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The Marxist Paradigm

Reader comment on item: [Beslan Atrocity:] They're Terrorists - Not Activists

Submitted by Diane Wolff (United States), Sep 15, 2004 at 10:13

Dear Professor Pipes,

The problem underlying the terminology, terrorist, as avoided or used by international media proceeds from acceptance of the Marxist analysis and paradigm in left-leaning institutions and individuals.

This analysis describes Israel as a colonial oppressor and the Palestinians as victims of oppression.

Political correctness in a Marxian context requires the enlightened person to be tolerant and be on the side of the underdog.

This is defined as progressive thinking. It does not matter that Marxist analysis is now a century and a half old and was created in a time when the world ran on coal.

As Pulitzer prize-winning journalist David Halberstam pointed out in his book "The Reckoning", an analysis of the American automobile industry and its response to the Japanese challenge in the seventies, Marx would have written a completely different book had he lived in the time of the conveyor belt, the automated assembly line and the labor union.

While it is good to be on the side of labor as against a predatory management class, it is not good to be on the side of those who claim that any end justifies any means, including the slaughter of innocents.

The language that is used to describe perpetrators of crimes will not change until the mental paradigm, which I personally believe to be faulty and in error, changes.

That means an abandonment of the colonialist imperialist freedom fighting record that was so much a part of the birth of terrorism as a weapon against the west.

By the way, while the USSR and the PRC were employing this anti-colonial rhetoric against the West, they were both practicing colonialism. In the case of the USSR, in the Asian republics and the Caucasus, and in the case of the PRC in Tibet, Mongolia and Manchuria. It was hypocritical in the extreme then, although effective with the American left, and it remains hypocritical in the extreme now given the history of Arab colonialism over the course of many centuries.

As a historian, I can say that it does no good to impose the standards of the present upon the past.

Diane Wolff


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