It's the Demography, Stupid
by Byron King
Finally, the West is seeing objective evidence that at least one strain of influential thought within the Moslem philosophy is utterly unbending, and hence inimical, towards Western notions of enlightenment. So much for the 500-year reign of the “Age of Enlightenment,” or whatever passes for “rationalism” in our culture. Good-bye to the “Age of Reason” and its empowerment of the individual within the constitutional protections of a nation-state.
In Islam, the “individual” is a subject of Allah, and one’s existence is entirely controlled by the will and hand of God. Every person of Islamic faith is hence a resident of the Moslem Reservation. National identity is a secondary consideration. You are first and foremost a subject, if not a chattel, of the Prophet. Others consider themselves soldiers of the Prophet. If there is any doubt, you need to know that Mohammed the Prophet got the word direct from Archangel Gabriel, hence straight from God, and wrote down the word in Arabic. Hence there is no room for individual interpretation of the word. You have to speak Arabic, and you have to follow the word to its exact letter. Or you are an apostate, and they kill apostates.
Another way of looking at it is that the West has spent 500 years – slowly, but surely – pulling down its own godly icons. Part of it was purely philosophical and theological, such as the Reformation out of which the individual became enabled to hold his own dialogue with God (not formerly the case, in early Christianity).
Part of it was more tactile. For a simple example, remember when stores were closed on Sundays? Ever wonder why? It was the power of the state, being used to preserve the sanctity of the Lord’s Day. Now, Sundays are considered the big days for store shopping and football games. Even more than commerce, look at what passes for “art” in this society. It is considered “art” for some no-name pervert to submerge a crucifix in a jar of urine. Try that with a Quran. Somebody will burn your house down over that, preferably with you in it.
What the West has spent 500 years doing, and culminating in the “anything goes” approach to freedom of speech, is being rubbed in the face of Islam in a matter of a few years. So, from the Islamic view, the West (if not Westernism) is a critical threat to Islamic civilization. To their way of thinking, they must confront it or die trying.
A while ago, I mentioned that with its low wages, China would foreclose much of the economic development of most of the rest of the Third World. This applies in spades to the Islamic world. China graduates not-so-small armies of engineers and scientists. Most of the university degrees in the Islamic world are in such “hot demand” fields as Islamic philosophy. And just what are these young scholars going to do in this world of ours?Well, if they cannot make their way as industrial tycoons and barons of capitalism (if not communism), they might just try the way of fomenting revolution and social change.Imagine Mao, whose “Little Red Book” was the Quran.
Instead of focusing their lives on increasing the materialist market share of their paternal corporate master who manufactures microwave ovens, they might focus on increasing the spiritual market share of Mohammed. And they will be doing it in a world in which the traditional Western states are scrambling for energy supplies and struggling to meet the obligations of un-payable levels of debt. The Islamic nations tend to be located upon energy supplies that will make for a very comfortable century, if they manage them well.
It gets back to the question of what is the survival strategy of the West? What is the West willing to change or alter, in exchange for its own long-term survival? There is a profound, philosophical issue here. What is “the West,” after all? Is it what has sprung from the roots of Hellenistic culture? If so, how many Westerners really understand the meaning of this aspect of the culture?
Is it embodied in a Judeo-Christian heritage? (Ditto.) Is it the history and legacy of industrial capitalism? (Ditto, again. Just because you can drive a car does not mean that you understand the nature of the culture that created the automobile.) Is it the much-vaunted political notion of “democracy?” (More dittos. Our foreign policy sure seems to be fixated on this one particular tar-baby.) This is an exploration that transcends individualism, which will come as a shock to many people. The idea that each individual is actually part of a larger continuum? Whoah…we are starting to get pretty heavy.
Editor’s Note: Byron King currently serves as an attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1981 and is a cum laude graduate of Harvard University. He is a regular contributor to the free e-letter, Whiskey and Gunpowder, which covers resources, oil, geopolitics, military history, geology and personal freedom. To get your free subscription, click below: Whiskey and Gunpowder