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Anti -Totalitarianism: The Left-wing Case for a Neoconservative Foreign Policy Hardcover – Oct 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Social Affairs Unit (Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190486306X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904863069
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.4 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,204,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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47 of 58 people found the following review helpful By D. Joshi on 13 Feb 2006
Format: Hardcover
This brief book serves as an educating expansion of some of the themes of Kamm's blog, particularly the idea that much of the Left has a proud tradition of standing up to and fighting against fascism which, to an extent, has been betrayed or abandoned.
Kamm guides the reader swiftly through the principled opposition of the Left to the Third Reich and the initial post WWII opposition to Communism in favour of more liberal and democratic government. As the decades passed, Kamm argues, the alertness of the mainstream Left to totalitarianism gave way "to a reflexive anti-Americanism" culminating in a morally indefensible and spectacularly unsucessful period for the Labour Party under Michael Foot.
While Labour struggled to form a coherent and worthwhile foreign policy until Tony Blair, the Conservative goverment under John Major shrugged its shoulders as Serbian aggression threatened Bosnia. It is such "practical", disintested foreign policy that Kamm believes was largely ended by New Labour and Blair.
This leads to the role played by Tony Blair in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and how the philosophy for his actions is both vital for global anti-totalitarianism and perfectly consistent with the best of the history of the Left. In fighting against theocratic totalitarianism (the Taleban) and Arab totalitarianism (the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein) Blair (and Bush and the rest of the coalition) is ultimately refusing to compromise on fundamental values that other leftists (specifically Respect/SWP) have abandoned as they have formed close and natural ties with Muslim and non-Muslim fascists alike.
The analysis of the modern struggle against totalitarianism represents the finest part of this well-argued book and on substance I would have given this book 5/5.
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54 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 22 Dec 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is Kamm’s first publication so far as I know, but fans of the blogosphere will be familiar with his style of argument, often consisting of detailed rebuttals of many of the familiar pseudo-leftist claims about the modern polity. This is where Kamm is at his best – that claims can be made and accepted and then repeated around the world without ever having been held up to rigorous inspection is a failing of the modern left who fall back on the tired cliches of the Chomskys and Moores, all too often.
As a leftist, I applaud Kamm’s desire to rescue the left from laziness and ignorance. Without a doubt, he accomplishes much in this direction and, together with others such as Geras, Cohen and Hitchens, provides the anti-totalitarian left with a rich intellectual foundation in order to move forward and create a left that does not embarrass itself by it’s alliances.
The book itself stands apart from the desires imputed by me above and distinguishes itself as a clear, thoughful and unique contribution to the literature of the left and to politics as a discipline. So much of the intellectual debate over the moral and political case for going to war in Iraq has taken place in the necessarily ephemeral space of the blog, that it is to be applauded that the real heart of the debate has been so lucidly summarised here where it can serve as one of the founding documents of any “new left” that will have to arise from the ashes of the current situation.
I cannot say that I agreed with everything that the book said, but I am glad that the author is there to issue such tomes, and I know that the left as a progressive movement for change will be indebted to Mr Kamm and his like for generations to come.
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Format: Hardcover
A sort of gangster's lawyer kind of a person makes the irrelevant and tautological case that people who have tended to think like have historically been people who have tended to think like him. Really, if you get through the gossipy narrative and the vapid terms of allegiance this is all you are left with ... begging the question about whether or not a neoconservative foreign policy is a good idea regardless who would think it was.
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4 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bola on 4 Sep 2008
Format: Hardcover
I agree with Kamm's belief of intervening to combat totalitarianism where appropriate but i disagree that this has somehow long been a left wing agenda. Kamm is rewriting history here. The Left has a long tradition of actively supporting various vile totalitarian regimes from Mao to Stalin - the evidence is so overwhelming that I am afraid Kamm is whistling against the wind on this one.
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