Friday, September 08, 2006

The man in the grey flannel disdasha

The Big Pharaoh notes that in actuality Arabs and Muslims are much like everybody else. It may come as a surprise that not evreyone is the tooth-gnashing automaton of popular culture.

I accidentally bumped into this blog yesterday. The Land of Sands describes himself as "an underground writer from the Arabian lands of sands." He is in the United Arab Emirates (where Dubai is) and is obviously an atheist. His blog introduction says: In the land of sand lives millions of people whose brains were programmed by fixed standards  that define the course of their thinking. They dig in the sands trying to find truth which is shinning over their heads, exactly like the Arabian desert burning sun. Wake up. They are lying at you.

Interesting. First we had an Egyptian lesbian blogger, then a young Egyptian girl (or hottie as she calls herself) talking about what she intimately does with her boyfriend, then we're having an atheist blogger from the Emirates. This blogging thing is amazing. It's a revolution. These people would have never found another way to voice their opinions. Here you have 3 different people talking about 3 completely different thing yet they are common in one thing: they couldn't say in public what they post on their blogs. They would become toast if they did.


Commentary

One of the hardest things to truly grasp is that people the world over share the same biology. Hunger, fear, humor and despair are common to all. And the key to motivating yourself to victory lies not in believing yourself different from the opponent, but in understanding that you are fundamentally the same. Any guerilla leader knows the first thing he must impress on his troop is that behind the enemy's uniform lies a man who can bleed. Recently the Hezbollah was deliriously happy to establish that Israelis were actually men like themselves.

Much of the counsel of despair at ever defeating Islamic fascism is basically premised on the idea that men in beards and women in veils are somehow fundamentally different from the familiar men of the West. Blinded by fanaticism, resistant to pain, possessed of limitless endurance and patience they are supermen at war. As the Big Pharaoh points out, it's an image that might surprise those looking at the problem from the other point of view.

34 Comments:

Blogger Tony said...

How is blogging different than typing on a piece of paper, or writing on a papyrus?

While we're all amazed by how many readers we have, we are just snowflakes in the blizzard that is growing exponentially.

If you type on paper, at least you can go back and find it and read it forty years from now. The Essenes inked it on papyrus and put it in a jar in cliffs above the Dead See, 2,000 years later somebody found it and read it.

Blogs are typing on the wind.

Imagine searching the infinite mess of the exponentially expanding content on the global web - forty years from now. Finding an article published today (Not Counting Big Ones like "The 3 Conjectures) will be like finding a warm piss spot from 2000 in the middle of the Pacific in 2040.

9/08/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

wretchard wrote:

The Big Pharaoh notes that in actuality Arabs and Muslims are much like everybody else. It may come as a surprise that not evreyone is the tooth-gnashing automaton of popular culture.

This is an excellent change of pace. Perhaps your comments will remind others posting here that we are fighting Islamofascism, not Islam. We are at war with a fundamentalist 10%, not the whole 1/6th of the world's population that consider themselves in submission to Allah. Or, wretchard, your original post might crash like a lead balloon if the BC party line is that the Muslim worldview itself is evil before it is ever expressed in violence.

9/08/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

"Perhaps your comments will remind others posting here that we are fighting Islamofascism, not Islam."


Teresita, that's almost as clever as saying we were fighting Nazism, not Germans. Interestingly, when we killed enough Germans, lo and behold, the rest started thinking Nazi wasn't such a great thing to be after all.

9/08/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Tony - How is blogging different than typing on a piece of paper, or writing on a papyrus?

Unlike your snowflakes lost in the unfathomably immense number of snowflakes in a blizzard, I believe Wretchard was referencing tracibility. Just as if blogging and untracible forum accounts had existed in Nazi Germany, you would have seen a stupendous variety of posts by people - many who would happily say derogatory things they would never contemplate while in public saying the "right things" and waving their little Nazi flags.

Which brings up Teresita -

This is an excellent change of pace. Perhaps your comments will remind others posting here that we are fighting Islamofascism, not Islam. We are at war with a fundamentalist 10%, not the whole 1/6th of the world's population that consider themselves in submission to Allah.

NO, the overused WWII analogies do have use in this case. Just because only 10% were ardent Nazis and the other 90% of Germans only followed out of fear or apathy or semi-sympathy -and went grudgingly along with the "bad Fascist types" into war and atrocities - doesn't get the other 90% off the hook.

By acquiescing, they were people fighting and thus deserving of death and defeat every bit as much as the 10% hardcore Germans were.

If "regular Muslims" that may only hate the infidel but not seek his death, even a smaller number who actually like infidels nevertheless stay quiet and permit the hardcore to run the show - they should not think their fence-sitting, tepid passivity will spare them in any way, just as the "good Germans" looked the same as true blue Nazis when they were in rifle sights, bomber coordinates, or explaining why they didn't do anything about the Russian POW death camp 3 km away to Red Army investigators at the end of the war.

Like it or not, collective responsibility exists....and Teresita's 90% are peaceful, if they truly exist in those numbers ...Thet had best suppress the hardcore radicals or they too will be cleansed from the West or killed in an existential conflict.

9/08/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger John Van Laer said...

"...they couldn't say in public what they post on their blogs. They would become toast if they did."
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
They are already toast. Mubarak's Gestapo just hasn't yet gotten around to grilling them to a crisp.

9/08/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Wretchard the Cat said:
"One of the hardest things to truly grasp is that people the world over share the same biology."

We are infinitely more alike than we are different. Not only biologically but in our nature as well. A dog acts like a dog - regardless of breeding and dispite the tremendous variety. So,also, a human is its own unique being.

The environment we are exposed to, purely by chance it seems, in our formative years has a tremendous impact on our beliefs, our rationale for the world around us and ultimately our actions.

I've thought many times how different my life would be if I had been born in some G-d-forsaken place like Afghanistan or even the Chinese interior. What would I be like? Would I have different beliefs, thoughts, a totally different personality? Would I be a terrorist? Would I carry around my little red book? Would I even have survived to my current age?

And I think, "There, but for the grace of G-D,....

The answer is obvious. Yes, I would be different. Even if I were the exact same biological being at the outset.

But it's a fool's game to play. The fact is, I am the person that I turned out to be. And these Islamoids are the persons they turned out to be. There's no changing for either. Strange that we should be at such odds with one-another - be of such different mindsets that we can barely conceive what motivates the other to think the way we do - and still be the same creature.

9/08/2006 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Ardsgaine said...

WWII mythology bestows on German and Japanese soldiers an air of invincibility. For that matter, the Confederate soldier had that same reputation. They were all supermen, yet somehow they lost their wars. American industrial output and Yankee know-how defeated them, not our soldiers. That's how the story is often told, anyway. Americans like to be the underdogs, so they puff their enemy up before they stomp the wind out of him.

I don't think the Muslim warriors carry nearly that sort of reputation though. Everything I've read says that the only thing they have going for them is a willingness to die, which our soldiers are happy to oblige.

I've always known that people are people everywhere you go. I've played soccer with guys from the Middle East, gone to school with them, talked politics with them. I've never met an Iranian in person who I didn't like. (Can't say the same for Saudis.) But that doesn't stop me from saying that we need to flatten Teheran before Ahmadenijad gets his bomb. Our war may not be against Islam per se, but it is definitely against religious fanaticism. To the religious fanatics of Islam, we are not people. "When Reason sleeps, the world is full of monsters." That's what we are to them: monsters, devils, minions of Satan. It is their duty before God to destroy us, and they will do it if we don't stop them first. They are most certainly not invincible, but until we find the backbone to fight a real war, they're going to keep nickel and diming us until either they wear down our resolve, or they get a weapon that can up the ante.

9/08/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

John Van Laer said...
"...they couldn't say in public what they post on their blogs. They would become toast if they did."
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
They are already toast. Mubarak's Gestapo just hasn't yet gotten around to grilling them to a crisp."

or Bush's coercive interrogation has not yet occurred yet to you, but I digress...

My first experience with the exchange of ideas that occurs via blogs was through Internet forums dealing with the particulars of my personal business. Information, critical information, was exchanged quickly, so quickly that critical problems were solved within hours instead of days or weeks. Similarily bad information can be passed along, but, so too can it be passed by snail mail, or academic journals. In the end information is exchange extemely quickly via the internet and it enables all of us to stand on others shoulders ever reaching higher, learning more. It is a good thing and it is not simply information scattered in the wind but rather shared and disseminated.

My first experience with blogging was reading Salaam Pax's "Where is Raed" as the invasion of Gulf War II commenced. It was fascinating and I've been hooked ever since. Reading the opinions of those 'there' adds a 'zest' which makes it....

In addition to 'being there' we have places like the Belmont Club which is different from 'eyes on the ground' but rather it is a place where the 'opinionated' can inspire us down paths of inquiry.



Cedarford, ya, sort of, 'collective responsibility exists', but how much flak are YOU willing to take for the f*ckups of the Bush administration? You are american therefore....how culpable shall we hold you for the sins of those incompetents?

9/08/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

So then ... is there or is there not a genetic aversion to committing suicide?

The Arabs assure us they have absolutely no problem with offing themselves -- doesn't bother them at all, piece of cake -- and I'm beginning to believe it.

If there *is* something born into the DNA of homo sapiens that tries to prevent us from killing ourselves, can't we get together a Kool-Aid to feed to the Arabs to enhance that pro-life anti-suicide-belt disposition?

9/08/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I also wonder if we can assume that at least half of the other 50% of Arabs -- the females -- do NOT aspire to be brood mares, and kept barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen, roasting in the heat under whatever black body bag their particular religion or society has deemed appropriate?

I just can't see Arab (or Muslim) men giving up that fight -- not even SandMonkey -- unless someone comes in and kicks some serious ass to persuade them that Very Bad Things will happen to them otherwise. VERY Bad Things, indeed.

9/08/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

You're delusional if you think this war isn't against Islam.

9/08/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger summignumi said...

Cedarford you are quite correct in most of you summation, except for the last paragraph.

The “peaceful” Muslim is simple the Muslim which does not have it in him to kill, all Muslims are commanded to convert or kill the infidel (the third option of the tax is just away to put off killing the infidel right away) So a Muslim has no choice but to follow and support the faithful followers that actually have it in him to fulfill his religion and kill the nonbelievers, The fallacy of Islam being peaceful with any other religion is “snake charming” talk form Muslims to the rest, for non Muslims it is ether total ignorance or denial by everybody that wants to believe it possible, the problem is will the non Muslim world realize before the balance is tipped past the non Muslims survival or will the Muslims final reach the tipping point of achieving world domination ether thru numbers or military power (military meaning all tools at their disposal).

One of many of the West problems in dealing with this issue is we have decide to temporarily forget how wars are really fought, the memory loss began with the end of WWII. Even Wretchard has pondered the skills of fighting Muslims in the Philippines of old, We were just as nasty as they, just like in the losing days (beginning) of WWII we were and up until the final days just as nasty at fighting as our enemies, the only difference was we did not wholesale claim certain race for death as the Nazis did.

One other thing few understand about the hard core fulfillers of Islam and why they do what they do is simply put, to die fighting, killing or being killed while infidels are being killed is the only way into paradise. Because no one (Muslim) can completely follow ever verse and edict put out by the Koran and its rules and laws (just as Jesus said no Jew could ever fulfill ever law in the old testament (Torah)), This is why the Muslims have no irks about putting missile, bomb or weapons caches in/under schools, this is why a Muslim who drinks alcohol, looks at nude western women, or does drugs prior to engaging in a airplane flight into buildings, walks into a crowd of mixed peoples and commits homicide bombing or engages in a firefight with infidel troops and making women and children stand in front of them, they believe Allah will know his own from all who die and he (the perp) will lay with his 72 virgins which he has been falsely lead to believe awaits him.

Israel or any Jew will never have peace with its Muslim neighbors for their Muslim faith tells them “NO” and today with the Middle east schools teaching their children from the youngest of age that the Jew’s are apes and pigs only worthy of and solely for the purpose of being killed by the Muslim for the satisfaction of their God (Allah) how can there ever be a real peace.

9/08/2006 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

Will the Muslims save themselves? Are there enough good ones?

Gen.18: [20] Then the LORD said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomor'rah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry which has come to me; and if not, I will know." So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham still stood before the LORD.

[23] Then Abraham drew near, and said, "Wilt thou indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt thou then destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

[26] And the LORD said, "If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake."

[27] Abraham answered, "Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Wilt thou destroy the whole city for lack of five?" And He said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there." Again he spoke to him, and said, "Suppose forty are found there." He answered, "For the sake of forty I will not do it." Then he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there." He answered, "I will not do it, if I find thirty there." He said, "Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there." He answered, "For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it." Then he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there." He answered, "For the sake of ten I will not destroy it." ...

Gen.19: [24] Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomor'rah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. ...

[27] And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD; and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomor'rah and toward all the land of the valley, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.

9/08/2006 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ashen said...

"tooth-gnashing automaton", that's awesome!!!

9/08/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

On the One Hand.

On the Other.

9/08/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

redaktor said:

Teresita, that's almost as clever as saying we were fighting Nazism, not Germans. Interestingly, when we killed enough Germans, lo and behold, the rest started thinking Nazi wasn't such a great thing to be after all.

On the contrary, when the Russians stormed the Reichstag bunker and the 3rd Army cut off the Alpine Redoubt, we had sliced out the last of the Nazi gangsters who had hijacked the country. Days and weeks before that happened, liberated Germans were beginning to piece their lives together in the western areas overrun by the allies. By analogy, we need to slice out the mullahs and imans who have hijacked Islam and turned it into a suicide cult.

9/08/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Ardsgaine said...

Civilization, and I mean even the rudimentary civilization of 5000 BC, is a blip in the history of Man. Only 145 years ago this country was mired in a bloody civil war to decide whether it was okay to keep other human beings as chattel, and we, along with Great Britain, have been a beacon of progress for human civilization. All humans are essentially the same, but savagery is still our primary legacy.

The crisis we currently face is due to the fact that we have reached a point where we must choose the future course of human history. We must pick from several alternative paths the one that will represent true progress for human civilization. The main alternatives are:

Totalitarian Collectivism -- pseudo-scientific philosophies that promised to advance man by subordinating the individual for the good of society. Largely discredited by the brutality of communism and fascism, but not wholly abandoned.

The Theocratic State -- primarily epresented by fundamentalists in both Islam and Christianity. The abandonment of science in favor of faith in and obedience to the dictates of God.

The Environmentalist Utopia -- the rejection of science and technology in favor of pre-industrial lifestyles, in order to return the natural world to a (more) pristine state.

Classical Liberalism -- perhaps the weakest contender in terms of explicit ideological support, but a sentimental favorite at least in the Anglo-sphere due to its past record of supporting and expanding human freedom and prosperity.

There is no consensus on which of these paths is the right one, so we are at war with each other. We have an shooting war with the advocates of Islamic theocracy, and we have a cultural war between advocates of the other three. The lines are often blurred, because not everyone has both feet in one camp, but eventually, we will have to pick one, and only one, as the way forward.

9/08/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

ardsgaine wrote:

Totalitarian Collectivism
The Theocratic State
The Environmentalist Utopia
Classical Liberalism

The lines are often blurred, because not everyone has both feet in one camp, but eventually, we will have to pick one, and only one, as the way forward.


I disagree. When people take those little quizzes that plot their politics on a grid, they don't cluster at four points, but end up scattered to hell and gone like my pattern with an M-14 at 200 yards. The four points are just where the vocal extremists lie:

Thou shalt not covet (0%-100%)
Thou shalt not kill (0%-100%)

*If you have 0% coveting and 0% killing, you believe the rich should keep their money and we should not fight wars or execute people (Taoist).

*If you have 100% coveting and 0% killing, you believe the rich should be taxed to help the poor, and we should not fight wars or execute people (Democrat).

*If you have 0% coveting and 100% killing, you believe the rich should keep their money and we should fight wars and execute people (Republican).

*If you have 100% coveting and 100% killing, you believe the rich should be taxed to help the poor, and we should fight wars and execute people (Communist China).

9/08/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ardsgaine said...

Robert,

Bush isn't God. I don't think he's in any position to say whether there are 10 or 10,000 righteous men in, say, Teheran. Making that calculation isn't his job. His job is to defend the US. If he can only do that by leveling a city with 10 righteous men in it, then that's what he ought to do. Unlike God, he would not be punishing anyone's sins, he would just be defending this country by the only means available. The resulting deaths of the righteous would be the moral responsibility of those who threatened us, not the president's.

9/08/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

"when the Russians stormed the Reichstag bunker and the 3rd Army cut off the Alpine Redoubt, we had sliced out the last of the Nazi gangsters who had hijacked the country"


We did no such thing. As many Nazi were left as were killed, if not more. Only Teresita, they no longer cared identify themselves as Nazi.

9/08/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Clyde said...

Well, at least we've established that I'm not covetous, then! :-)

9/08/2006 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/08/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Ardsgaine,
"primarily epresented by fundamentalists in both Islam and Christianity"
It's a significant exaggeration to say that Christian fundamentalists advocate a theocratic state.

9/08/2006 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

cedarford wrote:

NO, the overused WWII analogies do have use in this case. Just because only 10% were ardent Nazis and the other 90% of Germans only followed out of fear or apathy or semi-sympathy -and went grudgingly along with the "bad Fascist types" into war and atrocities - doesn't get the other 90% off the hook.

Patton didn't know which ones where ardent Nazis and which ones where poor German sonzabitches who were thrown into a uniform and sent to the western front. All he did was drive east, and if he saw tanks, he hit 'em. If he saw troops, he shot 'em. But he didn't shoot grampa in the villages he overran, unless grampa tried to blow up an allied ammo dump in the rear. Same goes here in the "Long War." When we see some asshole plant an IED, we plant him. But we don't find his house and drag his wife and kids out into the street and make it a family outing. That's not the America that I love.

9/08/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Habu_3 said...
New format suggestion.

Divide the sceen into thirds vertically.
In column 1 you have pro Iraeli commenters.
In column 2 you have pro Iranian/terrorist comments.
In column 3 you have the confused, the uncommitted, new recipes, etc.

You could shade the backgrounds in pastels , peach, apricot, tangerine etc.
Posters would be allowed access to all three columns..hey a Jew or Arab might have a great recipe.

9/08/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

Wretchard said: "One of the hardest things to truly grasp is that people the world over share the same biology. Hunger, fear, humor and despair are common to all."

Perhaps for some. I have taught at an American University just outside of Dubai for just over a year now. [Photoblog with pics of campus and me with students is called Bit-Sand-Pieces]

My assumption coming here was that while habits may differ, human beings are fundamentally the same. Not only have I not had to revise this notion, it has actually become even more firmly fixed in my mind since my arrival.

This is especially the case as it pertains to undergraduates. I have taught 20 year olds in Boston,MA , Durham, NC, and Dubai, UAE many of whom hail from untold numbers of other points on the globe.

Their behaviors, attitudes, and preoccupations are suprisingly similar, now in this point in time, and with undergraduates I knew while and undergraduate myself 20+ years ago.

Interestingly, my teaching style has not been changed one bit from my days teaching grads and or undergrads in the US. I allow for the fact that English is not anyone's first tongue, but I find the same things that work well in the classroom in Boston and Durham, work here too, including a high percentage of my best jokes.

I think I am arriving at the conclusion that there are a relatively small number of personality (arche)types the world over. It is, I think, the proportion of the population embodying one type or the other that differs drastically.

As for Middle East blogging, I post occasionally on the UAE community blog hosted by a charming young Englishwoman who nom de guerre is Secret Dubai. On the UAE blog there are dozens of local (i.e. Emarati) bloggers who contribute material, as well as several Middle Eastern and Western expats.

Every few months, several of us meet and talk about developments in the local blogging scene. It's always good fun all around.

Here's a link to the UAE Community Blog and here's one to my "Middle East" archive at my blog, The Business of America is Business.

9/08/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Ardsgaine said...

Teresita,

Measuring someone's political beliefs by a simple-minded test isn't very reliable. The example you offer is even worse than the other one I've seen.

At any rate, I am not mapping the ideological paths onto the categories of any test. Those are the primary ideologies out there in the world. Some people attempt to mix and match minor principles from different ideologies, but each one is centered around a single overriding value: the collective, God, the environment, or the individual. A theocratic state will most likely be collectivist as well, but obedience to the dictates of God will be the overriding value, not the good of society. In any conflict between the two, God takes precedence. That is why I say that the paths represent separate and mutually exclusive alternatives.

9/08/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

habu_3 said:

Posters would be allowed access to all three columns..hey a Jew or Arab might have a great recipe.

Hey my brother used to have something called "The Anarchist's Cookbook" I betcha there's some tasty ones in there.

9/08/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger stumbley said...

Teresita:

When the Islamic Rommel (and the other conspiring generals) get together to attempt to whack Ahmedinijad, I will believe that there are "moderate" Muslims who want to live in peace with the rest of the world.

When I see hundreds of thousands (that's just a fraction of your 90%, by the way) marching in the streets of Damascus, Teheran, Jiddah, Riyadh, and Mecca saying "these fanatics do not represent us or our faith", I will believe that there are "moderate" Muslims.

I don't see this happening. There IS no great percentage of "moderate" Muslims.

What we need is the Islamic Martin Luther. Only then will Islam be able to co-exist with the West.

9/08/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

Ardsgaine: You missed the point. The question is not what the US can or should do. The question is are there enough humane righteous Muslims to save the ummah, or is it a death cult that will inevitably have a catastrophic clash with the 85% of humanity who are not, and will not become, Muslim.

I do not know the answer, and I do not think anybody else does either.

9/08/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

David Starling Hunter said in part:

"Interestingly, my teaching style has not been changed one bit from my days teaching grads and or undergrads in the US."

Neither Aristotle nor Confucious would agree that is possible. Not to mention Hericlitus.

9/08/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

ardsgaine wrote:

Some people attempt to mix and match minor principles from different ideologies, but each one is centered around a single overriding value: the collective, God, the environment, or the individual.

The "worse" example I threw up there is actually one that I cooked up on the GodGab forum in response to a request for an alternate pair of axes to map a person's politics. The reason I opposed Democrats to Republicans is obvious, but the reason I opposed Taoism to Communist China is that Taoism was always Yin to Confucius' Yang, and today's Red China is nothing more than a revival of Confucianism with some Stalinist imagery. In your example, you properly oppose collectivism and the individual, but I think you improperly oppose God and the environment. For instance, everyone in Washington State here is greener than that dancing girl on Star Trek, even the flag-waving Church-going Republicans. There are many evangelicals who put the divine mandate of human stewardship of creation into practice by making conservation a plank of conservatism again.

9/08/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

stumbley; 09:39:58 PM

re: Martin Luther

With respect,

OBL was that man. He sought to reform a corrupted Islam.

What Islam needs is a Copernicus or a Galileo.

9/08/2006 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Ardsgaine said...

exhelodrvr:
"It's a significant exaggeration to say that Christian fundamentalists advocate a theocratic state. "

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,210680,00.html

The difference is in degree, not in fundamental principle. Don't get me wrong, though, I'm very happy for the difference in degree. I just don't think it's a stable difference. It's subject to erosion, dimunition, eradication. I would be much more comfortable with a difference in principle. When I hear politicians making comments like Harris', I get nervous.

9/08/2006 09:55:00 PM  

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