Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Two recent events and marxist ideals

Ann Coulter's comment during a recent speech about Muslims being ragheads and the reaction of Muslims over the Danish cartoons forces one to reassess one's political philosophy. A marxist interpretation of events is useful in this regard.

It is the supreme irony that the group of people who most vociferously back the Iraq War and preemptive war against Islamic states in general in the name of freedom and democracy should hold the opinion of those, whom they purport to liberate, as ragheads. What we have is the perfect picture of modern radical fundamentalist conservatism showing itself to be exactly like the radical fundamentalist Muslims they hate.

How does a marxist view these two events. Let's look at some basic assumptions of marxism.

* The marxist is deeply distrustful of religion. Religion in many of its forms prevents people from realizing their best natures. Religion might offer up some ideas about justice and the value of all human beings, but those are never the values of the authoritarian fundamentalist religious elites.

* The marxist is a rationalist. It is through reason and its freedom that humans gain both moral authority and the will to create better lives for themselves.

* The marxist is a humanist. Humans are alienated by certain forms of economic and political regimes. The marxist ideal is to create a society where humans reach their potential and make progress.

* The marxist believes in freedom. One of those freedoms is an uncensored press.

* The marxist believes that true democracy cannot come about until a state has rid itself of capitalist excesses.

Taken in these terms, marxism is part of the Western humanist tradition with the addition of justice for the working class.

A marxist must stand upon principles and ideals that oppose the dangerous tendencies of all radical fundamentalist beliefs and regimes. Taking sides between Ann Coulter and the radical fundamentalist Islamic world is no choice at all. It is merely the same choice packaged and marketed to look differently.

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