Friday, June 24, 2016

Indian History, Brexit, Trump and the Bombay Fornicator

Continuing with the random thoughts theme:

1. Indian History: I think this short piece is a reasonably good summary of our current state of knowledge about the Aryans and India. ..except for the wholly unnecessary waffle on "out of India" theory (the weight of evidence against that seems overwhelming), this is a good place to start. I posted this on twitter and got several reactions that seem to indicate that Pakistanis (even educated and reasonable ones) tend to repeat 1950s textbook cliches on this subject even more than I expected. I think we should all read more about this topic :)

You can start here with this summary by a rather extreme Hindu-nationalist (I don't know if the author would approve of this title, but i use it loosely and without any pejorative intent; he can correct  me if he happens to disagree). This author has consistently displayed a vast knowledge of ancient India and is worth reading for that reason, whether you agree or not with his overall interpretation of history and culture.

From the same guy,  This description of an ancient indo-european feast is worth a read as well.. 

And of course, you can always start with Razib Khan's blog posts about this topic including this, or this.... or this (with the caveat this his conclusions are likely to change as more information comes should the conclusions of anyone who is trying to "seek truth from facts", as comrade Deng would say :)

3. Brexit. I took no interest in this until it was over, but it is apparently going to be a very big deal. Anyway, it does look like the credibility of both the left-liberal elite AND the finance-capital elite is at a new low among the proletariat. More to come on this topic I am sure..

I asked on twitter and got this from @Sam_Schulman as an example of a good article about what happens next: The Norway Model ...

My first thought is that this is likely not a useful comparison because there are too many differences between Norway and Britain..and between the context in which they ask for deals with the EU. but again, I don't know much about this. Reading suggestions welcome. 

3. Trump. I had written in March that his worthless team will sink him. I still hopeful that his personal ignorance, superficiality and general lunacy, in addition to his weak team, will cause him to lose big time in November, even though there are real trends (as indicated by Brexit) that would be expected to empower a candidate who opposes (or pretends to oppose) the globalist Left as well as the globalist finance-capital Right...
But I think we do have to keep fingers crossed. He is a conman and will disappoint everyone, including those voting for him on nativist or proto-fascist grounds, but that does not mean he cannot win. If Hillary goes too far into super-elite SJW territory and Jihadi terrorists manage a serious atrocity very close to elections, then even this Queens casino-operator could have a chance. I say this because I have a feeling that Hillary is something of a super-elite SJW at heart (though she is willing to sell out). There is a backlash against that ideology in the US these days (and as Brexit partially indicates, in other Western countries as well) and if she lets too much of that emerge, Trump may still have a chance, in spite of his obvious weaknesses and problems. 

Fingers crossed. And hoping that the FBI does a good job of keeping the jihadis at bay.

4. The inimitable Salman Rashid writes about the Bombay Fornicator. A piece of furniture and a piece of history..

5. Orlando. Nothing new to say. As Loretta Lynch said, we don't know for sure what his motives were. Well, we know for sure he claimed to be killing for Islam/Islamic-state, but it cannot be denied that there are possible sub-conscious motivations at work here in addition to the obvious "spirit of Jihad" thing. (gays, latinos, paranoid-schizophrenia?). Perhaps we can say: "Jihadist Islam that encourages "spontaneous lone-wolf jihad" and endorses violence against gays led a psychologically disturbed and culturally confused Afghan-American to make use of lax gun laws to kill random gay people" .
About the spirit of Jihad thing, I wrote in some detail after the San Bernardino attacks. I am copying and pasting the last few paragraphs here:

Can any Muslim become radicalized and fall victim to spontaneous jihad syndrome at any time?

This is the right-wing fringe's mirror-image of the liberal belief that Islam never causes jihad and all of it can be explained by “inequality” or “Sykes-Picot” or some such story.  Both mirror-images are clearly false. The real situation is that we can look at the Muslims of the world and see several disparate groups; Shias, Ismailis and Ahmedis are outside the Sunni Jihadist universe and so are not going to spontaneously take up arms in the war between shariah-based Islam and other civilizations.  They are all relatively small minorities, but they are the most obvious examples of “Muslims who will not get radicalized and join the Sunni Jihad, foreign policy, Israel, Sykes-Picot and Picketty notwithstanding. These supposedly powerful motives for hating America will not cause these groups to go postal. There is a lesson in there somewhere.

 Coming to Sunni Muslims, we have a very large number are “moderate Muslims”, which is shorthand for Muslims who were not brought up in shariah-compliant households and who do not practice that kind of Islam. Their numbers vary from country to country, but one can say with a lot of confidence that they are not spontaneous jihad material either. They can covert, but it is a slow process, it is observable and even preventable (if they are kept away from hardline preachers). Then there are the shariah-compliant Muslims who believe that the Shariah’s orders for Jihad are meant for very specific situations where a Sunni state has declared Jihad and those situations (fortunately) do not exist. So they get on with life in all parts of the world. Many of them are model citizens because they avoid intoxicants, deal honestly and follow the law. A very tiny fraction of them may “radicalize” but most will not. The same applies to converts. So yes, about these (small) groups one may say “they can radicalize” , but very rarely. And even then, there are warning signs and it is never an overnight process. Finally, there are the true-believer Jihadists. They have obvious links with Jihadist schools, groups and teachers. They are small in number and they are not hard for the community to identify, if is so chooses. And they are indeed high risk. Liberals see none of them, right-wingers see too many. Both are wrong.

I guess what I am saying is that notions of Muslim hordes just waiting for a chance to attack are far outside the bounds of reality. Common sense can actually be a guide here. There is no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater and equally there is no need to be willfully blind to warning signs. Biased agenda pushers on BOTH sides of this debate have obscured common sense options. And while Liberals may underestimate or misrepresent the threat from radical Muslims, conservatives frequently generalize the threat to all Muslims.

Last but not the least, all nutcases cannot be stopped beforehand. Some surprises will always happen in a large and complex society . There is no risk-free society, with or without Muslims. But this is not World-War Three. Not in the United States. In parts of Europe the proportion of jihadists is likely higher (for various reasons, including racism and multiculturalist liberalism). Meanwhile, in the core of the Muslim world itself, all bets are off. There is no well-articulated theology of liberal Sunnism. Other organizing ideologies (like Marxism and pan-Arab nationalism) have manifestly failed. The authoritarian regimes that exist are (for now) the only game in town. These authoritarian elites, who disproportionately  benefit from the modern world,  impose their will using a combination of force, persuasion and foreign support. But they lack a deep legitimating ideology. This crisis of ideology is extremely serious, and it may devour some of those countries (though the survival of Jordan is a good example of the fact that even the most arbitrary modern states have more strength than we sometimes imagine). Those Muslim states that are further away from the Arab heartland (and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) may do better. They can frequently rely on other identities to maintain the legitimacy of their states and new Islams can arise in them with time. But even they will not be compltely free of Jihadist conflict. No state is completely free of conflict of course, and many conflicts unrelated to Islam or Jihad could easily kill millions and destroy whole countries. But predominantly Islamic countries do have the added burden of the conflict of Classical Islamic ideals with modern civilization (not justWestern civilization), and it will take time to resolve this conflict.

Hold on tight.

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