Morroccans on failed utopian ideas

The WSJ has an article titled “Morocco’s Fragile Democracy Tests U.S. Prescription for World”:

A onetime Marxist who endured torture and 16 years in jail, Driss Benzekri was ushered into a lavish royal palace late last year to meet the son of his tormentor during Morocco’s “years of lead,” grim, gray decades of brutal oppression.

Mohammed VI, Morocco’s monarch since the death of his autocratic father in 1999, wanted to talk about human rights, democracy and what he called “the thorny issue” of the past.

As a result of the unusual encounter, Morocco this month launched the Arab world’s first “truth commission.” Led by Mr. Benzekri, the former political prisoner, it already has a mountain of files to examine detailing 13,000 cases of abuse, from beatings to disappearances.

Mr. Benzekri says the country has “made a fundamental rupture with the past.” He contrasts it with what he says were often cosmetic changes in the early 1990s. Then, newly freed from prison, Mr. Benzekri says he attended an antitorture meeting in Switzerland and found that Morocco’s official delegation included an interior ministry official who, years earlier, had personally supervised his own torture.

Mr. Benzekri, the truth commission’s 53-year-old chief, says the fervor of Islamic radicals recalls the Marxist zeal of his own youth. The Islamists, though, outlasted all their rivals: “All other utopian ideas have failed,” he says. “Islamists are the only ones left.”

I’ve argued in the past that having defeated totalitarian fascism and totalitarian communism, the West is now fighting totalitarian fundamentalism. Utopian ideals require totalitarian implementations. (I took the terms totalitarian fascism and totalitarian communism from one of the best pieces the Economist ever published.)