Archive for October, 2018

Palestinians under Israeli colonial occupation and the Arab rulers

October 28, 2018

–Nasir Khan, November 27, 2018

The leadership of the Arab world has been corrupt since the end of the Ottoman Sultanate, when, under the European ‘Mandatory powers (read: Neo-colonial powers), Britain and France, divided the Middle East according to their imperial interests.

Now, many Arab regimes, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, are close allies and ‘partners’ of the Zionists of Israel. They follow the lead of Israel in suppressing the national rights and aspirations of the Palestinians. They are not going to form a power bloc to stand for the occupied Palestinians; they are a long arm of the power of Israel and the United States, all too eager to protect the imperialist and undermine the Palestinian people’s struggle for national liberation.

But the oppressed and marginalized people of Palestine are in a precarious situation. They are victims of imperialism in the most tragic way. Even the leadership of these occupied people in the shape of the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas is doing exactly as Israel wants, despite his periodic speeches in the United Nations for the national rights of the Palestinians. Such a window dressing takes place with the blessings of Israel, because it does no harm to Israel.

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Palestinians under Israeli colonial occupation and the Arab rulers

October 27, 2018

–Nasir Khan, November 27, 2018

The leadership of the Arab world has been corrupt since the end of the Ottoman Sultanate, when, under the European ‘Mandatory powers (read: Neo-colonial powers), Britain and France, divided the Middle East according to their imperial interests.

Now, many Arab regimes, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, are close allies and ‘partners’ of the Zionists of Israel. They follow the lead of Israel in suppressing the national rights and aspirations of the Palestinians. They are not going to form a power bloc to stand for the occupied Palestinians; they are a long arm of the power of Israel and the United States, all too eager to protect the imperialist and undermine the Palestinian people’s struggle for national liberation.

But the oppressed and marginalized people of Palestine in a precarious situation. They are victims of imperialism in the most tragic way. Even the leadership of these occupied people in the shape of the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas is doing exactly as Israel wants, despite his periodic speeches in the United Nations for the national rights of the Palestinians. Such a window dressing takes place with the blessings of Israel, because it does no harm to Israel.

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On Karl Marx’s Life and Ideas

October 25, 2018

–Nasir Khan

“All mysteries which lead theory to mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice.”
― Karl Marx

Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in the Prussian province of Rhine, and died in London on March 1883, at the age of 65. He was the most influential socialist philosopher and revolutionary thinker, whose ideas have deeply influenced the course of human history and human thought.

His writings cover philosophy, history, political economy, anthropology, social criticism, history, theory of revolutionary practice, and he himself participated in revolutionary activities. When he was a student at the university, he was deeply involved in the Young Hegelian movement. The members of this group in their articles and pamphlets criticized Christian culture. Feuerbach’s materialism was opposed to Hegel’s idealism. He reduced Hegel’s ‘Absolute Spirit’ to human ‘species being’.

Because of Marx’s critical articles in the Rheinische Zeitung, the government closed this paper. He went to Paris in 1843 where he made contacts with French socialist groups and emigre German workers. Here he met Frederick Engels and the two became friends for the rest of their lives. But his stay there was short. He was expelled from Paris in 1844.

After his expulsion from Paris, Marx, along with Engels moved to Brussels, where they lived for three years. After an intensive study of history, he formulated the theory of history commonly known as historical materialism.

In his theory of history, Marx accepted Hegel’s idea that the world develops according to dialectical process. But the two had different ideas about what the dialectic process entails. For Hegel, historical developments take place through the mystical entity called Absolute Spirit. Marx rejected the notion of Absolute Spirit, and said what moved society was not the Absolute Spirit, but man’s relation to matter, of which the most important part was played by the mode of production.

In this way, Marx’s materialism becomes closely related to economics. Human labour shaped society and material conditions determined the superstructures. The part played by labour, not some mystical Absolute Spirit, formed the basis of social life. Marx’s dialectal view of social change is shorn of Hegel’s idealist dialectics. The two stand on different levels and their philosophies of history differ.

For Marx, man working on nature remakes the world and in doing so he also remakes himself by increasing his powers. Marx wrote in the German Ideology, ‘Men have history because they must produce their life.’

Marx went to Paris in 1848 where the revolution first took place and then to Germany. But the failure of the revolutions forced him to seek refuge in London in 1849, where he spent the rest of his life.

He and his family had to face many economic hardships in London. His friend Engels helped him economically and he himself wrote articles as a foreign correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune for which he was paid reasonably well. But he and his family showed no interest to spend the money frugally, as a result they had unending economic problems.

However, the revolutionary thinker devoted much time to the First International and its annual Congresses. The rest of the time, he spent in the British Museum library collecting material and taking notes and analyzing the material for studies of political economy. In 1867, he published the first volume of Capital, in which he discussed the capitalist mode of production. He explained his views on the labour theory of value, conception of surplus value, accumulation of capital and the ‘so called primitive accumulation’ in the final part of the book. He had completed the volumes II and II in the 1860s, which Engels published after the death of Marx in 1883.

The profound analysis of capital, Marx undertook in the nineteenth century is still relevant to our understanding the global capitalism and the forces that control it. He had shown the tendency of capital under the general law of capitalist accumulation. A few own more wealth, but others have little to live on. A recent Oxfam report says that eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. In the global economy, rich industrialists and producers take advantage of the global workforce that mostly lives in the global South. The abundant cheap labour from the poor countries is used to produce goods that are sold at high prices in the industrialized western countries.

The problem to end the exploitation of the working class people was a core issue for Marx, and his theory to end this exploitation can only take place when a more equitable form of society is created that stands opposed to the accumulation of capital by a few and the poverty or meager existence of the majority. That objective of a human society is not possible under capitalism.

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The cancer of religious fanaticism in Pakistan

October 19, 2018

— Nasir Khan, October 19, 2018

The cancer of religious fanaticism and barbarism in the shape of Islamism, which, by the way, has no relation to a global religion, Islam, is devouring Pakistan and its peace-loving people. But in this mess, sane people have to speak up and combat the ignorant and indoctrinated people, who are operating as the defenders of Allah, the Prophet and Islam.

But let me say it to all those who think about their country, Pakistan, and its people, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, freethinkers and humanists that Almighty Allah, the Great Prophet Muhammad and Islam are under no existential danger in Pakistan or anywhere else.

Who is in danger are the ordinary people who have been misled and falsely indoctrinated by fanatic clerics and political manipulators for their selfish and nefarious motives. It may be difficult for many to swallow this bitter pill of truth, but there is no other way to fight the cancer of fanaticism than to face the truth and find ways of combating it.
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Angry Muslim protesters demonstrate outside a local Hindu temple in Reharki in Sindh Province, Pakistan, 2016.

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Standing against the brutal colonial power of Israel

October 4, 2018

Nasir Khan, October 4, 2018

The young Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was released from an Israeli prison on 20 September 2018. Despite the continuous harassment and the threats of imprisonment, she has been subjected to by the Israeli authorities to stop and stifle the voice of this brave poet, she has not surrendered her human right and human dignity to speak the truth on behalf of her people, the Palestinians, whose land was forcibly taken from them by a colonial power in 1948 with the help of imperialist powers and since then it has been busy ethnically cleansing step by step the land of its people. 

The tragedy of Palestine continues, and there is no indication that Israel will stop its crimes in Palestine or accept the Palestinians’ right to their own land, and liberty.

The name of Tatour’s country and of all the Palestinians is Palestine, not Israel.

Israel can kill as many Palestinians it wants; it may imprison as many Palestinians it wants; it may expand as much in the land that is still in the hands of the occupied Palestinians, but one thing is certain that all these actions of Israel are crimes under international law and clear violations of all norms of the rules of law. If no one does anything about it then that is because Israel has the military, economic and diplomatic support of the United States and some other countries.

The people of Palestine want an end to the brutal Israeli occupation of their land freedom from this colonial militarist power. The people who sacrifice their lives to break the siege of Gaza and liberate their country are heroes, even children are heroes fighting against a cruel power. Israel has one solution for them: shoot them and terrorize kill them if they protest or if they want to break the illegal Israeli siege of Gaza, which is the largest prison in the world where almost two million Palestinians of Gaza are condemned to suffer. That shows how powerful Israel and its supporters are!

The poets and writers who stand for resistance are heroes in a great struggle. A people who refuse to remain the slaves of the Zionists will suffer, no doubt, but one day they will be free.

Thank you Dareen Tatour for your bold stand! We who seek freedom for all the colonized people and stand for human rights hold you and people like you in high esteem. The struggle should go on.

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