[Marxism] "Political Islam" (was: Frei Betto: Encounters withFidel),

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Sun Aug 20 07:35:36 MDT 2006

On 8/20/06, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

> Yoshie wrote:

> >The next step is to ask why that's so, what makes them so
> >powerful, what they are doing that leftists are not doing, what we can
> >do to make historical materialism useful and attractive to Muslims,
> >and so on.
> We might as well  study Bill Gates and Warren Buffet if power and influence
> is what turns you on.

I take it that you use "Bill Gates and Warren Buffet" as shorthand for
"powerful capitalism".

But this is precisely what Marx did -- he spent long hours studying,
and analyzing, and understanding, capitalism, which was both powerful
and influential.

Also, let's not forget that Marx never quite realized the importance
that secular nationalism will take on in the twentieth century.  But
when secular nationalism became visibly important, marxists in the
twentieth century did engage in a study of what made secular
nationalism so powerful, what secular nationalists were doing that
leftists were not doing, what can be done to make historical
materialism useful to secular nationalists, etc., etc.

I think that is exactly the kind of thing Yoshie is suggesting that we
do for religious anti-imperialism now, since it seems to have
supplanted secular nationalism in some parts of the world.

Perhaps we could start this way: was secular nationalism also like
religion? (I think it was/is, in many ways). If it was, maybe the
answers to Yoshies questions in the case of secular nationalism (which
marxists have labored long and hard on) may be transferrable to a
large extent to the case of religious anti-imperialism.

If it wasn't, then we could perhaps start by asking in what ways
religion is different from secular nationalism.

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