[Marxism] Re: David Harvey: it's about a New Deal

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Sun Nov 30 10:15:44 MST 2003


At 10:34 AM -0500 11/30/03, Louis Proyect wrote:
>I wish I knew what this meant. If this means that Islamic radicalism
>represents a "danger", I can't agree. Anti-colonial movements have often
>had questionable leaderships, going back to the Boxer rebellion--one of the
>most explicitly "anti-modernist" movements of all time. That is no excuse
>for opposing them.

A couple of points:

* I think that David Harvey is mistaken in believing that Islamic 
radicalism is necessarily "anti-modernist" (if Islamic radicalism is 
indeed what he has in his mind, that is).  Islamic radicalism tends 
to be very sexist toward bourgeois and petit-bourgeois women, but the 
fortunes of peasant and working-class women vary greatly depending on 
the kinds of Islamic radicalism, the levels of national development, 
etc.  The contrast between Iran and Afghanistan is striking.  Peasant 
and working-class Iranian women (in education, employment, etc.) 
fared better after the Iranian Revolution than before it, as the 
Iranian Revolution was populist in political character and clerical 
leaders were keen on economic development, thus in need of educated 
women's labor as well.

* That said, leftists -- especially leftists who actually live in the 
two-thirds world -- ought to maintain political independence from 
Islamist and other seemingly or substantially populist tendencies at 
all times.  Your physical and political survival depends on it. 
Iranian leftists missed the window of opportunity to oppose clerics 
in defense of women's rights and to even direct the revolution to the 
left shortly after the overthrow of the Shah -- when they still could.

-- 
Yoshie

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