[Marxism] The Jihadism of Fools By Fred Halliday

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Sun Feb 18 02:26:48 MST 2007

On 2/15/07, Haines Brown <brownh at hartford-hwp.com> wrote:

> Let me say that I'm saddened by the disarray and vacuity of the left
> in advanced industrial countries. Although I willingly associate
> myself with it, I fear that we offer almost no insight concerning
> current world dynamics that would help it move toward socialism, no
> less communism. What we say strikes most people as boring and
> irrelevant. In my social milieu (which is not leftist), my far-left
> views are seen as true enough, but not immediately important. Yet we
> live in extraordinary times. Not since the 1880s in the US and much of
> Europe are things changing so rapidly and profoundly, now the world
> over. I see a rapid development of the potential for people's power
> and ultimately a classless global society. While this dynamic seems
> quite different than described in classical Marxism, it nevertheless
> is intelligible in Marxist terms, which is to say in terms of
> materialism, the dialectical method, a class perspective, and Marx's
> method for analyzing economic and social dynamics. The left as a whole
> does not seem to understand what's going on, how to relate to people,
> and seems likely to be left in the dust and to stew in its own
> juice.

       Haines Brown, KB1GRM
>          Dialectical Materialist

In the excellent article by Goran Therborn called  "After Dialectics" in the
new issue of New Left Review, for which Louis Proyect recently posted the


Therborn concludes saying the following (I was reminded of this by what you
write above):

"Capitalism still produces, and will continue to produce, a sense of
outrage. To that extent, a line of continuity between the 19th, 20th and
21st centuries will remain, in resistance as well as in critique. Coming
philosophers are almost certain to publish new readings of Marx. Twenty-first
century anti-capitalist resisters and critics are unlikely to forget the
socialist and communist horizons of the past two hundred years. But whether
they will see the dawn of a different future in the same colours is
uncertain, perhaps even improbable. New cohorts of anti-capitalist social
scientists will certainly emerge, many will read Marx, but it may be doubted
whether many will find it meaningful to call themselves Marxists. The
classical Marxist triangle has been broken, and is most unlikely to be

"The resilience of the 1960s left is spanning an important historical
caesura. This was the generation that lived both the peak of working-class
strength in developed capitalism, and the beginning of its decline. It saw
both the image of revolution, in 1968, and the close of the revolutionary
perspective opened up in 1789 and 1917, in the implosion of 1989–91; in the
interim, it experienced the real sex and gender revolution of the late 20th
century. It was the generation that lived through, and criticized, the peak
of North Atlantic capitalism, and who went on to witness the return of East
and South Asia to the front stage of the world.

"For contingent, practical reasons—of space-time availability and of
linguistic limitations—this overview has been confined to the North
Atlantic/North American area. That is still the base from where the most
deadly bombers and missiles take off, but it is no longer the chief front on
which the destiny of capitalism in the 21st century will be decided. Hence
the extraordinary importance of global theorizing and, even more, of global
empirical investigations. In the current situation, a certain defiant
humility seems to be the most adequate intellectual stance. Defiance before
the forces of capital and empire, however powerful. Humility before the
coming new world and the learning and unlearning that it will call for."

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