Looking at the New Atheist movement, where I have been critical, I can see a modernist movement derailing, but only because it lacks vitamins…and a less than full mental set.
I move to attack Islamophobia, but in the end the question remains: what is the future of Islam in relation to modernity. We have seen calls for an Islamic Reformation. All well and good, but the analogy doesn’t quite work. The whole question requires a creative new approach to the future. And there I have to ask, what does Islam have to contribute to the future?
As we have seen, a lot. Take sufism. But what is happening is that those contributions are entering into modern contexts and leaving their source behind. One of the surprises for Muslims in the New Age movement was to see the way sufism was suddenly a western phenomenon, and the way it was rapidly moving past local sufism. That, or course, is misleading. The real sufis are invisible and have little to do with outer sufism. But there you have it. Islam, in making a contribution to the future of modernity, has seeded the west with its occult mafia and this like warts is not easy to uproot.
A valid complaint?
IN general the depth of Islam is extraordinary and this requires careful study and research, and travel to Islamic countries. But the reality remains that Islamic culture is stuck in a stall. It is hard to unravel now, this enigma. In the nineteenth century Islamic countries were set to modernize, and then something happened to put the process on hold. But overall modernization was inevitable and continued.
I am not an Islamophobe, but the verdict is clear: Islamic countries are moving into either a post-Islamic future, or else into a form of Islamic Reformation that will allow an intelligent modernism. This is not ordained in heaven. It is perfectly possible for Islamic countries to ignore modernity, withdraw into a shell and wait history out here, a kind of postmodern apocalypticism. But will this work? The catch is that you can’t stop economic globalization interacting with Islamic cultures. So, I would say, the game is lost.
The Japanese understood the point and wasted no time on sentimentality. They could carry any amount of traditional culture (plus) as long as they modernized asap.
I don’t think Moslems need this sermon.
The cockeyed situation is in one way that the US secretly foments traditionalism for its own purposes. That has created a monumental screw up. Those who should be promoting modernization are caught red-handed promoting regression. Why and how? Whatever the case, Islamic cultures should move as rapidly as possible to modernize as much as they can. They can easily adapt the Islamic shell religion but need to do radical surgery to throw out Sharia, for example. Just throw it out. Look at the Japanese (and the Turks): sentimental Japanese culture rubbish in many case was imply ditched without regret. And yet now this capitalist powerhouse has a rich remaining core of its traditional culture.
More generally, the Islamic situation is obvious to almost the majority of intelligent Muslims, but they have problems others don’t have. Look at Israel. Who would have expected that the descendants of Israel would turn into imperialist monsters trying to cripple Moslem states. Who could have predicted jewish neo-cons would maniplaute the Americans into destroying Iraq.
So Moslems don’t need my sermons. They know the answer already. But they often waste time and energy preserving junk that should probably be thrown out. And I can’t discriminate here.
In any case, it won’t happen that in some postmodern miracle Islamic culture will do an endrun around modernity. If they have a 1% chance to sweep away Islamic cobwebs and modernize, then that’s the only chance, a 1%. A century ago they had a 90% chance.
I can’t quite fathom the dynamic here. The harm done by imperialism is one part of the answer.
It shouldn’t have happened that a Zionist lunacy could have taken root in the Middle East. But it did and it is not modernization, despite their atom bomb.
Israel is the most obscurantist piece of historical idiocy in the last five centuries of modern screwups. It comes in second after the Holocaust as the most horrifying wrong way to do it.
But Israel need not be a big problem
However, it is hard for Islamic countries to cope. The Japanese were smart: they had to militarize ASAP and did so within two decades. No neocons could indulge in imperial rape as in Iraq. So it is hard to suggest anything.
But the right amount of military anger is in fact there now, but squandered. Hold your breath, the ISIS gang. I had post here a while back on this: Isis is the right amount of anger at imperialism, but it has become ensnared in 1. Islamic confusions, 2. nutjob military discipline.
Moslems nearly conquered the world once. Now the Isis clearly show military chaos in motion: military riffraff of the worst kind with no officers.They are actually destroying ancient monuments. Insane. This madness is going to be paid for with the death of a million moslems. It is all the war on terror gang needs for a license to kill.
But they have the right level of desperation: they need to fight, and fight like hell to get out of the mess the outer world has created for them. But the whole strategy is wrong.
If all that energy of jihadist lunatics could be funneled into modern military tactics with decent leadership and a modernist ideology embedded in Islam to replace sharia, they could rapidly drive out the imperial gangsters, the wrong sort of capitalists, and defend themselves against Israel. In fact, I wish they could make use of a now defunct instrument created for this situation: a neo-communist movement toward postcapitalism (via a home based capitalism to start) that could unify the Islamic states into a communist ‘secular’ Caliphate, organize economic self-defense industrialization leading perhaps to a postcapitalist brand.
In a strange outcome, the nature of modernity has downshifted into decline. That was the reason for the postmodern movement. But it didn’t work because replacing modernist innovations with premodern ones backfired completely.
That makes it difficult to gain clarity. How preach modernity if the US is now a corrupt oligarchy with a set of covert agency operatives who are simply out of control. And there’s the irony. Who created ISIS? the CIA?
I think a neo-communist movement based on a Reformation Islam could be a viable answer here. But it needs a new updated communist theory and economic practice that can work. The Bolshevik models are obsolete and useless.
People will denounce this. But even at its worst it would be better than jihadism. It can be jihadism against capitalism for a communist Caliphate of Islamic nations.