RE: War and oil in the UK papers (long)

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Mon Sep 09 2002 - 09:01:17 EDT

  • Next message: george murphy: "Re: War and oil in the UK papers (long)"

    Bill Yates wrote:
    >This gives rise to my second question:
    >Why do these other groups not see this and implement the same values in
    >their society in order to achieve the same progress?
    >Any answers?

    Not answers but speculation. The people in every culture like their culture.
    It is what they grew up with and what they were trained to live in. Even
    here in Scotland with the similarities in language and culture, I miss some
    of the subtle clues to feelings and attitudes because I wasn't trained as a
    child in this culture. Thus, it is hard for people in one culture to match
    the values in another culture. If those values are required for economic
    growth, then growth will be lacking in cultures that can't mimic those
    important traits.

    And I wouldn't automatically claim that Christianity mimics the traits you
    listed earlier in your note: worth of the individual, belief in liberty,
    democracy, and a free market capitalistic economic system. For 1800 years
    Christianity aligned itself with despotical dictators whom we call kings.
    There was little worth ascribed to the individual, little liberty, no
    democracy and no captialist system because everything belonged to the king.
    Thus the inability of Islamic societies to free themselves from their
    despotical dictators is not that much different from Christianity for the
    first 1800 years of its existence.

    And ironically our push for democracy in the Arabic world (which we should
    do) probably will backfire. In Algeria several years ago the military
    canceled an election because pre-election polls showed that the islamic
    fundamentalists, who were campaigning for an Islamic society which would do
    away with elections, was about to win. I saw the other day that Bush was
    pushing Musharref to have free elections in Pakistan. If they had truly
    free elections, we would have another Afghanistan on our hands, only this
    one would have nuclear weapons. The real problem is the intellectual
    isolation of the Islamic world. No alternative viewpoints are viable there.

    And this leaves us in a real quandry because of our view of the worth of the
    individual. Do we truly give the freedom to a society to vote in people who
    say we must die?


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