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<nettime> You Want it Darker..he kills the flame
David Garcia on Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:38:59 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> You Want it Darker..he kills the flame


You Want it Darker.. He kills the flame. 
-Is this the point when Liberalism becomes a fighting creed?

Stephen King has no monopoly on evil clowns. We Brits can certainly compete with 
Boris Johnson, a kind of inverted vampire clown (he shrivels when out of the 
spotlight). 

Buried in his mischievous 4000 word article for the conservative daily the Telegraph 
was a paragraph on what he describes as -split allegiances- that made my blood run cold. 

The phrase goes to the heart of the Brext debate and the re-assertion of nationalism with its 
fixed and singular identies. It suggests that we must place nation (blood and belonging) above 
all else. here is the offending paragraph. 

- "I used to look at the Brussels bumper stickers saying -Mon patrie, c’est Europe- and think it 
was a bit of a laugh, and that they would never engender a genuine Euro-patriotism, or compete
with people’s natural feelings for their own country. I have to say that I am now not so sure. I think 
I was complacent. I look at so many young people with the 12 stars lipsticked on their faces and I
am troubled with the thought that people are begining to have genuinely split allegiances."-

This is a world view that denies the inevitability of multiple allegiances asking us to choose or be 
labled unpatriotic. I am being asked to choose whether I am more Jewish, or European than British.. 

Johnson’s speaks for many in the Tory party as we witnessed at last year’s Party Conference address 
by Theresa May declared that - if you think you are a citizen of the world you're a citizen of nowhere- 

There is a chilling echo here of the Russian anti-Semitic campaign after World War II in which Stalinist 
theatre critics created the term -rootless cosmopolitans- to describe Jewish intellectuals. It also reminds 
us that the classical liberal’s position of deliberative tolerance which asserts that we must listen carefuly 
to the arguments of our adversaries as a way of testing the truth of our own position puts the classical 
liberal at a permanent disadvantage. There comes a time when even liberalism must become a fighting 
creed.  





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