Shorter Shalom Lappin

"The Left are fascists, because they don’t hate Muslims as much as I do. They’re also responsible for the rise of the BNP, because if the intelligencia don’t hate Muslims then working-class white people have no choice but to become neo-Nazis." – but in more academic language

I’m moderately distraught that Norm Geras, who has some odd views but isn’t a total and utter bastard, has let this guy post this hate-filled screed on his site…

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18 thoughts on “Shorter Shalom Lappin

  1. "The dramatic collapse of Communism, revolutionary Marxism and secular third world nationalist movements over the past fifteen years has left the revolutionaries of Hampstead and Islington desperate for an effective vehicle to which they can hitch their anti-imperialist pretensions,"

    Can I just say that, given the bombed Piccadilly Line train passed through no less than four Islington stations before it exploded, that this is an absolutely repulsive thing to write? Cheers.

  2. "While the commentators of the root CAUSES brigade invariably supply the mandatory condemnation of the bombings and expressions of sympathy for its victims, the conclusion that generally follows from their ‘argument’ is that the bombers were giving misguided expression to a just CAUSE."

    Cause and cause are here two totally different things. Who would have thought that the English language could be so flexible? Not academic writers, it seems.

  3. Actually ‘repulsive’ is probably a bit of an exaggeration, and I withdraw it. Nonetheless it does suggest he isn’t paying attention to the connotations of what he writes.

  4. My God.

    1) "Our society is in peril"
    2) "Foreign inflitrators are to blame"
    3) "Aided and abetted by our own decadent intelligentsia"
    4) "Our traditional tolerance has been exploited"
    5) "The hour to act is now and we must act to preserve our unique traditions".

    And this guy has the brass neck to call anyone else a fascist? He’s ticking at least four out of six boxes on Roger Griffin’s working definition.

  5. "It does suggest he isn’t paying attention to the connotations of what he writes."

    The whole thing reads like it was written on auto-pilot. Of course the ‘revolutionaries’ live in Hampstead and Islington (haven’t they moved to the trendy bits of East London by now?). Of course they are ‘post-modernists’ (I thought they were supposed to be third-worldist vulgar Marxists?). Of course Darfur, favourite red-herring of the decent left.

  6. He also appears to have a tin ear for the phrases he’s using – making a big deal out of the fact that one’s imagined liberal opponents live in Hampstead and Islington is often used as dog-whistle language by anti-Semites.

  7. Well, Geras is gradually slip sliding away, it appears.

    The Monger Left are gradually getting more bizarre. They are in an increasingly difficult position.

    Expect the number of times the word "fascist" appears in any one article by them to increase from here on in.

    Should start getting really whacky soon.

  8. Talking of reading blogs worldwide, Dave’s IP address isn’t based in Hong Kong by any chance, is it?

    I only ask because his post is the absolute living spit – style, content, choice of words, sentence length, you name it – of the kind of thing that Benjamin Mackie used to post every thirty seconds on Harry’s Place.

  9. Dan

    I do not share your five point summary of my, or Lappin’s position. In particular, I agree with, and consistently argue for, the Berman thesis that there is nothing exotic or foreign about extreme Islamism.

    In fact, I think that its "orientalisation" of what is a straightforward far right position is not simply a product of weak "liberal" attitudes – which I think are not liberal attitudes at all – but is also the product various factors, including cynical racism, an alliance of convenience with a simplistic and dangerous left "anti-imperialism", and mythologising by Bin Ladenist. "You love life and we love death", my foot! Sure, when it isn’t YOUR kids you’re strapping explosives to.

    Quite apart from my long standing friendships with precisely the sort of range of people you’d expect one to form friendships with in a diverse metropolis, I came into professional contact with a range of muslims in a previous job. They included some who I now suspect, partly because I’ve been told by other muslim friends, to have been involved from the mid 1990s with extreme political Islamist organisations. I am also told that they were regarded by most as polically extreme, hypocrites and self-publicists at the time. In my position, I had little inkling of how they were perceived. It has also been suggested, incidentally, that some went to fight in "grand cause" wars abroad on the basis of a jihadist political perception into which they had bought. These were, incidentally, bright motivated kids who simply fancied James Bond heroics over sitting in an office shuffling paper. Who wouldn’t

    It is a mistake to think that these guys were recruited into this particular form of revolutionary politics by injustice. Yes, they have a sense of injustice: but a specific and directed analysis of the injustice which counts and which mirrors their own religiously inspired and totalitarian worldview, not yours.

    I’ve come across some real muslim haters in my time. But the worst I’ve come across are those who think that "for them" – although not for us – commiting acts of mass murder are to be contextualised, excused and explained rather than condemed.

    Remember David Copeland. Well, he had a sense of injustice too. No applause for him, and rightly so.

  10. Brilliant analysis David T.

    If you claim not to explain then what is your writing all about? If you claim not to provide context, how the hell are we going to interpret your writings?

    A bit doodling with James Bond being better than sitting in an office, that’s indeed a non explaining, non contextualized, non excuse.

    But then you’ve met the guys. But that cannot be a context for excuses or explanations. It is just a condemnation of your absentminded logic.

    You wanted war. You got war. Before the war about zero people a week died of suicide terror in Iraq. After the war about 100 people a week die in suicide terror. Yet suicide terror has nothing to with the war, or the perceived injustice! It is ofcourse a complete separate ideology that drove the Leeds bombers than those in Iraq. Nothing to do with each other. And even if it were the same, you still can’t imagine why they wouldn’t hop on a plane to Iraq, but just did their terror thing in London. Only treacherous fools (and about 2/3ths of the British) would think that.

    The Iraq war increased suicide terror significantly. Doing something about suicide terror in this world requires doing something about the Iraq situation. And now you’re going to solve it by condemning, and condemning, and, and, and … that’s about it.

    Apparently i’ve got to collect some bruchetta recipes and get myself moving to Islington or one of those other places to be.

    Compared to you even this alleged brownshirt is a half decent fellow:

    "While the commentators of the root causes brigade invariably supply the mandatory condemnation of the bombings and expressions of sympathy for its victims,"

    But you can one up this guy!

    "commiting acts of mass murder are to be contextualised, excused and explained rather than condemed."

    Fight it out amongst yourselves I say.

  11. David I might have misunderstood you in which case apologies – your second paragraph in particular is so dense it might as well be in code and, I think, addressed to a position that I don’t hold because I’m not in the SWP (some people aren’t you know). But it’s hard to tell.

    But I can’t let anyone get away with this sub-John-Major "understand a little less and condemn a little more" rubbish.

    commiting acts of mass murder are to be contextualised, excused and explained rather than condemed

    No they are to be *prevented* as far as possible and *endured* to the extent that it is not possible to prevent them. Condemnation and explanation are only appropriate in so far as they help in preventing them. As far as I can see, the big difference between the Decent Left and the bruschetta left is that our side has a realistic understanding of the difference between doing something and taking a moral stance.

    You guys seem utterly confused. On the one hand, in order to take a moral stance against Saddam, you invade a country and start a war, without any real thought about what the consequences would be because you felt you had to "show solidarity". On the other hand, when there is a difficult police problem that can be made better or worse by careful handling, the important thing to do is "condemn". I think I missed the episode of fucking Columbo where he did nothing but sit around for forty minutes saying "murder is bad! murder is really really bad!". This behavioural trait was responsible for a great deal of the hilarity with which far-left grouplets of the 1980s were regarded and its movement into public policy is not to be welcomed.

    You’re even failing in your own terms. I’d just invite you and your mates at Harry’s Place to do a quick word-count on how much time and trouble you’ve spent on "condemning" actual terrorists (surprisingly little), how much on Muslims who are not terrorists (rather more) and how much on left-liberals who disagreed with you on Iraq (loads and loads). You’re also really rather much keener on your loyalty oaths than anyone claiming to represent "Englightenment Liberalism" (the word "Enlightenment" here clearly standing in the same relationship to "Liberalism" as the first word in "Management Science") really ought to be.

  12. Michael Grade at the BBC has now conceded that BBC journalists are free to use the T-word in the London bombings. One in the eye for the prats here who seemed to think that censorship at the BBC was OK.

  13. If that’s true, then you’ve got it the wrong way around as usual. Most defenders of the policy, including myself in this comments thread (, said that they understood why the BBC had rules, and applied them, and the difficult cases were where they were most needed, but that perhaps the policy should be reviewed. If it has been reviewed then that’s good.

    On the other hand many people who shouted loudest about it, like you in the same comments thread, were of the opinion the policy was merely a codification of the BBC’s mindset, which was objectively pro-terrorist, and thus could not be changed. Which was clearly wrong.

  14. The BBC has NOT changed the policy for Iraq or Israel, as far as I can see.

    And there were prats here who defended the editing out of the T word for the London mrders after the event, and the avoidance of its use in coverage of Blair’s statement when he used the T word 10 or 11 times. They basically defended the policy and could not see what the fuss was about. The fuss was because the policy was ridiculous. And they were daft for not seeing that. Thankfully the BBC recognises it was daft. Can you ? People were NOT mostly saying the policy nbeeded to be reviewed – they were attacking anylone who wanted it reviewed. Prats.

    I did not say the BBC was pro-terrorist. I said it equivocated morally. Which plays into the hands of terrorists. And it still does if it continues the T word ban for suicide bombings in Iraq.

  15. What’s curious about that article is that it takes precisely the same root causes attitude to fascism that the Left does to this specific kind of Islamism. The despair of their conditions, fear of violence from invaders and outsiders and the absence of a political alternative leads them to support and join the ranks of racists etc. Of course it does so in an apologetic way, and therefore the inevitable conclusion of his remarks is that the fascists are fighting a just war, but have just chosen the wrong venue and the wrong means…

    No, that last sentence isn’t strictly true, but then neither are any of the absolutely typical, widely repeated charges that are crammed into the linked article.

    What’s less curious is the utterly predictable equation of an odious and reactionary strand of political Islam with fascism. This is stupid, an analytical failure, but absolutely par for the course with these kinds of commentators. Then there’s the unproblematised citation of the ‘totalitarianism’ thesis, which the pro-war Left can’t resist.

    Frankly, I’m less surprised than you are that Norm would post this since this is exactly what he has himself been saying for some time – he might use more careful and more temperate language, but this article isn’t heterodox to Normologists.

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