Wednesday, May 16, 2007

On Marxism and the Thinking Muslim

We all carry the derived knowledge of our backgrounds, experiences, etc. And Marxism, or even the very idea of being Progressive (or tharaqqi-pasandh) has often been seen as absolute anathema for those of us who have come up in a Muslim context. (Notice I don't say "Islamic"; because for me that is a theological judgement.)

In the discusion about what's happening in Karachi and Pakistan right now, ARR, the keeper of the Rabita Zone (the word means "connection", "link", etc.), sent me this article yesterday:

Pakistan, A Country at War with Itself (en Espanol here)

commenting that he found it:
Interesting, however when you put the words "Marxist Viewpoint" it tends to put me off - given my strong bias against Marxists / Communists for "free Markets", "Adam Smiths invisible hand theory" is indeed the way to go. Regardless of how nations may try to use to their respective advantage.
My response to him was that I used to have that reaction, too. And I still do in terms of Marxist groups and governments. But on the theoretical side, Marxism (not Lenin's version, and not Mao's version...) has very important tools, analyses, and insights to offer. It's very important to say that one should constantly be looking at different ways to analyse an issue (social, political, business-related, "professional", ... every type)--it's the only way to come to a more complete picture. The real world is most often a many-splendoured thing, with multiple layers, dimensions and dynamics at play. And in this regard, a Marxist analysis is a very important tool for looking at things from the view point of, specifically, what class dynamics are at play, and what economic dynamics are at play. When they get to opinion and matters of religion, you are free to tune out ;).

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