Would Turkey be a Shock to the European System?

Barnett, T.P.M. 2007. Like Hanson… Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog. April 8, 2007. Available online: http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/2007/04/toms_column_this_week_6.html#comment-16630.

Not a European country?

Tom Barnett, who I admire greatly, responded to my concerns that Turkey may not belong in Europe:

Like Hanson, I think you’re too observant of friction and not of force (the former being primary a function of the latter, but hardly its master). It’s very seductive and seems very perceptive in historical terms (hence the appeal to historians), but it’s a trap of immense proportions in terms of solid strategic thinking (live in the world you find yourself in, because these are revolutionary times).

Acutlaly, I think Tom and I are closer than that. The recent Islamism in Turkey is doubtless a response to the uncertainties of a globalizing economy, and thus come from different sources than Arab extremism. And again, I am naturally sympathetic to the Turkish cause. I’ve criticized German maltreatment of Turks before. But the idea of mass Turkish immigration to Europe, which is inseparable from a meaningful entry of Turkey to the European Union, is too dangerous.

Earlier, Dr. Barnett opined on a possible strike on Iran.

Back to our asynch dialogue of late: to me, attacking Iran overloads the Core on feedback, thus putting it at risk. I can’t grow the Core if I split it, thus my fear.

This is the best reason for keeping Turkey out of Europe. Europe is in making national identities more fluid than they have been any time since the Dark Ages. That’s not an exaggeration. The blending of German, French, and Italian peoples has not happened on this scale since Charlemagne. Europe apperas to be able to handle this, but Europe already is having problems processing Muslim immigrants. Allowing Turks to live freely in Europe would ramp up this disruptive feedback to Europe, perhaps splitting Europe off from the rest of the Core. (The concern is not that Europe would descend to a third-world country — though the no-go zones already have — but that Europe’s attention and concerns would become centered on its unique Islam problem and not applicable to other Core-wide pursuits.)

Not a Continent for Turks?

The impact of massive Turkish immigration to Europe would far, far exceed yet another chapter in the “America acts recklessly in the Middle East” saga that Europe’s been watching for decades. So how can one oppose an Iran War, out of concern for the Core’s reaction, while supporting Turkish immigration to Europe? Especially when other larger and vital states, such as Ukraine, have yet to be integrated.

Politically correct. Yes. Realistic? No

Slashdot links the Guardian‘s summary of what the UK Ministery of Defense fears the world may look like in 30 years. Some thoughts below:

Actually, this would be a revolutionary petite bourgeious…

The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx,” says the report. The thesis is based on a growing gap between the middle classes and the super-rich on one hand and an urban under-class threatening social order: “The world’s middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest”. Marxism could also be revived, it says, because of global inequality. An increased trend towards moral relativism and pragmatic values will encourage people to seek the “sanctuary provided by more rigid belief systems, including religious orthodoxy and doctrinaire political ideologies, such as popularism and Marxism”.

And this:

Resentment among young people in the face of unrepresentative regimes “will find outlets in political militancy, including radical political Islam whose concept of Umma, the global Islamic community, and resistance to capitalism may lie uneasily in an international system based on nation-states and global market forces”, the report warns. The effects of such resentment will be expressed through the migration of youth populations and global communications, encouraging contacts between diaspora communities and their countries of origin.

… is perhaps optimistic. Of greater concern to Europe are European Islamic No-Go Zones.

Nice bit about China though:

Tension between the Islamic world and the west will remain, and may increasingly be targeted at China “whose new-found materialism, economic vibrancy, and institutionalised atheism, will be an anathema to orthodox Islam”.

The world would be very different in 9/11 had been directed against Shanghai and Beijing. Perhaps, as China connects with more and more New Core powers and threatens Islamic ruleset absolutism, that day may still come.

Mainstream Media Climate Change Bias

What the AP reported:

Kerry Emanuel, an MIT professor who had feuded with Gray over global warming, said Gray has wrongly “dug (his) heels in” even though there is ample evidence that the world is getting hotter.

What a google search found within thirty seconds.:

Q: … is global warming behind this increase in hurricanes?

Gray: I am very confident that it’s not. I mean we have had global warming. That’s not a question. The globe has warmed the last 30 years, and the last 10 years in particular.

Hat-tip to Power Line, courtesy of John Hawks.

Update: South Dakota Politics agrees.

Liberal Pharisees

Wright, R. 2007. An easter sermon. New York Times. April 7, 2007. Available online: http://select.nytimes.com/gst/tsc.html?URI=http://select.nytimes.com/2007/04/07/opinion/07wright.html&OQ=_rQ3D1Q26pagewantedQ3Dprint&OP=62b582bfQ2FQ26Q24XnQ26)d.00)Q26Q23Q5EQ5EQ2BQ26Q5EYQ26Q5EQ2BQ2603jHj0HQ26Q5EQ2BQ24.jNQ7B)wQ7B)Q5Dt.

Eddie of Hidden Unities (who is currently cut off from the blogosphere because of naval censorship) kindly sent me an article by Robert Wright entitled “An Easter Sermon.” The article is a perfect example of the phony devotionalism that is currently in vogue on the left.


To begin:

Jesus knew viral marketing.

In the Gospel of Mark, the disciple John complains that nondisciples are selling bootlegged copies of Jesus’ miraculous powers. “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.”

Jesus tells John to quit obsessing about the intellectual property and to focus on getting the brand out. “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.” Jesus adds, “Whoever is not against us is for us.”

Fast-forward two millennia. Weeks after 9/11, George Bush says roughly the opposite. His famous “You’re either with us or against us” means that those who don’t follow his lead will be considered enemies. The rest is history. Today, Jesus has more than a billion devoted followers. Mr. Bush has … well, fewer than that.

One gets the feeling that if Mr. Wright was an antisemite he would randomly open the Torah, by chance flip to Numbers, and proceed to criticize the Judaism as nothing more than a religion of accountancy.

The accusation of Bush saying “roughly the opposite” is Jesus is aggrevating because Bush said nearly the same thing as Jesus. For instance:

He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. *Matthew 12:30-322

Certainly, one may criticize Bush for using rhetoric intended to condemn “blasphemy against the spirit” to instead condemn states that sponsor terrorism. But to say that Bush uses antibiblical rhetoric is bizarre — it misses the entire point of Bush’s rhetorical style and displays a too-arrogant-to-even-google view of editorial journalism.

I mentioned to Eddie upon reading this that “saying ‘Robert Wright is a pharisee fraud’ would be too kind. The pharisees at least knew the text of the scriptures.” Certainly that’s true.

More is below the fold…

The religious left — yes, there is such a thing — complains that Mr. Bush ignores the Bible’s moral injunctions.

Of course there’s a religious left. It’s largely identical with so-called Mainline Protestantism. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) boycotts Israel. (Likewise the PCUSA amended its constitution in 1981 to make it harder to independent churches to leave. For centuries the Presbyterians remembered their roots in the reformation and emphasized the importance of spiritual freedom. Not under the religious left.)

Now, the fate of the religious left appears to be the same as the fate of Mainline Protestantism generally: decline and death. While the Episcopalians take pride in their declining numbers and approaching excommunication from the Anglican Communion, they are hardly a force anything like the size Rob Wright would want.

Consider a teaching of Jesus that seems on its surface devoid of strategic import. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Bob’s point is that love is a political weapon, and it’s true. Indeed, as I wrote in 2005:

“Jesus and Paul understood that the Roman Empire was a hyperpower. It was undefeatable in any meaningful sense. Even areas “liberated” of the Roman military (like Germania) quickly fell into the Roman economic and cultural orbit. Further, as Jesus lived a day’s walk from a town that had been butchered in a reprisal by Roman troops, and Paul had been a secret policeman for a State Church, both respected the Roman security system…

As long as Christianity could avoid becoming existing, supporting the state was a methodical route to Christian victory. The Empire. To see how this worked, imagine the Roman power structure as a table.”

Anway, back to the “Easter Sermon”:

Of course, Mr. Bush is more in the shoes of the Roman emperor than of Paul. America isn’t a small but growing religious movement. It’s a great power threatened by a small but growing religious movement — radical Islam. But the logic can work both ways. Great powers, by mindlessly indulging retributive impulses, can give fuel to small but growing religious movements. If you want to deprive jihadists of ammunition, make it hard for them to persuade others to hate us.

The discussion of Islam promises to be interesting. It’s a good contrast for the Christian way of victory (“It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise., &c). As I wrote before:

“Muhammed ibn-Abdullah was clearly aware of Christian victory over the Romans. Muhammed changed two basic strategies of Christianity, by transforming it into a strict monotheism and optimizing it for victory in chaotic conditions. Yet these are details compared to his grandest innovation. Muhammed focused his faith not on the Most High or on His Son, but on a Rule-Set. Islam is, at its core, is not Muahmmed and is not Allah. Islam is the Holy Koran.

Muslims were the first “People of the Book” in all history. The earliest Semites were tribalists who wished for their gods to protect their families, and Judaism falls into this category. Jews may be thought of as People of their Father and Mother. The land of the Jews is given to them because of descent from Abraham:

But Wright doesn’t pursue this line of reasoning. Instead he jumps back to the dawn of Christianity and makes a basic mistake:

Right after Paul espouses kindness to enemies, he adds: “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Sounds like naïve moralizing until you look at those Abu Ghraib photos that have become Al Qaeda recruiting posters…

The ultimate in viral marketing was Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. Deemed a threat to the social order, he was crucified under Roman auspices. But the Romans forgot one thing: If you face a small but growing movement that threatens the imperial order, you shouldn’t attack the men in ways that help the memes.

Exactly wrong.*

Rome’s attempt to detatch Christians from civil society by provoking them to violence was an attempt to process Christianity like Rome processed those other rebellions: the Britains and the Zealots.

[* Note the asterick by “exactly wrong.” That’s because like all lazy writers, Wright qualifies his words to make them impossible to attack as such. He says “in ways that help the memes.” What does this mean? “In ways that are ultimately beneficial to one’s enemies”? If this is the intended meaning, it’s a truism that can’t possibly be argued. Instead, in the above paragraph I assumed that Wright was intellectually honest, and actually meant to write “who themselves spread the memes.” ]

Related: Razib points out the inanity of a different NYT article.