t h e u n d e r g r a d u at e , winter 2015, vol 2, no. 1. published by the undergraduate academic journal printed and bound in great britain by s h o r t r u n p r e s s l t d , exeter, devon. issn 2054-8478
ancient history & classics
focus feature islamic state
business & economics
english & film
middle eastern studies
& marketing Laura Bright
& marketing Sherv Cheung
Flora Carr Helena Gadsby Tara Martin Lewis Saffin Divya Singh Parisa Tork reviewer
The Undergraduate Exeter Masthead 2014 / 2015
f o r e w o r d s f o r e w o r d s f o r e w o r d s
In our first issue, we tested the waters; in the second, we practiced a few strokes in the paddling pool. Now, our journal greets 2015 with its deepest plunge into the sea of academia yet. We have been fortunate enough to accumulate some small successes since our humble beginnings in 2013: not only were we selected as an ‘Exceptional Student Initiative’ by U.K. Students Beyond Grades, but some of our editorial panel have also been selected to attend the 2015 British Conference of Undergraduate Research, as well as scooping up accolades and publishing opportunities of their own. To top it all off, we also set a new personal record for the number of submissions received in a term. As always, with each issue I am reminded that The Undergraduate would flounder without our accommodating President, the generous financial support from the University of Exeter’s Annual Fund, our readership, and the commitment of our team. I am pleased to say that our original team of ten has now grown to thirty thanks to our newest additions of eleven reviewers and three editorial assistants. They have been particularly helpful to our editorial process, and I extend to them both my gratitude and a warm welcome to the team. Out of all of our issues, this issue had the most competitive submissions cycle. Our task to select only one essay per section seemed impossible, especially due to the high quality of the work we received. But aside from being our most competitive issue, this is also the one where our selections most strongly reflect our interdisciplinary ethos. Of particular interest to me is the article on the application of feminism to analyse the gendered impact of the 2008 financial crisis (p12). The unique approach and highly relevant topic of gender inequality makes this article an excellent example of what The Undergraduate aims to encourage: the academic but accessible analysis of modern issues within an interdisciplinary framework. Now, I have always maintained that I am equally fond of all disciplines in the journal. I confess, however, that my loyalties have been tested due to the exciting addition of our new Focus Feature. The Focus Feature is rooted in the concept of (very) slow ‘journalism’: our editorial board will take a single news story and dig into it deeply, from every single academic angle. With the Focus Feature, we showcase the growing talents of our editors (who, of course, do not publish their own work in the journal) and bridge the gap between academia and current affairs. This issue’s chosen topic concerns the rise of Islamic State. It is worth mentioning that the opportunity to contribute to this topic was declined by various student societies, some of whom cited—based on past experiences—a profound fear of backlash from the student body. To hear that societies still have to fear backlash from their own peers is dismaying and unfortunate and, ultimately, it is this fear that makes the necessity of this particular Focus Feature even more potent. If you are going to read anything at all today, make it the content between pages 43 and 47. Don’t forget to submit to our upcoming Spring issue, which will also include the announcement of our next committee for 15/16. Old time is, indeed, a-flying—as the Class of 2015’s graduation date advances closer and closer, so does the day for passing The Undergraduate to a new Editor-in-chief. Will it be you? Drop us an application on our website: we can’t wait to hear from you.
The Financial Times’ Lucy Kellaway recently criticised AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s proposal for his employees to dedicate 10 minutes of their day to thinking – is he admitting that we spend 90% of the day not thinking? In her view, the reason why “perfectly intelligent people feel the need to play illicit games of Candy Crush” in meetings is because “meetings are insufficiently interesting. Far from encouraging us to think, they forbid us from doing so.” The Undergraduate seeks to remedy this phenomenon of boredom in academia. We recognise the efficiency of delivering information through lectures. Yet most lectures are highly focused and technical – ideal for training specialists, less so for sharing ideas with the broader community. By making research interesting and accessible to all, The Undergraduate enables students to engage with ideas from academic disciplines other than their own. With new ideas come new ways of thinking, and creative ways of solving problems. That isn’t to say, however, that lectures cannot exciting. In partnership with SEE Talks last October, we invited Californian economist Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, to argue his case for the morality of capitalism. Over 200 students, academics, and members of the local community crowded into Newman Green and an adjacent lecture theatre to hear Dr. Brook’s proposal for unrestrained capitalism, and fiercely contested his views in the Q&A session that followed. If there was anyone in the audience playing Candy Crush, it was an act of protest, not boredom. Following the popularity of our inaugural lecture, I am delighted to announce that in September 2015, SEE Talks will join The Undergraduate family as The Undergraduate Live! As a sister organisation to The Undergraduate journal, Live! will host a series of exciting interdisciplinary talks given by prominent artists, academics, leaders, and entrepreneurs. Producing each issue is a large under taking, the success of which is owed to the admirable efforts of our team and supporters. The journal you are holding is free thanks to the financial support of the University of Exeter’s Annual Fund and the sound management of our Treasurer, Kendrick. I am also grateful for the creativity of our Marketing Managers, Sherv and Laura, and the efficiency of our Secretary, Haley. Lastly, much appreciation is due to our talented Editor-in-Chief, Cherrie, who tirelessly wields both the pen and the paintbrush as the leader of our Editorial team, and the designer behind every visual aspect of The Undergraduate. For the next academic year, we are looking for talented people to join us on both the administrative and editorial teams. Whether you’re passionate about accounting, editing, or marketing, I encourage you to apply on our website. I hope you enjoy the third issue of The Undergraduate. Whether this is your first, second, or third time picking up the journal – thank you for your interest, and for your continued support.
Cameron Ho email@example.com
Cherrie Kwok firstname.lastname@example.org
We chose this piece on Lucretius and the Epicurean doctrine that ‘Death is Nothing to Us’ because we felt that the essay displayed a particularly intriguing reading of Lucretius’ poem, as well as a personal response to the arguments concerned. The nature of death, and whether we should fear it, will always be relevant to humans as long as we continue to live. The controversial Epicurean outlook on this issue is treated with the care and respect it deserves in this very readable piece. subject editor
L u c r e t i u s ’ Vi e w O n D e a t h jack west-sherring
Death is for mankind “the most frightening of evils,” or so Epicurus of Samos (341270-BC) tells us. 1 Death, that strange chasm about which we know nothing, is a fate we naturally fear at some point in our lives. We fear the day when life’s joys and sensual pleasures ebb from us, and when our great plans are cut short. Yet are such fears rational, indeed worthwhile? To the followers of Epicurus, no fear is worth the damage it causes to our peace of mind (ataraxia). In Book 3 of On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura), Lucretius sets out the Epicurean response to our anxieties about “life’s cold stoppage”.2 By demonstrating the union, corporeality and mortality of the bodysoul relationship, Lucretius convinces us that since nothing remains of us in death, we have no reason to fear it. Hellenistic philosophy’s principle aim (telos), Warren writes, was “to secure one’s happiness” through “the constant recollection of truths,”3 and De Rerum Natura, through its vivid use of the Didactic Epic form, both entrances and shocks the reader towards the unassailable truth: “death is nothing to us”.4 Lucretius subdivides the soul into (in Latin) animus (‘mind’) and anima (‘spirit’), characterised in one source as ‘rational’ and ‘non-rational’ parts. 5 The mind is the seat of thought and emotion while the spirit - scattered through the body - perceives sensation. Lucretius insists that both are part of the body, since the mind and body have causal interactions: the mind can “impel the limbs, wrench the body from sleep, transform the countenance, and pilot and steer the whole person,”6 while physical sensations have mental effects. Lucretius 1 2 3 4 5 6
explains the latter: “even if a spear fails to strike the vitals when it is driven into the body, it induces faintness and ... a dizziness of mind.” This is Lucretius’ proof that the body-soul relationship is one of union and interdependence. From hunger and exhaustion to joy and shock, our minds’ everyday impulses result in concomitant bodily changes. Only bodies have the ability to move other bodies,7 and “the mind must have a material nature,” Lucretius argues, “since it is affected by the painful blows of material spears”.8 Epicureanism firmly states that all bodies are composed of atoms, as opposed to void, and thus the mind is presented as a group of atoms trapped inside the breast.8 An atomic description of the mind appears ridiculous at first glance, especially today, after modern scientific advances. I am, however, deeply convinced by Lucretius’ argument that the mind is fixed in the breast, where we feel “the palpitation of throbbing fear” and “the soothing touch of joy”.10 From personal experience readers know this to be true. The corporeality of the soul thus becomes less alien as a concept, and more convincing as an argument. With the interdependence of body and soul having been established, Lucretius goes on to argue that both are subject to death. Reaching this conclusion is a natural step: the mind grows with the body, declines with it, is subject to diseases just like the body, and must therefore be mortal.9 O’Keefe notes that in this instance, modern science has actually reinforced the Epicurean view rather than undermined it.10 We are all too aware of the devastating effect of Alzheimer’s disease on a person’s character and behaviour, destroying a whole lifetime of
Epic. Ep. Men. 125. Lucr. DRN, 3.930. Epic. Ep. Hdt. 81, see Warren, p. 8 ff. Epic. KD 2. Ep. Hdt. 66, see Gill, p. 131. DRN, 3.164-6.
7 8 9 10
DRN, 3.167-87. See Gill, p. 130. DRN, 3.445-6. O’Keefe (2010), p. 63.
memories. Our awareness of this condition, everpresent in the media, has increased dramatically in recent years. We now understand it to be caused by the build-up of protein deposits along neurons, but like Lucretius, we realise that it is essentially a mental disease.11 Lucretius cites epilepsy as an example of the terrifying effects of losing “possession of the spirit”, from foaming at the mouth to loss of reason.12 These mental diseases are convincing evidence of the soul’s material nature, since “If the mind were some separable and incorporeal entity that (somehow) was in communication with the body,” O’Keefe claims, “none of this should occur.”13 By assigning decay and mortality to the mind as well as the body, Lucretius sees death as the termination of the body-soul relationship. Furthermore, Lucretius refutes the Platonic idea that souls ‘transmigrate’, and so can exist outside of the body, before and after death. He facetiously mocks the concept of souls fighting each other to ‘enter’ bodies on conception, joking that the souls “perhaps have an agreement” about which soul should enter first.14 So despite embracing the traditional form of epic poetry in De Rerum Natura, Lucretius’ depiction of the soul could not be further from that of Homeric epic, in which souls restlessly inhabit the Underworld, waiting to animate new bodies. Lucretius argues that the soul cannot pre-exist the body because if it did, it must have memories of its past existence, and of course it does not.15 Even if the soul does survive the death of the body, we ourselves do not survive, because we are a “union” of body and soul,16 and can never again be the same person. The mind and spirit, being so closely integrated with the body, cannot have slipped into it at birth and cannot leave it without perishing. 17 Lucretius describes the “subtle” spirit as being “composed of minute particles” smaller than those of mist or smoke, which “dissipate” and “perish” once the body, the “vessel of the spirit”, is “shattered by some force”.18 Death is therefore an ‘annihilation’: it is“the permanent dissolution 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
of body and soul”.19 Supported by such convincing evidence of the soul’s mortality, Epicurus’ claim that “death is nothing to us” does not sound unreasonable. Death “does not affect us in the least,” Lucretius argues, since how could we perceive pleasure or pain in death, once the atoms of our soul have been “divorced” from the body and “scattered in all directions”? 20 After the soul’s dissolution there is no subject of harm; the individual ceases to exist.21 Lucretius concludes that “nothing at all will have the power to affect us or awaken sensation in us,” because the spirit, the arbiter of sensation, has perished.22 He even refers to death paradoxically as “deathless”, since it inflicts so little pain.23 Why, then, do we fear death? Nagel suggests that we consider death “an evil” because “it brings to an end all the goods that life contains,” such as desire, activity, thought and pleasure.24 He presents death as somehow robbing us of goods we would otherwise have enjoyed, and in the case of untimely or premature death, this does indeed seem ‘evil’. Warren opposes Nagel’s view, however, by arguing that a ninety-year-old who enjoys a full and active life until the very end should not be pitied because he could have experienced more goods had he lived another ninety years.25Death visits us all eventually; is every death an evil? Life’s ‘goods’ will one day be wrenched from our grasp, but is it rational to be concerned - even anxious - about this truth during life? Lucretius argues that it is not. With no perception of life’s pleasures in death, there is no longing for them either. He criticises mourners who describe the deceased as “wretched” because they will never again receive kisses from wives and children, or “enjoy prosperous circumstances.”26 Among the dead there is no desire, no “craving” for such “precious gifts” of life, and consequently it is illogical to “pine away” for them “in undying grief”.27 Lucretius claims that if people “fully grasped this fact”, 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
O’Keefe (2010), p. 63. DRN, 3.489 ff. O’Keefe (2010), p. 63 ff. DRN, 3.781-2. DRN, 3.778-83. DRN, 3.843-6. DRN, 3.679-712. DRN, 3.441.
DRN, 3.548-79. DRN, 3.861-2. Warren (2009), p. 243. DRN, 3. 840-1. DRN, 3.869. Nagel (1970), p. 74. Warren (2009), p. 246. DRN, 894 ff. DRN, 3.912.
they would “relieve their minds of great anguish and fear”.28 He persuades us that by thinking rationally, we can eliminate our unnecessary fear of death and so lead more pleasurable lives, liberated from anguish and “mental pain”: the ultimate telos for an Epicurean.29 Because of his emphasis on the transitory nature of the bodysoul relationship, Lucretius’ argument here is powerful and highly convincing. Still more convincing, I contend, is Lucretius’ use of the ‘Symmetry Argument’: the idea that since before birth there was nothing, there can be nothing after death. His view of the body-soul relationship is pivotal: would post-mortem non-existence be any worse than pre-natal non-existence if we have no soul to perceive it? Even Nagel concedes how “few regard it as a misfortune” that “none of us existed before we were born,” 30 so why should it be a misfortune not to exist after death? The dead want for nothing, with Lucretius describing death as “more peaceful than the deepest sleep”.31 He considers the “past generations” - the “bygone ages of eternity” that have died, and how they are “nothing” to us now. Death is eternal, he argues, while “life is granted to no one for permanent ownership, to all on lease”.32In a reference to the Persian king Xerxes, Lucretius proves this point: “even that famous monarch who once constructed a roadway over the great sea... gasped out his soul from his dying body,” while the great Scipio, “that thunderbolt of war... surrendered his bones to the earth.”33 The world’s finest men cannot escape this fate, not even Homer himself. Why is it then, Lucretius asks, that lesser men should fear it?34 Although I find this particular argument unpersuasive, perhaps insulting, I am convinced by Lucretius’ general view of life as a mere interruption in death’s infinite void, where no trace of one will remain. What makes Lucretius’ arguments in Book 3 so persuasive, Tsouna writes, are the techniques or “therapeutic strategies” employed.35 Epicurus was the first to compare 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
DRN, 3.902-4. Woolf (2009), p. 158. Nagel (1970), p. 75. DRN, 3.976. DRN, 3.971 ff. DRN, 3.1029-35. DRN, 3.1027. Tsouna (2009), p. 249.
philosophy to medicine and the philosopher to the medical doctor, believing that philosophical therapy could replace ignorance and false opinion (kenodoxia) with peace of mind (ataraxia). 38 Tsouna describes Lucretius as “wedded” to this “medical analogy”.36Lucretius both entices and shocks his ‘patients’, giving them glimpses of the joys of Epicurean life, and juxtaposing these with the horrors of nonEpicurean society, where fear of death drives people to appalling acts.37 His imagery of the “grim axes of high office” (fasces) to which ambitious magistrates aspire portrays the pursuit of power as fruitless and “illusory”, inspired by fear of impending death, and the desire to leave some ‘legacy’ behind. 38 The “punishments” of Acheron (Hell) actually exist in our lives - he claims - in the “continual hardship” people endure for neither natural nor necessary pleasures.39 Lucretius makes the “deepest sleep” of death seem attractive in comparison to the “punishments” of life, and this is where his arguments about the body-soul relationship are crucial: death would not be “nothing” to us if we were not utterly convinced that death is an “annihilation” of both body and soul. For if we believed that part of our soul continues through eternity, we might fear that the earthly “punishments” Lucretius describes will continue to haunt us in death. “Death is nothing to us,” then. Lucretius, in demonstrating the soul’s mortality, has made a formidable defence of the Epicurean doctrine. He has convinced us that our fear of death is simply fear of the unknown, and no more rational than children’s fear of the dark.40The “brilliant light” of philosophy has shown that by ridding ourselves of the fear of death we can attain better lives,41 with Tsuona describing Epicurus as “the only person in the history of mankind to show us the road to healing and salvation.” 42 Perhaps the finest advertisement for Epicurean philosophy is the demise of Epicurus himself. The great philosopher died “from a stone” which “for fourteen days” had “prevented him urinating,” causing unbearable 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
Tsouna (2009), p. 249. Gale (2001), p. 25. For ‘legacy’ see DRN, 3.75-86. DRN, 3.999. DRN, 3.88-90. Warren (2004), p. 16 & DRN, 3.2. Tsouna (2009), p.257.
pain, yet he approached his death with calmness and equanimity, “telling his friends to remember his doctrines”.46 This 2nd-century AD account by the Epicurean Diogenes Laёrtius is surely embellished, with the aim of making Epicurus a moral exemplar. Yet it displays an attitude towards death to which we all aspire, and it confirms the power of philosophy in vanquishing our fears. Reading Lucretius’ arguments has convinced me that I am, myself, an Epicurean.
Works Cited Primary Sources Diogenes Laёrtius, in The Hellenistic Philosophers, A. A. Long and D. N. Sedley, eds. (Cambridge: University Press, 1987) Epicurus, ‘Letter to Herodotus’, in The Hellenistic Philosophers, A. A. Long and D. N. Sedley, eds. (Cambridge: University Press, 1987) Lucretius, On the Nature of Things (abr. DRN), transl. M. F. Smith (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2001) Secondary Sources Gale, M. R., Lucretius and the Didactic Epic (London: Bristol Classical Press, 2001) Gill, C., ‘Psychology’, in The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism, ed. J. Warren (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009): pp. 125-41 Long, A. A. and Sedley, D. N., The Hellenistic Philosophers (Cambridge: University Press, 1987) Nagel, T., ‘Death’: Princeton University, Sixth Symposium, in Noûs, Vol. 4, No. 1 (New York: Wiley, 1970): pp. 73-80 O’Keefe, T., Epicureanism (Durham: Acumen, 2010) Tsouna, V., ‘Epicurean Therapeutic Strategies’, in The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism, ed. J. Warren (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009): pp. 249-65 Warren, J., Facing Death: Epicurus and his Critics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004) Warren, J., ‘Removing Fear’, in The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism, ed. J. Warren (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009): pp. 234-48 Woolf, R., ‘Pleasure and Desire’, in The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism, ed. J. Warren (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009): pp. 158-78
While the past year’s success stories about women in politics and business add to the growing number of women in power, inequality still remains. It is against this backdrop that we are delighted to introduce this essay on the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on women in the workforce. This essay moves beyond typical gender-area studies of the crisis, which focus on testosterone and risk-taking, looking instead at how the UK government’s post-crisis cuts to public services disproportionately affected women, forcing many out of the workforce and into the home. The unique analysis builds upon socialist-feminist theory and the historic division of labour between men and women to provide a strong and compelling acting subject editors
Cameron Ho & Agata Siuchninska
The Gendered Impact of the 2008 Financial Crisis j o n at h a n fa r r e l l
The global financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent downturn led many national governments to respond with austerity measures that deeply cut public services. This essay argues that this crisis of 2008 and in particular, the UK government’s policy responses to it, have disproportionally had a gendered impact. I focus on the gender division of labour as a central category for analysing the gendered differentiation of social relations in labouring activity within a modern capitalist society and how this, in being rooted in the traditional family unit, is key in explaining how the recent crisis had a gendered impact. In adopting a ‘dual systems’ framework for analysis, I build upon the work of socialist feminist theorists such as Walby 1 and Hartmann2 in identifying how features such as the gender division of labour reinforce both patriarchy and capitalism and therefore belong to one system, contrary to the conclusions of theorists such as Ferguson and Petchesky 3. In combining analysis of capital relations and a theorization of patriarchy, I demonstrate how “women’s restricted access to a labour market… is organised in a way that privileges both capital and men”4 as exemplified by the UK governments response to the 2008 crisis. Firstly I will show how there has been a historical and systematic state reproduction of the gender division of labour, institutionalising 1 Walby, Sylvia., “Theorizing Patriarchy”, Basil Blackwell Ltd, 1990. 2 Hartmann, Harriet., “The unhappy marriage of Marxism and feminism: towards a more progressive union”, Capital and Class, Vol. 8, Issue 1, pp. 1-33. 3 Ibid. pp. 48. 4 Rees, Theresa., “Women and the Labour Market”, Routledge 1992, pp. 33.
inequality, explaining the structural inequality at the time of the 2008 crisis. Secondly, I will show how this structural inequality, influenced by a patriarchal capitalist logic explains the gendered impact of the 2008 crisis and the impact of the UK’s government austerity measures. Thirdly, I will analyse how these policies, in regulating the relations between the sexes, exacerbates the very inequalities that caused the crisis in the first place. Finally, I will show how this analysis is significant in demonstrating the salience of a socialistfeminist theory today in revealing how patriarchy and capitalism work together as dual systems in reinforcing structural gender inequality. The gender inequalities that existed during the crisis of 2008 and to which the crisis contributed, can be explained through the historical process of the institutionalisation of a gender division of labour, rooted in a familial ideology but contextualised in a capitalist framework. Post WW2, new patterns of industrialisation and labour demand for capital meant women were increasingly welcomed into the workforce, however, only as temporary workers, or part-time workers5 due to discontinuous periods of employment as women left the labour force to have children6. Indeed, state legislation such as the 1986 Social Security Act, which made no reference to women’s vulnerable position as low-paid, part-time workers has been seen as part of an 5 McDowell, Linda., Pringle, Rosemary., “Defining Women: Social Institutions and Gender Divisions”, The Open University, 1992, pp. 183. 6 Rees, Theresa., “Women and the Labour Market”, Routledge 1992, pp. 21.
institutionalisation of the gender division of labour in which women’s second place in the labour market was reinforced hierarchically, as primary domestic workers. As McDowell has argued, the “inequalities at work were related to the inequalities at home”7 as women’s place in the labour market was increasingly the result of gender division within the home. Furthermore, the state itself regulated according to this norm of ‘familial’ relations as jobs were created predominantly in the service sector, as a way for fulfilling the demand for capital whilst enabling women to be able to fulfil their domestic duties8. Therefore, the rapid growth of ‘flexible’ part-time female work in the 1980s in the more ‘feminized’ public sector helps demonstrate how there are crucial elements of the structure of economic and social relations in recreating gender inequality. As Nicholson has argued, even the woman’s social relations in paid jobs replicated the social relations of their homes9 explaining the processes which have led to women to occupy 77% of all NHS jobs and 75% local government jobs10. Therefore, structural inequality in the labour market is “the effect of patriarchal relations…reinforced by the [capitalist logic of the] state”11 that confirms women’s subjugated position in the labour market through a gender division of labour. It is within this context of structural inequality that the impact of the 2008 crisis on women can be understood. Under the axe of austerity, the public services in which women dominate and rely on for social provision are being cut. As identified by the Fawcett Society, gender inequality in the home and in the labour market is exacerbated as women are forced out of the job market to ‘fill the gaps’ as state services are withdrawn12. In 2010, for example, the UK government announced £34bn
in cuts to public funding for public services in 2012-13. Among the policy responses that have impacted women the most is the UK government’s 25% cut to the ‘Early Intervention Grant’ which funds child support services that are overwhelmingly used by women.13 Additional upfront costs to access services like the Child Support Agency overwhelmingly transfer burdens of care onto women no longer able to afford child-care services leaving many women to re-enter the home14. Whilst statistics show that on the whole women’s labour market activity has increased relative to that of men as a result of the crisis15 and that initial cuts disproportionately impacted male dominated sectors like manufacturing16 it is clear that women bear the brunt of cuts to public services and social services in a variety of ways17. These past unequal institutional arrangements have meant that the crisis of 2008 intensified these pre-existing inequalities constructed around the sexual division of labour. Furthermore, as Rees has argued, the current government’s policies reinforce “structures and practices in which men dominate”18 at home and in the labour market. For example, the universal credit scheme incentivises work for first earners who predominantly are male, implicitly regulating according to a familial norm and breadwinner model as second earners (mostly women) are increasingly pressured to reduce work hours or leave work altogether19. Whilst I do not contend that these policies are implemented with an
7 McDowell, Linda., Pringle, Rosemary., “Defining Women: Social Institutions and Gender Divisions”, The Open University, 1992, pp. 126. 8 Charles, Nickie., “Gender Divisions and Social Change”, Barns & Nobles Books, 1993, pp. 58. 9 McDowell, Linda., Pringle, Rosemary., “Defining Women: Social Institutions and Gender Divisions”, The Open University, 1992, pp. 38. 10 “The Impact of Austerity on Women”, Fawcett Society Policy Briefing, March 2012, pp 5. 11 Rees, Theresa., “Women and the Labour Market”, Routledge 1992, pp. 33. 12 “The Impact of Austerity on Women”, Fawcett Society Policy Briefing, March 2012, pp 5
13 HM Government., “The Coalition: Our programme for government”, July 2010, pp. 19 14 Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission., “Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics for quarter to September 2011”, 2011. 15 “The Price of Austerity: The Impact on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Europe”, Creative Commons, European Women’s Lobby, October 2012, pp.6. 16 Ibid. pp. 4. 17 Women’s, income security, work-life balance, job opportunities and wages are all disproportionally impacted by the cuts. (Accessed on 10/03/2014) http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/jul/04/womenbudget-cuts-yvette-cooper 18 Rees, Theresa., “Women and the Labour Market”, Routledge 1992, pp. 32. 19 Department of Work and Pensions., “Universal Credit: Welfare That Works”, 2012, pp. 60; Wolpe, Anne-Marie., “Feminism and Materialism: Women and Modes of Production”, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, 1978, pp. 281.
intent to widen inequality, as Walby has argued, the effect has been a strengthening of patriarchal forms of the division of labour into ‘men’s’ work (in the labour market) and women’s work (in the home) that has historically characterised the oppression of women in the public and private sphere. It has long been observed that family responsibilities have impacted on women’s participation in the workforce, but the implications of women having to ‘fill the gaps’ as a result of public service cuts facilitates women’s role within the capitalist system as a “reserve army of labour”. As McIntosh has argued, cut backs to public services undermine women’s economic independence as work is transferred back to the household, maintaining an economic system and flexible labour market largely constructed of ‘male wage labour’ and ‘female domestic servicing 20. Ehrenreich has critiqued this socialist feminist approach arguing that capital no longer needs to facilitate the “reproduction of labour power” due to the changing structure of the family thereby rejecting a capitalist-pluspatriarchy paradigm21. Whilst this is true, as shown by the increase of female employment in 40 years22 this does not adequately explain the normative dimension to which state policy in the wake of the 2008 crisis has facilitated an increase in unpaid labour precisely at a time when they are needed in greater numbers in the workforce. Therefore, state policies, both economic and social are imbued with assumptions about the gender division of labour which reflect and support existing gender divisions within the workforce and at home. What this evidence indicates is that the logic of patriarchy and capitalism have a reciprocal relationship in reproducing both class and gender inequalities. As Hartmann says, the relationship of capitalism and patriarchy is one of ‘partnership’23. Whilst I also contend 20 McIntosh, Mary., “The State and the Oppression of Women”, in “Feminism and Materialism: Women and the Modes of Production”, Routledge & Kegan Paul ltd, 1978, pp. 257. 21 Ehenreich, Barbara., “Life Without a Father: Reconsidering socialist feminist theory” in Mcdowell, Linda; Pringle, Rosemary., “Defining Women: Social Institutions and Gender Divisions”, The Open University, 1998. 22 Office for National Statistics. “Full Report – Women in the Labour Market”, 25th September 2013. 23 Hartmann, Heidi “Capitalism, Patriarchy and Job Seg-
that the relationship between capitalism and patriarchy is less distinct as it was during periods of first and second wave feminism, I question the durability of Ehenreich’s critique that “capitalism…tore the rug out from under patriarchy” 24. Power and privilege is still organised around different identities and the impact of the UK state regulating in a way that consequentially leads to the entrenchment of familial norms and gender roles of work is significant in the reproduction of gender inequality. For example, the 2008 cuts met capitalist demands for flexible capital in the wake of the crisis25 but also reinforced men as primary earners. As women ‘fill the gaps’ due to cut services, their identity as domestic workers is intertwined with an economic strategy aimed to return social tasks back to the family. Whilst the degree of inequality remains wholly better than it has been historically, women remain the subjects of subjugation – economically and socially. In its search for markets, capitalism is driven to penetrate all aspects of social existence, and it does, reinforcing age old gender divisions of labour. As I have shown, the global financial crisis of 2008 has had a significantly gendered impact. The policies of the UK government have been key in the reproduction of structural inequality in the home and in the labour market. The institutionalisation of the gender division of labour since WW2, laid the foundation for a pattern of inequality through constructing a labour market built upon profound sexed perceptions of male and female roles. This is evidenced by the predominance of women in part time work, particularly in the service sector. As a result, the 2008 crisis and the drastic cuts to public services impacted upon women hugely leaving women to ‘fill the gaps’ as the state withdrew social provisions. The specific austerity measures were in themselves gendered, reinforcing familial norms that contributed to the demarcation of ‘men’s’ work and ‘women’s work’ and the gender division of labour. Through the lens of socialist-feminist 24 Ehrenreich, Barbara., “What is Socialist Feminism?”, WIN Magazine, June 3, 1976. 25 Elliot, Larry., “Zero-hours contract workers-the new reserve army of labour?”, The Guardian, 4 August 2013, http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/economics-blog/2013/aug/04/zero-hours-contract-workersreservearmy-labour (accessed: 13/03/2014)
regation by Sex”, in Eisenstein (ed.), 1979.
theory we are able to look critically at the power structures, both social and economic that pervade society and regulate the way in which the labour market is divided. The 2008 financial crisis, particularly because of the UK government’s chosen policies, has been significantly gendered in its impact, as capitalism and patriarchy reinforce inequalities within the home and in the labour market. The dual power of these systems as one directs to a structural logic that is inherently cyclical and almost normative in the way it reproduces gender inequality around a sexual division of labour. As the gendered impact of the 2008 crisis has demonstrated, it is still as Hartmann analysed in 1981, that “women’s oppression in our society is an effect of both capitalism and patriarchy”26. Editors’ Notes: The first wave of feminism emerged at the end of the 19th century, and originated primarily in urban, industrialist areas where it was propelled by the rise of socialist politics. This movement was focused primarily on what today are considered to be the most basic rights of any underrepresented group, such as universal suffrage, ownership of property and representation in politics. In America, most notably, such ideas were considered very unlady-like, which led women to further question their place in society and the household as defined by the status quo. Such discussions had not been possible without the most fundamental rights in place, but once the floodgates of ideas opened, the road was paved for the feminist movement to develop further. The second wave of feminism came in the 1960s and lasted roughly until the 1990s. It arose amidst a variety of social rights movements, and was more similar in nature to what feminism is like today; aided by new developments in technology and medicine, it focused largely on reproductive rights, sexuality, and objectification of women. The second phase was more formalised and theoretical in nature, as it included the discussion of neo-Marxism and psychoanalysis, and critiques of patriarchy and capitalism.
Charles, Nickie., “Gender Divisions and Social Change”, Studies in Sociology, 1993. Cornwall, Andrea; Goetz, Anne-Marie., “Democratizing Democracy: Feminist Perspectives”, Democratization, Vol. 12, No. 5, December 2005, pp 783-800. Dex, Shirley; Ward, Kelly; Joshi, Heather., “Changes in Women’s Occupations and Occupational Mobility Over 25 years”, Paper for Women and Employment Survey, Centre for Longitudinal Studies, University of London, March 2006. Ehrenreich, Barbara., “What is Socialist Feminism?”, WIN Magazine, June 3, 1976. Elliot, Larry., “Zero-hours contract workers-the new reserve army of labour?”, The Guardian, 4 August 2013, http://www. theguardian.com/uk-news/economics-blog/2013/aug/04/ zero-hourscontractworkers-reserve-army-labour (accessed: 13/03/2014) European Network of Experts on Gender Equality., “The Impact of the European Crisis on the situation of Men and Women and on Gender Equality Policies”, European Commission, Synthesis Report, 2013. Folbre, Nancy., “The Rise and Decline of Patriarchal Capitalism”, Working Paper Series No. 298, Political Economy Research Institute, October 2012. Hartmann, Heidi, 1979. “Capitalism, Patriarchy and Job Segregation by Sex”, in Eisenstein (ed.), 1979, pp . 206-247. Hartmann, Harriet., “The unhappy marriage of Marxism and feminism: towards a more progressive union”, Capital and Class, Vol. 8, Issue 1, pp. 1-33. “The Impact of Austerity on Women”, Fawcett Society Policy Briefing, March 2012, Jenson, Hane; Hogan, Elisabeth; Reddy Ceallaigh., “Feminization of the Labour Force – Paradoxes and Promises”, Centre For European Studies, Polity Press, 1988. Kuhn, Annette; Wolpe, Anne-Marie., “Feminism and Materialism, Women and Modes of Production”, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978. McDowell, Linda (ed.); Pringle, Rosemary (ed.)., “Defining Women – Social Institutions and Gender Divisions”, Polity Press, The Open University, 1992. McIntosh, Mary., “The State and the Oppression of Women”, in “Feminism and Materialism: Women and the Modes of Production”, Routledge & Kegan Paul ltd, 1978, pp. 257. Nelson, Julie A., “Feminism and Economics”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 9, No. 2, Spring 1995, pp. 131148. Phillips, Anne., “Defending Equality of Outcome”, London: LSE Research Online. Rees, Teresa., “Women and the Labour Market”, Routledge, 1992. The Cambridge Women’s Studies Group., “Women in Society – Interdisciplinary Essays”, Virago Press, 1981. “The Price of Austerity: The Impact on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Europe”, Creative Commons, European Women’s Lobby, October 2012. Walby, Sylvia., “Gender and the Financial Crisis”, Paper for UNESCO Project on ‘Gender and the Financial Crisis’, 9 April, 2009. Walby, Sylvia., “Theorizing Patriarchy”, Basil Blackwell Ltd, 1990. Willmott, Hugh; Knights, David., “Gender and the Labour Process”, Gower Publishing Ltd, 1986.
Works Cited 26 Sargent, Lydia., “Women and Revolution – a discussion of the unhappy marriage of Marxism and Feminism”, Southend Press, 1981, pp 44.
We had a very difficult task in choosing only one essay to publish for the third print edition. However, in the end we had to choose the essay that best reflected the ethos of The Undergraduate, which is above all accessibility, originality and creativity. We felt that “’That Inner Region Where Two Worlds Collide’: Ted Hughes, Shamanism, and the Unconscious” was a delightful read, exploring Hughes’s fascination with the relationship between man and the natural world. We hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we did! subject editor
“ T h e I n n e r R e g i o n W h e r e Tw o Wo r l d s C o l l i d e ” : Te d H u g h e s , S h a m a n i s m , a n d t h e Unconscious ta l i e s i n g o r e
In the second of his “Myth and Education” papers, printed in Winter Pollen, Ted Hughes defined his conception of “myth” as something which provides “a true account of what really happens in that inner region where the two worlds collide” (151). This image expresses some of Hughes’s fundamental poetic and spiritual preoccupations, a key to unlock much of what is expressed in his poetry. This essay will argue that Hughes’s poetry and thought are dominated by two central beliefs. Firstly, that through nature we can access a spirit world, a shamanic and visionary realm. Secondly, that, through our unconscious, the source and site of this visionary world, we are intrinsically connected to the natural world. Joanny Moulin, referring to two papers by Hughes entitled “Myth and Education”, claims that Hughes envisioned the role of the poet as that of a shaman, able to access what Hughes termed the “mythic plane” (98). It is on this plane that the poet is able to access “true myths” (Hughes Winter Pollen 152). Hughes defines these as “tribal dreams of the highest order of inspiration and truth” (151). The reference to “tribal dreams” at once evokes primitive religion and the altered states of consciousness characteristic of shamanic practice. Comparing Hughes’s thinking, along with the themes and techniques used in his poetry, with some of the major characteristics of shamanism, reveals that there is a substantial basis for a connection between shamanism and Hughes’s conceptions of the nature of creativity and the role of the poet. The influential historian of religion Mircea Eliade writes about the “shamanic 16
trance” (502) or “ecstatic experience” (504) as one of the central elements of shamanic practice. Eliade describes this state as a “’primary phenomenon’“, because it is not “the result of […] a certain form of civilization” but “fundamental in the human condition, and hence known to the whole of humanity” (504). The same idea is articulated by Hughes in “Myth and Education”, as a characteristic of “true myth”. He says that the authenticity of “true myths” “has been attested over and over again by the way in which the imaginative men of every subsequent age have had recourse to their basic patterns and images” (151). H. Sidky mentions “contact with animal spirits” among the “specific elements that Eliade and his followers associate with ‘genuine’ shamanism” (218). Several of Hughes’s poems recount moments of mystical communication with the animal world, in ways which establish an atmosphere very similar to the “shamanic trance”. In “The Thought Fox” (Hughes 13), there is a clear communication between the speaker and the fox. Two lines near the end are revealing of the psychological and spiritual status of this communication. When the fox nears the speaker’s window, it is experienced as a sensation of “widening deepening greenness” (18). This image expresses a highly subjective sensation; a dreamlike, visionary state in which the imagination opens to a profound identification with the animal that seems to carry the spirit of nature. The visionary nature of the fox is indicated most explicitly in the final stanza, in which “It enters the dark hole of the head” (22). In this way, the poem suggests a supernatural
or psychic connection between speaker, who here resembles a poet-shaman, and animal. The poem begins with the line “I imagine this midnight moment’s forest”. The significance of this line is revealed when juxtaposed with Hughes’s statement in “Myth and Education” that the “‘subjective imagination’” is “a faculty developed specially for peering into the inner world” (Winter Pollen 150). This suggests that the action of the poem occurs on a significant level in the speaker’s mind, and thus that the fox is an emanation from his unconscious. This, however, is complicated by the fact that the entry of the fox into the speaker’s mind at the poem’s climax is attended by “a sudden sharp hot stink of fox” (21). The pungent, animal odour invades and overwhelms the speaker’s senses in a highly physical manner. The fox thus occupies a liminal and dualistic space; emerging simultaneously from nature as a real, physical creature, and from the speaker’s mind. This dual nature reflects Hughes’s thinking on the role of the imagination in creativity. He describes it as having the ability to unify the inner world with that of external reality: “it is the imagination which embraces both outer and inner worlds in a creative spirit” (Winter Pollen 151). Within this framework, “The Thought Fox” is an attempt to unite the inner and outer worlds in an experience of oneness with nature. This strand of shamanism in Hughes’s poetry, as well as its connection to the unconscious, is seen in another poem entitled “Roe-Deer”. In this poem, the speaker encounters the eponymous animals whilst driving in a snow storm. This encounter seems to open a shamanic portal, or intersection between worlds. The speaker recounts that the deer “happened into [his] dimension” presenting themselves to his imagination as the gatekeepers of another “dimension”, out of which they have materialised: me
The deer had come for me”
“I could think the deer were waiting for
The image of the “curtain” functions as a symbol for the perceptual barrier surrounding the intersection between two dimensions. The speaker’s sense of reality has been distorted so that the world ceases to appear as itself, indicating that we are at the threshold of another dimension. The speaker intimates that if only he could remember the “password and sign” he would be granted access to this other world. The reference to memory indicates that this code is locked somewhere deep within his mind. This suggests that they are located in the unconscious; in that realm, inaccessible to the conscious mind, in which the memories are stored. The poem “Ghost Crabs” (Hughes 67) provides further evidence that Hughes saw the point of connection to the natural world as residing in the unconscious. The crabs as shown emerging from the sea as darkness falls, and “At dawn, they sidle back under the sea’s edge”. This immediately establishes a connection between the crabs and the time during which, sleeping, we inhabit the realm of dreams and the unconscious. Indeed, the sea itself is archetypally a symbol for the unconscious. Salvador Dali, for example, in an interview, explained his famous stunt of wearing a diving helmet whilst delivering a lecture, by saying that he wished to induce in audience members the feeling that they were entering “the depth of the sub-conscious” (Dali). There is no reason why Dali’s surrealist logic should not be applicable to Hughes. According to Margaret Dickie, Hughes himself places a portion of his own work under the term “surrealism” (53); and the book Crow, generally considered to be his crowning achievement, portrays a deeply surrealistic vision. In “Ghost Crabs” (Hughes 67), the crabs are presented as the creations of the sea: “Gradually the labouring of the tide/ Falls back from its productions,/ Its power slips back from glistening nacelles, and they are crabs” (5-7). If the sea is a representation of the unconscious, then the crabs are creatures of the unconscious, moulded from the mercurial matter of dreams. This is supported by the aura of insubstantially which accretes to them in their depiction as “Ghosts” (10). Towards the end of the poem,
To remember the password and sign That the curtain had blown aside for a moment And there where the trees were no longer trees, nor the road a road 17
the significance of the crabs is elevated into a sweeping historical perspective: “They are the turmoil of history, the convulsion/ In the roots of the blood, in the cycles of concurrence” (39-40). The reference to “roots of the blood” establishes a biological connection, linking the crabs to the fundamental, constitutive elements of human nature. This suggests the evolutionary kinship between us and these primeval creatures living between sea and land, just like our amphibious ancestors who first crawled from beneath the ocean’s margins. From this angle, the crabs can be read as a representation of those violent instinctual forces, emanating from the unconscious, which are responsible for the wars and “turmoil of [human] history”. Hughes’s poetry shows a consistent fascination with mankind’s intrinsic relationship to the natural world. His ideas on the nature of the imagination and the role of the poet, as encapsulated in his conception of “true myths”, resonate strongly with aspects of shamanism, as identified by Eliade. The State of “shamanic trance” and the shaman’s purported ability to commune with animal spirits are both strongly echoed in the poems “The Thought Fox” and “Roe-Deer”, which establish numinous spaces, both magical and psychological, in which the speaker’s imagination is able to unify the “inner” and “outer” worlds outlined by Hughes in “Myth and Education”; in which, turning inwards to the realm of the unconscious, he is able to find a point of connection to the outer world of external reality and nature. As the analyses of “Roe-Deer” and “Ghost Crabs” show, this connection is possible because it is through the unconscious that we are innately and biologically fused to the natural world, which is our ultimate progenitor.
Works Cited Dali, Salvador. Interview by Mike Wallace. The Mike Wallace Interview. 19 Apr. 1958. Television. Dickie, Margaret. “Ted Hughes: The Double Voice.” Contemporary Literature, 24.1 (1983): 51-65. JSTOR. Web. 28 Oct. 2014. Eliade, Mircea. Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy. Trans. Willard R. Trask. London: Routledge & Regan Paul, 1964. Print. Hughes, Ted. “Myth and Education”. Winter Pollen: Occasional Prose. Ed. William Scammell. London: Faber, 1995. 136-53. Print. Hughes, Ted. Selected Poems 1967-1981. London: Faber, 1982. Print. Moulin, Joanny. “Ted Hughes’ Anti-Mythic Method.” Ted Hughes: Alternative Horizons. Ed. Joanny Moulin. London: Routledge, 2004. 95-102. Print.
Sidky, H. “Ethnographic Perspectives on Differentiating Shamans from other Ritual Intercessors.” Asian Ethnology, 69.2 (2010): 213-40. JSTOR. Web. 10. Dec 2014.
It is always refreshing to read an essay that challenges views in a convincing and thoughtful way. The following piece argues that market liberalism and democracies cannot coexist, and helps us appreciate the limitations of economic and political concepts through a juxtaposition of these two fields. The strength of its arguments made it stand out from the rest of the brilliant submissions we received. Although competition was fierce, the interdisciplinary character of the topic rings true to our ethos at The Undergraduate, and the essay made us question some of our most basic assumptions - and we truly hope it will do the same to you! subject editors
Iñigo Herrera & Olivia Pimenta
Is Market Liberalism Compatible With Democracy? jack reid
This essay will analyse whether market liberalism is compatible with democracy; democracy understood as the ability for citizens to affect political change as an aggregate majority, and market liberalism defined as a system where private business can compete in a capitalist manner, unfettered by state intervention and regulation. After assessing the empirical claims of market liberalism advocates, I will demonstrate two emergent cases from these frameworks that show their incompatibility. The first case demonstrates that market liberalism breeds inequality, which will be confronted by a democratic rejection of the system by the disadvantaged. In the second case, those advantaged by market liberalism will use their monetary influence over politics to stifle democratic effort by the ‘losers’ to move away from market liberalism. These emergent cases will demonstrate that market liberalism and democracy are incompatible because either market liberalism diminishes democracy, or vice versa. Therefore, I will conclude that because of these conflicts, market liberal democracies cannot, and thus do not, exist.
In the modern world, the most prevalent position on market liberalism and democracy is that they are compatible and even complementary. Lipset demonstrates a correlation between market liberal economies and democracies in his comprehensive dataset that runs up to 1959,1 implying the existence of market liberal democracies and the compatibility of their components. Lipset 1 S. M. Lipset., ‘Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy,’ in American Political Science Review 53 (1959): pp. 69105, p. 71.
does not offer us a theory, instead merely presenting the data with some observations. In the years since Lipset’s data analyses were published, there have been some indications of key anomalies both within Lipset’s timeframe and more contemporaneously, key examples being Latin America and many East Asian states, most obviously China.2 What’s more, hindsight tells us that in the 1960s and 1970s, ‘economic development did not necessarily lead to greater democratisation’.3 However, Fukuyama has since built upon Lipset’s work to offer an explanation for the correlation between the two frameworks. Fukuyama’s explanation for the correlation argues that the introduction of market liberalism allows the populace to prosper economically and thus socially. A more economically and socially secure populace is then able to take the time and effort away from self-sustenance and towards fighting for personal liberties, resulting in demands for democracy. 4 Therefore Fukuyama’s theory, whilst rather detached from Lipset’s data, seems sufficient for explaining a tendency for market liberal economies to democratise. However, Fukuyama offers no empirical evidence for his theory, relying on Lipset’s data that could arguably be outdated. Furthermore, while Fukuyama shows that market liberal economies tend to democratise, he fails to prove that this move is successful and takes for granted the longevity of market liberal democracies. This 2 F. Fukuyama., ‘Capitalism & Democracy: The Missing Link’ in Journal of Democracy 3 no. 3 (1992) pp. 100110, p. 104. 3 M. A. Centeno., ‘The New Leviathan: The Dynamics and Limits of Technocracy’ in Theory and Society 22, no. 3 (1993), pp. 307335, p. 326. 4 Ibid.
is because his theory stops immediately as a market liberal economy becomes a democracy, and does not take into account any subsequent moves away from either market liberalism or democracy after they have both coexisted in the first instance. The key problem with the coexistence of these two frameworks will be discussed later in this essay, and will highlight a key issue that Fukuyama has failed to address. Fukuyama’s theory also falls short in addressing the effect of economic inequality on democratisation. Market liberalism’s tendency to create economic inequality has been widely accepted both by critics and advocates of the principle.5 This economic inequality would not allow the disadvantaged to separate themselves from their essential self-sustaining labour to demand rights or democracy as Fukuyama argues, thus the sequence of his theory is broken. If market liberalism restricts the populace’s ability to take time out of essential labour to demand democracy, how can one framework lead to the other? It cannot.
majority to enact political change. The crisis of market liberal democracy emerges out of this disadvantaged majority, and its ability to enact political change. People disadvantaged by economic inequality must either act ‘from a commitment to the general good’8 and accept their condition of unfair disadvantage for the ‘optimisation’9 of the economy, or reject their condition democratically. Centeno tells us that we cannot count on the populace to ‘endure individual sacrifices for the long term good of the collective’, thus an objection is inevitable.10 Those who become victims of inequality within market liberalism will not allow themselves to be disadvantaged because of any notion of the greater good or the optimal distribution. Instead, they are more likely to reject the systems that put them in a position of disadvantage, and they will be allowed to do so in a democracy. We have seen from the Pareto equilibrium that market liberalism generates a disadvantaged majority, and that same majority is able to enact political change away from market liberalism via democracy. Thus, democracy is the downfall of market liberalism, proving that these principles are incompatible in practice.
Let us think for a moment, hypothetically, that market liberalism could lead to democratisation; why wouldn’t the disadvantaged demand changes away from the economic system that made them victims? As mentioned, Dahl and many others argue that market liberalism breeds economic inequality,6 and Fried (a proponent of market liberalism) presupposes economic inequality as a consequence of his favoured system.7 A key principle that market liberalism strives toward is the Pareto equilibrium, where any change in wealth distribution to benefit an individual will upset the rest. Something that market liberals fails to account for in their efforts to attain this position is that even in the ‘optimal’ arrangement, the majority are still worse off. This flaw illustrates how the goals of market liberalism generate a distribution of wealth with much in the hands of the few, and little in the hands of the many. It is now left to us to explore why this situation can be detrimental to market liberalism when combined with democracy. We defined democracy as a system that allows a 5 R. A. Dahl., ‘Why Free Markets Are Not Enough’ in Journal of Democracy 3, no. 3 (1992), pp. 8289. p. 84. 6 Ibid. 7 C. Fried., ‘Markets, Law and Democracy’ in Journal of Democracy 11, vol. 3 (2000), pp. 518. p. 6.
Now that we have studied the first emergent case of market liberal democracies, that the majority, disadvantaged by market liberalism, reject the economic programme via democracy, we can study the second. The first case argued that democracy will be the downfall of market liberalism. In the second case, we shall address the possibility for this democratic rejection of market liberalism to be stifled by the advantaged minority. This may occur because ‘in every democracy citizens with greater resources are better able to shape government policy to their liking’. 11 This political inequity is observed in all democracies; though theoretically undesired, it is endemic. Reconsidering the assumption that market liberalism will generate an economically advantaged minority and disadvantaged majority, it seems that market liberalism also
Dahl., ‘Why Free Markets Are Not Enough’, p. 84. 9 J. S. Dryzek and Patrick Dunleavy, Theories of the Democratic State (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009). . 10 Centeno, ‘The New Leviathan’, p. 326. 11 M. Gilens, Affluence & Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012). p. 1.
generates a political elite and a politically excluded majority. Remembering that the majority are wont to alter the economic system away from that which disadvantages them, there is an inherent conflict. The question is, given these circumstances, why would the ‘winners’ of market liberalism fail to use their political influence to disallow the ‘losers’ to alter their preferred system? Assuming that people are rational actors, we must conclude that the economic, and thus political, elite generated by market liberalism would refuse to allow their less advantaged counterparts to make any changes that would not benefit them. This shows that market liberalism is the downfall of democracy on two counts. Firstly, the fact that market liberalism generates an economic, and therefore political, elite that is able to foil the efforts of a majority directly contravenes the principle of democracy that the majority should be able to enact political change. Secondly, the majority’s rejections of market liberalism that we have evidenced are disallowed because of the very same system. The fact that market liberalism is naturally self-sustaining in contravention of democratic principles is deeply troubling to the idea of the compatibility of these two frameworks.
those who would seek to dismantle the source of the wealthy’s affluence than the majority as a whole would have cause to passively allow the majority to disrupt the economic system. It seems then, that Friedman’s political patron proposal is ineffective in addressing the issues of the monied few and their interference with democracy. Now that it has been demonstrated that the economically and politically advantaged minority generated by market liberalism are both inherently undemocratic, and a natural barrier to any popular revolt over economic systems, the crisis has been outlined. Market liberalism is the downfall of democracy.
Milton Friedman proposes a model of ‘political patronage’ in response to claims that the market liberal elite disallow the political will of the majority. Citing the examples of Frederick Vanderbilt Field and Friedrich Engels, Friedman argues that the affluent minority play an important role as ‘patrons’ to the political causes of groups from the majority that would otherwise be unable to effectively engage politically, funding campaigns and media presence etc.12 This answer to the criticisms I have laid out causes more problems than it solves. Firstly, and most fundamentally, this process of political patronage in no way moves toward democracy, as the majority are still beholden to the discretion of the minority, who may pick and choose to their own advantage which groups to patronise. Secondly, pertaining to the question of popular rejection of liberal democracy, these political patrons would have no more cause to help
Now that we have established the two emergent cases that are so detrimental to the existence of market liberal democracies, we can examine the empirical evidence to determine whether this conflict has led to the nonexistence of this type of state. I have demonstrated that whilst Fukuyama’s work claims that market liberal democracies are empirically demonstrable because the former naturally leads to the latter, Fukuyama fails to account for the inherent inability of the economically disadvantaged to call for democracy after being victimised by market liberalism. However, the existence of these states is contested. Dahl notes the tendency of the democratic government to respond to demands of the people to protect them from the disadvantageous ends of market liberalism via state intervention.13 Indeed the last century has seen a rise in state intervention in the Keynesian model, as well as the rise of welfare and other state fetters on free markets. Ex-President of the U.S.A. Richard Nixon himself said that ‘we are all Keynesians now’, a signal for how markets that are often considered liberal are in fact state regulated. It seems logical that effective democracies would be obliged to react to the objections of the disadvantaged majority and regulate the economy, and the prevalence of state regulated economies under democratic rule reinforce that idea. Thus market liberal democracies inevitably regulate their economies, fettering market liberalism as we define it. Perhaps this is why Fukuyama could not demonstrate the longevity of market liberal democracies, and could only prove their initial existence.
12 M. Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002). p. 6.
13 Dahl, ‘Why Free Markets Are Not Enough’, p. 87.
It remains then to attempt to compare the two conflicting accounts of the empirical viability of market liberal democracies, where Lipset and Fukuyama claim a correlation and others claim the opposite. I have already indicated that Lipset’s dataset, which Fukuyama bases his claims on, is outdated, ending in 1959. Since the cessation of those data, many contradictory cases became evident in the 1960s and 1970s, cases which Fukuyama omitted. Instead Fukuyama skims and cherry-picks the subsequent years, pointing in particular to the democratisation and adoption of market liberalism in Southern Europe, particularly in postwar Spain and Italy.14 These highlighted cases are very particular to their contexts, and today bear little relevance to the debate. Centeno also notes glaring cases that are omitted from Fukuyama’s analysis, such as the promotion of market liberalism under a strictly undemocratic government in Pinochet’s Chile, and the success of nondemocratic market liberal states, such as China and the ‘dragons’.15 By now, we have undermined Fukuyama’s claims by showing that there are flaws in those analyses that found a correlation between market liberalism and democracy. What’s more, Dahl’s elucidation of the nonexistence of true market liberalism under democracy buttresses our earlier thread that found that unregulated markets cannot exist in a truly democratic state where the government is beholden to the disadvantaged masses. Market liberal democracies seem impossible both theoretically and empirically.
democracy. Conversely, when the economically disadvantaged succeed in their attempts to rectify their position, they introduce state controls on the economy, making it no longer a free market; democracy nullifies market liberalism. Furthermore, as argued by Dahl, these incompatibilities lead to state intervention which fetters market liberalism as we define it. Therefore, it is demonstrably true that market liberal democracies are both empirically absent and theoretically impossible; market liberalism and democracy are not compatible. Works Cited Centeno, Miguel A., ‘The New Leviathan: The Dynamics and Limits of Technocracy’ in Theory and Society 22, no. 3 (1993), pp. 307335. Dahl, Robert A., ‘Why Free Markets Are Not Enough’ in Journal of Democracy 3, no. 3 (1992), pp. 8289. Dryzek, John S., and Patrick Dunleavy, Theories of the Democratic State (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009). Fried, Charles, ‘Markets, Law and Democracy’ in Journal of Democracy 11, vol. 3 (2000), pp. 518. Friedman, Milton, Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002). Fukuyama, Francis, ‘Capitalism & Democracy: The Missing Link’ in Journal of Democracy 3, no. 3 (1992), pp. 100110. Giles, Martin, Affluence & Influence (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012). Lipset, Seymour M., ‘Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy,’ in American Political Science Review 53 (1959): pp. 69105, p. 71.
Market liberalism and democracy have been demonstrated to be fundamentally incompatible. Despite the arguments laid forth by Fukuyama to the contrary, which we have found to be based on insufficient empirical evidence, there is no such thing as a truly free market under a democratic government. In the question of why this is the case, one need only bring the combination of the two elements to their natural conclusion. Left unchecked, the wealthy minority generated by market liberalism continue to benefit from the system by stifling the democratic uprisings of the unhappy majority at the cold end of the Pareto equilibrium; market liberalism nullifies
Schumpeter, Joseph A., Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (London: Unwin, 1965).
14 Fukuyama, ‘Capitalism & Democracy’, p. 104. 15 Centeno, ‘The New Leviathan’, p. 326.
Simons, Henry C., ‘For A Free Market Liberalism’ in The University of Chicago Law Review 8, no. 2 (1941), pp. 202214.
law We were pleased to receive many excellent Law submissions for the third issue of The Undergraduate. The article we chose to publish is exceptional for several reasons. Its interdisciplinary framework and accessible language speaks to the ethos of the journal, and its subject matter is also highly relevant to issues directly affecting the United Kingdom. The article’s balanced perspective demonstrates a non-mainstream vantage point on the integration of Islamic Courts into the English legal landscape. subject editor
The Establishment of Islamic Law Courts in Britain rachel peng
The conflict between English and Islamic law has derived from the difficulty of incorporating the Shari’a (God’s will) into the ‘secular, Western [and] traditional… jurisprudence’1 that English law embodies. There are two ways Islamic Law Courts may be established in Britain. One way to achieve this is for improved integration of Shari’a Councils in the UK, which would officially recognise the Shari’a. Another method would be for the two legal systems to have equal status in English law. Arguably, the first is attainable. Conversely, it will be shown that the Shari’a cannot have equal status to English law. Shar’ia Councils resolve disputes between Muslim individuals under Islamic legal principles, and mostly mediate on family law issues. They operated unofficially until September 2008, when they were given legal authority as a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) under the Arbitration Act 1996. Thus, Shari’a Councils are recognised in English law to an extent, but improved incorporation of them is necessary through officially recognising the Shari’a. Despite their existence, there are still legal issues regarding the official recognition of the Shari’a. One problem is the effect it will have on the structure of law. It asks what role the Shari’a Councils should play in relation to English courts, given that their laws are completely different. English law, premised on the rule of law, did not make provisions for separate religious laws and courts to be administered. Pearl and Menski acknowledge the difficulty of recognising the Shari’a by arguing that if Islamic courts, rather than civil courts, were
increasingly used to settle complex cases then the judiciary would rarely gain insight into important Muslim cases 2. Therefore, any unresolved issues must bypass civil courts. As the nature of their laws are so ambivalent, it would be extremely challenging for English courts to resolve Shari’a issues, which questions whether Shari’a Councils can practically coexist with English courts. In addition to this is the problem of how the rule of law may continue to be upheld. Another legal issue is the ad-hoc approach that has been taken so far in integrating the Shari’a Councils. With no clear idea of how to recognise them, piecemeal legislation has been implemented. Moore posits, ‘this …approach is too narrow and epiphenomenal to provide any stability to legal development3. Her opinion can be explained by Shah’s4 argument on the weakness in the law regarding talaq (Islamic divorce proceedings triggered by husband’s intention). The Divorce (Religious Marriages) Act 2002 declares that any religious divorce proceedings are invalid, unless administered in civil courts. This was Parliament’s response to recognising legal pluralism; by protecting Muslim women unable to secure khul’ (a divorce by agreement from both the husband and wife). The Shari’a Council could only make a faskh (an annulment of marriage; position of the Shāfi’ī and Hanbalī schools), or not allow a divorce at all (Hanafī rules only allows a divorce through talaq or
1 M Chiba, Asian Indigenous Law: in interaction with received Law.
2 D Pearl and W Menski, Muslim Family Law, (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1998), p.81. 3 K Moore, The Unfamiliar Abode: Islamic Law in the United States and Britain (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), p.107. 4 P Shah, “Between God and the Sultana? Legal Pluralism in the British Muslim Disaspora”, in Shari’a as a Discourse, ed. J Nielsen and Christoffersen (Surrey: 2010) p.137.
khul’), whilst husbands could freely obtain a divorce through talaq. In order to protect the wives who were in ‘limping marriages’5, English law asserted that Islamic divorce proceedings in such forms were void, as civil courts had not been used. Contrarily, if a Bangladeshi woman moved to England and was previously divorced through talaq proceedings, her divorce would not be recognised in law. Clearly the ad-hoc approach has resulted in the creation of double standards, as evidenced by talaq. Here, British Muslims must adhere to English law but English law cannot recognise the Shari’a. The piecemeal approach to the integration of the Shari’a Council and recognition of the Shari’a is flawed as it has failed to resolve the crux of the issue: how to integrate the Shari’a officially. Nonetheless, there is a much stronger case for the improved integration of the Shari’a Councils in England from a legal perspective. Pearl and Menski have explained about angrezi Shari’at (Urdu for ‘British Muslim law’), whereby British Muslims have created a hybrid of the Shari’a and English law by building ‘the requirements of English law into their traditional legal structures’ 6. An example of this is the way British Muslims view nikah (the Islamic marriage ceremony) and talaq in terms of English law, which demonstrates that the Shari’a is compatible with English law to an extent. Furthermore, Yilmaz argues that legal pluralism already exists, as a Muslim official can perform marriages according to both laws7, suggesting that the rule of law can be somewhat undermined. Cownie et al agree by propounding that the English legal system can no longer be described as monistic8. Nonetheless, the hybrid law and official recognition of the Shari’a does not entirely undermine the rule of law as English law remains above it. This indicates that official recognition of the Shari’a can therefore be compatible with English law. The fact that Shari’a Councils are widely used by British Muslims today also demonstrates how the Shari’a is compatible
with English law. Currently there are around 85 Shari’a Councils in England, and many more informal bodies operating. Moreover, Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, acknowledged the need for ‘something like a delegation of certain legal functions to the religious courts9. He recognised the widespread use of the Shari’a Councils and believed that it is better for the law to formalise their existence, than to leave them to exist unofficially. A reluctance to further integrate the Shari’a Councils would leave the law confused and ultimately be even more dangerous. Another reason motivating the official recognition of Shari’a principles is from a social perspective. British Muslims should have the ability to embrace their religion without legal restraints. Allegations of discrimination against Muslims have been made, as English law have long given Jews legal authority for their religious laws through Beth Din (Jewish religious ADR courts), but only recently divested legal power to Shari’a councils. Official recognition offers a step towards social inclusion, rather than the marginalisation of religious groups and a feeling of English law having legal superiority. Furthermore, Shah argued that since the formal recognition of Beth Din, it has ‘hardly cause[d] much mumur beyond the group of community insiders’. 10 Therefore it is likely that the official recognition of the Shari’a provides a solution to the issues the Jews once faced, and aids the functioning of a multicultural society. Conversely, scholars have debated about the detrimental social issues regarding the official recognition of the Shari’a. Riccardi contended that Muslim leaders often work against women’s will by trying to discourage divorce and dealing with them in a gendered-biased way’11. Moore supports this by asserting that official recognition of the Shari’a and Councils would subordinate women and violate the human rights of those who ‘contest the authority of conservative
5 Stuck in a marriage as wives could not obtain the husband’s agreement for a divorce 6 Pearl and Menski, Muslim Family Law, p.56. 7 I Yilmaz, “The challenge of post-modern legality and Muslim legal pluralism in England” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2010), 28 (2) p.348. 8 F Cownie, English legal system in Context, (London: LexisNexis, 2003) p.24
9 “Civil and Religious Law in England: a religious perspective” in The Guardian, 29 November 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/feb/07/religion.world2 10 Shah, Between God and the Sultana? P.133. 11 L Riccardi, “Women at a Crossroads between UK Legislation and Sharia Law” in GSTF International Journal of Law and Social Sciences (2014) 3(2), p.88.
clerics’ 12. Another social issue Moore put forward is ‘ghettoization’, whereby the segregation of society will deepen as separate legal systems develop13. Social issues will clearly occur upon recognition of the Shari’a. Nevertheless, these claims can be counteracted by the importance of the existence of Shari’a Councils to British Muslims. The unofficial recognition of the Shari’a could be even more harmful to them than acceptance of it. Women are particularly more likely to use the Councils from a social status perspective in the Muslim community, as they fear bringing ‘shame on family honor’14 and are more comfortable consulting a religious body than using civil law. The refusal of establishing the Shari’a and to use the Councils would marginalise their rights to practice their religion even more. A far better approach would be to acknowledge the Shari’a officially in a nuanced manner, rather than to completely diminish British Muslims’ rights. The second method of establishing Islamic Law Courts in Britain is for the Shar’ia to have equal status as English law in the legal system. It will be demonstrated that this is near impossible. Firstly, this method would wholly undermine the rule of law. Traditionally, ‘the English legal system asserts itself as a legally uniform and ‘applicable to everybody without exception’.15 Whilst this has been reduced to an extent by the acceptance of ADR proceedings through religious courts, the rule of law still underpins the English legal system. To accept the Shari’a completely and integrate it in law would destroy this core English law principle. Moreover, Uddin v Choudhury16 illustrates the struggles English judges may face when understanding Shari’a principles, indicating the impossibility for the Shari’a to achieve a separate legal status. The judge in Uddin v Choudhury, when examining the relationship between the rule of divorce and rule of mahr17, 12 Moore, The Unfamiliar Abode, P.108. 13 Moore, The Unfamiliar Abode, p.108 14 L Riccardi, Women at a Crossroads, p.89. 15 Yilmaz, The challenge of post-modern legality, p.344. 16  EWCA (Civ) 1205 17 A compulsory sum of money given from the husband to wife on marriage (the ‘direct’ mahr); the rest of mahr (the ‘deferred’ amount), is payable on divorce
failed to consider the cultural traditions of the individuals. Islamic law is practiced in many cultures, each with their own customary law. Thus it would be impossible for there to be a universal set of Shari’a principles the court could follow, even though Bowen renders it possible.18 Even if muftis (an Islamic scholar, who gives legal opinions (fatwās) on questions from individuals) or qādīs (a judge who gives legal opinions (fatwās) on the matter being disputed in the Islamic court) were adjudicating cases, they would not know which set of rules to follow as the Shari’a is God’s will. Thus individuals interpret the meaning of this differently. Consequently the practical applicability of the Shari’a would be extremely difficult for any judge to execute, demonstrating the small likelihood for the separate establishment of the Shari’a. From a social viewpoint, a separate legal status for the Shari’a may result in ‘ghettoization’19. The establishment of separate Islamic Law Courts could alienate British Muslims because of their seclusion from society in a legal sense. Such effects would be worse than the first method of recognizing the Shari’a, as this method distinctively gives the Shari’a a completely separate legal identity. Moreover, other religious groups may feel their beliefs are discriminated against, as it could not be possible for separate legal courts to exist for every religion practiced in the UK. Evidently, many social issues may arise as a result of the separate establishment of Shari’a courts. This essay demonstrates that there is a place for the official recognition of the Shari’a in English law to an extent. Britain is a legally pluralistic state as ADRs such as Shari’a Councils now have legal authority under the Arbitration Act 1996. The success of the Shari’a Councils and existence of angrezi Shari’at demonstrates the possibility for them to exist alongside English law. Moreover, the rights for British Muslims to practice their belief is fundamental to a modern multicultural society. Conversely, the Shari’a receiving a separate status that is equal to English law would be practically impossible and completely diminish 18 J Bowen, “How Could English Courts Recognise Shariah?” 7 University of St. Thomas Law Journal (2011) P.433. 19 Moore, The Unfamiliar Abode, P.108
the concept of the rule of law. It could also amplify social segregation issues for British Muslims. Therefore, there is a strong case for integrating and recognising the Shari’a and Councils, but not for the separate establishment of the Shari’a being equal to English law.
Works Cited Bowen, John. “How Could English Courts Recognise Shariah?” University of St. Thomas Law Journal 7 (2010): 411-435. Chiba, Masaji. Asian Indigenous Law: in interaction with received law New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986. Cownie, Fiona, Anthony Bradney, and Mandy Burton. English legal system in Context, London: LexisNexis, 2003. MacEoin D and D Green, Sharia Law or ‘One Law for All?’ Wiltshire: Civitas Insitute for the Study of Civil Society, 2009. Moore Katherine. The Unfamiliar Abode: Islamic Law in the United States and Britain. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pearl, David and Werner Menski. Muslim Family Law. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1998. Riccardi, Letizia. “Women at a Crossroads between UK Legislation and Sharia Law” in GSTF International Journal of Law and Social Sciences 3 (2014): 86-91. Shah, Prakash, “Between God and the Sultana? Legal Pluralism in the British Muslim Disaspora.” In Shari’a as a Discourse, edited by Jørgen S. Nielsen and Lisbet Christoffersen, 117-139. Surrey: Ashgate, 2010 Yilmaz, Ihsan. “The challenge of post-modern legality and Muslim legal pluralism in England”. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 28 (2010): 343354.
middle eastern studies In the print version of this issue we look back to the troubled days of the Iranian Revolution, asking what exactly led up to an event that still scars the modern day. A despotic monarchy was replaced with an oppressive theocracy, with fundamental threats to democracy and human rights that persist to the present – at a time when the West is still trying to work out its relationship with Iran over its nuclear ambitions and the war against Islamic State, an understanding of some background to the beginning of the modern Iranian state is appropriate. subject editor
The Iranian Revolution in 1978-79 richard robson
The 1978-79 Iranian Revolution succeeded in removing Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi from power. The main factors accounting for the occurrence of discontent towards the Shah are economic, political and cultural in nature. However, these factors alone could not have led to a successful revolution. In fact, resentment towards the Shah had existed for decades, whether due to his ties with the West or due to the land reforms of the ‘White Revolution’ of 1963 (Graham, 1980). Furthermore, unemployment and inflation during the recession of 197576 were at similar levels to those of 1978 (Kurzman, 2005). The reason why the 1978-79 revolution was successful – and why there was not a revolution beforehand – is largely due to the individual character of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the uniqueness of Shi’a Islam. In 1978-79, Khomeini had put himself in a position in which he could use the immense organisational power of religion within Iran to give a powerful voice to the economic, political, and cultural grievances of the Iranian people. Islam in Iran was capable of bringing virtually all groups of people together, even secularists, and therefore the revolution grew to a level that became uncontrollable for the Shah. Thus, Islam can be seen as a means for creating a successful revolution. It can also be argued that the Soviet Union, which eventually came to support the revolutionaries, had a strong impact, as its anti-Shah rhetoric cautioned the West from trying to intervene on the side of the Shah like they had successfully done in 1953 when toppling the democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mossadeq.
of inflation. The increase in oil prices since the 1973 Oil Crisis gave the Shah an immense increase in finance, which in theory should have alleviated many economic problems (hence why so many commentators were surprised by the revolution). However, modernisation was pursued at too great a speed, with all modernisation of infrastructure taking place in the period 1927-77 (Keddie, 1995). As a result, as Gholam Afkhami points out, “the disparity between the manifold increase in the Iranian income and the limited absorptive capacity of the economic infrastructure proved beyond the capabilities of the central government to deal with” (Afkhami, 1985: 83-84). The inability of the Shah to deal with this problem led to an inflationary spiral, with price increases surpassing wage increases (Bashiriyeh, 1984), and frequent shortages of materials (Wright, 1989).
Inflationary pressures were particularly felt by the poor (Walton and Seddon, 1980), although as is the case in capitalist crises, the rich were in turn affected by the inability of many people to consume. Yet the effects were small compared to the plight of the poor. Income disparity between rich and poor became greater during the post-1973 modernisation period (Afkhami, 1985; Bashiriyeh, 1984; Wright, 1989). An official source wrote, “although the level of public welfare has risen there are now spectacular inequalities among various social classes” (BMAR, 1977; 68). The gap between rich and poor began to grow, leading to “mass discontent and grievances” (Bashiriyeh, 1984). However, economic conditions had been bad for years, and not substantially worse than before (Kurzman, 2005). Only when economic conditions became absolutely unbearable for a large number of people could there have been
Continued economic problems were of key importance in maintaining resentment towards the Shah. One problem was the issue 28
a real possibility of a revolution. However, as this was not the case, continued economic issues can only be argued to be a factor in the occurrence of the discontent, which was then harnessed to create the revolution, and not as a reason why the revolution succeeded. Thus, without Khomeini and Islam, the economic issues could not have toppled the Shah.
to the toppling of Mossadeq, leading to many Iranians seeing the regime as nothing more than a “puppet of external forces... whose influence in the country, exercised through the mediation of the state, had also to be curtailed” (Panah, 2007: 35). The movement towards the West had been damaging for many, in particular because they had been “culturally Political issues also created discontent deracinated” (Keddie, 1980: 39). Therefore, against the Shah, who had begun to take an anti-Westernism was a key component of the “increasingly greater role in the daily political anti-Shah discontent. As Khomeini argued: life of the country” (Afkhami, 1985; Wright, “They have sold us, 1989). The Shah had also announced in March they have sold our 1975 that all legal parties should merge to form independence... They have a single party – the Iran National Resurgence reduced the Iranian people Party (Rastakhiz). These two acts increased to a level lower than that political fragmentation in Iran (Afkhami, of an American dog... The 1985). Afkhami points out that beforehand for government has sold our Iranians, “the difference in their experiences independence, reduced us related more to their relative wealth and poverty to the level of a colony, than to their weltanschauung and ideational and made the Muslim orientation” (Afkhami, 1985: 75). Furthermore nation of Iran appear more the Shah increased repression (Wright, 1989), backward than savages so much so that Nikkie Keddie argues he in the eyes of the world... was the most despotic monarch in the Middle today it is America that East (Keddie, 1995). Keddie argues that the we are concerned with” large and increasing oil income had “obviated (Khomeini, 1986: 181-188). concern about taxpayers”, and that the Shah Turning large-scale discontent into a sought to emulate his autocratic father (Keddie, successful revolution is difficult, hence why 1995: 25). Consequently, various groups losing a successful revolution had not taken place influence, combined with a greater concentration earlier in Iran. Overthrowing the Shah can be of power in the Shah’s hands, “radicalised the mostly credited to the impact of Khomeini opposition” (Afkhami, 1985: 76). However, and the organisational capabilities of Shi’a as with the economic issues, political issues Islam. As Afkhami argues, the most significant and repression had long been a problem, event during the revolution was the “gradual particularly with the rise of the secret police transformation of the manifest character of the force SAVAK, established in 1957 (Wright, anti-Shah movement from secular to religious” 1989). The new issues did make the situation (Afkhami, 1985: 89). There are several reasons worse, but not to a large extent. Rather than why religion was so important. Firstly, Islam being the reason for the successful revolution, within Iran had an incredible ability to organise these issues instead served to maintain and protests against the Shah (Afkhami, 1985; Bayat solidify discontent that had existed for decades, 1987; Keddie, 1980). The religious organisation which was then harnessed by the clerics. network had what Afkhami describes as A third important source of discontent in Iran was Western influence in the country. Iran had been incorporated into the Western economic exchange system, which impacted negatively on native manufacture, as well as consolidating a Western political arrangement (Bashiriyeh, 1984). Iran came under heavy influence from the United States, mainly due
an “inimitable structure for revolutionary action” (Afkhami, 1985: 91). Afkhami argues that Islam’s ability to communicate ideology to other masses, organise groups in which adherents could gather, establish channels of communication that eluded the police, and get people to believe so strongly in an ideal that they were willing to die for it, made it ideal for
revolutionary activity (Afkhami, 1985). Such was the organisational capacity of Islam that, in October 1978, it was able to get “40,000 oil workers, 40,000 steel workers, and 30,000 railway workers to put down their tools within less than three weeks” (Bayat, 1987: 79). Keddie identifies two reasons for this. Firstly, the Shi’a ‘ulama’ – scholars who are recognised as having specialised knowledge of Islamic law - have important family economic and other ties with the ‘bazaar’ classes - a wide range of middle class, merchants, and wealthy people. Secondly, the ulama were also able to build up a large power base during the long period of decentralisation in Iran, with the Shahs unable to do anything about it (Keddie, 1980). Furthermore, the wide-ranging scope of Islam was also able to bring secularists into the movement as it provided a “nationally indigenous way to express common opposition to an aloof monarch” (Skocpol, 1982: 275). Ahmad Karmin-Hakkak argues that this cohesion between the two groups can be seen in the way “secularists stood together surrounded by a powerful sense of oneness voice in poetry”:
the way that he was able to successfully direct protests after the publication of a personal attack on him by the newspaper, Ettelaat, and the march of 500,000 people through Tehran in September 1978, demanding his return, after the Shah had exiled him (Wright, 1989). Sandra Mackey writes that Khomeini “possessed a charisma not seen in Iran since Ismail rode out of Gilan in the late fifteenth century and Muhammad Mossadeq strode over the fields of Khuzestan in 1951... He was able to grasp their pain and alienation... In the process, he turned their silent anger into an articulate voice of dissent, stamped with God’s approval” (Mackey, 1998: 276). Khomeini was only able to do this, however, because of the uniqueness of Shi’a Islam. Keddie argues that Shi’a institutions in Iran “lent themselves to control by a single powerful revolutionary cleric” (Keddie, 1995: 21). During the Eighteenth Century a school of thought became dominant that “every believer must choose one qualified jurist to follow... and must accept his rulings” (Keddie, 1995: 22). The ‘ulama’ can claim, “as well or better than monarchs, to represent authentically the will of the ‘Hidden Imam’ ” – the ultimate saviour of humankind (Skocpol, 1982: 273). Therefore, Khomeini’s individual charisma would have counted for little if he had no means of influentially articulating his views and those of the Iranian people.
“How glorious is our night When bullets Tattoo it And cries of “God is Great” Bring together Our hearts
The Shah’s contradictory response to the initial protests also contributed to the success of the revolution. Whilst the Shah was autocratic, he also acted in a liberal manner, such as pardoning a number of political prisoners (Bashiriyeh, 1984). Keddie argues that fears in the face of President Carter’s Human Rights policies, constant seeking of American and British policy advice, the Shah’s natural character, and also his illness with gallstones, were influential in creating the “contradictory trends in the Shah that undermined that same autocracy” (Keddie, 1995: 25). As well as undermining autocracy, the regime’s liberalisation “increasingly indicated its weakness... The regime’s pretentions to liberalisation further unleashed constitutional opposition from below... Political groups which had been considered subversive began to reemerge” (Bashiriyeh, 1984: 106). Therefore,
Our anxious hearts From the two sides of the night When darkness Units the town” (Karmin-Hakkak, 1991: 515) Thus, as Mackey argues, “unlike its predecessors, this revolution engaged every stratum of society and every region of the country” (Mackey, 1998: 277). One could point out that, like the economic, political, and cultural issues discussed, religion had always been around. Yet there was never an individual who could exploit it successfully until Khomeini. The Ayatollah was capable of inspiring Iranians across the country. Khomeini’s influence can be seen in 30
the religious movement against the Shah Works Cited encountered less resistance than expected, Afkhami, G. (1985) The Iranian Revolution: Thanatos on a making the revolution much easier to achieve. The influence of the Soviet Union is often overlooked, yet some commentators believe it was important to the revolution (Lenczowski, 1979; Atkin, 1981; Chubin, 1983). George Lenczowski argues that the Soviet’s hostile antiShah propaganda through the National Voice of Iran, the invocation of Article 6 of the 1921 Soviet-Iranian treaty (allowing Soviet troops into the country if Russia felt threatened by anti-Soviet aggression), and the growth of the Communist Tudeh Party show that the Soviets helped the revolution succeed (Lenczowski, 1979). However, Khomeini was anti-Soviet as well as anti-Western, stating, “we will not collaborate with the Marxists” (Atkin, 1981: 13), suggesting that any Soviet influence was more likely in preventing the West from intervening to help the Shah than in helping the internal movement. With the Shah isolated, the revolution could more easily succeed.
National Scale. Washington DC. The Middle East Institute. Atkin, M. (1981) The Kremlin and Khomeini. The Washington Quarterly. 4 (2). pp. 50-67. Bank Markazi. (1977) Annual Report and Balance Sheet. Tehran: The Bank. Bashiriyeh, H. (1984) The State and Revolution in Iran: 1962-1982. New York: St Martin’s Press. Bayat, A. (1987) Workers and Revolution in Iran. London: Zed Books. Chubin, S. (1983) The Soviet Union and Iran. [Online] Available at: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/37411/ shahram-chubin/the-soviet-union-and- iran. [Accessed 19th March 2014]. Graham, R. (1980) Iran, the Illusion of Power. Oxford: Berg. Karmin-Hakkak, A. (1991) Revolutionary Posturing: Iranian Writers and the Iranian Revolution of 1979. International Journal of Middle East Studies. 23 (4). pp. 507- 531.
In conclusion, continued economic, political, and cultural issues maintained discontent towards the Shah. These grievances had more or less existed for decades. However, what was different in 1979 was that an individual, Ruhollah Khomeini, was able to use the unique apparatus of Shi’a Islam – as well as the unique contradictory response from the Shah and moral support from the Soviet Union – to turn these grievances into a successful revolution to finally overthrow the Shah. Without a powerful cleric who could articulate these issues in such an effective way it is unlikely that the revolution would have succeeded. Many did not expect such a revolution to happen, which highlights the unique set of circumstances. As Skocpol writes, the Iranian Revolution “challenged expectations about revolutionary causation” (Skocpol, 1982: 265).
Keddie, N. R. (1980) Understanding the Iranian Revolution. The Center Magazine. May-June 1980. pp. 38-46. Keddie, N. R. (1995) Iran and the Muslim World: Resistance and Revolution. Basingstoke: Macmillan. Khomeini, R. (1985) Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations. London: KPR. Kurzman, C. (2005) The Unthinkable Revolution. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Lenczowski, G (1979) The Arc of Crisis: Its Central Sector. [Online] Available at: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/ articles/32309/george-lenczowski/the-arc-of-crisis-itscentral-sector. [Accessed 24th March 2014]. Mackey, S. (1998) The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation. New York: Plume. Panah, M. (2007) The Islamic Republic and the World: Global Dimensions of the Iranian Revolution. London: Pluto Press. Skocpol, T. (1982) Rentier State and Shi’a Islam in the Iranian Revolution. Theory and Society. 11 (3). pp. 265-283. Walton, J. and Seddon, D. (1980) Free Markets and Food Riots: The Politics of Global Adjustment. Oxford: Blackwell. Wright, M (1989) Iran: The Khomeini Revolution. Harlow: Longman Group.
modern languages This piece demonstrates the versatility of a degree in Modern Languages. Combining analysis of Berlin architecture and Nazi political ideology, it is an interesting example of how different disciplines can affect and have an impact on each other. We hope you’ll join us in finding it fascinating to learn about the prospective architectural plans for Berlin and how they were to reflect the politics of the day. Furthermore, you will be guided through how modern Germany has reacted to the physical marks and architectural reminders of a difficult, but nonetheless significant, past. subject editor
T h e R o l e o f Tw e n t i e t h - C e n t u r y B e r l i n A r c h i t e c t u r e o n P o l i t i c s a n d To w n P l a n n i n g c at h e r i n e s a n s k y
Architecture is a powerful tool which can be used politically to influence and manipulate a population; this concept is well illustrated by focusing on the architecture of the Third Reich, a representative choice of 20th Century Berlin. Its appeal as a choice lies in its anomaly; whilst the ‘Nazizeit’ spanned only 12 years of the 20th Century, its reach is considerably longer. This period of construction impacted dramatically on the psyche of the nation and was reflected in contemporary politics leaving a legacy spanning the generations. The link between architecture and politics still holds large significance today, as public debates are widely held surrounding this legacy of Nazi design. On an aesthetic level modern Germans may well find that embracing the architecture of the Hitler era helps in some measure to understand this turbulent period. Hitler had a dislike for Berlin which stemmed primarily from the fact that it was a metropolis, unaided by the lack of votes he received from the Berliners in the 1933 election, which leaned towards the communist end of the spectrum; Berlin was described by Goebbels as “the reddest city in Europe besides Moscow1”. This distaste for the capital was reflected in their resolve to physically rebuild it in its entirety. This city would be named ‘Germania’, the old Roman name for Germany and would replace the sprawling metropolis of Berlin to become a centrepiece for the World. In terms of town planning the designs for ‘Germania’ would allow for the relocation of neighbourhoods which housed groups considered politically
undesirable. The plans for ‘Germania’ were drawn up by Albert Speer, personal architect to Hitler and later appointed ‘Generalbauinspektor’ (General building inspector). These plans were distinguished by their monumental proportions. The grand styles were necessary to compete with cities such as Paris with its grand boulevards and Vienna with its nineteenth century ‘Ringstrasse’, both of which very much suited Hitler’s preferred style of architecture. Significantly these styles of large, imposing and impersonal buildings with wide boulevards, (useful for military parades) are shared by other authoritarian regimes. One need only consider Stalin’s public buildings such as the ‘Seven Sisters’ in Moscow, Ceausescu’s Palace of Parliament in Bucharest or Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. The core of the plans revolved around an intersecting pair of grand boulevards connecting a North/South and an East/West axis. Whilst the plans for the East/West axis were based around the existing city, thousands of apartments in built-up areas had to be torn down in order for the proposed North/ South axis to cross the East/West axis near the Brandenburg gate. This reflects the realities of the grand plans and the massive impact it had on individuals, although this was not a major consideration for the designers. In the place of these apartments, the boulevard was to be lined with grandiose buildings such as theatres, shops and government offices; the architecture needed to impress as this boulevard would showcase the power and the glory of Greater Germany. In order to accommodate the plans the ‘Siegessäule’ (Victory Column) was also moved as it disrupted the path of the East/West Axis.
Uwe Klussmann, Conquering the Capital: The Ruthless Rise of the Nazis in Berlin. Der Spiegel. (2012) [online] http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/ how-the-nazis-succeeded-in-taking-power-in-red-berlin-a866793.html [Accessed 25 March 2013]
The North/South axis had to be the core of this design: modelled on the Champs Elysées in Paris this boulevard was to be “about seventy feet wider and two and a half times as long.”22 The Great Hall (Grosse Halle) was planned to be the most powerful and most permanent construction in the history of architecture. The building was to have a dome-like structure and according to Ladd “the proposed building’s volume was sixteen times that of St. Peter’s cathedral in Rome.”3 The main aim was to impress and intimidate. The Great Hall would have become a place for people to gather and listen to Hitler’s speeches; thus the architecture behind it was politically motivated. It would have been able to accommodate between 150,000 and 180,000 people and it has since been argued that with these numbers, the condensed breathing that would have accumulated in the dome had the potential to cause rainfall. The whole edifice was a reflection on Hitler’s megalomania. Fundamentally Hitler wanted Speer to design buildings where German people could share experiences en masse in order to display their patriotism. In short, it was part of the campaign to unite the German people behind Nazi ideology. Scobie argues that this building ‘foreshadowed Hitler’s craving for world domination.’4 The Triumphal Arch, to be placed at the Southern end of the axis, was the counterpart to the Great Hall. A larger version of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, it would display carved on its walls the names of the 1.8 million German soldiers who lost their lives in World War 1. Furthermore, a practical venture was the consolidation of Berlin’s railway stations into two terminals; one north of the Great Hall and the second just south of the Triumphal Arch. While this concept was important for practical reasons of travel, the positioning of the railways was, again, politically motivated. Any visitors to Berlin would be met with inspiring and awesome architecture, as if within the stones lay the very 2
vigour and energy which hallmarked Hitler’s new world; the essence of an all-powerful ‘Germania’. Speer thought that architecture could be used to exude power and domination; people would see in the magnificence of the buildings the irresistible wealth and power of the Third Reich. However, in real terms the whole concept was fraught with inconsistencies. A building programme to further one man’s ambitions could not possibly accommodate the needs of the many. In his memoirs Speer later admitted the plans lacked a sense of proportion and whilst planning for large crowds Hitler and Speer lost scale for individuals: “All architectural proportions of Berlin would be shattered by two buildings that Hitler envisaged on this new avenue.”5 The very fact that the buildings violated the human scale made them abnormal and strangely surreal. Hitler and Speer saw the project from an ideological perspective; for them careful urban planning was less important than ideological compliance. The plans ignored what was vital for Berlin at the time in the form of affordable housing and retail space. The question is posed whether the buildings sought any clear purpose other than for political ideology. The highly politicised approach to city building was in conflict with conventional views of both functions and aesthetics. Ladd argues that all urban planning encompasses an authoritarian element: “planning and architecture are always closely linked to power”6. He says that the plans for a reconstruction of Berlin were not new, and were in fact similar to the “technocratic rationality of all ‘modern societies”. However the Third Reich, like other totalitarian governments, differed from more liberal societies in the extent to which they could impose these plans. Architecture was used as a form of propaganda in Berlin to profoundly influence people’s thoughts and actions. The Chancellery was one of the first completed parts of Hitler’s personal aims to rebuild Berlin. In his eyes the old Chancellery was far too modest and in fact “fit for a soap company”.7 Hitler was impressed by the speed at which the chancellery was built. Additionally,
David Clay Large, Berlin: A Modern History (Great Britain: Penguin Group, 2001) p.302 Brian Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin (London: The University of Chicago Press Ltd, 1997) p.137 3 ibid., 137. 4 Alexander Scobie, Hitler’s State Architecture: The Imperial of Classical Antiquity (United States of America: College Art Association Inc, 1990) p.80
5 Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich (Great Britain: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1970) p.121 6 Ladd p.139 7 Speer p.157
the Chancellery as a public works project was used to alleviate mass unemployment. The new Chancellery was an example of architecture revelling in ostentation, but Speer argued that this was no different to architecture in the Baroque period, which lavished buildings with complex shapes and extravagant ornaments in an attempt to display the wealth and power of the Church. Dignity and power were to be expressed through both the designs of the exterior and interior of the building, in an over scaled style of stringent classicism. The entrance focussed on high columns and mass doors to create majesty and overwhelm. The exterior consisted of parallel rows of horizontal lines, typical of the era, which reinforced the Nazi idea of order and mirrored the tenets of totalitarianism. Most regimes throughout history had stamped their authority tangibly through the construction of monuments and buildings and Nazi Germany was no exception. The design of the interior was significant as this was dedicated solely to ceremonial purposes, therefore a sense of grandeur was generated which intimidated and impressed foreign diplomats visiting the Chancellery. Strategically, Hitler’s reception hall was placed at the very end of a long corridor allowing visitors to be immersed in a succession of grand halls, decorated with rich varieties of colours and materials aimed to have a daunting effect. Hitler wanted the Chancellery to provide a backdrop for his rise to rank of “one of the greatest men in history”8, portraying the importance he felt buildings were in people’s perception of him and his party. The Chancellery, along with the other buildings involved in the ‘Germania’ plans are examples of Hitler seeking permanence even immortality through architecture. Hitler dreamed of creating a Thousand Year Reich and wanted the architecture to reflect this; much like the Romans before them, Hitler wanted to leave a lasting legacy. Speer went as far to attempt to build structures without using modern building materials such as steel girders and reinforced concrete as these materials would not produce such aesthetically acceptable ruins; instead using his theory of Ruin Value, he relied on natural materials like stone that would endure in the 8
same way that the Roman coliseums have. Where Nazi architecture becomes problematic in Berlin is when questions arise over its legacy. The Chancellery and its surrounding bunkers lay in East Berlin, which meant that after German division in 1961, the Soviet Government were in charge of its upkeep. The location of the bunker was in fact kept secret as East Berlin’s treatment of its Nazi legacy encouraged little open debate about such issues. The roof of a bunker was however discovered by security officials in 1990, which caused a public outcry; many believed the bunker needed to be destroyed whilst others favoured its preservation. Berlin’s chief archaeologist in the 1990s’ Alfred Kernd’l argues that “Germans’ failure to confront their own past can be measured by the continuing destruction of its traces. 9” This poses the question, does this continuing destruction prove that Germans have never fully come to terms with their past? When builders of the New Berlin began working in the 1990s’, they came across a cylindrical piece of concrete constructed in 1941 to test the soil’s capability to hold the concrete (this was to become a part of the Triumphal Arch mentioned earlier). This was never removed, and while many people do not recognise it, it remains as an unintentional reminder of what might have been. The Nazi style of architecture is very distinctive; their obsession with rigid symmetry, stone facades and horizontal lines is easily linked to the regime and often tainted as having a ‘Nazi style’. Undeniably a connection is made between the architecture and Nazi politics, but is it possible or even necessary to attempt to ‘denazify’ these buildings? After World War Two, an intact building would have been kept without question, but recently moral issues are coming to the fore. There were some buildings which could continue to be used without controversy such as the Fehrbelliner Platz, which has been used for offices without break since the war. Naturally there are many buildings where the transition of usage has not run so smoothly. The ministry of aviation was a government department during the Nazi period, which became the venue where the constitution for the German Democratic 9
Republic (GDR) was signed. Post war events have defined the building; in the 1990’s it served as the headquarters for the Treuhand, which was the agency that privatised the East German enterprises as public property. This resulted in thousands of job losses and so the building, whilst essentially ‘denazified,’ became a symbol of autocracy and bureaucratic power, as many East Germans’ despised the institution for what it represented. A further example is the Nazi Reichsbank, until 1945 the central bank of Germany. In this case the denazification route seemed to be a robotic process, lacking any moral conscience. Not fearful of the shadows of Nazism, East German authorities did away with all decorative symbolism and utilised the building for practical purposes, firstly for their finance ministry and later as Communist Party headquarters. The task of reorganising Berlin’s rail connections has been considered for a lengthy period and whilst it was not so necessary when Berlin was divided into two different entities, reunification revived this concept. Soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall, city planners began to work on a transport plan for a reunified Berlin. These plans involved the centralisation of the rail lines along a North/South corridor. Renamed the ‘Pilzkonzept’ (mushroom concept), the rebuilding of the Central Station involved a North/South rail tunnel. Completed in 2006, the idea had previously been proposed by Speer. With the capital’s turbulent past, architecture has a political dimension which ensures it is regularly propelled into mainstream debate. Architecture defines not only the structure and designs of buildings but also the usage of them. A clear example of this is the proposals for restoring the ‘Martin Gropius Bau’ to create a new cultural centre. It became controversial when it was discovered that the adjacent buildings had been the former administrative headquarters of the National Socialist Party. Throughout the 1980s numerous public debates took place about the future of this terrain and what should be built there and it was felt that the history of National Socialism needed to be acknowledged. According to Till groups like the ‘Active Museum of Fascism and Resistance in Berlin’ began to articulate “their understanding of ‘a society of perpetrators’
through the materiality and metaphor of the abandoned landscape”10. Eventually the Topography of Terror was placed here, which was a compromise solution combining many suggested ideas; it was to be part museum, part memorial and part historical documentation. Till argues the Topography of Terror was powerful as a place of memory because of its ambiguity as a place which was open to diverse interpretations. Ladd suggests that the exhibition “is perhaps the most self-conscious attempt to uncover the historical legacy of a particular place in Berlin.”11 One building worthy of note and using as a conclusive point is the Olympic Stadium, which hosted the 1936 Olympic Games under the Nazis. Neither the stadium nor the grounds can be seen as exclusively Nazi, since Berlin was awarded the games before the Nazis came to power, but the stadium is nevertheless seen as embodying Nazi politics. The Olympics presented the Nazis with an unprecedented international stage upon which they intended to show the world an imperial power in tradition of the Roman Empire. Whilst scholars disagree on the extent of Nazi architecture visible in the designs of the grounds, it has been claimed the stadium was designed to evoke comparisons to the Coliseums in Rome. The architecture needed to be fitting with the purposes of the stadium, which was in fact never solely intended for athletic events and the Olympics, but it was to serve ‘national’, possibly military, purposes. Although the Stadium was influenced by Nazi architecture, the functional capabilities it offered were far too great to justify its demolition post WW2. The stadium became important once again in the 1990s as the reunified Germany applied to host the 2000 Olympic Games. Whilst losing out to Sydney, this was an opportunity for Germany to open old wounds. Many comparisons to the 1936 Olympics were made by anti-Olympic organisations, who argued that the government were pouring too much money and resources into the campaign, when the country already had large financial burdens so soon after reunification. This reasoning was sound, but perhaps
10 Karen E Till, The New Berlin; Memory, Politics, Place (Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 2005) p.66 11 Ladd p.154
only a veneer to more deep rooted issues. After years of anguished debate the stadium was renovated in 1998 and its partial new look is said to promote the Germany of today while remembering its history. Peter Steinhorst, chief technician on the project has said that “whenever you enter, you will still know this was the site of the 1936 Games. But there is also something new, and there will be multicultural events here.”12 Although perhaps this quote in itself is one of wilful forgetting; not only the black runner, Jesse Owens but also athletes from Egypt, Turkey, Mexico and other nations won medals in the 1936 Olympics and so the reference to ‘multi- cultural’ events is not explicitly ‘something new’. The Olympic stadium is an example of architecture outlasting the politics that created it; transformed from a Nazi showpiece to a popular athletic venue which hosted the 2006 Football World Cup Final. This was Germany’s biggest sporting spectacle since reunification and exactly 70 years after the infamous Nazi Olympics. The event is said to have had a unifying effect on Germany as for the first time in post war years Germans felt proud of their country and were not embarrassed to show their patriotism. It is clear to see that there is a deeprooted link between the role and importance of architecture in respect to politics in this period of the 20th Century. Arguably, with respect to architecture’s influence on politics and town planning in later years, this may have as much to do with its being refracted through two distinct political and ideological prisms, as anything inherent in the Nazi architecture itself. For certain, as controversy surrounding past Nazi buildings and present monuments and memorials begins to enter into public discourse, there is evidence that Germans are beginning to resolve these issues, which is not only important but necessary in order for the New Berlin to move forward.
Works Cited Books: Broadbent, Philip & Hake, Sabine. Berlin Divided City 1945-1989 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2010) Kleihues, Josef Paul & Kahlfedt, Paul. Stadt der Architektur Berlin 1900-2000 (Berlin: Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung Beuermann GmbH, 2000) Ladd, Brian. The Ghosts of Berlin (London: The University of Chicago Press Ltd, 1997) Large, David Clay. Berlin: A Modern History (Great Britain: Penguin Group, 2001) Reichhardt, Hans J & Schäche Wolfgang. Von Berlin nach Germania (Berlin: Transit Buchverlag, 1998) Scobie, Alexander. Hitler’s State Architecture: The Imperial of Classical Antiquity (United States of America: College Art Association Inc, 1990) Speer, Albert. Inside the Third Reich (Great Britain: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1970) Till, Karen E. The New Berlin; Memory, Politics, Place (Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 2005) Newspaper Articles: Micheal Scott Moore, Insanity on the Spree: New Exhibit Explores Hitler’s ‘Germania’. Der Spiegel. (2008) [online] http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/insanity-onthe-spree-new-exhibit-explores-hitler-s-germania-a-540558. html [Accessed 25 March 2013] Ray Furlong, New future for Nazi stadium. BBC News. (2004) [online] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/ europe/3942661.stm [Accessed 25 March 2013]
12 Ray Furlong, New future for Nazi stadium. BBC News. (2004) [online] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3942661.stm [Accessed 25 March 2013]
Stephen Kinzer, OLYMPICS; A Beleaguered Berlin Loses Ground in Race To Stage 2000 Games. The New York Times. (1992) [online] http://www.nytimes.com/1992/07/14/sports/ olympics-a-beleaguered-berlin-loses-ground-in-race-tostage-2000-games.html [Accessed 25 March 2013]
This piece is an assessment of the Apostle Paul and his view on women, based on his New Testament letters. Feminism within religion is prominent at the moment with the recent appointment of a female bishop within the Church of England. Paul is often cited as a supporter of equality and just as often cited as someone who believed in the subordination of women. It is important, in light of this contradiction, to understand what Paul was really trying to say and allow this to inform our decisions both within and externally to religion concerning the position of women. subject editor
P a u l t h e A p o s t l e ’s Vi e w O n Wo m e n joseph powell
In November, the BBC published a feature article on Paul the Apostle’s view on women prompted by the General Synods landmark decision to permit women bishops for the first time in its history1. Being such a historic occasion and, dealing with a writer as far reaching and influential as Paul, I expected to see a half decent attempt to categorise his views given the limited space available. Instead, what greeted me was the presence of two bible quotes, one of which is generally regarded to be non-Pauline,2 along with 15 lines examining women in lists of early Christians. Despite the article’s failure to fully inform its readership on the nuances of the topic, the article inspires me to provide the kind of coverage that the topic not only requires but deserves as such a landmark in the Church’s history. Whilst it would be hard to condense the vast raft of scholarship on this topic into an essay of any size, I have attempted to be as comprehensive as possible in analysing and critiquing Paul’s views on women. Before I begin I must make a distinction. In this essay I shall be examining only the ‘undisputed’ epistles consisting of Romans, Corinthians 1 & 2, Galatians, Phillipians, Philemon and 1 Thessalonians over which there is considerable scholarly consensus that they came from Paul. Although the household code of Colossians and Ephesians contains some very direct instruction in the form of ‘the household code’, it would be unfair to assess a man on work largely considered to have emanated after his death from those familiar with his texts3.
A passage often cited in defence of Paul’s status as a liberator of women is one of his earliest and comes from Galatians 3.28. He writes that ‘there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus’. At face value Paul appears to tear down the walls of gender, race and ownership equality in the ancient world in one, albeit unsuccessfully of course. Witherington uses this as evidence for his progressive picture of Paul. He puts forward the view that Paul saw the increasing rate of circumcisions amongst the Galatians (Gal 5.8) logically extending to a demand from the ‘Judaizers’ for women to join the covenant in the only way they can, through marriage to which he responds with his edict in 3.28. Witherington argues that ‘By this he means that there is a place for women apart from men, just as there is a place for the single man in Christ (1 Cor 7). Marriage, kinship ties and social position are not and cannot be the social basis or lowest common denominator in the Christian community4’. Whilst he suggests that Paul’s desire was for men and women to seek an independent life not defined by significant others, this appears to stretch only as far as those in control of their desires (1 Cor 7.9) and it would seem highly naïve to think there wasn’t a part of Paul that didn’t want to see people turn to a flock he had abandoned and rebuked (Rom 3.20, 1 Cor 15.56). It would appear Paul is more a coveter than a liberator. Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza puts forward a more literal exegesis of Gal 3.28 in which she views Paul as directly in line with her feminist reconstruction. She states that ‘Gal 3.28 not only advocates the abolition of religiouscultural divisions and of the domination and
1 Timpson, Trevor, ‘What did St Paul say about women?’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29513427 (Accessed 21st November 2014) 2 Marrow, Stanley ‘Paul: His Letters and His Theology: an introduction to Pauline Epistles’ (New York: Paulist Press, 1986) Pp51 3 Standhartinger, Angela ‘Colossians and the Pauline School’ in New Testament Studies, Vol 50 Iss 04 (2004),p581
4 Witherington, Ben, ‘Rite and Rights for women – Galatians 3.28’ in New Testament Studies, Vol 27, Iss 05 (1981) pp601
exploitation wrought by institutional slavery but also of domination based on sexual divisions. […] within the Christian community no structures of dominance can be tolerated 5’. Schussler sees past any theological nuances and heads straight for what’s on the paper, that Paul wanted equality for the sexes. Peter Lampe adds that whilst this might be true his main motivation behind the remark was to reduce sexuality amongst the congregation. Before noting this was the reason behind Paul’s insistence of covered female heads in Church he adds that with gender roles losing their strength ‘the erotic “electricity” between the sexes was supposed to diminish6’. Under this reading, Paul isn’t overly interested in social equality on a societal level but more with keeping Christian minds off impious topics that would distract them from God. Through this interpretation we can see a direct line of asceticism from Paul through to Augustine. This argument starts to hold water when we see Paul attempting to repress carnality elsewhere in his epistles. Troy Martin points to his reinterpretation of 1 Cor 11:15 in which covering becomes testicle. He argues Paul saw it fit for women to cover their heads as in an ancient physiological understanding they were her external genitals and would rile male desires7. Whilst it would seem doubtful that Paul meant for such an allencompassing verse to be reduced purely to prohibition of venereal lusts, it certainly seems feasible that his predilection toward a life of chastity, (Gal 5.17, 1 Cor 7.7, 1 Cor 7.34-45) aswell as a life of sexual rectitude (Rom 6:1214, Gal 5:16-17) for the faithful was the driving force behind this verse. However, not everyone sees a head covering (1 Cor 11:15) as a testicle—to others, it represents oppression. Louise Schotroff summarises ‘Paul presents a massive argument to prompt women to express their submission to the man by wearing head covers during worship service and when praying and prophesying8’. 5 Schüssler-Fiorenza, Elisabeth, ‘ln Memory of Her’ (London: SCM Press, 1983) pp213
Schottroff sees Paul as a classic ancient misogynist, determined to nurture the already heavily androcentric power balance of the Greco-Roman world. This view assumes that the motive behind the veiling is submission, which isn’t necessarily the case. Watson argues in line with Martin’s suggestion that male desires are the aim of this edict and then furthers this by arguing that the ‘female head-covering – probably a veil – serves as a symbol of women’s freedom from an erotic basis for the relationship of male and female derived from creation9’. Paul seeks to define the New Age in which he lives as one of sober and reasoned thought against the Old Age of law and sin, where desires of the flesh clouded the mind. Watson argues from an almost Islamic position, seeing the veil as something that liberates the woman from ogling and focuses those to whom she may be prophesying solely on the revelation that she speaks. Watson is right to move the argument away from hierarchy structures that we are analysing, perhaps anachronistically. In doing so she finds a picture of Paul uninterested in gender constructs but devoted to the divine in its various forms. Romans 16 also proves interesting reading, although it gives no direct teaching or instruction. Paul tells us of ‘our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae’ clearing inferring that she is a woman of some status or hierarchy within the church. Fiorenza concludes as many do that Paul’s choice to mention her owes to her role as an envoy bringing Paul’s letter to the Romans. She argues that ‘Phoebe’s example testifies that early Christian women leaders officially represented early Christian communities and that their travels served the communication between them10’. If Paul considers Phoebe astute and Godly enough to orate one of his epistle’s then he surely must hold her in fairly high esteem. Fiorenza also warns against an androcentric reading of the verse such as one espoused by William Barclay. He writes that their role consisted of ‘the 9 Watson, Francis, ‘The Authority of the Voice: A Theological Reading of 1 Cor 11.2-16’ in New Testament Studies Vol 46, Iss 04 (2000) 10 Schüssler-Fiorenza, Elisabeth, ‘Missionaries, Apostles, Coworkers: Romans 16 and the Reconstruction of Women’s Early Christian History’ in World and World Vol 6, Iss 4 (1986)
6 Lampe, Peter in ‘Early Christian Families in Context: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue’ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 2008) pp80 7 Goodacre, Mark, ‘Does περιβόλαιον Mean “Testicle”in 1 Corinthians 11:15?’ in Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol 130, No 2 (2011) pp391-392 8 Schottroff, Louise, ‘Let the Oppressed Go Free’ (Westminster: John Knox Press, 1993) pp108
visitation of the sick and in the distribution of food to the poor [.] Women must have played a big part in the life and work of the Church; but they did not at that time hold any official positions11’. Barclay seems to pitch the absurd notion that any women could have held authority in the Church assigning her the traditionally feminine roles of charity and alms, a reading with threatens to alienate the text from its own time. Fiorenza argues that this sort of patriarchal analysis ‘cannot imagine or conceptualize that women such as Phoebe could have had leadership equal to and sometimes even superior to men in early Christian beginnings. The […] objectivity of historical-critical scholarship has a difficult time to prevail when the text speaks about a woman in a way that does not fit into traditional or contemporary androcentric models of historical reconstruction12’. Her judgement is entirely correct of course and scholars need to make a conscious effort to remove themselves from the times and structures in which they write in order to not put words in the apostles mouth. To achieve a more accurate reading not clouded in cultural presuppositions we should give closer inquiry to Paul’s original words. He uses the word diakanos and prostasis which can either be translated both as verbs as in ‘she serves’ or as in the office of deacon13. As discussed, interpretations of this word can be coloured but Steven Croft argues convincingly that it is used much in the same way as Phillipians 1:1 ‘in a more ‘technical’ sense as a person exercising a recognised ministry on behalf of the churches14. Paul acknowledges other deacons here giving provenance to the non-verbal interpretation. Jewett backs up this notion and goes as far to suggest that perhaps ‘Phoebe was viewed by Paul as a central player to his plans for a Spanish mission (Rom 15:23-24)15.’ This interpretation seems loose however as even if we subscribe to the view 11 Barclay, William, ‘The Letter to the Romans’ (Westminster: John Know, 1955) pp245 12 Florenza, Missionaries, Apostles, Coworkers: Romans 16 and the Reconstruction of Women’s Early Christian History pp426 13 Loads, Ann ‘Feminist Theology: A Reader’ (John Knox Press, Westminster) 1990 pp62 14 Croft, Steven, ‘Text Messages: The Ministry of Women and Romans 16’ in Anvil Vol 21, No 2 (2004) pp89 15 Macdonald, Y Margaret in ‘Women and Christian Origins’ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) pp208
of Phoebe as letter carrier and messenger, the verse in question seems more to be a heads up to the Roman congregation that Paul plans to drop in on the way through given the context. Regardless, Phoebe is clearly someone Paul holds in high esteem and has a very personal relationship with. Contrary to what scholars like Barclay might suppose it is well within the realms of possibility that the early Christian movement, as one in its infancy and facing persecution, would consist of men and women in all capacities instead of constricting themselves further. Whilst it has often been argued that the patriarchal Greco-Roman principals from which these letters and their author emanate simply could not have conceived a woman holding authority16, it is worth bearing in mind that it is the monolithic exclusive Greco Roman value system that spawned the radical Christian movement in opposition. Romans 16 shows us that Paul is happy to venerate, elevate, task and associate with women leading to the likely conclusion that he considers them equals, or at least not inferior to men. Some of the most instantly repugnant writings to our modern sensibilities come in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Paul writes that ‘Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church’. Even more puzzling is that it comes a few chapters after Paul condones females prophesying if veiled (1 Cor 11:5) and a few verses before he tells his ‘brothers and sisters’ to allow both prophesying and speaking in tongues. Gordon Fee argues that he can’t hold both views simultaneously. In his systematic commentary on Corinthians, he concludes that the passage’s incongruity owes to it being ‘an early marginal gloss17’ added later by those seeking to piggyback on Paul’s authority. Curt Niccum however demands that for this to be attested to Fee must find ‘evidence of a text lacking 14.34-518’. Although Fee has carried out 16 Gundry-Volf, Judith, ‘Road to Damascus’, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997) pp187 17 Fee, Gordon ‘The First Epistle to the Corinthians’ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, Corinthians) pp699 18 Niccum, Curt, ‘The Voice of the Manuscripts on The Silence of Women: The External Evidence for 1 Cor 14.34-5’ in New Testament Studies 43.02 (1997) pp243
some very careful textual exegesis to come to his conclusion, Niccum is certainly correct that we can’t start marking verses as additions when they appear problematic without the necessary evidence and without the proof that he requests, we shall proceed as if they were Pauline. So how can the tension be resolved? Falanagan and Snyder argue that the ‘simplest’ reading is to see ‘the passage as Paul’s agitated reaction to a feminist movement in Corinth which he sees as pushing too fast and too hard. Some of the women convinced that baptism and the gift of the spirit have created a fundamental equality among Christians and are expressing that equality during church services19.’ This view paints a picture of Paul as a tyrant, quashing equal rights movements from his ivory tower and would seem to go against Paul’s early eschatology (1 Thess 4:15-18, 1 Cor 15:5154). Surely there is no such thing as too fast if the end is nigh. Fiorenza offers the much less objectionably theory that Paul is in fact addressing two different groups of people. She argues ‘the injunction does not pertain to all women but solely to wives of Christians20’ as the unmarried which Paul reveres so highly (1 Cor 7:34) do not have husbands to petition. By this interpretation it is not gender Paul has the issue with but a sort of godly status, although it does beg the question of why he lists Pricilla before Aquilla (Rom 16:3-4, 1 Cor 16:19) if the married woman’s role in church is so diminished. Despite common accusations it appears that Paul is not hell-bent on diminishing women’s roles purely for gender’s sake but much more in keeping with his belief that the second coming is imminent, how you act towards and view your God is a world more important than male and female (Gal 3.28). Although the so called ‘house hold code’ falls beyond our remit as it dwells in the unverified epistles we do get some instructions concerning married, divorced and widowed women in 1 Corinthians 7. The chapter offers numerous insights on sexual relations, divorce, second marriages and who Paul feels should take part in each. He appears to be advocating
a maintenance of the status-quo, advising the unmarried and widowed to stay single (7.8), the married to stay married (7.10) and even slaves to stay enslaved (7.21-22) concluding that ‘in whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with God’ (7.24). Scroggs brings to our attention the fact that Paul directs his words unequivocally to men and women ‘in order to show that each sex has the same freedom and the same responsibility. […] Paul carries out this pattern to the point of tautologousness and awkwardness21.’ This fully emancipatory outlook is at odds with Fiorenza’s perspective. She writes that ‘it would be reaching too far to conclude from this that women and men shared an equality of role and a mutuality of relationship or equality of responsibility, freedom and accountability in marriage. Paul stresses this interdependence only for sexual conjugal relationships and not for all marriage relationships22.’ It seems that she reluctantly accepts an endorsement for the kind of married relationships we see today were roles are shared out between both partners as a bridge too far. Fiorenza thus sees Paul as a semi-liberating figure. Whilst he doles out some rights for woman, most romantic relationships of antiquity right up until the very recent didn’t take place in these ‘conjugal relationships’ but in marriage and hence the effect of his manumission is certainly dampened. This need not necessarily be through a belief of the superiority of man over woman however. Cartlidge argues that the connection between sexuality and ‘fallen creation’ was a dominant part of his psychology and that ‘Paul still believes however, that real liberation means asexuality23’. Again we see Paul’s asexuality colouring his words as his lack of time for all things lascivious means that he doesn’t liberate women fully as firstly he regards romantic relationships as a waste of time compared to Godly activities and secondly he sees this as paling in significance to the second coming. This gives us the picture of Paul who is above gender
19 Flanagan, Neal & Hunter-Snyder, Edwina ‘Did Paul Put Down Women in 1 Cor 14:34-36?’ in Biblical Theology Bulletin: Journal of Bible and Culture Vol 11, No 1 (1981) pp10-12 20 Fiorenza, In Memory of Her, pp231
21 Scroggs, Robin, ‘Paul and the Eschatological Woman’ Journal of the American Academy of Religion Vol 40, No 3 (1972) pp294 22 Fiorenza, In Memory of Her pp225 23 Cartlidge, David, ‘1 Corinthians 7 as a Foundation for a Christian Sex Ethic’ in The Journal of Religion, Vol. 55, No 2 (Apr., 1975),pp232
and gender relationships as opposed to Paul the misogynist and admonisher of women. In conclusion, it appears to me that Paul has a pastoral concern for his flock that goes beyond purely male and female. If we consider verses such as 1 Thess 4:15-18 and 1 Cor 15:5154 as affirmations that the second coming of Christ is on the horizon, it then makes no sense for Paul to attempt to establish a gender hierarchy which will be undone at the last trumpet. This is demonstrated by the precious few (verified) teachings Paul gives squarely and when we do receive direct instruction, 1 Cor 14:34-35 and 1 Cor 11:15 for example, I have demonstrated his objective was full concentration from the Corinthians on the word they were receiving directly from God. It is also worth nothing that both these commonly cited examples take place in a Church setting making it hard to conclude, as many do, that these were his views in every setting and scenario. When Paul does directly refer to women by name it is almost exclusively positive. He refers to them as equals, true embodiments of the faith and even gives Phoebe the burden/honour of taking his letter to Rome for repetition (Rom 16). The interpretational nature of the bone fide teachings on the topic with have from Paul coupled with the likely presence of women in the early church hierarchy suggests that Paul’s views on women were little different to Paul’s view on men. This talk of subjugation and dominance appears to be anachronistic and frankly immaterial to a man eagerly awaiting a thief in the night. Given this, Paul should be seen neither as liberator or oppressor but as a fanatic who dedicated every aspect of his outlook to the almighty.
Works Cited Grenz, Stanley & Kjesbo, Denis ‘Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry’ (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2010) Horrell, David ‘An Introduction to the Study of Paul’ (London: T&T Clark, 2006) Fee, Gordon ‘The First Epistle to the Corinthians’ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, Corinthians) Nasrallah, Laura & Schüssler-Fiorenza, Elisabeth ‘Prejudice and Christian Beginnings’ (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009) Schüssler-Fiorenza, Elisabeth, ‘ln Memory of Her’ (London: SCM Press, 1983) pp213
Schottroff, Louise, ‘Let the Oppressed (Westminster: John Knox Press, 1993)
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l e a d e d i to r : h a r ry l e s s e r m a nag i n g e d i to r : c h e r r i e k wo k c o n t r i b u to r s : h e l e na g a d s b y , i 単 i g o h e r r e r a
h u b b e r s t e y , r o s e m a ry l e n n i e , o l i v i a p i m e n ta , ag ata siuchninska
I s l a m i c S t a t e ’s o r i g i n s At the turn of the millennium (as Francis Fukuyama proclaimed it, the ‘End of History’), geopolitics had become a relic of a polarised and apparently defeated past. Schools of thought maintained that modern, westernised, liberal democracies could not regress to a more primitive state. Meanwhile, as Bush Senior had shown in the Gulf, and Blair in the Balkans and Sierra Leone, military intervention from the international community seemed to be the answer to humanitarian crises. However, with Al-Qaeda and the War on Terror, as well as prolonged operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, came a growing opposition to the doctrine of Western intervention. Afghanistan, already torn apart by Soviet invasions, infighting warlords and Taliban oppression, saw the continued establishment of Islamist militant training camps. Iraq, its national infrastructure shattered by the 2003 War despite ‘democracy-building’, deteriorated. It was against this context that Abu Musab alZarqawi appeared. Disillusioned with what he saw as the Jordanian monarchy’s incompatibility with Islam, in 1999 he left to set up a training camp in Afghanistan, intending to remove them through his ‘Monotheism and Jihad Group’ (JTWJ). By 2002 his men had murdered US diplomat Laurence Foley in Amman and, by 2004, had bombed the UN headquarters in Iraq. In Afghanistan Zarqawi met Osama bin Laden, and pledged allegiance. Critically, however, one should not automatically equate bin Laden with Zarqawi, as this alliance was not a happy union, but an association of necessity. Bin Laden, the popular face of global jihad for a decade, had personal wealth, university education, backing at high levels, and a network of fighters in places from Bosnia to Afghanistan, with the goal of ‘liberating’ Muslims from ‘apostate’ regimes, foreign influence, and the actions of Europe and America. It was therefore bin Laden’s sponsorship of a wide range of terror on a global scale from which his legitimacy derived. Zarqawi’s goals, however, were markedly different from the outset. Coming from a lower socioeconomic class, he had first-hand experience of criminal activity, and was noted for his willingness to lead from the front lines. Notably, Zarqawi’s ideology differed from Al-Qaeda’s: he publicly advocated the execution of ‘heretical’ Muslims, and perceived that the problem for Islam was not the outside world but certain Muslims themselves. His aim was not to bring
the fight immediately to the wider world, but to build a local Jihadist presence through the grassroots approach of insurgency, bringing the Levant and the Arab world under his control by removing the Jordanian monarchy. These ideological, organisational, and leadership differences sparked friction between Al-Qaeda and JTWJ in the early part of the last decade. The Coalition’s 2003 invasion of Iraq was a turning point, and became a potent source of antagonism that could be turned to JTWJ’s advantage. Zarqawi’s Iraqi operations had been branded ‘Al-Qaeda in Iraq’ (AQI) as one of Al-Qaeda’s franchises—but if funded by them originally, it increasingly became an autonomous entity. AQI gained more from the partnership than Al-Qaeda did, acquiring influence, money, and arms. By being established in Iraq, AQI controlled the current of foreign fighters; it could orchestrate the future of the jihadi generation. Saddam’s military had meanwhile been purged by the Americans of its old regime-favoured Sunni ranks. This meant that a now disenfranchised, unemployed Sunni Arab class was left alienated, and co-opted into the likes of AQI elements resorted to insurgency in 2006-2007. Conflict was exacerbated by Shia retaliation, and in response Zarqawi declared “all-out war” on Shia Muslims in the country in 2005. He also took the advice of Al-Qaeda’s deputy leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri: “More than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media.” (This proved to be a prescient observation given Islamic State’s use of modern media technology in promoting its mission across the world.) He then attached insurgent groups to AQI under the ‘Mujahedeen Advisory Council’ organisation (MSC). Several Sunni Arab tribes joined after Zarqawi’s death the next year, and the MSC became known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) with Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi as its leader. Little is known about Al-Baghdadi the man, although with a PhD in religious studies from Baghdad’s Islamic University, a background in preaching, as well as a (possible) lineage from the prophet Mohamed’s family, combined with his success as a leader of Islamic State, his legitimacy as a leader seems secure as far as his followers are concerned. Violence in Iraq abated somewhat with the ‘surge’ of coalition troops in 2008. Yet, the ISI remained essentially intact. Moreover, Zarqawi’s death had the 44
useful effect of nullifying the shaky agreement between his organisation and Al-Qaeda, which by now was long past its sell-by date and fundamentally at odds. In spite of the the withdrawal of foreign troops by 2011, the weak Shia government of Nouri Al-Maliki saw a second rise to power of the insurgency with renewed leadership and Saddam-era Sunni soldiers. By 2013 the ‘state’ of Iraq fractured, and Kurdish autonomy was effectively realised; by mid-2014 ISI had captured territory as far north as Mosul, the first major city under its control. We now turn to Syria. After the brief period of regional optimism in 2011 and the closure in the West from bin Laden’s death, the harsh reality of the Syrian Civil War set in. Such a background provided an opportune environment for the rise of what became the Islamic State in the Levant. The chaos of war allowed ISI to move into Syria. The establishment of the ‘Nusra Front’ (JN), the culmination of guerrillas sent from Iraq and the Gulf to orchestrate an Islamist Syria, was claimed by AlQaeda as its offspring. However, the support which JN received from ISI, along with the fact that its networks had been built by Zarqawi, meant that many of Nusra’s members felt affiliated to ISI. Similarly, the strategy of ISI in Iraq – a bottom-up process of insurgency for local Islamist control – mirrored the goals of JN, who were fighting to displace Assad in favour of an Islamic state in Syria, as opposed to the more globalised, top-down doctrines of Al-Qaeda. The result was that when in April 2013 Baghdadi declared that his ‘Islamic State’ now comprised both Iraq and Syria, many Nusra Front members simply defected to the ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL/ISIS). Al-Qaeda, if vocally disowning the new movement, was powerless to stop it. Later, by dropping geographical references in the name, ‘Islamic State’ (IS) became a concept unconstrained by territorial markers, carrying with it the implicit goal of continued conquest. Many Middle Eastern ‘countries’ in their official forms are historical anomalies: they did not fully represent the demographics and national identities of their constituent populations, with catastrophic long-term results. Iraq and Syria, carved from the Ottoman domain in the last century for reasons of colonial efficiency, placed first under British and French control, and then under Arab autocrats, have ceased to exist in 45
a tangible form and degenerated into ethnic conflicts between those who have never felt wholly ‘Syrian’ or ‘Iraqi’. IS has taken advantage of the demographic divisions in its expansion, portraying the now-defunct borders as evidence of the West’s history of ‘colonial machinations’. IS intend “with the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other” (Edward Gibbon’s words) to establish a new ‘caliphate’—an occupied territory ruled over both religiously and politically by an Islamic despot. Yet whilst their ideology harks back to Dark Age-phenomena, they are keen to hit the twentieth-century nerves of nationalism and identity, playing upon the Arab/Kurdish and Sunni/Shia divides. Moreover, their methodology is very much of the twenty-first century: consider their use of modern media technology, producing slick videos and publishing online magazines. Analysts have pointed out that they know their enemies—their broadcasted beheadings are clearly calculated to sow concern amongst Western governments reluctant to go back in force to the Middle East. Despite the fiercely ideological sentiment, the approach has been remarkably pragmatic. Although it may proclaim invading Jerusalem or Rome, IS is content to focus on its ‘near enemies’ and with building its own realm (consider the use of schools, care homes, taxes – it even has plans for its own currency) and represents a notable shift in the paradigm of Islamist terror. A former Turkish president likened the Middle East to a great feast: either you’re sitting and eating, or you are the meal. As the past few years have shown, the distance between chair and plate is small. It is only a matter of time before reluctant regional players will also be drawn into the conflict with no clear end in sight. Unlikely alliances, such as that between the USA and Iran, have been forged through necessity. Realpolitik and geopolitics are again on the menu, and the humanitarian crises escalate.
International Response IS’s effective recruitment propaganda and its attractiveness to foreign fighters have created a debate around the necessity to intervene. IS is slowly provoking the West into active involvement in the area, both military and humanitarian, despite a general reluctance among policymakers to return there. Since the murders of four journalists, an international coalition led by the US has carried out air strikes against IS, allowing Kurdish militias and Iraqi troops to make some progress. Yet, analysts have begun to consider the possibility of sending ground troops, as military sources argue airstrikes will not be enough to defeat an organised insurgency. Some suggest that, considering the weakness of the Iraqi Army, only ground support will work. However, to begin with, there already are foreign troops deployed in Iraq, admittedly in an advisory and training role. Moreover, the Iraqi Prime Minister has explicitly forbidden foreign troops from fighting against IS in Iraqi territory. The kind of intervention that is needed in Iraq, therefore, is one in which foreign troops take a supportive rather than a leading role. This will prove beneficial for Iraq in the long term; after all, it is the Iraqi army that must defeat IS if it is to gain any credibility as a fighting force. Others argue that the West has a paucity of reliable allies in the region. The Kurds are on the defensive. Turkey’s large military has not committed, its leaders reluctant to aggravate their own Kurdish problem; Iraqi security forces advanced against IS but will not attack its bases in Syria. The Syrian secular rebels are weak. Hezbollah’s support of Assad has further complicated matters, making potential Israeli help in containing IS in Syria impossible. As Obama has pledged, Islamic State can clearly be “degraded” in the short term, and it is unlikely that it will spread much further without at least being contained. Yet its eradication is still a long way off.
Economic Impact Illegal oil sales are one of Islamic State’s main sources of income. Experts estimate that they make as much as $2 million per day, just by selling the commodity at prices far below the global standard – while a legally bought barrel of oil can cost over $100, IS is reportedly willing to sell theirs for as little as $30. Iraq is the world’s fifth largest provider of oil and, until November, IS kept a hold on one of its oil refineries, which provided them with the opportunity to make the sales. Additionally, Western hostages have become something akin to a commodity, and one for which certain leaders, such as Francois Hollande, are willing to pay a lot of money. Meanwhile Iraqis and Syrians who live in territories occupied by IS face daily extortion: using IS-controlled roads comes with a toll, and it has been reported that even the Syrian government might have paid IS for the provision of electricity. IS’s control over oil fields and its involvement in the black market caused a scare in June, when the price of Brent crude spiked by $4 per barrel during the advance on Mosul. However, in November it reached its lowest price in four years, which is a good indicator of how IS is not yet a threat to global markets. Iraq’s main oil fields are located in the country’s south, whereas Islamic State occupies northern territories, from where about only a quarter of Iraq’s total production derives. It is enough to provide the organization with a stable financial standing, but nowhere near enough to hurt the global economy. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stated that regardless of developments in Iraq, their production for 2014 is likely to exceed targets by about 2.6%, and countries from outside OPEC have also vowed to put contingency plans in place.
IS’s radical goals have sparked a crucial question in the legal world: could I.S. become a legitimate state? In order for a new state to be established, it must fulfil the general requirements for secession of statehood, outlined in the Montevideo Convention (1933), where four criteria are highlighted: a) permanent population; b) defined territory; c) government; and c) the ability to enter into relations with others. Does IS fit the criteria? IS have declared that they satisfy the first and second criteria by making a definite claim to the territory and population from northern Syria to the Iraqi province of Diyala, northeast of Baghdad. But this claim does not reflect reality. Though the population need not be compromised of the same nationals, there is no united sense of being part of this new state due to the substantial opposition to the IS regime. In addition, the criterion of defined territory requires a stable political community in control of an area—which in this case is, again, uncertain. It is unclear if IS would fit this criterion: their strong military presence in the area does not necessarily translate into an effective governmental body. Moreover, it is also unclear whether IS satisfy the last criterion—the capacity to enter into relations with other states. Whilst it is not required that other states actually enter into relations, it is unlikely IS has the capacity to do so if necessary. IS, therefore, is unable to claim legal statehood. It is possible that IS will resolve the issues to satisfy the criteria in the future but, if not recognised by other states, they will find it difficult to function internationally. Furthermore, there are currently calls for an expansion of the criteria to include respect for the fundamental principles of international law. Though this presently only applies in Europe, if other countries adopt similar principles, IS will be unable to claim statehood due to its 46 aggression.
Map of the claim to power of the Islamic State c o n t r i b u to r s
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f r o m t h e b ot to m l e f t ): h e l e na g a d s b y , ag ata siuchniska, iñigo herrera
o l i v i a p i m e n ta , h a r ry
l e s s e r , r o s e m a ry l e n n i e , mim hubberstey
The Kurdish Perspective
The Kurds have gained international attention due to their conflict with Islamic State. The fourth-most significant ethnic group in the region, they live in the area commonly referred to as Kurdistan which incorporates parts of Armenia, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Oppressed by Arabs and Turks, they have never been granted their own country. In Turkey the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was, until 2013, at war with the authorities. After Saddam’s fall, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq became increasingly autonomous; it is also potentially wealthy, with much of the water and mineral resources of the country. Since the Iraqi army retreated from Islamic State and lost Mosul, Kurdish fighters have provided much of the resistance in the north. After the Turkish government’s ceasefire with the PKK, Kurds were allowed to cross the border into Iraq, and many joined the fighting in Syria. If Islamic State is contained from northern Iraq, then there is little doubt that Baghdad can prevent Kurdish autonomy from growing, since Iraq is now “effectively partitioned”: Kurdish leaders will now likely demand independence. As the Kurdish forces are undertaking much of the war the UK, US and other countries have armed their fighters specifically as well as providing humanitarian assistance. Might such a course of action lead to de facto international recognition of Kurdistan? Moreover, there remains the tricky issue of Turkey’s attitude to Kurdish agency in the region. A member of NATO, and an aspiring member of the EU (both of which organisations have also classed the PKK as a terrorist organisation) Turkey finds itself torn between allowing the Kurds to face Islamic State alone, or providing assistance to them, thereby flying in the face of its own anti-Kurdish precedents. For the moment Ankara has found a delicate compromise: it will allow the Iraqi Kurds passage to the front – useful anti-IS allies – but will restrict the Turkish Kurds. How long this balance can last is uncertain.
Though it should be clear that IS have warped Islamic theology to suit their own ends, this is generally unrecognised by superficial media reporting. For example, the media’s use of the word ‘jihadists’ presents a significant problem—identifying IS as a jihad without actually explaining the theological roots of jihad betrays some ignorance. There are actually two kinds of jihad: ‘Greater jihad’ is the struggle against the ego, and ‘lesser jihad’ is the struggle against the enemy. All Muslims are encouraged to undertake greater jihad, whereas lesser jihad should only be undertaken when one has been wronged, has just cause, has permission from one’s parents, and is justified by scripture. Without explaining these theological contexts, careless reporting has given rise to misplaced ‘islamaphobia’ among the general public. But Islam is also being wrongly demonised by the actions of IS itself. In an open letter to Al-Baghdadi, signed by over 120 Muslim scholars, it is clearly outlined how IS are in violation of 24 Islamic laws found in the Koran. It is apparent IS are cherry-picking particular verses from the Quran to justify their actions—even though this selective discrimination is expressly forbidden in Islam. In addition, the scholars also raise the point that Islam forbids the killing of innocents and emissaries (and therefore journalists and aid workers), torture, the denial of the rights of women and children, the killing of Christians or Jews, and slavery. Even the leadership and authority that Al-Baghdadi claims is dubious: Al-Baghdadi claims to have founded the new ‘Caliphate’, with the support of his community, the first since 1924—but to be Caliph, one must have the support of the entire Muslim community.
Literary Perspective There is little that a literary approach can contribute in terms of political or cultural knowledge of IS. Shakespeare’s portrayal of ‘the Moor’ only reasserts pervasive Western suspicions of the ‘Oriental other’ in Edward Said’s terms, and does little to inform us about the current Middle East from an untainted Westernised perspective. At the moment it is easy to see the East and the West as binary opposites. The U.K.’s military intervention in both Iraq and Afghanistan seems to label the East in our eyes as, at best, suspicious and, at worst, an enemy. In his biography Man and Poet, Kahil Gibran is described as ‘one of those rare writers who actually transcend the barrier between East and West, and could justifiably call himself—though a Lebanese and a patriot—a citizen of the world’. His famous work, The Prophet, is striking in that it is both simple and profound: accessible enough for what Virginia Woolf would term ‘the common reader’, yet poignant enough to penetrate into the heart of humanity: “Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” While Western society has often prided itself on its superior humanism, the social inequalities that are still ubiquitous today would contradict this confidence. Surely the fact that the Facebook pages “Spotted: Sexism at Exeter University” and “Spotted: Racism at Exeter University” are so controversial would testify to the inequality that riddles our own society, even within our comparatively small community in Exeter. Yet Gibran’s statement seems to calmly wash over all of this. Rather than actively forcing unions, Gibran suggests that one must allow for reciprocity, harmony, and above all, free will. Surely if this model was applied to our own society, then we would be much closer to achieving something like ‘humanism’. Gibran’s work is paradigmatic for the way in which we ought to consider people, cultures, and countries. This is not solely a criticism of military impositions, but also ideological impositions. Before either the West or the East assume cultural superiority - whether it be for religious, political, or social reasons – perhaps we need to take a step back and examine the principles behind our own beliefs. It is with a greater cultural compassion that we might come together as a global community. 47
Works Cited & Further Reading
Schwartz, Yishai. ‘The Islamic State’s Latest Victim: Israeli-Palestinian Peace.’ New Republic, 2 October 2014. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119682/isis-kills-chances-israelipalestinian-peace
Ackerman, Spencer and Tom McCarthy. ‘Barack Obama doubles US troop levels for war against Isis in Iraq.’ The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/07/obama-doubles-ustroop-levels-iraq-isis
Simpson, John. ‘Islamic State can be Beaten.’ New Statesman, 17 October 2014: 25-29.
Ackerman, Spencer and Raya Jalabi. ‘US military considers sending combat troops to battle Isis forces in Iraq.’ The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/13/us-military-considerstroops-iraq-general
Spyer, Jonathan. ‘IS and the Incoherence of Western Policy.’ Fathom Journal, Autumn 2014. http://fathomjournal.org/is-and-the-incoherence-of-western-policy/
Annan, Kofi A, and Nader Mousavizadeh. Interventions: A Life in War and Peace. New York: Penguin Books, 2013.
Zelin, Aaron Y. ‘The War between ISIS and al-Qaeda for Supremacy of the Global Jihadist Movement.’ Washington Institute for Near East Policy, June 2014. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/uploads/Documents/pubs/ ResearchNote_20_Zelin.pdf
Barr, James. A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle for the Mastery of the Middle East. London: Simon & Schuster, 2012. Black, Ian. ‘The Islamic State: is it Isis, Isil – or possibly Daesh?’ The Guardian. 21 September 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/world/ shortcuts/2014/sep/21/islamic-state-isis-isil-daesh
Bushrui, Suheil, and Joe Jenkins. Kahil Gibran: Man and Poet. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 1998. Said, Edward. Orientalism. London: Penguin, 2003.
‘Declaration of Guidelines on the Recognition of New States in Eastern Europe and in the Former Soviet Union’ in Parry, Clive, John P. Grant, and J C. Barker. Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Welby, Justin. ‘What should we do about ISIS?’ Prospect. November 2014: 14-16. Woolf, Virginia, and Andrew McNeillie. The Common Reader. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984.
Home Office. ‘Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill’. 26 November 2014. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/counter-terrorism-andsecurity-bill
Image Credits (all under the Creative Commons Liscence; in order of appearance) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/51/(20)_Flaxman_Ilias_1795,_ Zeichnung_1793,_194_x_338_mm.jpg https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7169/6671056663_4b255a030b_b.jpg https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5029/5615205135_21dcfd54fc_b.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4a/Exchange_Money_Conversion_to_ Foreign_Currency.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7d/Mal%C3%A9_Mosque.JPG http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/Ahmad_Moftizadeh(_the_Iranian_ Revolution).jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6a/Reichstag_Berlin_Germany.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/The_Apostle_Paul_(detail)_-_ Google_Art_Project.jpg https://www.flickr.com/photos/dziadek/10167339426/sizes/l http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USAF_F-16_fighter_taking_on_fuel_over_Iraq.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3a/Claim_to_power_of_ISIS.png Cover: The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies Building, University of Exeter. Photograph taken by The Undergraduate Exeter.
‘Iraqi Kurds Push for Separation’. BBC News. 1 July 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28102653 ‘The Rise of the Islamic State.’ BBC News. 11 August 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28116033 ‘Tethered by History’. The Economist, 5 July 2014. http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21606286-failures-arab-springwere-long-time-making-tethered-history?fsrc=widget%2Firaq Fraiman, Keren, Austin Long and Caitlin Talmadge. ‘Why the Iraqi army collapsed (and what can be done about it).’ Washington Post. 13 June 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/06/13/ why-the-iraqi-army-collapsed-and-what-can-be-done-about-it/ Gibbon, Edward. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. London: Folio Society, 1995. Gibran, Kahil. The Prophet. London: Heinemann, 1926. Ricks, Thomas E. and Karen DeYoung. ‘Al-Qaeda In Iraq Reported Crippled.’ Washington Post. 15 October 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/14/ AR2007101401245.html
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17 January to 5 April 2015
Accompanying events Lunchtime lecture Eleanor Crook: The Band Tue 27 Jan, 1 to 2pm £8 (£6) TICKET FROM
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Artist Eleanor Crook talks about the creation of a key work in the exhibition. Rethinking the Face Thu 12 Feb, 1 to 2.30pm £5 TICKET FROM
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World-leading facial surgeons, artists and campaigners discuss how they collaborate towards new understandings of the face and of disfigurement. Evening talk by Simon Weston OBE Tue 3 Mar, 7pm £25 (£20) TICKET FROM
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XX Rougemont Thistle Hotel
Simon’s message is one of achievement, of triumph over adversity, of seizing the moment and succeeding. Diaries of the Deceased Fri 27 Mar, 7.30pm £7 (£5) TICKET FROM
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An evening performance lecture with a script drawn directly from research and interviews. Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery Queen St, Exeter EX4 3RX
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