Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Islam eats up Marx

Steven den Beste continues a fascinating article on the nature of Tranzism, a term for the new, post-Marxist ideology of the Left, and doesn't seem to think that Tranzis and Islamists are in competition,

I don't see how Islamism competes for followers with transnational progressivism. They are not really playing in the same space, physically or demographically or culturally. They really aren't in competition with one another yet, and for the moment they're cooperating against their shared enemy of capitalist liberal democracy.

probably in response to this Belmont Club comment:

The Left will continue to lose adherents to Islam. It will be cannibalized by Islam in its most militant fringes. Only the softies, i.e. artists, writers, 'sympathizers' will stay in the dreamy Tranzi universe, which will no longer have a viable clandestine substructure. All the hardcases will have to go elsewhere.

While Islam and Tranzism share democracy as a common enemy, there is no love lost between them. Nowhere is the takedown of Marxists so apparent as in the guerilla movements. For example, the leadership of the Philippine southern insurgency passed from the Marxist Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in the 1970s to the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the 1990s. Those who once read the Little Red Book now read the Koran.

Who can remember now that the PKI or Indonesian Communist Party was once the third largest in the world, after China and the Soviet Union? It's gone, replaced by the Jemaah Islamiyah.

But nowhere has the Marxist loss been so dramatic as in the Arabian Peninsula. The Mideast Web has a page describing the history of Palestinian poltical parties, including Fatah and Hamas, and the majority had Marxist beginnings. And yes, Yasser Arafat was a Marxist once, a fact that makes socialists mourn like exiles by the waters of Babylon remembering Zion. It would be possible to draw similar comparisons in Algeria or South Yemen.

Even Marxists in the West have found themselves gravitating, willy-nilly to the Islamic cause. Perhaps the most potent image of a Marxist 'martyred' to Islam is the American Rachel Corrie. In an earlier era, she would have found a suitable Socialist cause to fight for. This was how she ended her days.