Stories are impossible, but it’s impossible to live without them. That’s the mess I’m in. –Filmmaker Wim Wenders Progressive storytellers looking to advance transformational change have a problem. The problem is melodrama, our culture’s dominant mode of story. A virtuous hero overcomes obstacles and saves an innocent victim from an evil villain. Melodrama is fundamentally [...]
|By: Glenn W. Smith Sunday March 7, 2010 9:30 am|
|By: Henry Farrell Saturday January 2, 2010 2:00 pm|
The Left at War tells the story of some arguments around the Iraq war that only partly intersected with the fights that were raging in the blogosphere at the same time. The book is less interested in arguments between warbloggers and progressives, or between the center and the left of the Democratic party, than in the battles among left intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, Michael Walzer and, indeed, Michael Bérubé himself. Bérubé’s thesis is straightforward. Much of the opposition to the war, from writers like Chomsky and Alexander Cockburn sucked. And it sucked because these people adhered to a simplistic narrative in which the US was always evil, and intervention abroad was always imperialism under a thin facade of respect for human rights. What Bérubé calls the “Manichean Left” actually made it more difficult to mobilize against the Iraq war, because it provided pro-war writers with an excuse to brand all opponents on the war as crazy.