Thursday, 1 August 2013

Andrew Marr and communism's mutant sister

Andrew Marr is my kind of Liberal, in that he has insight into the fact that his outlook is merely one of several: it was he who first identified, in 2006, that the BBC had “an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people” and suffered from a "cultural liberal bias".

You might object that there’s nothing wrong with being young and/or gay and I’d agree wholeheartedly. What Marr meant, I think, is that the BBC fails the diversity tick-box test by having so many more young and/or gay people than the communities it serves that it doesn’t reflect those communities accurately.

click for reviews for 'A History of Modern Britain'
He showed this insight again in his 2007 book A History of Modern Britain, where he praises the benefits of immigration. Then he makes the one point commentators may not raise: no politician ever asked the British populace for permission to open the floodgates.

click for reviews for 'A History of the World'So it’s disappointing that, in his 2012 tome, perhaps somewhat hubristically titled A History of the World, his ability to think outside of the culturally liberal box deserts him when it comes to comparing communism and fascism.

He’s not afraid to tackle the abuses of communism: he identifies Stalin as the world’s worst mass murderer, and again says something liberals shouldn’t: Stalin merely finished what Lenin started.

My beef is that he flees from identifying fascism as the other side of the same coin as communism, but instead identifies it as "communism’s mutant sister". He seems to be in thrall to the idea that fascism can only be right-wing – but how many right-wing dictators soiled the 20th century? Hitler nationalised most of Germany’s businesses and proclaimed himself an anti-capitalist, with Mussolini close behind. Franco was the only right-wing dictator. Isn't any totalitarian "supreme leader" a fascist?

Fascism isn’t the mutant sister of communism: it’s the identical twin.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Resources

We are biased, admit stars of BBC news - Daily Mail

REad reviews for A history of Modern Britain on Amazon

Read reviews for A history of the World on Amazon

What is fascism? A surprising BBC debate - 300 words

Hitler was a socialist (and not a right-winger) - Democratic Peace Blog

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