new internationalistissue 247 - September 1993 Temple warsIf you’re a fundamentalist in search of popular passion, you could do worse than reshape history to suit your own ambitions. Rehan Ansari analyzes the success of India’s Hindu extremists in blotting out a more tolerant past.
In one short season of violence last year Babri Masjid, in the north Indian town of Ayodhya, became the most famous mosque in the world. Witnessing the violence of young Hindu men in their fashionable city clothes as they destroyed the mosque was remarkable enough. Yet even more remarkable was the brazen rewriting of the past which justified the destruction. The ideologues of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of India, and the Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan for that matter, demonstrate a flair for myth-making that would make the most fashionable French deconstructionist proud.
We are reproducing below the analysis of the material basis of Islamism made by a sympathiser who was brought up in the Muslim world.
Islamism and Capitalism In the early 1900's, the first cycle of capitalist accumulation was moving to an end, both logically on the global level, and operationally in the western countries. The perspective of the Marxist description of the crisis was realised through the colonial wars of the major rival European imperialist powers (and US capital was on its way to join the club). The tendency towards the fall of the rate of profit had to be countered by the integration of the colonial market into the world capitalist one and, at the same time, gaining access to potential and actual raw materials (1).
In line with the arrival of the crisis, the imperialist strategy became one of penetrating more and more into the pre-capitalist world, and the expansion of the capitalist world market. This expansion proceeded neither as a peaceful interaction between the rival capitalist powers nor was peace sent towards the countries that were trapped in the net of imperialist and inter-imperialist conflict as objects of colonialisation and semi-colonialisation. On the contrary, the whole process of capitalist expansionism, which was marked by re-mapping of world, concretised itself in war, terror and bloodbaths, which finally and logically culminated in the First World War. One of the achievements of World War I, beside major capital devaluation, was the disintegration of the pre-capitali
SAXAKALIHome Page Hindutva and historyWhy do Hindutva ideologues keep flogging a dead horse? by ROMILA THAPAR "THE Aryans" became a historical category in the late nineteenth century. There was much confusion between "Aryan" as race and as language, a confusion that has not entirely cleared in popular perception. In its application to Indian history, it was argued that the aryas referred to in the Rigveda were the Aryans who had invaded and conquered northern India, founded Indian civilization, and spread their Indo-Aryan language. The theory had an immediate impact, particularly on those with a political agenda and on historians.
Jyotiba Phule maintained that the Aryan invasion explained the arrival of alien brahmans and their dominance and oppression of the lower castes. The invasion was necessary to this view of history. For those concerned with a Hindutva ideology, the invasion had to be denied. The definition of a Hindu as given by Savarkar was that India had to be his pitribhumi (ancestral land) and his punyabhumi (the land of his religion). A Hindu therefore could not be descended from alien invaders. Since Hindus sought a lineal descent from the Aryans, and a cultural heritage, the Aryans had to be indigenous. This definition of the Hindu excluded Muslims and Christians from being indigenous since their religion did not originate in India.&
Islamic Fundamentalism What are its common features A rebellion against the modern state Despite their apparent diversity radical or revolutionary Islamic movements have a number of features in common. It is a child of advanced capitalism, attracting all those social layers threatened by the modern state. It is virulently anti-secular, and intolerant of the non-self. It is against enlightenment, and unchangeably antagonistic to democracy and popular representation. Inherently multi-class, it cuts up society across class lines. It cannot be bound by national boundaries, nor is it bound by any man-made legislation - hence its recourse to extrajudicial means and frank terror.
The preliminary nature of this article comes from the fact that current debates are still in their infancy, and many of the trends and events in the Islamic world have a long way to go yet before reaching a critical mass; they are as yet too young to reveal their inner core in its entirety.
INFOBODY SUBPROPAGANDA Konrad Becker Senso - Linguistic Infiltration Programs (SLIP), Telepresent Contagious Postures (TCP), Propaganda Propulsion Project (PPP), Mac Believe, Cybercratic Conspiracy Command Control Intelligence (C4I), Intelligent Pandemonium (IP), Infobody Biofeedback Modulation (IBM), Vast Active Living Intelligence System (VALIS), Meme Slaves (MS), Leviathan Supersystems
Information Age communication-technologies ring the bell of Propaganda Age in an attack on the infobody, the shared presuppositions and myths of the rival and conflicting parts of the social system.
The growth of communication tools, the dramatically accelerated flow of persuasive communication through the manipulation of symbols and basic human emotions is not only a system to entertain, and inform but to inject individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior. Integration through Psychological Media into the social body.
SYNREAL SYSTEMS Konrad Becker on the politics of cybernetic synformation Cybernetics blasts the conventional frame of science. Rules of control and communication-mechanism refer not only to inanimate but animate Nature, the connection between woMan and machine, biology and sociology, economy and politics. It appears as connectivity, as the upwelling of a universal science of the interrelatedness of symbols. A synthetic meta-system that questions:
"is God to Golem as man is to machine?" (Norbert Wiener, God & Golem Inc., MIT Press 1962). Syntheticus is, according to the legend, the God of the outcasts that hovers over stables, garbage dumps, and backyards. This is a time where the electronic revolution has to make way for biotechnological impulses. This quick succession of technological turnovers with its formative implications on culture and directed awareness is unique in his-story. But whose story is it anyway?! ("?!interrobang?!")