Islam and Europe

Earlier this year, Catholicgauze posted “The United Caliphates of Europe,” which he had earlier presented at the yearly meeting of the Association of American Geographers in San Francisco.

For those who messed it, another lesson in the danger of importing Islamic microsotates is from in the International Herald Tribune‘s “France stunned by rioters’ savagery (hat-tip to Glenn):

In retrospect, it was not a good idea to have left his pistol at home. Called to the scene of a traffic accident in the Paris suburbs last Sunday, Jean-François Illy, a regional police chief, came face to face with a mob of immigrant youths armed with baseball bats, iron bars and shotguns.

What happened next has sickened the nation. As Illy tried to reassure the gang that there would be an investigation into the deaths of two teenagers whose motorbike had just collided with a police car, he heard a voice shouting: “Somebody must pay for this. Some pigs must die tonight!”

The 43-year-old commissaire realised it was time to leave, but that was not possible: they set his car ablaze. He stood as the mob closed in on him, parrying the first few baseball bat blows with his arms. An iron bar in the face knocked him down.

“I tried to roll myself into a ball on the ground,” said Illy from his hospital bed. He was breathing with difficulty because several of his ribs had been broken and one had punctured his lung.

His bruised and bloodied face signalled a worrying new level of barbarity in the mainly Muslim banlieues, where organised gangs of rioters used guns against police in a two-day rampage of looting and burning last week.

As the European Union follows the United States in adding members to increase its labor and land, Brussells must be careful to minimize its exposure to whatever is wrong in Islamic cultures. The West Balkans and Ukraine are logical next steps for integration. Contra Secretary Miliband (hat-tip to Tom), integration of Muslim countries, such as Turkey, or states that may be Islamic by the end of the century, such as Russia, should be delayed for the time being. (Economic and business ties, of course, can expand and their natural rate.)

Fierceness, Variations, and the utility of these concepts

Maximum, S. (2007). Arrows in the eagle’s claw — Chapter II, about 4GW analysis. Fabius Maximus. December 3, 2007. Available online: http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2007/12/03/arrows-in-the-eagles-claw-ii-4gw-analysts/ (from Defense and the National Interest).

Fabius Maximus (who kindly has me on his blogroll) calls for two conflicting goals in his recent post on 4GW analysis: first, he wants scientific progress on 4GW theory, and second, he wants fierce non-academic debate.

In parts of his article, Fabius appears to want a smack down brawl, a decline of community friendships, and a decrease in collaboration:

These things might result from 4GW analysis becoming over-collaborative, too congenial. The rapid development of the sciences results from the open clashing of views, often with fierce criticism between those of different views. The 4GW literature contains little of this.

Yet in other parts, Fabius holds high the banner of science as a cure for ills:

It is difficult to accurately describe a literature as large and diverse as that discussing 4GW. That being said, it seems to display some characteristics suggesting exhaustion or sterility. 4GW is a theoretical concept, only useful to the extent it generates insights for practitioners of statecraft, war, and intelligence. Otherwise it is either a hobby or an academic pursuit. The following are tendencies that seem to be appearing more frequently in discussions of 4GW.

Perhaps I am reading too much on Fabius’ words, but it seems he is calling for the development of a full-fledged field with thousands of employees and hangers-on.

If Fabius wants science to study 4GW, as some do and others do not, then we need a 4GW paradigm to guide us. This requires, among other things

a) variation to study
b) an agreement on what such a good study would look like

Such a scientific/academic program will generate significant differences between group means, practical effect sizes, and eventually links to other academic literatures. While certainly there should be disagreements, even strong disagreements, collegiality is a must if the community doesn’t fracture into incommesurable factions that just talk past each other.

Fabius also calls for useful tools to be deployed to warfighters. This is the role of an educator. It requires, among other things

a) rhetoric
b) practical experience

While scientifically/academically, xGW theory would be grown through studies analyzing variance, educationally/practically it would be spread through writing quality and utility.

These are both good goals. But Fabius appears to jump between them, attacking and embracing them in kind. Fabius should choose between his goals, or acknowledge that both are desired. Otherwise, it is hard to know what he means.

Educate Women. Destroy (and/or modify) Inferior Cultures

DeAngelis, S.F. (2007). Educating girls and human freedom. Enterprise Resilience Management Blog (Bradd C. Hayes, Ed.). December 3, 2007. Available online: http://enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com/enterprise_resilience_man/2007/12/educating-girls.html.

The reason I started blogging was that I was afraid my thoughts were limited by my poor capacity to remember what I think. Working memory is very limited, and I feared that I was not applying principles from one part of my thoughts to another. I was optimistic that blogging would help reveal these faults to me, and help me change my mind.

One of the areas I have improved on is the education of women in the Gap. For a long time, I bought into justifications like this:

As life expectancies have increased along with leisure time and increased opportunities, many cultures are re-visiting how they treat women, including how they educate them. Overall, this is a good thing. What business could thrive if half its employees were uneducated, untrained, and under-utilized? The same is true for societies. A society that undervalues the contribution that can be made by its women finds itself relying on half its brainpower and half its strength.

which, frankly is weak.

I first ran into this line of reasoning in Lewis’ The Emergence of Modern Turkey, in the context of Kemalist reforms. The argument made is that only formally educating males reduces the quantity of workers, without affecting their quality. However, a work force that enjoys a childhood with more intensive education — which could well be the case if every child essentially has an informal teacher in the home, or if boys do not have to compete with girls for the attention of formal teachers — could well outperform a larger though poorer quality workforce. The answer is then non-obvious. Further, as someone who believes that tradition in largely an accumulation of strategies that worked in the past, such radical change struck me as a recipe for the destruction of a functioning culture and its replacement with something else.

And this brings me back to blogging. The first argument (educate women = a better workforce) is a logical leap. The second argument is true. But the first argument doesn’t matter. The Gap is full of inferior cultures. Therefore, their change is a good thing.

“Inferior” of course means worse, and these Gappish low-quality cultures come in two broad kinds. First, the Islamic Gap contains modern cultures that are capable of high-level hostile engagement (physical, mental, moral) against globalization. Whatever problems existed in Islamic civilization a century ago have been exacerbated by exposure to French intellectuals, and we now have a truly bad situation on our hands with no end in sight.

Second, the African Gap contains populations that are simply lacking in the infrastructure required for success. Peoples in the Gap need to be scaffolded, with enough infrastructure provided to them so that they can climb up to the Core. While much of the the Islamic world is experiences a civil war that (hopefully) will end in radical culture transformation, Africa by contrast merely needs a reasonable chance of success.

Educating women is critical to both of these approaches. Through the Uma, educating women can break an otherwise continuous line of cultural transmission which gives us this mess. In Africa, educating women can lead to better educational outcomes. While these goals are different, both require women who are largely taken out of their traditional space and incorporated into the male-oriented formal domain.