No subject

mattk at mattk at
Mon Oct 7 14:10:42 MDT 1996

>Greetings from Wei En Lin to all comrades:
>Unfortunately the old catergories of analysis are not easily applied to
>the current situation in Afghanistan.
>Doctrinaire and Sincere Marxists feel compelled to mourn the death of
>Najibullah.  And yet, the Taliban are implementing radical economic
>reforms which are taking the oppressive weight of the former regimes off
>of the people.  They have effectively enforced the lowering of prices of
>basic consumer goods throughout the country.  The importance of this
>policy to the working class and the peasantry is not to be
>Nevertheless, the policies of Taliban toward women, toward education,
>toward religion are to be thoroughly condemned.  Women are being beaten
>off the streets, taken out of schools, and forced to wear the
>head-to-foot chador.
>Reality is complex and messy.  Najibullah did advance the cause of women
>in Afghanistan, but his heavy-handed Stalinist  approach to politics
>revealed him to be a tool of Soviet "social-imperialism."
>Marx probably would have supported the USSR's effective annexation of
>Afghanistan, as he supported Imperialist France's conquest of Tunisia
>and the US conquest of Mexican territories--these are cases of the
>oppressor being more progressive than the indigenous feudal ruling
>But the Taliban mix together Islam and Maoist ideology.  They have
>tremendous grassroots support.
>Most unfortunate is the bare fact that a grassroots revolutionary
>political movement could not succeed at this stage if it did not combine
>feudal ideology with populist socialism.
>The same difficulty exists throughout the Islamic World.

This analysis has nothing to do with Marxism. So far as I am aware, the
Taliban do not even claim to be socialist. Their claims (or lack thereof)
on this score, though, are beside the point. Reality is indeed messy, but
for Marxists to give any kind of support to Islamic reactionaries, no
matter how populist, is to abandon the struggle for workers liberation

Thje working class is a bit thin on the ground in economically backward
Afghanistan, but there is no reason to embrace the Taliban. Even the
government of Iran has condemned them for being too 'backward' (admittedly,
this may also be because the Taliban are still supported by US imperialism,
who wish to build an oil pipeline through Afghanistan).

Matt Kelly.

=C9irigh lasadh as an splanc seo

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