Why Islam can never produce decent and stable societies
Daniel Greenfield has a very good article on why the “Arab Spring” is a Western delusion. He has a clear thesis and it explains a lot. Here is my understanding of what he’s saying.
Islam cannot develop stable, reasonably humane societies because Islam consists of crushing everything but itself. From the beginning, the victory of Islam has meant the suppression of the culture, ethnicity, religion, and all other traditions of the Islamized country. The whole Islamic world thus consists of suppressed cultures/peoples/groups struggling to live within the stranglehold of Islam. The only way this will-to-life can express itself is through eternal civil war against other cultures/peoples/groups. Whichever group emerges victorious becomes the oppressor, using the fist of Islam to keep down all other groups.
We are currently in another wave of this eternal Muslim civil war, going on in several countries simultaneously. The West mistakes this Muslim civil war for a struggle for freedom. In reality it’s only a struggle for freedom by some Muslim groups against other Muslim groups that are currently dominating them, a struggle that can only end with a new oppression, until it is overthrown in its turn. That is the only “politics” that exists in the Muslim world. That is the only “politics” that will ever exist in the Muslim world.
I would add one point that Greenfield doesn’t make. Why is the West so utterly blind to the reality of Islam and imagines that each new breakout of the eternal Muslim civil war is a quest for constitutional liberal democracy? Because the West has become imperialistic. Meaning that it sees itself as the only true form of political order in the world. Therefore it cannot acknowledge the existence of other forms of order (or disorder) unlike itself. It must imagine these other forms of order as merely immature versions of itself, seeking to become like itself, to “transition” to democracy. So the West can never take Islam seriously or try to understand it in its own terms. Because Islam is totally incompatible with the West, to take it seriously would be to be to admit that it is not liberalism’s destiny to control the whole world. If liberalism is only true for “us,” then it ceases to be a univeralist belief system and loses its legitimacy, since its legitimacy is based on its univeralism.
Next question: what is the source of this deluded imperialistic consciousness? It is spiritual greed. the desire mentally to dominate the entire cosmos with oneself. By contrast, true order, the order of traditionalism, is to recognize one’s place in a larger order that one does not control. The false order of imperialism is to imagine oneself as the only order, and in control of everything.
Thus this imperialistic consciousness has a lot of similarities with liberalism. I define liberalism as the belief that there is no truth higher than the self and its desires, which practically comes down to, there is no truth higher than oneself and one’s desires. The liberal self is completely self-autonomous, choosing its own being, not conditioned by any factors that are simply “given” and outside our will, such as our sex, our race, our parents, the culture we are born into, etc. Both liberalism and imperialism reject the larger order of the world in which man lives and participates. Thus imperialism is also like the modern ideologies (Communism, Fascism, Libertarianism, Darwinism, etc.), which reject the larger order of things and seek to reduce the world to a single idea and control the world through that single idea.
At the same time, paradoxically, this arrogant-sounding liberal imperialism is motivated by a desire to help others who have nothing in common with us and who are in fact our enemies. But this desire to do good to others is also a form of spiritual greed, of self-aggrandizement. We are dominating the cosmos with our “selfless” desire to help all humanity, even at our own expense. We are God’s instrument, spreading democracy. What could be more self-glorifying and arrogant?
Bush’s stupidity was shown by his fondness for the argument that America is not the source of freedom, God is the source of Freedom. Bush believed this made us sound less arrogant. In fact, by at least implicitly claiming to be God’s instrument for spreading freedom, he was still, with obnoxious arrogance, placing America above the rest of mankind. He and his followers never picked up on this, never grasped how obnoxious they are.
Your reflections on the Greenfield article are quite thoughtful. In thinking about what you wrote regarding the West’s imperialism, I was reminded of something you wrote a while ago concerning morality and the “expansive instinct”:MBS writes:
Daniel Greenfield responds,
Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 02, 2011 09:18 AM | Send