Sunday, March 4, 2012

Marx Was Right

"The west wasted trillions in needless conflict with the USSR" and now is "being brainwashed into confrontation with Iran," writes The Guardian's Simon Jenkins — We are fighting Islamism from ignorance, as we did the cold war.

Karl Marx's quip, "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce," comes to mind.

Mr. Jenkins is right that at least it can be argued that "the cold war was a good war, a Manichean struggle between competing visions of how to order humanity." (He demonstrates how it was, in reality, "one of the great mistakes of all time, and a horrific waste of resources.") What hardly even needs to be argued is that the conflict "against political Islam... was caused by western leaders exaggerating a threat from a tiny group of terrorists to win popularity in war."

The only thing more dumbfounding than the fact that neocons like Sick Rantorum continue to sell this nonsense is that a significant number of citizens are still buying it.

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Blogger David Lindsay said...

The Communist threat was not militarily from the Soviet Union, which never had either the means or the will to invade Western Europe, never mind to cross either the Atlantic or the Pacific to North America. Rather, it was in our own countries. It came from Communist and fellow-travelling elements, undeniably often Soviet-funded and Soviet-directed, within wider Marxism.

Those elements’ success has been staggering, especially since they followed academic Marxism away from economic and towards social, cultural and constitutional means. The last British Government and its entourage were absolutely riddled with them. Until recently required to stand down for other reasons, a former stalwart of the International Marxist Group at Oxford in the early 1970s was sitting in the present Cabinet, having previously come within an inch of becoming Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Likewise, while a lot of the money comes from our dear friends in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the Islamist threat itself is within our own society, and it is only tangentially related to immigration. It is the threat that people disgusted with the complete collapse of all moral standards in the personal, social and economic spheres, and left helpless by the closely connected, almost total loss of collective cultural memory, will convert to Islam in droves. Look at the mosques full of disaffected young men in Afro-Caribbean areas of Britain, and at the flourishing Student Islamic Societies full of white, middle-class, deep-thinking, and often female seekers.

In comparable ways did many another country begin to be Islamised. Who would have thought that present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and much of Northern India could have been Islamised? Or North Africa? Or much of Sub-Saharan Africa, very much an ongoing process? Or Central Asia and much of Western China? But how did it happen? And how quickly? The White British Muslim population is already well over 60,000. Imagine if it alone grew by an improbably small 50 per cent every 10 years: by 2100, there would be over a million. Now imagine that it grew by a possibly overlarge, but nevertheless much more realistic, 100 per cent every 10 years: by 2100, there would be nearly 23 million. Yet that is only the White British section of British Muslims.

Marx held that Britain was, with Germany, one of the two countries most likely to have a Communist revolution. That was prevented by the Welfare State, workers’ rights, trade unionism, the co-operative movement and wider mutualism, consumer protection, strong communities, conservation rather than environmentalism, fair taxation, full employment, public ownership, proper local government, and a powerful Parliament. Very many of the same things can be said of the United States, which had a hugely powerful Marxist movement in the early twentieth century.

Likewise, the answer to Islam is our own tradition of structured daily prayer, the setting aside of one day in seven, fasting, almsgiving, pilgrimage, the global community of faith as the primary focus of personal allegiance and locus of personal identity, the lesser outward and the greater inward struggle, the need for a comprehensive and coherent critique both of capitalism and of Marxism, the coherence between faith and reason, and a consequent integrated view of art and science. The answer to the challenge of the Sunna is Sacred Tradition. The answer to the challenge of the Imamate is the Petrine Office. The answer to the challenge of Sufism is our own tradition of mysticism and monasticism. Liberal Catholics will be the last to see the point.

March 6, 2012 at 12:18 PM  

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