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20 March 2006
Can socialism and islamism work together?
One of the charges that is levelled against the socialist wing of the anti-imperialism movement is that we are collaborating with Islamofascists - or whatever the latest playground term of abuse is for the Iraqi resistence. A quick reply is that at least we are not collaborating with the class enemy at home, but I have never been a great fan of the one liner. I will leave that to the hand shandyists for war who are capable of nothing better.

Leaving the Iraqi resistance to one side for the moment, can militant Islam and secular socialism work together? Our paths are different, but they do lead to the same point: the destruction of globalised capitalism. After that the paths diverge again; the Islamists wish to create a Muslim Caliphate that would encompose the whole of Arabia, at the very least, and we wish to have a secular state with an economy that is managed co-operatively. Viewed in this light, surely the aims of the two are incompatible?

In the long term obviously they are, but that long term is so far in the future that worrying about it now strikes this writer as rather silly. Especially when the beast that we both face is the beast that answers to the name of capitalism. It makes no sense at all to try and fight both Islamism and capitalism at the same time. We must decide which is the greater enemy. Islamism may very well pose a long-term threat to socialism, but the problem of capitalism is immediate and pressing.

So one war at a time, comrades, because the most pressing conflict is the class war at home. Fighting Islamism when its adherents are fighting the same enemy as us is a bit like saying that the USSR should not have allied herself with the UK and USA during the Second World War: the argument is fucking insane!

A marxist analysis tells you that all this religious crap is fundamentally (pun intended) about economix -- i.e. in this case, about national liberation from imperialism. i.e.: all about 'getting a better deal' in the present 'international division of labor'. So, on the one hand, this struggle is anti-imperialist. However, OTOH, it's not about overthrowing the capitalist order, when it comes to religiously-expressed nationalism. It's just about getting that better deal. And so you'll still have a capitalist order -- just a different one than we have at present.

So on that basis we are indeed with the struggling masses of the so-called muslim world. But we are not with their ideological leaderships, however we might by happenstance be travelling along the same road in the same place, just happening to be going in the same direction for a while...

No one ever said politix was simple or easy.

Bottom line: we only give critical support to any national liberation struggle; but in general we support anti-colonial national liberation struggle as being objectively progressive compared to the imperial menace.

The rest is just window-dressing and eyewash, meant to fool the unwary.

21 March 2006 at 01:45  

The "pro war Left" only supports the Iraq war because of the oil and is concerned of Britains overall strategic position as regards other powers such as Russia and China.

I wrote that,
So exile, what makes you think the Iraqi resistence is uniformaly islamism?

21 March 2006 at 09:57  

Do the words 'Molotov', 'Ribbentrop' and 'Pact' mean anything to you, 'Exile'?

21 March 2006 at 12:54  

I don't, Anonymous, and I am sorry if that was not entirely clear.

S & A: I think that this post is close to winning the 'Monger of the Month award.

21 March 2006 at 18:28  

Well, Exile, I'll accept your award, but you might want to consider the fact that opportunistic alliances between the extreme left and extreme right tend not to have a happy ending, and it is usually the former who comes of worse. It's your funeral, and you've dug the grave.

22 March 2006 at 11:47  

Yeah... So they can go from 3% of the population to power in the old Tommie Cooper sense, just like that? This is what you are saying, you and the other spastic Marcus, with your idiotic comparisons with Iran.

22 March 2006 at 19:13  

its a lot more like saying the USSR ahould never have meade the Nazi-soviet pact, and instead should have stuck with the USA/Britain, for the time being.

a religious/nationalist caliphate is worse than anything capitalism could ever muster. it is equivalent to facsim. and if you think facism is a simple outgrowth of capitalism, you fail to appreciate how bad facism really is.

26 May 2006 at 14:24  

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