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!