How can we explain British students who refuse to commemorate the Holocaust because that would be ‘eurocentric’, refuse to condemn ISIS because that would encourage ‘Islamophobia’ and refuse to support the Kurds on the grounds that it would be ‘warmongering’?
After a century or so, the paradigm which came from Marx – of a class struggle – had lost a good deal of its allure and was pushed aside by the new paradigm of racial, national and ethnic struggle. That paradigm grew out of the anti-colonial movements which reverberated in Europe, and was overlaid by the Civil Rights Movement in the US. Both were seen to be part of one struggle of the people of colour against the white man, or as it is sometimes put, the ‘Rest against the West.’ I remember for example Jesse Jackson , at the height of his considerable popularity in the US, made a visit to Cuba and launched into a litany of slogans, the theme of which was ‘our time has come’ and where the first person plural of ‘our time’ meant blacks in America, Latinos and other third-world people fighting against the West. It was seen somehow as all part of one omnibus struggle and this paradigm really was more exciting to my generation and subsequent ones – generations post World War Two – than the older class struggle paradigm.