[Marxism] The immigration thread

Ian Pace ian at ianpace.com
Thu Oct 6 09:43:38 MDT 2005

From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>

>>Perhaps I could have used less emotive terminology but
>>I equate Islamism with fascism (is that a crime on
>>this site, too?).
> I wouldn't call it a crime exactly, but your use of the term "fascism" to 
> describe people like Muqtada al-Sadr presumably is certainly an offense 
> against Marxist thought. Fascism is an ultra-reactionary movement 
> supported by the big bourgeoisie against the threat of proletarian 
> revolution. Classic cases involve Nazi Germany and Franco's Spain. What 
> this has to do with guerrilla fighters in Iraq is beyond me.

No, this line of argument doesn't seem to take enough account of class 
distinctions in the Muslim world as well. Fascism is possible in the Middle 
East in support of the interests of Muslim capitalists, and may also 
generate support from various strata of Iraqi, Iranian, Saudi or whatever 
society, as was the case with European fascism. I think there's a danger of 
returning to neo-Maoist romantic third world nationalism when engaging with 
anti-imperialist struggles.

> Furthermore, anti-imperialists and revolutionaries in countries like your 
> own Australia, the USA and Great Britain should not be in the business of 
> evaluating and choosing sides in Iraq. Our focus should be simply on 
> organizing mass actions to force the imperialists out so that the Iraqis 
> can determine their own destiny.

Well, that's the Trotskyite position, it seems (one to which I'm relatively 
sympathetic, but not totally so). But what is so wrong with 
anti-imperialists and revolutionaries in the Western world looking to 
support genuine socialist groups, if they exist, in the Third World? If we 
agree on driving the imperialists out as the primary strategy, don't we wish 
to form alliances in the hope that the Iraqi people won't simply have to 
surrender to the interest of their own neo-feudalists and capitalists (this 
is a genuine question, I'm not sure of the answer)? Or else mightn't we end 
up in the ludicrous Tel Quel position of supporting the Iranian mullahs 
after 1979?


More information about the Marxism mailing list