Thursday, January 19, 2012

Islamic Democracy: The Winner of the "OXY" (the Oxymoron Award) of the Century

Since the
demos (Greek for "the people") of any Muslim society is diseased, any endowment of sociopolitical power (kratos, the Greek word for "power", whence we get the "-cracy" suffix for words like democracy and theocracy) to that people will be as diseased as the human material composing it.

That's why the various tin-pot banana-republic dictatorships (some bigger bananas than others -- e.g., the Pahlavi dynasty of Iran, or Ataturk and the Kemalists of Turkey) which have been marginally and grudgingly amenable or pliable to pro-Western policies are, to quote Jack Nicholson in the movie by the same name, "as good as it gets" for any Islamic polity.

Historically and right into our present, Islamic polities have fallen into 4 categories:

Theocratic Monarchies

Ipso facto fanatical and supremacist-expansionist, with their expansionism only checked by limitations of real life -- i.e., superior non-Muslims around them, or competing Muslim polities in the context of internecine violence which has been endemic to the disease of Islam from day one
; with the perennial goal being to unify under a Caliphate but this, as with other ideals in Islam, more often than not frustrated by the limitations of reality (including the reality of their own many-splendored disease inherited by Mohammed's madness, which is their obsessive-compulsive blueprint for politics and laws in this life, and Paradise in the next life).

Theocratic Fascism

E.g., just to pluck a few from a turban: the Taliban, Al-Shabaab of Somalia, Sudan, North Nigeria, certain periods of post-Colonial Algeria, the MILF of the south Philippines; and what may very well unfold in certain parts afflicted by the virus of the "Arab Spring".

Tin-Pot Dictatorships

This is the most common form of modern Islamic polities, due to the constraints imposed upon Muslims by a stupdendously superior and globally influential West. Some have been marginally pro-Western (e.g., Egypt under Nasser and Mubarak; Indonesia under Sukarno and Suharto; Tunisia under Bourguiba and Ben Ali, Morocco under Mohammeds V and VI, Iran under the Shah, Turkey insofar as the Kemalists hold sway) while some have been rather anti-Western, such as Libya under Kaddafi, Pakistan, and Saddam's Iraq (even if, like Pakistan, they may pretend to be in accord with various Western requests and/or make veiled threats of not behaving, in order to get $$$$$); while some have been more or less monarchic (e.g., Iran under the Shah).

And, as I noted above, some of these tin-pot dictatorships have been of brassier mettle than others (e.g., Iran under the Shah or Turkey under Ataturk) -- but all share the basic infirmity of the disease of Islam, which forever hinders any society from truly evolving and progressing on its own without the help to the tune of trillions of $$$ plus human ingenuity and expertise loaned out to them by Western Kuffar, such as for example we have seen with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the past half century, essentially a profoundly retrograde and demonically barbarian country which would have collapsed into sheer tribalistic violence had it not been for the serendipitous geological accident of oil along with the willingness of Europeans and Americans to help them with the technology and managerial expertise necessary to extract, produce and export it.

Did I say "4 categories"...? Oh yes, the fourth would be:

Progressive Islamic Democracies

You know, democracies that actually, astonishingly, jaw-droppingly respect Human Rights as defined by the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights -- i.e., as defined by rational human beings.

Examples? (All I hear is the sound of crickets chirping, or camel spiders crepitating alacritously across the twilight sand, or mujahideen sharpening their blades in some dark hovel, or "Muslims who are ignorant of their own Islam" scraping out the last of their baba ganoush from their bowls after Ramadan sundown...)


Now, if only we can remember what is precisely and appropriately "as good as it gets" with Muslim polities, we'll be halfway to sanity and safety in this century of this new millennium of an unprecedented revival of Islam.

Clearly, as we slowly recover our former rationality with regard to the problem of Islam and adapt it to the specter of an Islam Redivivus which includes the historically unprecedented mass immigration of Muslims into the West, along the way there we have to reconfigure and tighten up our definition of Jack's wryly sage and jadedly realistic advice.

Such that, for example, given their outrageous behaviors in fomenting international sedition against the West, polities such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen should not be tolerated, and should be treated as hostile entities at war with us -- if not engaging in outright hot war, certainly pursuing a cold jihad against us -- and at the very least, for fuck sake, not deserving of one red cent. For such polities, to count once again as being "as good as it gets" in terms of a Realislamik, they'd have to rehabilitate their behavior radically. Since, however, those terms subsist in a framework of ruthless realism about Muslims, there would be little or no expectation of such reform ever, let alone in the near future, evolving; and thus our policies would proceed accordingly.

Further Reading:



Nobody said...

Some observations on what you wrote:

1. Theocratic monarchies - you forgot to mention the best example - Saudi Arabia, and to a lesser extent, Qatar, UAE, Bahrein & Kuwait (notwithstanding the rumored conversion of a Kuwaiti prince to Christianity)

2. Tin pot dictatorships - Nasser's Egypt was not pro-Western @ all - it was pro-Soviet: it was Anwar Sadat who broke that trend. So Egypt falls under initially the anti-Western category for Nasser's reign, and then pro-Western category under Sadat & Mubarak. Pakistan is somewhat similar - was a pro-US dictatorship under Gen Zia & Nawaz Sharief, & anti-US under Bhutto and Musharraf (the latter's pretence notwithstanding).

3. Progressive Muslim (not Islamic) democracy - so far, the only example I can think of is Kazakhstan. If it is somewhat authoritarian, it's more a residual result of being a part of the Soviet Union for 70 years. A good reason for that however is the fact that Russians were half the population @ independence, so Kazakhstan, although a member of the OIC, avoided calling itself exclusively an Islamic country. In the long term, however, I think that will change, since Russians in all the former republics have been emigrating back to Russia, while other people have been emigrating back to their countries e.g. Ukrainians have been returning to Ukraine, Uzbeks to Uzbekistan, Kazakhs to Kazakhstan. Today, Kazakhs are 70% of Kazakhstan's population, up from 45% 20 years ago, so in the long term, I won't be surprised to see them go Islamic.

Similarly, Uzbekistan has been secular but an authoritarian dictatorship, cracking down on Muslims. But if they ever go democratic, they are likely to go Islamic as well. Turkmenistan has had a cult leader who died some years ago, but his cult remains, and has been forced into a parallel status w/ Islam. That country could end up being another Turkey.

I agree that the Soviet examples are somewhat unique and different from the rest of the bunch. But most of them will likely be influenced by Turkey, and once that country goes completely Islamic (if it ain't already), these may well follow.

Also, one thing worth noting in the above story is what the quran says about democracy, which is why it is impossible in a Muslim context.

Hesperado said...


Thanks for your detailed and knowledgeable correctives. About perhaps only one point I might demur -- Saudi Arabia. While artificially or superficially it is a theocratic monarchy, it's a cobbled-together one, after some guy put his hand on a rock a mere 100 years ago and declared his family to be a dynasty then (with the help of Westerners) fought and killed enough other Muslims to become a "king". I see little difference between the pretensions of the first Saud and the pretensions of a Saddam or a Kaddafi. I.e., often in Islamic polities the line between a tin-pot dictatorship and a monarchy is blurred -- and this could well be argued for the patchwork of many of the vaunted "Sultanates" and "Emirates" of yore (and of our time) as well. That's why, if you notice, I left any specific names out of that category altogether, and intimated that the Caliphate remains the gold standard for the ideal.