The Anti-Capitalist Jihad
Sunday, April 19, 2009 11:26 AM
By now it is common knowledge, or should be, that there is a political alliance between militant Islamists waging jihad against the "Great Satan" (the USA) and ideologues, mostly European and American, who style themselves as "progressives" on this side of the Atlantic, and as communists or socialists in the Old World. In case you missed out on the seismic political shift which has brought about this alliance, you can read about it in the books "The Unholy Alliance" and "United in Hate."
Another good example, however, is the career of Ali Shariati, an Iranian sociologist who studied Marxist ideology in Paris for some years before returning to Iran in 1964. Shariati is considered the ideologue of the Iranian Revolution, the movement that put Iran's mullahs in power in 1979 led by the Ayotollah Khomeini. This is the same regime that now oppresses Iranians, threatens nuclear annihilation of Israel, funds and supplies Hezbollah and Hamas as proxy armies against Israel, and sponsors attacks against American troops in Iraq.
Shariati is important because his career illustrates the common goal of "progressives" and Islamists, to end the world-wide influence of the capitalist USA. On the surface, one would think that Muslims and "progressives," who proclaim themselves atheists and anti-religious, could never team up. But they have teamed up, and the alliance is working. One of its great achievements is the election of Barack Hussein Obama, who claims to be a Christian, but attended a Muslim school in Indonesia, and is now conducting outreach to the Muslim world. Well-know as a "progressive" and statist (some still debate whether Obama is a Marxist, although I'm convinced), Obama denounces American "arrogance" abroad and reaches out to "progressives" like Hugo Chavez, who has also reached out to the the mullahs of Iran.
Where will all this lead? The near-term goal of the anti-capitalist jihad is to neutralize or render impotent the United States as a world power, by mutilating the engine of US success, capitalism, a system based on liberty with government protection of individual rights.
But what of the long-term goals? That is where Islamism and the "progressive" ideology part company. They are both seeking utopia, but their visions of utopia are widely divergent. The "progressive" utopia, insofar as it is based on Marx, is secular, materialistic, and forsees a transition to socialism, the "dictatorship of the proletariat," followed by a final stage of communism when the state has "withered away." The Islamist utopia is a world ruled by Sharia law, where everybody is a Muslim part of the umma, a one-world community. Obviously, as the anti-capitalist jihad advances, eventually there will be a clash between the "progressives" and the Islamists. Godzilla meets King Kong.
Who would win such a clash of the titans? It's anybody's guess, and I have my own guess: Islam would conquer the "progressives." Why do I think so?
I view both Islam and the "progressive" ideology to be equally irrational. Throughout history, religion has been a dominant theme in power politics. Capitalism has, in its own way, cut religion down to size because of capitalist reliance on science and material production. For that reason, in my opinion, an American evangelical and a Russian orthodox mystic are centuries apart in outlook even though they both believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ.
The anti-capitalist jihad will, in my view, strengthen the power of religion, not diminish it, because capitalism tends to keep religion from spinning out of control into extreme irrationalism. Ultimately, then, as I see it, if the worldwide anti-capitalist jihad is successful, Sharia, not socialism, will rule.
But will the anti-capitalist jihad succeed? Perhaps in parts of Europe, where some nationalities, such as Italians, are already dwindling in population relative to Muslim immigrants and births. But the anti-capitalist jihad has many natural enemies, including American conservatives, libertarians, classical liberals, and American Christians and Christians worldwide, in places as far-flung as the Philippines and South Korea. Neither Japan nor India, in my view, would support the anti-capitalist jihad, but let's not overlook the big gorilla on the block, China. They've been dealing with Muslims for over a millenium, and they are not likely to be won over by them. Calling itself a communist country, China is unlikely to become permanently more "progressive" either as time goes on.
The bottom line: the anti-capitalist jihad is destined to fail sooner or later, in spite of its spectacular success at occupying the White House and Congress in 2009. In my opinion, the sooner the anti-capitalist jihad fails, the better.