In this article, George Walden says that Kenneth Pollack asserts this: “Lack of prosperity, not Islam, tends to explain the lower rates of democracy among predominantly Muslim countries.”
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, et al.), Qatar, Libya, and the other six Muslim states, or states where Muslims run things, that are members of OPEC, and thus the beneficiaries, since 1973 alone, of more than ten trillion dollars in oil revenues, are none of them democracies — and now we all know why. It’s their “lack of prosperity.”
So how shall we make Saudi Arabia prosperous, given its “lack of prosperity”? And Kuwait? And the U.A.E.? And Qatar? And all the other Muslim states in OPEC? Was Iran more dangerous when it had no oil wealth, or when it acquired great oil wealth and became unhinged by that oil wealth, and at the same time, with that oil wealth became able to acquire the kind of weapons and power it is now acquiring?
Do we want “prosperity” for the Muslim world? Is that the key? What, besides the more than ten trillion dollars that constitute the largest transfer of wealth in human history, do they need? What, aside from the billions we Infidels give to all the Muslim states that don’t have oil wealth, could we be doing? What is it the Pollacks of this world want Infidels to do? Continually to keep Muslims prosperous, despite their own, Islam-inculcated inshallah-fatalism, with our money, lest they become….well, you know….extremists?
What utter nonsense. Top to bottom. What a dope.
The lack of prosperity in the Muslim lands that do not have oil is explained by Islam itself. It is Islam that encourages the habit of mental submission, and by extension, the habit of submission to The Ruler, as long as the ruler is a Muslim. It is Islam that encourages inshallah-fatalism. And both of these have economic consequences. The first, the habit of mental submission, the discouraging or punishing of free and skeptical inquiry (beginning with any “free and skeptical inquiry” about Islam), leads to an absence of entrepreneurial flair and a deep reliance on manna or handouts from the state. The recent reports about the failure of a “free market” to develop in Iraq, and the enlargement of the state-owned parts of the economy, despite the huge and expensive efforts of the Americans, should not come as a surprise. It was inevitable. In the oil-rich states, the money comes from the government. The whole effort is to make sure that your sect or tribe or family manages either to seize control, for that sect, that tribe, or that family, or failing that, manages to ingratiate itself with that sect, that tribe, or that family. The royal road to riches in the Muslim Middle East? Ask the Al-Saud, the As-Sabah, the Al-Thani, the Al-Maktoum, and all the others, with their courtiers (“You Know Me, Al” is their favorite story) and hangers-on and candying spaniels at court.
As for inshallah-fatalism, why try very very hard when, in the end, every fiber in your individual or collective being tells you that, in the end, it’s all up to Allah, and he will intervene, quite inexplicably and suddenly, whenever he wants. Why try to create or accumulate wealth in societies suffused with Islam which, in any case, are subject to constant upheaval? There is constant jockeying for position in order to obtain more wealth — such as the oil wealth available, so much more abundant than anything the Arabs themselves could possibly make. And in any case they don’t try. They rely on millions of foreign, mostly Infidel, workers.
And in those Muslim-dominated lands that forgot to be born with oil and gas reserves, the Infidels — not fellow members of the Umma — have somehow gotten into the bad habit of shelling out tens and by now hundreds of billions for those Muslims, in Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, the so-called “Palestinian” territories (Arab-occupied Gaza and the “West Bank”), and anywhere else that such Muslims can be found. Infidel donors pledged two billion dollars a few weeks ago for Kosovo.
Villiers de l’Isle-Adam’s famous phrase has been transformed for a new application: “As for work, our Infidels will do that for us.”
Pollack claims that “lack of prosperity” explains the violence and aggression and threats emanating from the Muslim lands. No. “Lack of prosperity” comes from the same source that, entirely independently, explains the violence and aggression and threats against Infidels, and emanating from Muslim lands (and from Muslims living, often quite comfortably, and certainly far more comfortably than they did in the Muslim lands from which they came, deep within the Infidel lands of Western Europe).
That source is Islam. And that is what the bland unimaginative thoroughly-bureaucratic in thought, word, and deed, kenneth-pollacks of this world cannot possibly begin, or allow themselves to attempt to begin, to understand.