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The Judean People’s Front, the Blogosphere, and Jewcy

Yesterday, some Jewcy readers observed that Brendan O'Neill, editor of the online magazine Spiked and recent contributor here, began his journalistic career at a magazine named Living Marxism. Living Marxism was the organ of Britain's Revolutionary Communist Party, which held … Read More

By / November 28, 2007

Yesterday, some Jewcy readers observed that Brendan O'Neill, editor of the online magazine Spiked and recent contributor here, began his journalistic career at a magazine named Living Marxism. Living Marxism was the organ of Britain's Revolutionary Communist Party, which held positions with which most Jewcers would not agree. Our would-be comrade commissars proclaim that O'Neill must be exiled from Jewcy.

Michael Kinsley says that the digital age is a propitious time to be a cranky libertarian, but it's also springtime for leftist factionalism. On the web, every clique can sanctify its own luminoso blogrollo, forever excommunicating deviationists for doctrinal unorthodoxies, past affiliations, refusals to pronounce some shibboleth of our corner of the internet.

Not here. Take the stultifying provincialism of left politics, amplify it with the Circle Jerk culture of the blogosphere, and you have something of a Jewcy nightmare: a hothouse of unchallenged ideology and lazy self-congratulation that looks like everything Jewcy was born to combat. Neither the Jewish community nor the left need help making themselves sclerotic, conformist, or irrelevant. The promise of the internet, for us, is its capacity to smash those tendencies, rather than reinforce them.

This isn't just about this specific issue: about Brendan O'Neill, the RCP, Living Marxist, or the Oxford Union debate. It's about what breadth of views can be accommodated in Jewcy, and who gets to contribute. We agree that there are borders to the pale, and some people are beyond those borders. But we're also aware of all the barriers that stand in the way of productive communication between people with well-entrenched and opposing positions: a reluctance or flat-out unwillingness to process evidence contradictory to one’s own point of view, an application of nearly impossible standards of evidence for opposing points but a knee-jerk acceptance of supporting points, a presumption of one's own intellectual bravery and integrity and an assumption that the opposition is weak or foolish or venal or lazy, et cetera. These, too, are things we want to overcome, rather than reinforce.

So defining Jewcy's boundaries will be an ongoing process. We'll discuss them. But we won't define them by pronouncing takfir on anyone who joined an organization with which Jewcy itself would not wish to partner.

Meanwhile, Kvetcher, nee David Kelsey, has taken Jewcy to task for our handling of the Oxford Union kerfuffle.

Jewcy chose a symbol of November 9th Society to represent the debate, even though the November 9th Society is a hardline neo-Nazi party that is quite critical of the British National Party for being mere "conservatives on steroids." That Jewcy chose their logo (replete with swastika, of course) to represent Nick Griffin is as risible as it is shrill.

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