You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Wilson Fisk

Okay, I'm stumped. Is it politically correct to admire Woodrow Wilson, or not? For the "Yes" case, Mungo MacCallum:

...John Howard has received the Woodrow Wilson Award for public service. The former president Wilson was everything John Howard isn’t: an internationalist who was the driving force behind the League of Nations, a visionary, an idealist and above all, a man of peace. He will now be spinning in his grave...

-- Mungo MacCallum, "Telstra sale’s shiny baubles not worth a tinker’s cuss," 11(34) Northern Rivers Echo (25 August 2005), p 14.

But for the "No" side, John Pilger:

... the [US] Democrats' "tough-minded internationalism" began with Woodrow Wilson, a Christian megalomaniac who believed that America had been chosen by God "to show the way to the nations of this world, how they shall walk in the paths of liberty"...

-- John Pilger, "Bush or Kerry? No Difference," New Statesman (5 March 2004).

Two of the keenest left-wing intellects Australia has ever birthed, now at loggerheads over the Wilsonian legacy. A "Christian megalomaniac" (one assumes that, for Pilger, the adjective here describes rather than qualifies)? Or a "visionary", an "idealist", and a "man of peace"? Choices, choices... Being on the Left is not always easy, although at least it saves you from viewing the world in simplistic black-and-white terms, like those Manichaean neocons do.

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