Guns, Germs And Allah

August 11, 2006

Yesterday, Ali Eteraz wrote Muslim Mulims On British Muslims, a fascinating look at the dysfunction that afflicts many Muslims in United Kingdom.

He noted that

Something is rotten among the state of British Muslims…How did it happen that a bunch of university educated First World kids started seeing themselves as some sort of revolutionists?

What Eteraz leaves unasked is the more empirical question: Why do so many Muslims around the world, choose to fail? It is not just ‘first world kids’ that choose to fail. Entire communities and cultures have made that choice.

The Arab world is at the bottom of the educational barrel. Why? The cost of up to date textbooks is minuscule and competent teachers (defined as a teacher qualified in the subject matter they teach) are not huge investments. Think of the Peace Corps.

In much of the Islamic world, choosing to fail is encouraged and facilitated by the corrupt and dysfunctional regimes that have come to define that world. Simply stated, a failed and less educated and informed society is a society more easily controlled and exploited. A society that believes failure is inevitable is a society that believes change for the better is impossible. For that Carnival of Dysfunctional Tyrants, that kind of servile and self flagellating society is a gift.

Those tyrants have exploited religion to encourage and fortify their message. That truth cannot be understated. In most of the Muslim world, clerics are in the employ of the corrupt regimes that pay their salaries.

In those societies, where speech and expression are strictly prohibited and media is an integral part of government , it is clear that the hate filled and inciteful rhetoric of religious ‘leaders,’ employed by these despotic regimes, are approved and coordinated to coincide with the policies of these dysfunctional regimes. You cannot disapprove of the tyrannical regimes and at the same time, approve of the religious rhetoric and messages that only serve that regime.

We have addressed the issue of success and failure before. We are republishing that entire post, with the hope that the reader will extrapolate the universality of the message. Success and failures are choices.

In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond attempts to end the debate over racial differences. He denounces the Bell Curve authors, Hernstein and Murray by declaring that “History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among people’s environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.” In the end, Diamond believes that sand makes for different people than snow and feasting on fish make for different people than feasting on beef.

Guns, Germs, and Steel, was written in response to a single question:“Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?”

The ‘cargo’ the questioner referred to was technology, tools, etc. Diamond imperiously declares that Europeans/Asians achievements were the result of environmental advantages only, not biological or cultural.

Diamond and his legions of politically correct disciples do a splendid job of obscuring a few pesky facts: For example, if environment is indeed the underlying foundation of the progress of mankind, how does he explain the fact that iron and bronze tools came out of Africa? Those magnificent achievements were not to be seen in Europe for hundreds of years. Could it be something other than environment that spurred or impeded human progress?

Environment no more affects human progress than does race. They are contributing factors, of course, but in the end there are three things that inspire or impede achievement or progress. Those things are principles, values and beliefs.

There are societies principles, values and beliefs made achievement and progress inevitable. Those are the cultures and societies that embraced change, and they valued those who carved out that change. It’s that simple.

Now, much has been made of ‘Colonialism’ as the scapegoat for hindering change, but clearly, that excuse is wearing thin. Colonialism has now become the watchword- and an excuse for those who refuse to join the rest of a modern and productive society.

The legacy of colonialism is what those former colonies make of it. More often than not, colonialists came into a society that was far behind their own, in terms of achievement, advancement and human progress. Notwithstanding the mythical and fabricated notions that ‘the white man’ came into primitive, peaceful and loving cultures, only to destroy them, the fact remains that these cultures and societies could have been greatly benefited by the advent of the ‘white man.’ Those societies resisted the advances they could have assimilated into their own culture.

It is true there were abuses, of course, as there are in any human endeavor. It is also true that taking advantage of modern day tools and ideas are not an all or nothing proposition. Even today, there are groups of people that refuse the tools that might make their lives easier.

India (and to a lesser extent, Pakistan) have benefited greatly from colonialism, extracting what they needed so as to ensure their own successes. The education systems are a positive legacy of British colonialism, for example. India and Pakistan have excellent school systems. The economic potential of these powerhouses is only now coming into being, a result of the legacy of colonialism. The values, principles and beliefs of both the Indians and Pakistanis have made progress a reality. It is true their societies and cultures differ from western cultures in many ways, not the least of which are caste systems. That said, the march towards real equality cannot be stopped. Caste systems are indefensible- and everyone knows it. Eventually, that will happen- and when it does, the world will see another kind of economic and cultural imperialism (based on merit) coming from the region.

The Arab world has proved to be another story. Notwithstanding the almost obscene wealth from natural resources, these societies have little to show for it (save for large cities and buildings, built by others and owned by a few very corrupt few). Unlike other colonial states, they rejected an educational system that could have benefited them (where are the world class universities, for example?). This is in stark contrast to their cousins, the Jews. With memories of their ‘vacations’ in Auschwitz still fresh, they came to an arid land, made the desert bloom, built a real economy and built world class institutions of higher learning- all at the same time. There will those that say, ‘sure, we gave them billions in aid,’ but in fact, that is irrelevant. The fact remains they went to work and built their country and institutions from the ground up. The fact is they were able to build those institutions because education and higher learning were integral to principles, values and beliefs of the Jews. That cannot be said of the Arabs. The oil riches of the ummah were far greater- and nothing was built for that ummah. Why? Because the values, principles and beliefs are very different from those of their cousins. While that may not have been true a thousand years ago, it is true now.

Many bitterly complain the ‘evil’ white man supports these tyrannical leaders. Of course we do. Who else should we support? Where are the democratic opposition? Should we offer support to Osama bin Laden? His fatwa against Jews and Christians has yet to be rescinded. Should we support Hamas and their stated agenda of the ‘rivers of blood’ brought about by slaughtering Jews? Should we fund their education and media that teach that every day?

We supported Osama bin Laden and the mujahadeen, and their war against the Russians. We armed them and gave them what they needed to prosecute that war. When it was all over, bin Laden, et al, made choices- and those choices were made because their principles, values and beliefs were very different than our own.

The United States supplied Saddam Hussein with the precursors he used to build biological weapons. Those precursors were given to university laboratories all over the world, for research purposes (primarily pesticides and insecticides). Those were the terms of the agreements. They were not hidden, and there were no secret agreements. Saddam Hussein chose to use those precursors for his own ends. The results were the use of those chemical agents against the Kurds and Iranians. Those were choices made by Saddam.

To be clear- if you are provided a vehicle to go to work everyday and you decide to drive while intoxicated and kill someone- don’t blame those who provided the vehicle for that death. Choices were made and the consequences cannot be shifted.

It is ironic that those who blame the US for Saddam’s terror and evil were also the most frenzied voices that would have left Saddam in place. It was not American principles, values and beliefs that were flawed. It is the principles, values and beliefs of our adversaries (both foreign and domestic) that are flawed- and dangerous.

The author of the The Times of Winnipeg, Raskalnikov, is an SC&A favorite. He is very erudite, thoughful and persuasive (he is also a superb writer). When asked about the legacy of colonialism, he answered clearly, neatly and with an impeccable logic that leads into a crystal clear reality:

It may have began centuries ago with the colonial crimes we all hear about, but today we Indians have taken over control of the yoke that’s around our neck. The cult of victimhood, the incessant demand for monetary compensation from people who supposedly need nothing more than a return to a ‘traditional’, more humble way of life to regain our selves and our pride, the knee-jerk whines of racism when something doesn’t go our way. How worse is that than residential schools and infected blankets? It’s certainly less dignified. Being beaten by a stronger force is one thing, and can carry a certain nobility if you went down as a man and not a bitch; beating the shit out of yourself and then blaming everyone else for your woes is just

Many people think I’m a bootlicker to whitey and that he can do no wrong. I know the historical record of my people and I get angry just as much as any Indian radical when I see injustice. Unfairness and bullying, that pisses me off more than any bad words or stereotypes. That is a true crime, being unfair to someone and not allowing them to be themselves, to even find themselves. I realize the government did that for a long time, however those days are over. Unfortunately, the bleeding heart governments in this country have made the same mistake every bleeding-heart government has ever done in history — they overcompensated.

The white liberal guilt in this country has gone into overkill. It’s like a dysfunctional family that buys new appliances when one son comes out of the closet, or the youngest daughter gets pregnant. Throw money at it, spend it away, ignore it under a pile of material compensation. Granted some if it does go to honorable ideas such as education, culture and health. These are vital aspects of life and the opportunities in them for us are now endless. The playing field may not be completely level, but it’s much better than it was 50 years ago. Shit, 20 years ago. Any Indian not handcuffed by mental illness or addiction can be anything he or she wants to be. A doctor, a cop, whatever. It’s sad most of them choose to keep on perpetuating the victimhood cult. In a society where we place such small value on thinking, is it any surprise the victimhood pimps use emotional fervor to brainwash future generations into whining and bitching? Mix this with the revolting, degenerate hip-hop destroying the minds of our youth and it sure beats having to take responsibility for yourself. And the welfare being handed to us by the Government only serves to put more value on the role of victim; not only does it appeal to baser human instincts, but you can get paid for it too.

The progress of nations, cultures and societies are not about about environment, race or any other extraneous stimulus. That progress is determined by principles, values and beliefs. Blaming Whitey, the Jews or colonialism for failure just doesn’t wash. It’s about choices- individual, cultural and societal.

The proof is in the pudding.

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8 Responses to “Guns, Germs And Allah”

  1. afroz Says:

    “The Arab world is at the bottom of the educational barrel.”

    Is it? What – across the board?

  2. SC&A Says:

    Yes, according to the UN recent study on the state of education in the Arab world.

    It is a dismal failure, exceeded only by sub Saharan Africa.

  3. [...] Meanwhile, Siggy has a very interesting piece up about Education in the Arab world and what its deficiancies leads to. [...]

  4. Bozoer Rebbe Says:

    This is in stark contrast to their cousins, the Jews. With memories of their ‘vacations’ in Auschwitz still fresh, they came to an arid land, made the desert bloom, built a real economy and built world class institutions of higher learning- all at the same time. There will those that say, ’sure, we gave them billions in aid,’ but in fact, that is irrelevant. The fact remains they went to work and built their country and institutions from the ground up

    Two quibbles in an otherwise outstanding post.

    I’m sure it’s unintentional, but you give the impression that much of the heavy lifting in building the Jewish state took place between 1945 and 1948. While it’s true that Israel took in many survivors of the Shoah, most of the elements of a functional Jewish state were in place years before that.

    In fact, one of the factors that led to the Arab Revolt of 1936-39 was the rapid growth of the yishuv in the early 30s. The Zionist enterprise was well established by the 1930s – there was a Jewish population of 400,000 in Palestine by 1936 with communal agricultural settlements, urban centers, infrastructure and industry.

    Much of that is attributable to the same thing that makes India competitive, prestate Palestine was indeed a British colony, and was so 30 years before the Holocaust. All the most successful countries in the world were de facto or de jure British colonies. Even in Africa, where kleptocracy reigns, the most functioning states are formerly British.

    The other quibble is about US aid to Israel. While the United States government under Truman supported the partition plan and the establishment of Israel, most of that aid was political, not financial. Until 1967, when Israel proved its value in the cold war as a proxy against Soviet proxies, US aid was not huge. In fact, most of the military hardware used by the Israelis until 1967 was British and French. The IAF flew F-4 Phantoms (w/ canons replaced by machine guns, I believe) at the time, but most of the IAF was flying Mirages. A Swiss engineer, upset over the post 67 French arms embargo (as a young teen I remember protesting at a French consulate) provided Israeli agents with blueprints of the Mirage that allowed Israel to develop the Lavie fighter.

    After 1967, US aid to Israel increased substantially, with the US becoming Israel’s primary arms supplier. Aid didn’t reach the billion dollar mark, however, until the 1973, when Nixon sent $1billion worth of planes and tanks in a matter of days. Israel had lost many frontline planes and tanks and desperately needed to be resupplied. The summer of 1974 I worked for a scrap company adjacent to the lines of the Detroit Industrial Railway, a few miles south of the US Army Tank Command in Warren, Michigan. At the time, they were still building tanks in Warren (they built tanks in Michigan up to the M1A1, but the General Dynamics plant was shut down and assembly of the Abrams tank was consolidated in Lima, Ohio), and all summer long, I’d watch long trains loaded with M60s headed to resupply US tank reserves that had been depleted by the emergency shipments to Israel.

    I believe that since 1973, aid to Isreal has exceeded the $1 billion mark every year.

    BTW, a point not made by the Jew haters who like to talk about the high level of aid to Israel, is that almost all of the military aid, and a good chunk of the economic aid ends up in the United States. I believe that at least 90% of military aid is in the form of credits for the purchase of US military equipment – so “aid to Israel” could also be called “aid to Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics and the International Aerospace Workers union”. Currently the only main battle system the Israelis do not buy from the US is the Merkava IV battle tank – the IDF feels that the Merkava is more suited to their needs than the M1A1. The US gets return on the other 10% as well. The Trophy and Iron Fist systems for anti-anti-tank defense were developed by Israeli companies and are schedule for deployment on Bradleys and M1s next year some time.

  5. George Carty Says:

    Isn’t the fact that Arab dictators can obtain so much easy money by selling oil, one of the reasons why the Arab world is so backward? Lots of money to suspend on secret police forces, no need to tax the people (no representation without taxation), and no need for any kind of work ethic…

  6. [...] Although he goes on to speak of Vietnam, implying a particular American legacy, the fact remains that the colonial powers of Continental powers of France and Belgium, for example, left a legacy of countries laid to waste and in ruin to this very day. We discuss and take issue with some of the ideas discussed by Ali Eteraz in Guns Germs And Allah. [...]

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