[Marxism] al-Qaeda influenced by Marxism? Really?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 17 06:22:23 MDT 2015

On 4/17/15 8:07 AM, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:
> JUAN COLE: I see evidence of al-Qaeda thinkers, like Ayman al-Zawahiri,
> who was the number-two man for a long time, before bin Laden was killed,
> being influenced by Marxist thought, and radical Marxism. This is very
> clear in the technical terms that the Muslim far-right uses. They talk
> about a vanguard. This was a Leninist term. In some radical forms of
> Marxism, activists were impatient with the working class, which seemed
> not to want to fulfill its historical duty by rising up against the
> business classes, and so it engaged in sabotage—not everywhere all the
> time, but there were some groups that did that kind of thing in hopes of
> provoking a class war, because they knew the business classes would call
> upon their agents, the police, to crack down hard on sabotage and
> workers’ activism and so forth.
> I think that al-Qaeda picked up this kind of thinking from the Marxist
> fringe in places like Egypt and so forth. I think that it is a
> deliberate strategy on their part, the sharpening of contradictions, or
> the heightening of contradictions, as it’s called. I think it explains
> everything that happened in Iraq.

I just posted this comment:

Juan, I see you are doubling down on this business about al-Qaeda being 
influenced by Karl Marx. I have deep respect for you as an expert on the 
Middle East but I think you are in over your head when it comes to 
Marxism. You are describing something much more akin to Blanquism. The 
idea that sabotage was used to "provoke" the workers by inciting police 
repression is simply wrong. Sabotage has been used by socialists in 
guerrilla warfare such as in Cuba when pro-Batista sugar mills were 
burned but it was not and is not a tactic for "sparking" worker 
resistance. They burned sugar mills in Cuba in order to weaken the 
social base of a dictatorship and not in order to bring about police 
repression. The Cuban people did not need lessons on how repressive the 
capitalist state could be, after all.

More information about the Marxism mailing list