Bourgeoisophobes / Re: Ossama Bin Laden Revisited

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Posted by epierce ( on December 27, 2002 at 13:21:13:

In Reply to: Re: Ossama Bin Laden Revisited posted by Nick Stone on December 10, 2002 at 08:54:36:

the islamicists were complicit in the muslim slave trade in sudan while developing their "training network" of terrorism. not 100 years ago, 1 year ago.

what more do you need to know?

the situation in the middle east is a combination of the legacy of european imperialism and the internal rot (rigid orthodoxy on one "side", marginalization of a corrupt counter-culture of mysticism on the other "side") that had set in in the muslim world long before european imperialism developed.

europeans, and by extension americans, have to "own" their responsibility for the negative legacy of imperialism. islamicists hae to "own" their complicity in perpetuating highly dysfunctional "anti-western" hate ideologies.

the idiocy of thinking that both "sides" hurling denunciations at each other might be part of a "solution" ought to be self-evident.

see for some alternatives.

from a "libertarian" american perspective, the hate ideologies of the islamicists have a certain resonance with the anti-american ideologies of "liberal" european political/intellectual classes:

(warning, the above link may wrap)


| Among the Bourgeoisophobes
| Why the Europeans and Arabs, each in their own way, hate America
| and Israel.
| by David Brooks
| 04/15/2002, Volume 007, Issue 30
| AROUND 1830, a group of French artists and intellectuals looked
| around and noticed that people who were their spiritual inferiors
| were running the world. Suddenly a large crowd of merchants,
| managers, and traders were making lots of money, living in the big
| houses, and holding the key posts. They had none of the high style
| of the aristocracy, or even the earthy integrity of the peasants.
| Instead, they were gross. They were vulgar materialists, shallow
| conformists, and self-absorbed philistines, who half the time
| failed even to acknowledge their moral and spiritual inferiority
| to the artists and intellectuals. What's more, it was their very
| mediocrity that accounted for their success. Through some screw-up
| in the great scheme of the universe, their narrow-minded greed had
| brought them vast wealth, unstoppable power, and growing social
| prestige.

| Naturally, the artists and intellectuals were outraged. Hatred of
| the bourgeoisie became the official emotion of the French
| intelligentsia. Stendhal said traders and merchants made him want
| to "weep and vomit at the same time." Flaubert thought they
| were "plodding and avaricious." Hatred of the bourgeoisie, he
| wrote, "is the beginning of all virtue." He signed his
| letters "Bourgeoisophobus" to show how much he despised "stupid
| grocers and their ilk."

| Of all the great creeds of the 19th century, pretty much the only
| one still thriving is this one, bourgeoisophobia. Marxism is dead.
| Freudianism is dead. Social Darwinism is dead, along with all
| those theories about racial purity that grew up around it. But the
| emotions and reactions that Flaubert, Stendhal, and all the others
| articulated in the 1830s are still with us, bigger than ever. In
| fact, bourgeoisophobia, which has flowered variously and spread to
| places as diverse as Baghdad, Ramallah, and Beijing, is the major
| reactionary creed of our age.

| This is because today, in much of the world's eyes, two peoples
| --the Americans and the Jews--have emerged as the great exemplars
| of undeserved success. Americans and Israelis, in this view, are
| the money-mad molochs of the earth, the vulgarizers of morals,
| corrupters of culture, and proselytizers of idolatrous values.
| These two nations, it is said, practice conquest capitalism,
| overrunning poorer nations and exploiting weaker neighbors in
| their endless desire for more and more. These two peoples, the
| Americans and the Jews, in the view of the bourgeoisophobes,
| thrive precisely because they are spiritually stunted. It is
| their obliviousness to the holy things in life, their feverish
| energy, their injustice, their shallow pursuit of power and gain,
| that allow them to build fortunes, construct weapons, and play
| the role of hyperpower.

| And so just as the French intellectuals of the 1830s rose up to
| despise the traders and bankers, certain people today rise up to
| shock, humiliate, and dream of destroying America and Israel.
| Today's bourgeoisophobes burn with the same sense of unjust
| inferiority. They experience the same humiliation because there
| is nothing they can do to thwart the growing might of their
| enemies. They rage and rage. Only today's bourgeoisophobes are
| not just artists and intellectuals. They are as likely to be
| terrorists and suicide bombers. They teach in madrassas, where
| they are careful not to instruct their students in the sort of
| practical knowledge that dominates bourgeois schools. They are
| Muslim clerics who incite hatred and violence. They are erudite
| Europeans who burn with humiliation because they know, deep
| down, that both America and Israel possess a vitality and
| heroism that their nations once had but no longer do.


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