Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Maxime Rodinson on ideology and oppression

Ideology always goes for the simplest solutions. It does not argue that an oppressed people is to be defended because it is oppressed and to the exact extent to which it is oppressed. On the contrary, the oppressed are sanctified and every aspect of their actions, their culture, their past, present and future behaviour is presented as admirable. Direct or indirect narcissism takes over and the fact that the oppressed are oppressed becomes less important than the admirable way they are themselves. The slightest criticism is seen as criminal sacrilege. In particular, it becomes quite inconceivable that the oppressed might themselves be oppressing others. In an ideological conception, such as admission would imply that the object of admiration was flawed and hence in some way deserving of past or present oppression.

Maxime Rodinson in the introduction to People without a country: The Kurds and Kurdistan, cited in Barbara Harlow’s Resistance Literature, p29.

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This entry was posted on May 15, 2013 by in Books, Politics and tagged , , , , , , .
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