Thursday, August 19, 2010

Infecting the Enemy

A professor friend was telling me yesterday about a thesis he and a colleague are trying to promote. It is that democracy is not necessarily a source of social and political strength, as we democrats like to tell ourselves. At any rate, not inevitably. It is also a source of weakness, of doubt, of self-loathing, of self-criticism gone wild to an extent that approaches suicidal. (Have I mentioned societies which don't have children?).

If that's the case - I admit, counter intuitive to my Jeffersonian or Churchillian mindset - then what we need to be doing is infecting the Muslim world with the virus. Not so as to make them wish to be like us and join in a universal frolicking, but rather to level the battle ground of ideas, to have their universities spew doubt and self-loathing of their own, their media to sap their resolve, their intellectuals endlessly to apologize for whatever we do.

Apparently no respectable academic journal is willing to touch their article.


Anonymous said...

Pascal Bruckner has a book out on "The Tyranny of Guilt" and below's a short piece by him supporting what your friend seems to be after.
Could this guilt-mongering "we" do, be a side-effect of prosperity? I mean I find it hard to imagine that somebody barely making ends meet even dreams of shenanigans like Max Mosley indulged in not so long ago.

Europe’s Guilty Conscience
Self-hatred is paralyzing the Continent.

Barry Meislin said...

We have already been told how lousy democracy is by Churchill.


Anonymous said...

but Churchill, if I remember correctly, also obsessed obsessively about a thing he called honour


Anonymous said...

If a radical muslim lacks one thing, it's self-criticsm. I think it's a cultural thing. Just compare the numbers of psychotherapists per 1000 people in Europe with numbers from Egypt/Iran/Saudi Arabia etc.

Regards, André

Bryan said...

To be fair, psychotherapy is a luxury the impoverished Arabs and Persians cannot afford.

If only there were a democratic leader that we could, like Germany "injected" Lenin into Russia, simply send into the Middle East to run amok. It seems unlikely, though. Democracy necessarily needs education, and the Arab world is bereft of education for the lower classes. Even if unpractical, I do like your idea, Yaacov.

Anonymous said...

here's an institution that may know how to bring it about ;-)

I liked the program more than a bit, it had quite some of that admiration for the dare devil Israelis which once was the norm in it.


The Mossad or 'Institute of Special Tasks', is one of the most feared and fabled security services in the world.

Anonymous said...

in that Mossad piece the BBC interviews an Israeli spy? novel writer who worked for the Mossad but unfortunately doesn't list his name on the website.
Anybody knows who he is?

always eager for the page turners ;-)

Anonymous said...

ooops forgot - that Mossad piece includes an interview with one agent who was engaged in the rescue of the Ehtiopean Jews.