Revolution in the Middle East: my dilemma

I am caught between my love of theocracy and my hatred of democracy.  True, a lot of these protesters are real Islamist nutjobs–my kind of people.  Is it possible, though, that the people will seize power and then hand it over to God?  That doesn’t sound like the humanity I know.

6 Responses

  1. Well Bonald, things are never simple. What if monarch (for example) is modernist and anti-traditionalist? We have example of Iranian Shah, who was combination of monarchist authority and anti-traditionalist forces. As such he came into conflict with his country’s tradition and religious authorities.
    Thus he was deposed in fine example of conservative revolution.

    Then, we have example when authority of monarch is simply imposed by foreign countries, and is not representative of authentic authority based on tradition of that country, since country itself is modernist artificial creation. What if monarch is symbol of dependence and inferioty of his own country?Fine example is king Idris of Libya.

    And what if religious authority is liberal and modernist? Vatican II is nice example of that.

  2. The problem is that the “Middle East” isn’t a single unit. The regimes that the people are protesting against range from the profoundly conservative Islamic theocracy of the Saudis to the secular pro-western fascism of Mubarak to the weird combination of half-baked socialism, tribalism and psychotic lunacy that is the Gadaffy regime.

    As with the French in the 1780s and Europeans in the 1840s, I suspect that the real driver for all this is empty stomachs rather than either democracy or Allah.

  3. I would add Juan Carlos I as an example of that last category.

  4. First category, I should have said.

  5. Well, I don’t think that Saudi regime is “conservative Islamic theocracy”, while it’s indeed theocracy. Official religion of Saudi Arabia is Wahhabism, which is basically modern Islamic heresy that come from Sunni Islam.Wahhabism is disliked amongst traditionalist Sunni’s.Saudis openly export and financed Wahhabi mosques and schools throughout the world, thus undermining traditional Sunni Islam. Bin Laden and Taliban’s are all Wahhabi.

    On other hand Iranian theocracy is conservative and traditionalist one.

  6. That’s a fair point, though Wahhabism does have a pedigree of several centuries, and no-one would mistake it for a liberal or anti-traditional movement.

    In a slightly nerdy vein, I would note that the Taliban are Hanafis rather than Wahhabis.

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