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Western Civilisation

Until the advent of materialism and 19th c. dogma, Western Civilisation was  superior to anything Islam had developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Proof of this resides in the 'modern' world and the unending political-economic and spiritual poverty of Muslim states and regions.  Squatting on richer civilisations is not 'progress'.  Islam is pagan, totalitarian, and irrational.   

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

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Egypt 2011 has nothing in common with Iran 1979, or Russia 1917.

Believing so leads to very bad policy choice.

by Ferdinand III

My opinion, however poorly expressed that the North African popular 'revolution' of 2011 will lead to a more secular and pluralist regime at some point in the future, if we support with material aid the secular-pluralist forces which are the majority; and use economic, diplomatic, political and military force, including the alignment of interests of France and Britain with our own, has received a lot of opprobrium from realists and conservatives alike. Naive, deluded, too-optimistic, short-sighted, are some of the nicer phrases. This might all be true. Perhaps a deluded romantic vision of what the Arab world might look like is an inappropriate extravagance, especially when we consider the maimed and dead butchered by a Pharaonic despot in Cairo's main square, not to mention the thousands of assaulted, hurt and murdered Coptic Christians, who were thrown to the lion's of Muslim fascism by the same regime, in order to keep the more atavistic and primitive of Arab elements occupied and satiated.

No one knows what will happen in Egypt and Greater Arabia going forward. But I will state with conviction that the uprisings across the Arab world, have nothing in common with 1917 Russia, nor with 1979 Iran. These 3 singular and epochal events are divorced from each other by time, space, political elements, leadership and the complete lack of a fundamental theocratic fascism at work within Egypt and North Africa, the weak and much over-rated Muslim Brotherhood excluded. It is simply a fantasy to project the Khomeini revolution, or the Great-War coup of Bolshevism in Russia, with millions of Arabs in various countries demanding jobs, opportunity and political secularism in some form. In fact the word fantasy is too polite. It is rigid, ossified and illiterate.

The history of the Iranian revolution, which installed the world's most fearsome and fundamentalist Muslim regime was a signal event which has little in common with the Arab world today. The ascension of what can only be called a Muslim Fascism in which church and state are merged to head the large and geo-politically important state of Iran, heralded the rebirth of Islamic Fundamentalism, that strain of Muslim political-theocracy which divides the world into 'us' and 'them', and demands an end to the 'them', and an Umma controlled globe, dedicated to worshipping the abstract thing invented as a political idol by Mohammed and erroneously conflated with 'God', called Allah. A key reason why Egypt 2011 does not resemble Iran 1979, is that the Iranian people were more fundamentalist and more open to an Islamic theocracy in 1979, than the Egyptian people are today. There is no proof that Egyptians want a Mullah-state. There is lots of proof that pre-1979 Iran, the Persians were open for a Muslim-dominated approach to the political-economy.

This is not to suggest that a large plurality of Iranians in 1979 were pining for an oppressive, barbaric Sharia state. But there is little doubt in reading about the Iranian revolution and its antecedents that the cause and case for Islamic fundamentalism was strong, vibrant and had the support of a large minority, if not a majority of the population. In other words the destruction of the Shah's regime as unsavoury as it certainly was, could only lead to a Muslim theocratic state. One can argue that the Khomeini regime was put into place by a 'rump' minority of over-zealous Islamic fascists and that point is well-made. But regardless Iran was ready for a Muslim revival in 1979. Various Islamic factions for 30 years had been promoting the benefits of Islamic rule including social peace and harmony; economic independence; and national pride. The Muslim program agitating for power pre-1979, was Islamic-Iranian national socialism, a program pursued of course with much vigor and demented enthusiasm in Egypt during and after the time of Nasser – another failed Pharoah who tried to unite the Arab world into an Egyptian led secular Caliphate.

Russia in 1917 also has nothing in common with Egypt 2011. The zeitgeist of St. Petersburg and Moscow in the later stages of the Great War was Marxist and Socialist. The Tsar's regime for a number of clear reasons was finished. The Russians were losing the War, there were shortages of money, food, services, jobs and hope. Radical socialism was accepted as a means of transferring wealth from the Tsarist elite and their dedicated supporters to the rest. Even the collectivation of agriculture which would spawn one of the greatest government-induced famines in history in which 15 million people were starved to death in the 1930s under Stalin, was in 1917 Russia accepted by most as a positive plan of social and economic change. It is simply a myth to say that the Bolsheviks appeared out of no-where to 'seize' power. The Big Party, which was very small, was at the nexus of a huge socialist movement, one which did enjoy a majority support by the population at large. The only question in 1917 was not whether Russian National Socialism would win power – that was a given. The only issue was what faction or groups within the National Socialist movement would ultimately control the state.

If we regard Egypt today there is little which is common with the above. Egypt is not seething with National Socialist ideals – in fact Mubarak's regime which is an implementation of failed National Socialist policy is being rejected en masse by millions of secular-inclined Egyptians. The same is true of Tunisia, whose population is fed up with the autarchic and quite vicious Tunisian socialism of the Ali family with all the attendant poverty that nationalism and socialism subjects a population to. Egyptians are saying very loudly that they don't want more Marxism. They want freedom.

The same caveats exist when attempting to compare Iran 1979 with the Egypt of today. The Muslim Brotherhood might have the support of 10% of the population, though more excitable commentators put the number at 30%. I would guess that even 10% is high. Regardless the MB has no moral standing with most Egyptians and the army trained, armed and funded by the United States, is not going to accede to a MB takeover. There is no Khomeini rallying the faithful to the Islamic standard, and there is certainly no yearning for absolutist-Sharia law within Egypt. Simply put a MB takeover of the country is impossible.

There are however events in history which are not taught and rarely remembered. The Korean War, largely forgotten even by young South Koreans, educated and infiltrated with anti-Americanism is one example. The Baroque era of Caravaggio and early Titian renderings, and part of the Catholic counter-reformation against protesting Lutherans and Presbyterians which lead to 120 years of rather incessant and bloody conflict is another. The English civil wars from 1641 to 1688 pregnant with meaning and insightful relevancy are rarely enjoined or remembered by anyone other than the odd Cromwell enthusiast, or those historians interested in the divine-right obstinacy and autocracy of the Scottish Stuarts is yet another. And it is the English Civil Wars, that provide the greatest clues as to what may unfold in Greater Arabia. We will more than likely have a generation of conflict, in both hot and cold forms throughout the Arab world, as Arab society tries to accommodate itself to the modern world, and attempts to build in its political-economy a constitutionally based state, one premised on a blend of Western jurisprudence, Muslim cultural specificity, and Arab social artifacts. I would recommend that anyone interested in the unfolding drama of trying to change a society from a Kingship [or Pharoanic rule] to a multi-part system of representation, read about the English Civil Wars. They are remarkably appropriate when discussing the political-economic reformation of a divine-right state.

For many conflating Egypt with Russia and Iran is almost a sign of intellectual 'gravitas' and nuanced sophistication. It is of course just a-historical sophistry and it is quite dangerous. If you believe that a Lenin or Khomeini will conquer Egypt, than your default position is to support the ancien regime – an immoral and extraordinarily destructive viewpoint. This fixed idea that Egypt is 'just the same as' previous revolutions of Fascistic theology is immensely destructive. The Egyptians need help in transitioning over a generation or more, to a stable system of plurality and representation. Egyptian representative government [democracy is a poor word choice], will not look like the American, but it will a massive leap forward for all concerned. Yet sadly most Conservatives I assume, would agree with this statement by Brigitte Gabriel in Human Events:


What we are witnessing in Egypt and across the Arab-Islamic world is a revolution, and not simply for economic reasons.  What was sparked by uprisings in Tunisia is now taking on a life of its own, with demonstrations in Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Yemen, Lebanon, and ones planned this weekend in Syria.

The Egyptian crisis especially is changing the strategic balance in the Middle East.  Like the Iranian revolution in 1979, this is a moment that could usher in a new era of Islamic radicalism in the Middle East and across the world..”


This is nonsense with all due respect to Ms. Gabriel, an informed and intelligent Lebanese born woman, whose books on Islamic Fascism I have read and agreed with.  The MB might be playing politics but so what? The best way to marginalize and reduce any Fascist organization is through open trade, pluralism, secular governance and dispensing with National Socialism. This is the great opportunity which is clearly presenting itself in Greater Arabia. Not to support it would be an act of criminal folly, worthy of Stuart political mendacity, or Carteresque faineance.


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