The Last Totalitarians

Justin Schwartz jkschw at
Sat Oct 6 23:38:41 PDT 2001

>the natrev invokes marx who "who traced most clearly the connection between
>this spiritual crisis and the economic upheavals of his day". then Lindsay
>equates communism and fascism, both of which are predecessors of

Safe to do so now that old Karl is merely an analyst and no longer an inspiration. Hell, even Rorty, who has spens the last twenty years bashing Marx, has nice things to say about Marx and the Manifesto now.

The equation of communism and fascism is an old trope, of course. The analysis presented by the NatRev of the appeal of fundamentalsim, being essentially Marxist, has a lot going for it. It is also probbaly true that the overused notion of "totalitarianism" probably better fits Islamic fundamentalism, and maybe the Christian and Jewish sort too, than it did either Nazism or Stalinism. After all, neither of those phenomena actually cared what you thought, so long as you kept your head down anddidn't fuss. Sure, they made exceptions for high profile literatri and politicians, but ordinary people who did their job could be as anti-state as they liked, with ony small to moderate risk that they might get denounced by a grudge-bearing neighbor or swept up in a purge because some secret policeman had a quota of arrests to make. The Islamists insist, however, that you actually believe.

the final outcome cannot
>doubted: interment of Islamist totalitarianism in what President Bush so
>stirringly referred to as "history's unmarked grave of discarded lies."

Quoting Trotsky on "the rubbish heap of history," no doubt unconsciously. Or maybe one of his neocon speechwriters knew about this.

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