Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What forces me to be on the Left?

Eric Rohmer on his political allegiances:

I don't know if I am on the Right, but in any case, one thing is certain: I'm not on the Left. Yes, why would I be on the Left? For what reason? What forces me to be on the Left? I'm free, it seems to me! But people aren't. Today, first you have to pronounce your act of faith in the Left, after which everything is permitted. So far as I know, the Left has no monopoly on truth and justice. I too am for peace, freedom, the eradication of poverty, respect for minorities - who isn't? But I don't call that being on the Left. Being on the Left means endorsing the politics of certain people, parties, or regimes that say they're on the Left and don't hesitate to practice, when it serves them, dictatorship, lying, violence, favoritism, oscurantism, terrorism, militarism, bellicism, racism, colonialism, genocide.

Why did I have to think of Labour under Corbyn when coming across this statement in Antoine de Baecque and Noel Herpe's biography of Eric Rohmer (Columbia UP 2014)?

UPDATE: And, as happens quite often, Harald Martenstein's thoughts go in the same direction:

Ergänzend muss ich anmerken, dass ich es für legitim halte, wenn es eine konservative, also rechte Partei gibt, ich denke selbst in mancher Hinsicht konservativ. Wer behauptet, "rechts" bedeute das Gleiche wie "Nazi", beweist damit Unbildung. Adenauer und Churchill waren rechts, Pol Pot und Stalin waren links. Noch Fragen? Allerdings muss ich gestehen, dass ich für Antisemitismus, Rassismus und dergleichen nie viel übrig hatte. 

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