[Marxism] condemn imperialist wars in libya and syria

dan d.koechlin at wanadoo.fr
Sat Dec 8 20:22:20 MST 2012


We are going backwards, back to the debates of the 18th-19th century. 
But then again, every period of intense class antagonism such as the one 
we are now in, tends to trudge up views from bygone days. The slow agony 
of any social order will mean that old ideologies will make a come-back.

So let us go back 200 years. Catholicism was then perceived as a major 
counteracting force to the individualistic, anti-social tendencies of 
Protestantism that were behind the Industrial Revolution and the triumph 
of Capitalism. It was argued that Catholicism was based on traditional 
communities, a traditional way of life and the condemnation of 
accumulation for accumulation's sake. Mindless, destructive accumulation 
of capital was said to be fundamentally at odds with Catholicism which 
had been shaped by feudalism and insisted on vanitas vanitorum.

The late Romantics, appalled by the profound changes brought about by 
the Industrial REvolution, the rise of urban sprawls and "satanic 
smokestacks", the triumph of a pitiless bourgeoisie, attacked 
Protestanism and linked it with the Enlightenment. The French REvolution 
had started off as a positive development, but it had lacked the 
CAtholic emphasis on charity and on the redeeming virtues of poverty, 
and thus been high-jacked by Protestant liberals and their Freemason 
descendants who believed in the individual accumulating riches and being 
responsible only to his creator and not to his fellow men. A return to 
CAtholicism (or rather "Catholic-influenced worldview")  was thus seen 
as a way to re-establish a connection with more community-orientated values.

However, Socialism quickly came to the fore in the second half of the 
19th century, and Catholicism was rejected just as firmly as 
Protestantism, especially in Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Southern 
Germany).

The contemporary wrangling over the merits of Islam as a force opposed 
to "The Empire" is strongly reminiscent of the 1789-1830 period, even 
though the current mode of production is quite different to the one in 
which the late Romantics framed their ideas. Catholicism being equated 
with the countryside, a traditional lifestyle, lesser developed nations, 
feudal/agrarian/peasant values versus the Bourgeois values of 
Britain/Holland/the US and their industrialized, pro-Capitalist, 
Liberal, individualistic, Calvinistic work ethic.

Replace Catholicism with Islam and you get the same type of arguments. 
However, it is my bet that we will soon witness a new breed of secular 
intellectuals from Muslim countries who will strongly oppose Islam in 
the name of socialism and mercilessly criticize Salafists and the like. 
They will also pour scorn on Western intellectuals who find that Islam 
"can be a revolutionary force in certain circumstances" or that a 
woman's right to wear a headscarf is a "challenge to Western 
Neo-Colonial Orientalism".




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