Pause: apologist for dictators

December 26, 2008 at 2:38 pm (Afghanistan, democracy, fascism, Human rights, Jim D, liberation, literature, twat)

Harold Pinter, b: 10/10/1930; d: 24/12/2008

German:  He’s coming!

Rees:  He’ll have something important to say…

PAUSE

Benn: He’ll denounce  mass-murdering dictators like Blair and Bush…

PAUSE

Harold (for it is he): I believe the arrest and detention of  (Slobodan Milosevic) by the international criminal tribunal is unconstitutional, and goes against Yugoslav and international law. They have no right to try him…and I should know..

PAUSE:

 I’m a signatory of the international campaign in defence of Slobodan Milosevic.

PAUSE

The Great Playwright: And I’m consistent, unlike the war criminals Bush and Blair, because I’ve said the same about Saddam Hussein…

PAUSE…

The Great Playwright: “When I hear Bush say [after the event of 11 September 2001] that ‘on behalf of all freedom-loving people we are going to continue to fight terrorism’ and so on, I wonder what ‘freedom-hating people’ look like: I’ve never seen such people myself or can’t even concieve of it. In other words, he is talking rubbish.”

PAUSE

Unseen voice: A good job our upper-class wadical playwite never met the Taliban, eh?

18 Comments

  1. Philip Cross said,

    Jim D, you are always at your best when you go after people Seumas Milne and Neil Clark (who he) would defend.

  2. tcd said,

    Pinter was upper class?

    Wikipedia says this:

    “Personal background
    Pinter was born on 10 October 1930, in the London Borough of Hackney, to “very respectable, Jewish, lower middle class,” native English parents of Eastern-European ancestry; his father, Jack Pinter (1902–1997), was a “ladies’ tailor” and his mother, Frances (née Moskowitz; 1904–1992), “kept what is called an immaculate house” and was “a wonderful cook” (Pinter, as quoted in Gussow, Conversations with Pinter 103; Billington, Harold Pinter 1–2). Correcting general knowledge about Pinter’s family background, Michael Billington, Pinter’s authorized biographer, documents that “three of Pinter’s grandparents hail from Poland and one from Odessa, making them Ashkenazic rather than Sephardic Jews” (Harold Pinter 1–5). His evacuation to Cornwall and Reading from London during 1940 and 1941 before and during the Blitz and facing “the life-and-death intensity of daily experience” at that time influenced him profoundly. “His prime memories of evacuation today [circa 1994] are of loneliness, bewilderment, separation and loss: themes that are in all his works” (Billington, Harold Pinter 5–10).[10]”

    But maybe opposing a British war makes you upper class automatically in the discourse of social chauvinism. I guess the great majority of the planet is upper class then. :D And the only “working classes” in the world are white anglo saxon right-wingers. :D

    Also it’s quite philistine to dismiss an artist because you don’t liekt heir polticial views. In this case geniuses from Shakespeare to Kafka were simply apologists for feudalism and nothing more.

  3. Jim Denham said,

    tcd: wrong on every possible count. The fact that he came from relatively humble , Jewish origins didn’t stop Pinter becoming very much part of the British ruling class. What the fuck being “white” has to do with anything I fail to see in this context. And supporting Milosevic and being paranoically anti-American didn’t make him a bad playwright (though it did make him objectively very right wing); actually, imho he was a very good playwright. Just crap at politics.

  4. Bill said,

    Jim, you’re an idiot. Nothing more.

  5. Will said,

    Keep up with the good work Jim.

    The more the idiots swarm the better the mark of your genius.

  6. tcd said,

    “tcd: wrong on every possible count. The fact that he came from relatively humble , Jewish origins didn’t stop Pinter becoming very much part of the British ruling class.”

    hmmm

    Well for one thing he wasn’t “upper class”, I would say that thislooks like an attempt to lie to people who may not know the truth.

    Secondly, how was he part of the ruling class? Wasn’t the ruling class the one who carried out most of the measures he opposed? Being a Stalinist doesn’t make him part of the ruling class in post WW2 Britain, Jim Denham, you are paranoid if you think so or if you htink Harold Pinter had access to poltiical power or mass representation in the media.

    Yes I agree his politics were crap though.

  7. Jim Denham said,

    The tragedy of Pinter’s politics (like his co-thinker John Pilger) is that his initial motivation was undoubtably healthy and anti-authoritarian. How else do you explain his outspoken support for the Kurds, his denunciation of torture and genocide, his support for Soviet dissidents, and his defence of artistic freedom (eg through his support for PEN)?

    And yet he ended up defending Milosevic and comparing (in all seriousness) the USA to Nazi Germany. Like so many wadicals over the last ten years, he ended up a disorientated, degenerate liberal and an apologist for for some of the most barbaric and reactionary forces in the world.

    And, tcd, opposing the Bosnian and Iraq wars doesn’t prevent someone belonging to the ruling class, unless you see the ruling class as completely monolithic and excluding, for instance the Ken Clarke wing of the Conservative Party.

  8. modernityblog said,

    Jim,

    I think there is something about middle class intellectuals, they often think they can do no ill and manage via rather twisted reasoning to justify the unjustifiable.

    So as with the Taliban thread, you see them inching towards open support for those murderers

    with Milosevic it is possibly a combination of some vague admiration for him as leader, counter culture as politics and an almost instinctive anti-Americanism, that’s how far politics has decline in 30 years

    I think Lenin covered many of these points in “Left-Wing” Communism: an Infantile Disorder

  9. resistor said,

    One reason Pinter defended Milosevic was that he was innocent. Perhaps you missed the court case where the prosecution case collapsed.

  10. johng said,

    I particularly enjoyed the HP discussion where the main line of contention seemed to be between those who thought Pinter’s playwriting was a bit like Hitlers vegetarianism (ie not in ITSELF offensive) or on the other hand thought that this was an insuffiantly vigerous position for defenders of FREEDOM. There was a wonderful post by someone who compared Pinter’s later politics with the way in which we change our opinion of someone when we find out they’re a child molester. The surreal and wacky world of those who claim to be on the left but see the entire world as a liberal conspiracy against decent values associated with American values. Jim would do well to read Catch 22 again.

  11. modernityblog said,

    JohnG,

    do you think Milosevic was “innocent” too?

  12. maxdunbar said,

    Comrade Resistor makes a strong case for his tinfoil hat nomination.

  13. tcd said,

    “And yet he ended up defending Milosevic and comparing (in all seriousness) the USA to Nazi Germany.”

    In some cases that’s an ok comparison. Try telling a working class LAtin American there is no comparison.

    I don’t know how exactly Pinter made the comparison though. I wouldn’t claim the US is fascist, but I think it’s an ok comparison to make in many cases, it is after all a mass murdering empire buit on slavery and genocide which doesnt hesitate to impose itself on weaker countries.

    “Like so many wadicals over the last ten years, he ended up a disorientated, degenerate liberal and an apologist for for some of the most barbaric and reactionary forces in the world.”

    True.

    “And, tcd, opposing the Bosnian and Iraq wars doesn’t prevent someone belonging to the ruling class, unless you see the ruling class as completely monolithic and excluding, for instance the Ken Clarke wing of the Conservative Party.”

    So which section of British capital did Harold Pinter speak for?

  14. tcd said,

    “I don’t know how exactly Pinter made the comparison though. I wouldn’t claim the US is fascist, but I think it’s an ok comparison to make in many cases, it is after all a mass murdering empire buit on slavery and genocide which doesnt hesitate to impose itself on weaker countries.”

    And I will add to tht that I don’t think it’s an insult to the victims of Nazism, it’s a powerful attack on authoritarian, hierarchical rightwingers to call up their similarities to Nazism. If a government is racist, murderous, uses torture, genocide, war and repression, etc., then I am proud to propagandistically shout Nazis at them.

    This isn’t the same as an academic article claiming that the US today is fascist. But you cannot relegate propaganda and agitation to just observing the world, the idea is often to make shocking comparisons in order to highlight an aspect of reality.

    Like calling capitalism “slavery”, when in reality we know that real “slavery” is even worse then the hell we live otday.

  15. resistor said,

    I see Max (who are Begin, Sharon and Netanyahu?) Dunbar is an expert on Yugoslavia as much as he was on Israel.

  16. Lobby Ludd said,

    Will said:

    “Keep up with the good work Jim.

    The more the idiots swarm the better the mark of your genius.”

    How does the word ‘genius’ get in there?

    Sad fuck.

    (I take it that it is my turn to call the sad fuck a sad fuck.)

    Only trying to help.

  17. maxdunbar said,

    Resistor

    Is this about book reviews?

    Shouldn’t the comment be on your very own post?

  18. maxdunbar said,

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