As political systems across the Western world are threatened by a resurgent nationalist populism, what can we learn about this movement from the late Christopher Hitchens?
There’s no surer gauge of the depth and breadth of someone’s stupidity than the potency of his racism. The science on this has been settled for some time; we are all, if traced back far enough, evolved from bacteria. But, paradoxically, the equivocalness of this has a tendency to prevent any serious examination of racism. Liberals (small-l, that is) often condemn anything and everything that could be construed as being racist, without honestly confronting their own prejudices. Conservatives, on the other hand, often cry ‘political correctness gone mad,’ without acknowledging how hollow and meaningless such a retort is and, seemingly, ambivalent to claims of offence from minorities.
By now, if you own a computer and have a reliable Internet connection (no mean feat in this wide brown land of the NBN) you’ve likely seen Stephen Fry’s fuck-you to god. If you’re one of those liberal atheists who favours pithy internet videos over books, is dismissive of anyone that tells you Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens are most certainly not progressives, argues that Islamopobia is just neologism of the PC class and gets a kick out of calling yourself an anti-theist, then you were probably one of those people that shared it.