Lack of "Narrative" in the Second Resistance of Afghanistan
The Second Resistance, which has been active in Afghanistan for more than a year, is still lacks an un-contradicted narrative. This vacuum causes the resistance to show ambiguous and double behaviors. The reality is that in the geography of Afghanistan, "practical action" has always taken precedence over "theoretical action", and this causes political agents to act before they know. They come to knowledge just in a moment that the work is over. The result of such an approach is lack of a narrative that can be used to draw the future perspective. One of the factors that caused the sad fate of the socialist lefts, Islamic rights, and other groups in Afghanistan was lack of a realistic theoretical framework.
By: Khayyam Abadi
Behaviors in Afghanistan mainly occur in the absence of "thought". The people of this country think less about the content and consequences of what they do. Perhaps one of the reasons is the predominance of emotions in Eastern societies, especially Islamic ones - just as the lack of thought complicates our individual behavior. Social, political and military parties and movements have also suffered from this lack of thought. This is why the victory of any movement or the victory of any group - during the last few decades - has been the beginning of a new crisis. For years, the cycle of violence in this geography has not stopped, perhaps due to the lack of political wisdom.
One of the necessities of thinking is that every thinker considers the principles of thinking. Thinking is valid when it does not violate these principles - which are self-evident and unifying principles. Unprincipled thinking lacks internal coherence, and therefore, it can easily fall into the trap of contradiction and duality. The meaning of contradiction in this context is different from the meaning that is usually presented in formal logic, with limiting conditions.
Here, the meaning of contradiction is the same meaning used in the common sense of our society. For example, the actions of someone who is a staunch critic of a system, and then suddenly changes his path and becomes the devoted soldier of that system, is described as paradoxical in our collective mind. This paradox, however, is when there is no valid reason for the benefit of this move, or there is no change in the main directions of the mentioned system. Contradiction in this usage is a kind of deviation from the political ideal, or a kind of irregular politics. When political action does not come from theoretical coherence and thought principles, it naturally leads to confusion and disorder.
According to this introduction, it can be said that many movements, especially the second resistance, are plagued by great contradictions due to the lack of a comprehensive and unified intellectual narrative. To explain this claim, it is enough to look at the reasons that are sometimes put forward by the political and cultural leaders of the second resistance. In an article titled "We and the Taliban", for example, one of the political-cultural agents of the resistance says that the reason for the opposition to the Taliban Emirate is the Taliban's refusal to accept elections and people's votes. This means that because the Taliban does not accept the elections and the political participation of the people, we must stand up against them and start a costly military resistance.
This demand that the role of the people should not be ignored in the political and social relations is basically correct, and is in line with the contemporary mentality. Nevertheless, this demand faces many obstacles and questions. First, the Taliban is a primitive group rather than a modern force, and making such a request to them ignores the main nature of their Emirate. Not only the Taliban, but many Afghans are still far from modernization - modernization is basically a transformation in the field of thought. You cannot generalize the attitude of a small minority to the whole society. Such a generalization is only possible by resorting to coercion, and this will fuel a new season of violence. Perhaps a low-cost way is to tell the Taliban to provide a solution to the economic, social, cultural and political problems of the society with their own Islamic Emirate. It is very likely that dealing with domestic, regional and global realities will blunt the blade of Taliban ideology and question its validity. The continuation of the crisis will make the Taliban accept either their narrative of Islam is incorrect, or their political and social policy has not been correct.
When the second resistance rejects the concept of seizing power through domination, a question arises for the citizens: which of the governments in Afghanistan have come to work through the political participation of the people, and have valued the people's vote and authority? Jirga (traditional assembly of leaders) has always been a tool with which governments have given a democratic cloak to their autocratic nature. Therefore, Jirga, as a phenomenon that has had a large presence in Afghan political-historical relations, has been nothing more than a tool. Thus, the question is whether the Islamic State of Afghanistan under the leadership of Sibghatullah Mojaddedi and Burhanuddin Rabbani (many members of the second resistance were among its main agents) was founded based on the people's vote? In addition, it is incorrect to refer to the decisions of the Ahl al-Hall wal- Aqd Council in Peshawar. It can be said that this council was not the manifestation of the will of the people of Afghanistan, because its members were not elected by the people. And even, in a sense, it was a mechanism to ignore the people's vote and will.
Now, when the history of Afghanistan is full of ignoring the people in political relations, why should you only accuse the Taliban, and then acquit yourself as a part of this history? I completely agree that disregarding the will of the people is wrong; especially in our time, when the behavior of history is determined more by nations than individuals. My issue is neither defending the Taliban's dark record, nor justifying ignoring the will of the people by referring to the prevailing historical practices. The problem is that double judgment towards social and historical phenomena leads to contradictions; A contradiction that has swallowed the foundation of the narrative of the second resistance. You cannot put yourself beyond the principles you have established. Jean-Paul Sartre describes the situation in which a person sees himself beyond society as one of the examples of self-alienation. Indeed, those who have been part of the agents of history, cannot avoid the amount of responsibility that refers to them. In other words, you cannot highlight history where it is to the detriment of your political opponents, and ignore it where it includes your own.
These issues were said to show that the agents who are narrating the second resistance, measure the issues with two criteria, and their dealings with history is based on whether it benefits them or not. If the cultural and political agents of the resistance do not present a coherent, comprehensive and well-considered narrative of it, people's trust will collapse and instead, questions will arise that cannot be answered with a confused and flawed narrative. Right now, neither the concept of “moderate Islam” is clear, nor the nature and scope of issues such as human rights, women's rights, moral and social value. Moderate Islam is usually in the middle of a spectrum, one end of which is "exaggeration" and the other end is "negligence". To understand Islamic moderation, it is necessary to understand both extremes. Now it is necessary to see where each group is located in this spectrum, and what are the components and indicators of "moderate Islam". Thus, the issue of women's rights, human rights, and moral and social values is like the strong slogans that have been chanted by civil servants for the past two decades, without their nature being understood or having a specific epistemological origin.
The Second Resistance, which has been active in Afghanistan for more than a year, is still lacks an un-contradicted narrative. This vacuum causes the resistance to show ambiguous and double behaviors. The reality is that in the geography of Afghanistan, "practical action" has always taken precedence over "theoretical action", and this causes political agents to act before they know. They come to knowledge just in a moment that the work is over. The result of such an approach is lack of a narrative that can be used to draw the future perspective. One of the factors that caused the sad fate of the socialist lefts, Islamic rights, and other groups in Afghanistan was lack of a realistic theoretical framework. This vicious cycle has been reproduced in this country for years. Resistance in the absence of a narrative is a meaningless act, and is more like a "blind rebellion" than a self-aware rebellion with a happy ending.
If the second resistance intends to exist as a different alternative, in such a way that people and elites can hope for it, it is necessary to specify and explain the historical perspective and the framework of its action plan. Such work is not possible except by paying attention to science and thought, as well as paying attention to scholars and thinkers - besides routine issues and military events. Therefore, it is inevitable to appeal to scholars and thinkers of different political, religious, cultural and economic fields. Similarly, one cannot justify one's actions without a road map that compiled based on historical experiences. In addition, dialogue with different political parties, as well as presenting a plan to get out of the historical vicious circle in which Afghanistan is trapped, is not possible without a coherent and non-contradictory narrative.
Khayyam Abadi, is an Afghan writer and a PhD student.