Leftwing theorist and pioneer blogger with a mission to take on political orthodoxy
[first published in the Guardian]
Norman Geras started Normblog in order to engage with a wider audience. It was a runaway success. Photograph: Graeme Robertson
Norman Geras—professor emeritus of government at Manchester University, philosopher, cricket fan, country music lover, Marxist, liberal socialist, democrat, political blogger behind the influential Normblog—has died of cancer aged 70. His interests were rich and varied, but his thought and writings form an integrated whole. He was centrally and always a man of the left, but one who became a scourge of those parts of left/liberal opinion which, in his view, had slid away from commitment to the values of equality, justice and universal rights, and in so doing ended up by excusing or condoning racism and terrorism.
[David’s normblog Profile]
There is one less champion of democratic thought in the world today. Norman Geras has passed. A friend and role model, Norm visited NYC in May 2012 and I had the great pleasure of spending an afternoon with him. We visited the 9/11 Memorial together, a powerful experience for us both. We shared a snack across from Zuccotti Park, boarded an insanely crowded uptown train and soon parted ways, for the last time. (I’m linking to his post about the Memorial visit.) Norm graciously featured me twice on his widely read Normblog, and those opportunities meant the world to me. He was wry (in that British way), decent, fiercely intelligent and principled, an unshakable ally and a passionate fan of jazz. I can’t yet bear the thought of his loss and I’ll be posting links [on his Facebook page — Ed.] to more tributes in the days to come.