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unmedia points out "Wrestling With Islam," an interesting article on the origins of Islamism. I was particularly interested in this bit:

Most often, they [the postcolonial elite in the third world] became socialists of one kind or another, for in the world of only a few decades ago, that very Western ideology of "socialism" could still be presented as the coming thing, as a "scientific" thing, the cutting edge of progress. Most came to believe that the best way to modernize their societies was through central planning, and that their own class was in effect the socialist vanguard, the people who had the education and ability to deliver their peoples into the modern world. They looked forward to a world that would be, if anything, post-Muslim and post-Christian -- to the triumph of a kind of universal civil order, that would be socialist in its economy, both East and West.

And naturally, they also bought into another Western idea, another idea which had no place in any traditional Muslim order. They became nationalists as well as socialists, for how can you advance socialism except within a coherent national order? Hence the ideological currents running through the Muslim world in the generation before Iran's Ayatollahs -- Nasserism, pan-Arabism, the Baathist parties of Syria and Iraq, the Bhutto faction in Pakistan, Sukarno in Indonesia, Algerian radicalism in the Maghreb. It was all so clear to all of them, that this was the way forward.

It was instead a catastrophe. Human nature is just what it is, and the laws of supply and demand operate to punish grand ideological schemes, just as the law of gravity operates against other forms of human flight. None of those five-year plans ever worked. And the only thing that did work was the elites clinging to power, trying to Westernize or modernize their societies with increasing frustration.

I wonder what the Left would say if someone told them that the "root causes" of terrorism are came about in part because third world leaders were Marxists.

I think I'm developing an anti-Marxist fixation. I used to bash Objectivists all the time because we had some outspoken ones on the Brunching Board. Now I go after Marxists every chance I get because there are so many of them here at Clark.


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