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Druze vs. Christians - 1860 Ottoman Empire

Reader comment on item: Muslim-Christian Relations in Damascus amid the 1860 Riot

Submitted by Robert (United States), Sep 28, 2022 at 12:21

This (the subject) involved essentially a Druze vs. Christian local conflict in what is now Lebanon. To look at it as a struggle between Muslims and Christian requires to bring in the Great Powers of the time: Damascus (of Syria) was a municipality within the (Muslim) "Sick Man of Europe" realm, the Ottoman Empire. The relevant Christian powers at the time were France, Britain, and Russia. An important element at that time, locally, was the burden of taxes. What role international trade played, I do not know.

But I wish to remind you, Dr. Daniel Pipes, that our own 1776 American Revolution broke out over taxes. Most of the rights subsequently adopted by our great 1789 Constitution were already available to British Gentry, which out Founding Fathers were, through the British unwritten constitution and the Common Law.

I think Karl Marx in the USA is understood through the Russian practices of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao. But Marx died in 1883, and no ideologue within his lifetime address the evils of the Industrial Revolution and the life style of it's workers, who were not gentry. Marx published his Communist Manifesto in 1848 before the failed revolutions of that year. If one is going to be critical of Karl Marx one must view him as a figment of his time, and organized the First International which addressed the economic issues of industrial workers in London, England, for example. Marx's side-kick, Engels, had a father who owned factories. That, incidentally put Marx into an excellent condition to understand the plight of workers at this time.

Incidentally, Trump came into office understand these material causes of dissatisfaction, and arguably his greatest achievement was the adoption of the Abrahamic Accords. What irony: who would call Trump a Marxist?

Trump early move is to make separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico. Does this make Trump a Marxist?

But Biden is a moralist, just a bit more practical than his "brother" Obama.

Just from the author's name, Rana Abu-Mounes, I guess he's not an Anglo. So I'm not surprised he might cherish the views of Karl Marx. But Marxism, among Europeans has morphed into such phenomena as Post-Modernism, and Critical Theory before that.

I am not in a position to pontificate about your anti-Marxist ideology. But, incidentally, I'm curious about your views about the Frankfurt School, for example?

I imagine, however, that you do not doubt that economic factors play a major role in understand political phenomena. We have, in American English the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid," for example. But also, political forecasters (in the USA) study the economy to predict elections. Will Biden get re-elected if our economy keeps diving? Will Europe continue supporting Ukraine as the cost of living keeps rising, and winter arrives with Russia's gas? So I do not disparage a writer just because he's a Marxist - and I see that neither do you. However, I do not really understand why you threw in that final pejorative? Do you think a reader of this book might be inspired to turn communist (rhetorical question)? By the way, in 2019, the rise in fuel costs in Iran imposed by the government cause the subsequent riots which killed 1,500 people. Now the riots are over the death of a young Iranian woman's death because of her attire - so this is an ideological (not economic) cause for the riot.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Last I checked, Damascus is in Syria; and Rana Abu-Mounes is a woman.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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