[Marxism] Salma Yaqoob on "Islamofascism"

Haines Brown brownh at hartford-hwp.com
Sun Aug 6 11:45:12 MDT 2006

I fail to see how anyone could accuse Islamic radicalism of being
"fascist", although I suppose anything is possible if words can mean
whatever we want them to meanm. So allow me to speculate a little on
the words.

Obviously the issue depends on just how we define fascism. It seems to
me that more serious definitions emphasize that fascism entails a
subsumption of private life under politics or, as this point is often
put, the raising of culture to the political level.

Radical Islam (or for that matter, any religious expression) is
obviously an assertion of one's private life and culture, and so by
definition can't be associated with fascism.

Perhaps an argument can be made that such a religion entails a loss of
self within the godhead, but even so, it is still not a subjection of
self under "politics". I take politics to refer to an institution that
addresses (emergent) needs specific to a social whole and (arguably)
in the case of fascism the needs associated with capitalist class

Even in the ancient West, where the citizen was considered only truly
human and free while submitting himself completely to the political
community, it did not contradict or deny the existence or legitimacy
of private life (Cincinnatus being an example).

In cases where religious leaders have acquired state power (such as in
a theocracy), the religious element may facilitate or justify
authoritarianism. However, it still strikes me as falling short of
fascism, for the subjection is not to an institution addressing
capitalist class contradictions (or even to needs specific to the
social whole). Theocracy has nothing to do with capitalism, while
fascism certainly does.

       Haines Brown
         ET1(SS) U.S.S. Irex SS-482       

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