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re Islam's Historical situation and its situation today....

Reader comment on item: A Democratic Islam?

Submitted by Jascha Kessler (United States), Apr 17, 2008 at 19:48

When one reflects and sees that the prisons of the Vatican had to be broken open by Garibaldi a generation after my own grandfather was born, that is two lifetimes ago...when the Enlightenment was already a century and more advanced, and that the "democracy" of Great Britain denied the vote to Catholics and Jews until about the same decade, it may be surmised that the Islamic societies dominant today, even where they are not constituted by archaic clans and tribal structures, the prospects for democratization are centuries off, thinking anthropologically and in terms of political science analysis.

Apart from Islam, consider most African nations today, both above and below the Sahara, although S. Africa its near neighbors are running touch and go between tyranny and the idea of individual responsibility and freedom. The problem with all these questions is that we have been living in the illusions fostered by modern satellite communications: these all consider that the world's societies live in the same historical epochs, whereas some are living millenia in the past, most are many centuries before the Enlightenment of Europe, and that didnt help with the rise of what I term Modern Primitivism, as in Nazi Germany, in a most advanced, but rather inexperienced and forced federation, not released from the Ancien Regime until 1919.

In short, notwithstanding transistors and portable phones, we see an array of temporal regions displayed around the globe, from the Late Stone Age up until the post-post Modern Technocratic worlds of the West. I myself in a Dissertation done in 1954, discussed what I then invented as a new term, "Modern Primitivism," as demonstrated by D.H.Lawrence from 1919 on. But that had to do with regression, as with the Totalitarians. We are heading towards a Primitive Modernism; and the primitive tribes will act as they are, with modern weapons imported, to be sure, and technology that has not fundamental social basis in most societies around the globe.

Islam is tenacious, not in regression, but in its footing in the remote past, about the time of pre-Renaissance Europe. Secularity is simply inconceivable in and with and for Islam. Unfortunately for the world. How will China manage it? It is still having trouble with the soldiers of Buddhism, as it has since the Tang epoch. Not to mention the Islam of its far West. History is a nightmare. Anyone for Armageddon tomorrow afternoon?

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