Euston Manifesto

The Euston Manifesto ( /ˈjuːstən/) is a 2006 declaration of principles by a group of left wing academics, journalists, and activists based in the United Kingdom. The statement is a reaction to what are asserted to be widespread violations of leftist principles by others who are commonly associated with the political Left. The manifesto states that "the reconfiguration of progressive opinion that we aim for involves drawing a line between forces on the Left that remain true to its authentic values, and currents that have lately shown themselves rather too flexible about these values."

These alleged violations mainly concern the Middle East; for example the Iraq War, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war on terror. Broadly speaking, the group asserted that the left as a whole is over-critical of the actions of Western governments, such as the military presence in Iraq, and correspondingly is overly supportive of forces opposing Western governments, such as anti-Western Iraqi forces. As the document puts it, "we must define ourselves against those for whom the entire progressive-democratic agenda has been subordinated to a blanket and simplistic 'anti-imperialism' and/or hostility to the current US administration."

The manifesto proposed a "fresh political alignment," which involves "making common cause with genuine democrats, whether socialist or not," in which the left stands for democracy, freedom, equality, internationalism, the open-source movement, and historical truth, while condemning all forms of tyranny, terrorism, anti-Americanism, racism, anti-Semitism, including any form of it that "conceal prejudice against the Jewish people behind the formula of 'anti-Zionism'".

The signatories say they "reject fear of modernity, fear of freedom, irrationalism, the subordination of women," and "reaffirm the ideas that inspired the great rallying calls of the democratic revolutions of the eighteenth century: liberty, equality and solidarity; human rights; the pursuit of happiness ... But we are not zealots. For we embrace also the values of free enquiry, open dialogue and creative doubt, of care in judgement and a sense of the intractabilities of the world. We stand against all claims to a total — unquestionable or unquestioning — truth."

The Euston Manifesto was criticised by detractors who alleged that it supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, equated opposition to Israel with anti-Semitism, and was an attempt to rally pro-war sentiment among the Left.

Read more about Euston ManifestoEuston Manifesto Group, Summary of The Manifesto, Reception, Legacy

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Euston Manifesto - Legacy
... Australian journalist Guy Rundle argued that the Euston Manifesto's attempt to create a "progressive realignment" in support of democracy in the Middle East has ... the confusion and atomisation of the Blogosphere in a new form." Looking back at the manifesto in April 2008, Daniel Davies, a contributor to The Guardian newspaper's ... "it was this refusal to step down from Mount Olympus that finally did for the Euston Manifesto group ...
Pro-war Left - Further Reading
... Norman Geras, Introducing the Euston Manifesto, The Guardian, 13 April 2006 ... Norman Geras and Nick Cohen, The Euston Manifesto, New Statesman, 17 April 2006 ... of support for colonialism, which the Euston manifesto group could champion, The Guardian, 10 May 2006 ...