It's significant that the USPD split from the majority SPD over the First World War, back in 1917. McShane ascribes opposing a slaughter that, by that year, had already taken several million lives, to "ideological vanity". It's little wonder the Blairites are so pragmatically unmoved by the obscene spectacle of Iraq.