Article de Sadik Jalal al-‘Azm paru dans Die Welt des Islams, Nr. 1/4 (1988), p. 90-98.
A basic maxim of Marxist socio-political analysis states that similar infrastructural conditions tend to produce similar superstructural phenomena. Some of us who have been in close and protracted contact with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), (particularly with its political militants, higher cadres and more outspoken ideologues), certainly have sensed something of the importance of this maxim, not as an abstract principle but as a concretely lived series of organically developing situations, ideas and experiences. I am referring, here, to the Palestinian comparisons drawn between the modern Jewish and Palestinian diasporas and the superstructural (particularly political) phenomena generated by them. Continuer la lecture de « Sadik Jalal al-‘Azm : Palestinian Zionism »
Three years ago, after the Black Panther Party had recanted and returned to the Baptist Church, the only self-styled ‘Marxist political tendency to be found on this side of the veil was that embodied in the Black Workers Congress which, according to its somewhat generous self-assessment, was not only ‘Marxist-Leninist’ but ‘Maoist’ as well. Every other tendency among black people was hostile to Marxism. The arguments scarcely need to be recalled : « Marx and Engels were Europeans; what can racist Europeans have to say that is useful to us? » « Why do you have to depend on the white man for your ideology; can’t we develop something new of our own? » etc. Of course there was also a great deal of red-baiting going on and even more self-righteous posturing.
After a long, seemingly interminable hiatus, we appear to be witnessing the re-emergence of a global resistance to capitalism, at least in its neoliberal guise. It has been more than four decades since anti-capitalist movements exploded with such force on a global scale. To be sure, there were tremors every now and then, brief episodes that temporarily derailed the neoliberal project as it swept the globe. But not like that which we have witnessed in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas over the past two years. How far they will develop, how deep will be their impact, it is still impossible to predict. But they have already changed the complexion of left discourse. Suddenly, the issue of capital and class is back on the agenda, not as an abstract or theoretical discussion, but as an urgent political question. Continuer la lecture de « Vivek Chibber : « Capitalism, class and universalism: Escaping the cul-de-sac of postcolonial theory » »
In his sharply debated book, (1) Edward Said introduces us to the subject of ‘Orientalism’ through a broadly historical perspective which situates Europe’s interest in the Orient within the context of the general historical expansion of modern bourgeois Europe outside its traditional confines and at the expense of the rest of the world in the form of its subjugation, pillage, and exploitation. In this sense Orientalism may be seen as a complex and growing phenomenon deriving from the overall historical trend of modern European expansion and involving: a whole set of progressively expanding institutions, a created and cumulative body of theory and practice, a suitable ideological superstructure with an apparatus of complicated assumptions, beliefs, images, literary productions, and rationalisations (not to mention the underlying foundation of commercial, economic and strategic vital interests). I shall call this phenomenon Institutional Orientalism. Continuer la lecture de « Sadik Jalal al-‘Azm : Orientalism and orientalism in reverse »