Searchlight South Africa/ Baruch Hirson, 1991, “Third Worldism: The Albatross of Socialism”

PDF: Hirson – Third Worldism – albatross of socialism

Also from Searchlight South Africa, a journal edited primarily by the late Baruch Hirson, independent South African Marxist, this article argues against the left’s embrace of ‘third worldism’, meaning the support (more or less uncritical in practice) of nationalist movements and regimes in the colonial and postcolonial world. In the name of ‘anti-imperialism’ this boils down to abandoning class politics in favour of a de facto nationalist north vs south view of the world — and to various disasters for the left. It can be mentioned here that the direct lineal descendant of this ‘third worldism’ is the inability of large part’s of today’s left to take a critical and oppositional stand on radical Islamism, on the grounds that critique ‘helps’ ‘imperialism’ or is ‘Islamophobic’ (a hugely problematic concept in its own right) or will be done ‘later’ — as if the left project of progress, universalism and equality has anything in common with the far right politics of radical Islamism… Also read this article by Hirson critiquing widespread problems in left theorisation of imperialism and left ‘anti-imperialism’.

REF: EDITORIAL: THIRD WORLDISM: THE ALBATROSS OF
SOCIALISM: Once Again On The Colonial Question

SEARCHLIGHT SOUTH AFRICA
Vol 2, No 2 (No 6)
A Marxist Journal of Southern African Studies

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