Revisiting Religious Fundamentalism
As long as they have no real competitor for the embodiment of the aspirations of the downtrodden masses, and as long as the social effects of globalization are with us, the fundamentalists will also be part of the picture, with ups and downs naturally. (Gilbert Achcar, Eastern Couldron: Islam, Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq in a Marxist Mirror, 2006, p. 227)
Imperialism succeeded in pushing back the Left through an expensive smear campaign against the Leftist forces trough out the world – a campaign that was not limited to mere words, but involved systematic suppression of Communist Parties. However, it could not eliminate the roots of the Left, which lie in the misery and poverty that Imperialism inflicts due to its inherent nature. Thus, in the absence of Left, it was all the more expected from the people to be attracted to any force that gives voice to their grievances, even if they do not provide a coherent program as an alternative to capitalism and Imperialism. This phenonmenon may not be the reason behind the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, for no one denies the working of Imperialism behind their birth, but it surely constitutes as a major cause in their continued existence (even without the enormous U.S. and Saudi funding that they received during the Cold War).
Hence, Imperialism is thoroughly incapable of defeating fundamentalism – fundamentalism breeds on the grounds of the New World Order. This is a job for the Left – a job that will fall naturally on their shoulders as they sincerely challenge the modern system of exploitation.
Gilbert Achcar is a very interesting author to read on the history and politics of Islamic fundamentalism. I will recommend all those who are interested in the subject to have a look at his works (Google him, there are a number of articles available online).
Here is an interested article about Achcar: Eleven Theses on the Resurgence of Islamic Fundamentalism