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Re: Real History conference, etc.

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  • thekoba@aztec.asu.edu
    ... Dear Eric, This was probably the primary message when Lenin said, When the cause of the people is taken up by professors, all is lost. ... An Arab white
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 17, 2002
      >
      >Dear Kevin,
      >
      >Yes, I suppose an inexpensive version of the trip
      >would be a possibility, but I see a lot of my fellow
      >intended speakers seem to be hawking their wares at
      >the meeting -- as does David Irving. I have no
      >objection to that, but for them it is an opportunity
      >to recoup some potential losses.
      >
      >I was also a bit miffed at a letter that Irving
      >published on his website, not from him, but some
      >admirer, who praised last years conference as so good
      >because it was full of academics. Knowing what bowing
      >and scraping must be done to get academic titles in
      >many cases, those people are not automatically an
      >object of my esteem. Some are ok inspite of their
      >training, of course.

      Dear Eric,

      This was probably the primary message when Lenin said,
      "When the cause of the people is taken up by professors,
      all is lost."

      >The trip to Austin was very good. I filled in some
      >gaps with more photocopies from the "socialist" Farah
      >Antun's periodical from the first decade of the 20th
      >Century, and with some materials from the
      >fundamentalist reformer Muhammad Rashid Rida's
      >magazine from 1899 through 1929.
      >
      >I ran across an interesting article in Antun's journal
      >from 1906. It was by a "pioneer of socialism in the
      >Arab world" another Syrian Christian by background,
      >Niqula Haddad and was on the natural necessity of
      >inequality. For a pioneer of socialism it was pretty
      >bizarre stuff -- more Nietzsche than Marx. He
      >insisted that we're born equal but develope in the
      >"struggle for existence" and that the more advanced
      >have to basically slap down the backward for progress
      >to move ahead.
      >
      >One example he sited was that of the Boers in South
      >Africa. They brutalized the Blacks to show them who
      >was boss. Then the British came and thought that if
      >they were nicer to the Blacks, the Blacks would back
      >the Brits and fight the Dutch Boers. In fact, Haddad
      >says, because the British became liberal nice guys now
      >the Blacks were terrorising all the "civilising" white
      >folk.

      An Arab white supremacist--that is funny!

      >The Blacks there have to realize that the White
      >colonists are there to stay and that they must somehow
      >come to terms with that reality since with their
      >superior civilization, there's nothing that can be
      >done about it. (An ominous point of view now that we
      >look back on 50+ years of Zionist "civilization" of
      >Palestine to the tune of "get used to it!")
      >
      >I thought maybe he had a particularly low opinion of
      >sub-Saharan Black Africans who were, basically
      >possessed of an illiterate, stone-age culture. But
      >his next example was the Sudan -- admittedly also
      >largely Black, but Arab and literate -- where the
      >British "civilizers" had done the country a great
      >"favour" by defeating the closed-door Mahdist state
      >and subjugating the Sudan, opening it to western
      >capital and culture. So basically the native must be
      >made to see who's in charge if he's going to learn and
      >move ahead.
      >
      >This is Second International "civilizing capital" and
      >"ultra imperialist" garbage taken to its extreme.
      >Needless to say the hoplelessly "reactionary"
      >nationalists and Islamists had no such sense of
      >"realism."
      >
      >Haddad went on to write one of the first Arabic books
      >on socialism (which was reformist but had a big effect
      >on lots of later-to-be Communists). There, though, he
      >looks on socialism as a matter of social justice
      >within one society, rather than examining the colonial
      >question.

      That was also a characteristic of many socialists in the West at
      the turn of the Century. In recent years this question has become
      too important to ignore, and the reformists have to put some kind
      of spin on it. One American example from back then was Jack
      London. For all his agitation for socialism in the USA, he was
      no internationalist and did some writing about the "yellow peril"
      menacing western civilisation.

      >In conclusion it appears that the early "socialists"
      >seem to have been very un-dialectical, and because
      >they were so enamoured of the modern west, were
      >willing to do masa's dirty work as long as they could
      >carry his baggage and follow him around and learn how
      >a gentleman should behave.
      >
      >If we're looking for struggle against injustice, we
      >actually need to resist the temptation to fixate on
      >the spokesmen of "modern enlightened western" ideas
      >and also look to the religious reformers and
      >nationalist protests. I think a big part of the Arab
      >left's problem has been its excessive tendency to look
      >abroad for inspiration.
      >
      >You mentioned that the secular humanists think the
      >Arabs are hopelessly religious.

      I was writing a bit tongue-in-cheek in reference to one
      particular posting on the Arizona Secular Humanist board.
      I do not know if this attitude is typical of the
      participants in general. Seeing Zindler's article in
      American Atheist magazine and some other examples convinces
      me that this attitude is not, however, rare among secular
      humanists in general.

      >The problem is,
      >though, that they the western secular humanists seem
      >to think that religion and not social oppression is
      >the essential problem.

      Yes, this is quite a common phenomenon among Americans who call
      themselves atheists and secular humanists. Either they believe
      religious fanaticism is the problem or that any real social
      oppression is only the result of religious fanaticism. Having
      spoke to Dr. O'Hair during my work at the centre in Austin back
      in 1995, she gave me the impression that she believed the usual
      media propaganda claiming that the struggle in Ireland was a
      religious conflict, and despite her good anti-Zionist position, she
      also at times said things that gave me the impression that the roots
      of that conflict were primarilly religious. She was also in the
      midst of writing a book called <The Religious War in Vietnam>.
      She asked me to read it over and offer suggestions. It was quite
      enlightening to me in the documentation it presented on how the
      Roman Catholics in Vietnam tended to support the Saigon government
      and the Buddhists tended to support the Hanoi government. She also
      noted the Catholic nature of the French colonial government and the
      Kennedy administration. Still, I think calling it a religious war
      is inaccurate. It was an extension of the Cold War and also an anti-
      colonial war, and the religious differences were secondary.

      >If you think that religious
      >belief is the problem, then of course you will favour
      >the western Zionists (many of whom are atheists) and
      >the enlightened westerners who even if they go to
      >church have come totally to disregard religious
      >morality and values and so in that sense are "freer"
      >and more liberated than the Arabs who "still" respect
      >religious morality and think that casual sex is
      >something animals do.
      >
      >Of course if you are seeking to alleviate social
      >injustice, however, you will basically disregard the
      >religious beliefs of either side unless and until they
      >obstruct the struggle for liberation from social
      >oppression.
      >
      >Western "libertines" and Zionist atheists are a lot
      >more into world wide oppression than Muslim
      >fundamentalists are, and anyhow, if the Arab countries
      >weren't faced with constantly fighting off a
      >western/Zionist onslaught, they could better decide
      >what value (or lack there of) that religious
      >fundamenatalism has for their own domestic
      >development. Until they are allowed to develope on
      >their own, however, you can't expect them to join up
      >with the imperialists and Zionists in attacking those
      >who vocally and violently struggle at considerable
      >personal sacrifice against that aggressive external
      >onslaught.
      >
      >Anyhow, so the trip to Austin was of use, and I'm
      >still going through the materials I photocopied and
      >brought back.
      >
      >Congratulations on the pool certificate! I would
      >agree that you are linguistically correct about the
      >"at least 10 years" issue, but they expect people to
      >memorize some precise number and regurgitate it.

      Well my boss didn't mind my getting a 98% on the test rather than
      100%. In any case I now have national certification to introduce
      caustic chemicals into swimming pools, and I didn't even have
      a security background check.

      >I agree with your remarks on drugs in China. It is
      >not a major problem right now, compared with Russia or
      >the west and this has to do with the culture and the
      >present day economy. There might even be some
      >residual memory of the ill-effects of the 100 years of
      >official colonialist and imperialist drug pushing that
      >followed the First Opium War in the 1840s. My wife,
      >who is a few years younger than I am, remembers
      >walking to school in Hong Kong in the mid-1960s past
      >dead bodies of overdosed opium addicts in the streets.
      > Such memories might serve as a deterrent to drug use
      >at least for our middle-aged generation.
      >
      >But just as homosexuality and unspeakably ugly rock
      >music is becoming more popular among China's yuppies,
      >I suppose other western customs like drug use will
      >develop as well, particularly if they feel
      >"frustrated" with the lack of nice consumer goods to
      >spend their new money on.
      >
      >So Elvis's grandmother was a Jewess? And for that
      >reason he's popular in "Israel." Great! They only
      >like you if you've got some Jew in your background;
      >the hell with whether the music is any good or not.

      Lenin and Hitler also had one Jewish grandparent each, but it
      was the grandfather not the grandmother, and since the Orthodox
      say that Judaism is matrilineal (as if beliefs could be inherited!),
      those two are not considered Jews and thus not admired so much
      in Israel.

      >There's some Latin American girl singer named Shakira
      >(accent on the FIRST syllable, by the way, meaning
      >"thankful") who is of Arab origin. I've only seen her
      >on TV once and although she looks sexy, I wasn't
      >impressed by her "music" which sounded like the
      >typical cheap, brainless stuff that's beamed at 14-
      >year-olds. So for me, her ethnicity doesn't save her.
      >
      >Now there's some "next Madonna", a 28-year old singer
      >named Lamya' al-Maghiri, or Lamya for short. She's
      >from Oman but her parents moved to Britain when she
      >was young and ran away from home to become a pop music
      >star. I've never heard anything she's sung, she's new
      >and I only know about her because she was the subject
      >of a front page story in a British Arabic-language
      >newspaper. I think she tries to follow the so-called
      >Black styles of rap or whatever they call that wailing
      >stuff.
      >
      >It wouldn't take much for either of these women to
      >inject some of the Arab rebellion into their "music"
      >(no, belly-dance hip wiggles aren't what I'm talking
      >about); the British pop performer Sting uses North
      >African singers as background in one of his songs and
      >that didn't seem to put the tunnel-visioned westerners
      >off too much. But then they aren't singing against
      >imperialism and Zionism, nor even against the war that
      >the US is forever waging or threatening against
      >everything Arab and Muslim. Until these Arab
      >performers start exerting influence on the west rather
      >than just being coopted into it, I don't have much
      >regard for them.
      >
      >Similarly my assessment of Elvis is that he had a nice
      >voice which he used to sing sappy gospel songs and the
      >usual love song drivel mixed with some ultra patriotic
      >crap (which is of necessity pro-imperialist in the
      >America of the imperialist age). His drug addiction
      >was probably in part the result of the capitalist
      >drive for profits that keeps performers on very
      >demanding schedules, but that doesn't excuse his
      >vollunteering as a snitch for the FBI. (I think he
      >wrote to say that the Smothers Brothers were Commies
      >and he wanted to help J. Edgar with all such baddies.
      >
      >But well,who knows, if he'd lived perhaps he'd now be
      >anti-imperialist like many of those old
      >ani-Communists.

      Fascinating stuff! I had no idea the Smothers Brothers were
      suspects.

      Comradely,

      Kevin
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