[Marxism] Phil Hearse on Fred Halliday
lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Feb 10 15:31:42 MST 2007
Making Peace with America
Two Hours Which Shook the World, by Fred
Halliday, Saqi books, London 2002, £12.95.
reviewed by Phil Hearse
Author's note: This article was written before
the Iraq war. That event confirms everything which is said in the article.
Subtitled September 11, Causes and Consequences
Fred Hallidays book says little about the two
hours which shook the world, but is in fact an
assessment of the world political factors which
gave rise to the attack, notably the questions of
Islamic fundamentalism, globalisation and United States capitalism.
To remind non-British readers, Halliday now
Professor of International Relations at the
London School of Economics - was until the end of
the 1980s one of the foremost Marxist experts on
the Middle East writing in English, and a
long-time editor of New Left Review. His move
away from the Left was signalled by his support
for the US war on Iraq, and his subsequent book
Rethinking International Relations in which he
condemned attempts to seek a post-capitalist
order, or indeed any attempt to rapidly improve the human condition.
His new book, despite some sensible and
perceptive parts, eventually collapses into
abject apology for capitalism in general and the
United States in particular. In doing so,
Halliday feels compelled to return time and again
to criticising his former comrades on the Marxist
left in other words his own former self. In
doing so, as we shall see, he seems to hold
mutually contradictory views and be involved in
an anguished debate with himself.
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