A quick reminder as to why posts like Gene’s on the plight of Afghan women are unlikely to give the ‘anti-war’ Trots any sleepless nights. You see, ultimately, supporting the Taliban will lead to Socialism. An article by Jonathan Neale in the SWP’s pseudo-intellectual journal International Socialism explains how.
While he acknowledges that the so-called ‘resistance’ in Afghanistan is led by ‘the right wing Taliban’ (I wasn’t aware they advocate free markets and individual liberty, but anyway), Neale nonetheless hopes for ‘a victory for the resistance’ – after all, ‘[t]he Taliban have walked the walk and earned their place at the table’. Towards the end of the article, Neale’s delusions are fully expounded. According to this SWP ideologue, supporting the Taliban will somehow bring about a victory for Socialism:
For too long most of the left in Pakistan has identified the jihadis and the Taliban as the main enemy. There is likely to be a moment of rebellion against the Americans in Pakistan in the next few months or years. When that comes, if the left is strong and passionate and enraged on the streets, that could change politics in Afghanistan too.
In other words, then, Neale is fully aware of the fact that the Afghan ‘resistance’ is led by theocratic maniacs who kill British troops, throw acid in the faces of girls who try to go to school, and train children to become suicide bombers, but sees that as a trifling matter compared to his fantasy that somehow their hatred for the West will ultimately lead to the establishment of a Socialist utopia.
The same bizarre ‘reasoning’ of course underlies the far-left’s approach to various Islamist groups in the UK. You see, according to John Molyneux of the SWP, also writing in International Socialism, given enough time, Islamist radicals will come to see that what they actually want is Socialism, not the Islamism they currently espouse:
The vast mass of workers will be liberated from their religious illusions not by arguments, pamphlets or books, but by participation in the revolutionary struggle, and beyond, in the building of socialism. In such a situation it is incumbent on the party to ensure that religious differences, or differences between the religious and the non-religious, do not obstruct the unity of working class struggle. Moreover, insofar as the party becomes a truly mass party, leading the class in its workplaces and communities, it will inevitably find in its ranks a layer of workers who remain religious or semi-religious. To reject such workers because of their religious illusions would be sectarian and non-materialist. It would be to share the religious/idealist mistake of regarding religion as the most important element in consciousness and consciousness as more important than practice. At the same time, the party must not become a religious party, or party whose policy, strategy or tactics are shaped by religious considerations. Revolutionary victory requires that the party should be guided by the theory that expresses the collective interests and struggle of the working class, namely Marxism. Therefore the party must ensure that on this matter it educates and influences its religious members rather than vice versa.
For the SWP and their ilk, the fact that they find themselves standing shoulder to shoulder with theocrats who oppose almost everything they stand for is of no importance. What matters is that these Islamists are fellow ‘workers’ who are, whether they realise it or not, participating in a ‘revolutionary struggle’. Such participation will supposedly lead the Islamists to be ‘liberated from their religious illusions’ and ultimately result in a ‘revolutionary victory’.
So, don’t expect them to be moved by the plight of women like Aisha. What’s a missing nose here or a burnt off face there when the day of Socialist victory draws ever nearer?