Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It is time to re-read Samir Amin's "The Arab Nation"

In my attempts to better understand the agrarian history of the Arab World and to answer the question: was the Fertile Crescent really fertile? (so far the answer is not really) I have been re-reading Amin's fascinating very short book originally written in French in 1976 and translated into English in 1981, published by Zed books. Amin has aways been a great favorite of mine, but this book is really exceptional. Here's a great quote:
"Without a revolutionary practice, theory is condemned to degenerate. What is needed today is a break with petty bourgeois circles, with their lifestyles and with their limited forms of political action, in order to undertake another kind of action among the proletarianised and the popular masses, especially the rural ones. In this case, practice is more important than theory, for a fundamentally correct practice (action within the struggle of the revolutionary classes which are the motor of history) helps in the re-evaluation of partially false theory-but this does not work the other way round."
Many comrades and friends engaged in small pursuits would greatly benefit, as I did, from reframing their practice in light of the above.

1 comment:

Firoze Manji said...

Very important book. You might also want to have a look at his latest book Global History: A view from the South (http://fahamubooks.org/book/?GCOI=90638100180410) in which some of the ideas have been rehearsed.