A barbarous culture 1

Mitt Romney, visiting Israel in late July, spoke of the economic stagnation of the Arab world and attributed it to Arab culture. He was certainly correct, though not “politically correct”. Predictable offense was enjoyed by Arabs and Democrats. Loudest with objection were the Palestinians, a beggar nation who like to blame their dependency – on which they and their Arab brethren and the United Nations insist – on Israel and America.

Arab culture is stagnant and sterile. It won’t be changed by the West. President George W. Bush went to war to get regime change in Iraq, and he got it;  but what he did not get was democracy. Oh, some Iraqis are playing at democracy, with purple-finger elections and a parliament and a prime minister, but their country is no more a democracy now than it has ever been.

No sudden Arab Spring will transform the Muslim Middle East. Uprisings can change governments but they cannot bring civilization. The Muslim world has access to Western learning, just as it had access to Indian, Roman and Greek learning. It made use of some of those ideas in a slapdash fashion just as it made use of Judaism, Christianity, Socialism and Democracy, in a similar fashion.

We quote from an article by Daniel Greenfield at Canada Free Press. (It’s well worth reading in full.)

The Palestinians are a fraud, but so are the Jordanians, and to a lesser degree, the Egyptians and the Syrians. Every [Arab] nation is an artificial entity ruled over by powerful families or old soldiers who are keeping the whole thing together with guns and bribes, not to mention imported bread and circuses.

The British treated the region as a grab-bag of clans, and backed any powerful family willing to throw in with them. That is how the Hashemite kings and the Arab-Israeli wars came to be. Unlike the Brits, the United States was not interested in an empire, just in oil rights, which is how we got in bed with one of the most powerful families in the region, who became far more powerful thanks to their association with us. And who repaid us by trying to conquer us in their own way.

At some point we forgot that the Saudis, the King of Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and most of our so-called allies, are just powerful families with territorial claims based on that power. And even slightly more civilized countries such as Egypt, aren’t really any better, the invaders who overran them just absorbed more culture and civilization from their conquests and their proximity to more civilized parts of the world.

Mostly they’re feudal states with skyscrapers planned by foreign architects and built by foreign labor …

A primitive society confronted with an advanced civilization does not become civilized, it adopts some of the habits and facades of civilization in cargo cult fashion, it uses some of its tools, and hybridizes some of its ideas, but all this is done in pursuit of its existing goals. Everything that the Muslim Middle East has taken in from the civilized world has been used to pursue the same goals that it was pursuing a thousand years ago.

Imagine savages buying advanced steel knives, designed with space age technology, manufactured to never rust or grow dull, then shipped by jet plane to their island, where they are used to perform ritual human sacrifices so that the crops may grow. That in a nutshell is the relationship between the civilized world and the Muslim Middle East—except that the savages are not content to stay on their island and perform their human sacrifices only on their own tribe.

The barbarians lavish their petro-dollars on cars, aircraft, guns, computers, cell phones – and the high-tech machines of contemporary medicine which are, many of them, invented and manufactured in Israel, and which wealthy Arabs use in foreign countries though they won’t import them into their own. But such things do not inspire them to question the worth of the primitive superstition and oppressive laws that dominate their lives.

Their ideology and culture need to be criticized, and though seriously repulsive, laughed at:

  • Liz

    Interesting (and accurate) comparison there to a cargo cult.  Mind boggling that a person can understand and make use of technology and navigate modern life, and at the same time believe in primitive superstitions that were debunked centuries ago.
    Religion so stifles freedom and rationality of thought.  Unbelievably it hangs on and refuses to die even after centuries of advancement in civilization.
    Predictably it is perpetuated by those in power, who keep their people in ignorance and slavery to themselves through their barbaric superstitions.