Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Fighting Left: For Internationalism and Egalitarianism

Against "the tyranny of assumptions" and "the realm of the unquestioned": The Pro-Afghanistan minority caucus among the New Democratic Party's rank and file presents Ashraf Ghani, co-founder of the Institute for State Effectiveness. Ghani discusses the mobilization of capitalism for the purposes of state-building, here. Importantly, he observes that most of the world does not share in the benefits of either capitalism or democracy, but rather experiences the state as an instrument of repression.

"It is at the intersection of ideas that new developments and breakthroughs occur," Ghani notes, which is an observation directly relevant to our purposes, in two ways. First, Ghani is a frontrunning candidate in Afghanistan's upcoming presidential elections, slated for August. Second, the most fervent of partisans for engagement in the struggle for global democracy these days find themselves in the minority on the left, on the right, and in the centre.

From each minority caucus come contributions to this "intersection of ideas" that find expression in the most unlikely ways, such that when our comrade Michael Weiss went looking for a welcoming home for his excellent inquiry into the toxicity of Afghanistan's corruption - and its implications for capital investment, the rule of law, and the development of democratic institutions - he found it not in The New Republic, or The Atlantic, but rather in New Majority, a project aimed at breathing life back into America's intellectually and morally exhausted Republican Party.

Meanwhile, here's more from Ghani, a Q&A on Afghanistan, which begins this way:

Q. "What scares you most?" A. "What scares me most is you, your lack of engagement."

And note this well: "Ninety-one per cent of the men of Afghanistan and 86 per cent of the women listen to at least three radio stations a day. In terms of their discourse, in terms of their sophistication of knowledge of the world, I think I would dare say they are much more sophisticated than rural Americans with college degrees, and the bulk of Europeans. Because the world matters to them. And what is their predominant concern? Abandonment."


Blogger IceClass said...

"What scares me most is you, your lack of engagement."

...and, I have no doubt, a bit lonely.

9:13 AM  

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