Go to London or of any other Western capital and here is what you will not see.
You will not see mass demonstrations against the Russian invasion of the Ukraine swaying down the same streets in which the liberal-left marched against the invasion of Iraq.
You will not hear prominent left-wing voices emphasizing that Putin is attempting more than an invasion; that the Russian Federation – and what a benign word ‘federation’ is for a revived Tsarist autocracy – is the last of the European empires, and is seeking to expand its borders, as empires always do.
In short, the activist left will not tell its followers that we are witnessing imperialism: not ‘cultural imperialism’ or ‘neo-colonialism’ or any of those other catchall, thought-forbidding phrases, but the real thing.
Justifications for these hypocrisies are hard to find. Modern people admit to sexual behaviour their ancestors would have died rather than admit. But do not like to say that they are hypocrites, let alone explain their deceits.
A few readers, however, have justified themselves by pointing to an argument by Noam Chomsky, in which he explained the double standards of his own career to his own satisfaction and the satisfaction of his easily pleased followers…