Democratiya 11


[Hat tip to Alan, A.L., Bob from Brockley, ModernityBlog and others]

Democratiya 11 (Winter 2007) is out. There is a lot of interesting material to read as usual.

While I’m at it, here is a link for Democratiya 10 (Autumn 2007). I intended on posting the link last month but it somehow slipped by.

Lastly, I’d like to direct your attention to the blog of Historian and Democratiya contributor Marko Attila Hoare, Greater Surbiton, recently added to my blogroll.

2 responses »

  1. Hi Roland,

    You should definitely look at the back “issues” in the Democratiya archive as well. Hoare’s review of “Occidentalism” (Summer 2006) is excellent. Here’s an excerpt:

    “‘The perfect is the enemy of the good’ – this is a proverb that applies to the seductive but bankrupt ideology of ‘anti-imperialism’, which presents itself as opposition to the most powerful form of oppression but which in practice is something much less positive, indeed negative and reactionary. In simplest terms, ‘imperialism’ can be defined as a state’s pursuit of empire or the expansion of its power, through acquiring territory from, or power over, other states or peoples. No reasonable person would not oppose this, but ‘anti-imperialism’ today means something other than opposition to imperialism. ‘Imperialism’, in the eyes of the average ‘anti-imperialist’, is coterminous with ‘the West’, i.e. with the US and its West European and Israeli allies. As such, it is used to refer to the bloc of states that dominates the world today, and there is undoubtedly something emotionally appealing to the individual ‘radical’ in apparently fighting that which is all-powerful. As an eighteen-year old Trotskyist and ‘anti-imperialist’ at the time of the 1991 Gulf War, I can testify to the empowering sense of self-righteousness I felt as I demonstrated against the US and its allies, in the course of which my views became increasingly extreme: I fervently believed that the US-led intervention was by far a greater evil than Saddam’s occupation of Kuwait; that it would be a blessing for humanity if the US and its allies were defeated; that such a defeat would trigger revolutionary outbreaks across the Middle East and even in the West.

    Such were the views of a teenage zealot with no knowledge of the Middle Eastern peoples or appreciation of their interests. I debated at the time with Kanan Makiya, the great Iraqi dissident, who shocked me by saying that it was in Iraq’s interests to be liberated by the US. Makiya derived his views from his great knowledge of Middle Eastern politics and his love for the Iraqi people; I derived mine from abstract principles. It was only when my own mother’s country, Yugoslavia, was torn apart by local fascists that I gradually came to realise that Makiya had been right, and to comprehend the political and moral bankruptcy of ‘anti-imperialism’. It is very easy to be ideologically purist when it is someone else’s country that is at stake; much more difficult when it is one’s own, and one’s own people are being slaughtered.”

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