You don't force people to do what they want
Posted by aogTuesday, 25 July 2006 at 20:00 TrackBack Ping URL

I have to dissect this quote

Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Bangladesh, afghanistan, Palestine.… Left to their own devices the Islamic nations uniformly adopt the Anglo-American system. The Muslim preference for democracy has been demonstrated too often now to be debatable.

The compatibility of Islam and liberal democracy is, to me, still very debatable and examples like this followed by a non-sequitor assertion do little to change my mine. Let’s check out the examples:

Turkey
A liberal democracy created by militant secularists who did what they could to suppress Islam.
Pakistan
A military dictatorship that doesn’t even have control of its own territory.
Iran
An oppressive theocratic regime.
Iraq
Uh, it was invaded, not “left to their own devices”.
Indonesia
Has its problems, but I would count it as an example of the claim.
Bangladesh
I’ll count that one.
Afghanistan
Invaded. Palestine Not a liberal democracy, looking very much like one man, one vote, one time. Even if Hamas does reform, it will be because of massive pressure and intervention by the West.

Not exactly an inspiring list and very far from “uniformly adopting” the Anglo-American system even without counting Western interventions (one could make the argument that only Turkey made it without such intervention and that was by the secularists). And this is a list made by a proponent of the claim, so any selection bias should point the other way.

One could argue, however, that many of these nations have at least gone the cargo cult route with regard to the Anglospheric system of government. That might ease the transition at some distant point in the future. However, I see little hope that any of these nations that aren’t already there will make the transition on their own. It will require a lot of effort and pressure from the Anglosphere to accomplish that, which is not a usual indicator of a natural cultural propensity.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
cjm Wednesday, 26 July 2006 at 19:33

by judd’s measure, the cccp was a thriving democracy, as is the prc today.

anon Saturday, 29 July 2006 at 10:25

Dear AOG,

You may (or may not) remember me as a guy who got banned from the Judd blog by Orrin because I called him on one too mnay of his bizarre claims. All I can say is that it is a good thing that Orrin never became a lawyer, since he rarely wins an argument. Instead he does the blog equivalent of taking his ball and going home in a sulk or tipping the game board to send the pieces flying.

I still visit on occassion for the entertainement value. But lately, I’ve noticed that almost everyone has become a “Duffy” especially in response to his support of Shiite terrorists like Hezbollah and the Iranians who want to exterminate Israel with nukes (one wonders what his Jewish wife has to say about this). Either way, he’s jumped the shark.

But I think I have the key to uunderstanding his bizzaro love of all things Shiite. You see they hang homosexuals in Iran, its a capital crime. OJ has repeatedly expressed his desire to “happily” execute gays (though he has purged his archives of these statements on occasions only to reiterate them later). Near as I can tell this hatred stems from having (at his own admission) been buggered at a frat house while in college.

Assuing you haven’t been banned as well, why don’t you call him on it?

And tell him I said hello.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 29 July 2006 at 11:56

Been there, done that.

As for my posting over at Brothers Judd, I think I’ve used up my stock of permitted disagreement.

On the other hand, I don’t think I agree with your assessment of the root cause of his hatred for homosexuality. He doesn’t like witches just as much and I doubt he’s been a victim of evil spells. I think rather that OJ is a very strong conformitarian and homosexuality is non-conforming. If you read him carefully, what he likes best about current Islam is its intolerance for deviance, of which homosexuality is just one strand (note that he also explicitly favors things like rioting over cartoons that insult one’s Abrahamic religious beliefs).

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 29 July 2006 at 14:45

As an aside, I was thinking of making a post about this comment but then I realized that if I posted every time OJ did a bait & switch, I wouldn’t have time to write anything else.

As is usual when the wind of reality isn’t filling his sails, OJ “demolishes” someone else’s argument by redefining key terms, in this case from “Hizballah” to “Shia”. I.e., the original commentor argues for smashing Hizballah and OJ treats that is if it meant destroying the entire Shia religion.

What’s sad is that OJ still has a real knack and enormous energy for finding interesting articles so I still read his weblog. He didn’t used to be this intolerant of opposing views, it’s been a gradual shift as he accumulates more self-pronounced tropes.

Michael Herdegen Saturday, 29 July 2006 at 16:16

What’s so humorously ironic about Orrin being “conformitarian” is that he’s pledged allegiance to many ideas, movements, and organizations that are part of America’s nutty fringe, and not to much that’s actually accepted by most Americans - witness his hostility towards automobiles, cities, WW II, and avoiding nuclear war. Even when he’s part of the mainstream, such as being religious, or a Republican, he manages to find the most extreme positions within those paradigms.

But don’t forget that Orrin is also a bomb-thrower. He enjoys instigating argument, and it helps his site traffic as well. Some of his more absurd positions are probably an exaggeration of his actual beliefs.

For instance, he wrote several years ago that he expects that eventually gays will be allowed to marry, and that he was fine with it.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 29 July 2006 at 17:23

I think he’d be OK if he would stop adding new ones. The cross dependencies are what I used as my primary points of attack (e.g., the whole “levels” thing, caught between that randomly adopted axiom and his need to agree with any anti-Darwinist screed that comes along). His bomb throwing seems to be hoisting him by his own petard more often these days. When even David Cohen is getting testy with him, it’s not a good sign.

But one must admit, he’s a whole lot of entertainment in one weblog.

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