Israel has resumed bombarding the Gaza Strip following the discovery of three dead Israelis kidnapped two weeks ago. The IDF claims the 34 sites bombed by the Israeli Air Force were strategic points for HAMAS and other Palestinian defenders. Despite a lack of hard evidence regarding the abduction of the three Israelis, HAMAS has been […]
1) Regardless of how the situation developed, the current civil war amounts to a proxy-conflict between decrepit US-led imperialism (represented through the US and its Arabian allies) and a developing bloc of ‘Eastern’ monopoly capital (publicly represented primarily by Russia). 2) Whether Assad or the ‘rebels’ win, a certain debt will be owed and Syria […]
Islam’s roots and early significance lie in the changing conditions of 7th and 8th century Arabia. Not united by a single ethnic-religious formation prior to its development, through its pronouncements on religion, social and legal philosophy, early Islam sought and succeeded in creating a trans-tribal authority and source of identity through which later Arab and Middle Eastern empires could be built. Early Islam’s significance is that it was the guiding philosophy under which a series of large, precedent tributary socio-political orders were organized.
Samir Amin, an Egyptian-born Marxist associated with world-systems, dependency and unequal exchange theories, has described pre-modern history as the transition from communal societies to tributary ones, the latter of which have “witnessed the crystallization of social power in a statist-ideological-metaphysical form.” Under a tributary system, taxes and other fees collected by agents of a central power and the dominance of the social-religious-state power over economic affairs distinguishes it from later system of capitalism, which was defined in regards to the ascendancy of economic actors over metaphysical political power. (Amin 14) In the Arabian peninsula and outward, Islam provided the ideological basis under which power was assigned within such a tributary society.
The Qu’ran, the sacred text of Islam and its most important document, provides both a history of the region and lays down social and legal mores for future, ‘righteous’ rule. Unlike philosophical doctrines such as Confucianism, which grew out of a China’s Warring States period and resulted from the practice of previous large-scale tributary societies, Islam rose out of a period in which many religious-social doctrines and groups existed yet absent one doctrine’s hegemony. In this manner, Islam was part of an effort to fuse the loose patchwork of existing ethnic, religious, economic and tribal groups into a single Muslim identity and allegiance, incorporating all into a single tributary society. Continue reading
On July 1st, 2011, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Tripoli for a massive rally in support of Muammar al-Gaddafi and the Libyan government. The rallies come in the wake of all-around attacks by Western imperialists and their lackey regimes in the Middle East against the north African country’s social and political institutions. Since […]