21 Aug 2021
The spectacular fall of Kabul shocked everyone with its speed. Western media are garish and chirping about the seriousness of the incidents cited by the Taliban, but they are not yet very alarming. The Taliban are in power, not the US-backed Gani government. With the exception of the Panjshir, there is no resistance against them which concerns the tribes and not the ideology. Compared to Bangladesh in 1971, it is very peaceful. No last fight for Pakistan like the Mirpur event which killed so many people.
When two states clash, there is violence at all levels, including social, but nothing on this scale is visible. The media always hope to brag about everything they get, but it hasn’t exploded. But the big story is that three enemies of old – Islam and Communism not to mention the Russian invaders – joined together to overthrow the United States and its ideological baggage. It’s a tough lesson in political history, but it shows that after a century the era of ideology as state building is about to end with much delay.
The trio in power
The triumvirate – Russia, China and Afghanistan – now presents a scenario that would have been difficult to imagine even a few decades ago. The United States and its pro-democracy / HR lobby have always sold both socialism and Islam / the Taliban as anti-democratic and anti-Western. Again, Islam was also seen as a bulwark against socialism, as evidenced by its activities during the anti-Soviet mujahedin.
But a few months after the inglorious departure of the Soviets, he was fighting “Terror” – read Islam. This is one of the reasons the Gani gang got support. The United States still fought socialism even though the ideologically based USSR died as a result of its war and the whole inefficient system collapsed and the Soviet Union was reduced to Russia.
The problem is, ideology has a bad habit of growing quickly and dying after a while. If it is not an external trigger like the USSR in Afghanistan that pushes it, it is an internal constraint like in China which has turned to market capitalism to push the economy and lift people out of poverty. . More or less, this model based on the managed economy, etc. is generally complete.
Western ideology is based on the primacy of European development which is based jointly on colonialism and industrial capital – the conquest of the market through asymmetric competition – while promoting democracy, human rights, elections , etc. However, the world has evolved further, moving through global evidence towards more economical and pragmatic governance than towards ideology. Moreover, if the great promoter and the vanguard state practice wars as they see fit – Iraq, Afg, Vietnam, etc. The Statue of Liberty and slavery as a co-product are hard to sell.
All ideologically based models – Islamist, Democratic and Socialist – have failed to convince people despite the use of force and are now on their deathbed. A practical and functional state model based on rational demand and supply seems to work best. If the Taliban can hold the Russian-Chinese hand, that means a fundamental shift in doing what works and not what you think should. The world is maturing.