Monday, November 5, 2007

Lessons From Pakistan

Technorati Profile

Pakistan is falling into martial law and threatened with becoming an Islamic state as I write this. Many are shocked and outraged. As a culturist, I am not shocked. I expected this. This lack of surprise separates culturists from many others that worry about immigration and attacks by muslims.

Culturists take culture seriously and so do not hold out much hope for making other nations progressive liberal democracies. My allies in fear of Islam may say that there are many who are for liberal democracy in Pakistan and hate the Taliban. That is likely true. But there are many in the country that are attracted to the Taliban's message and many sit on the fence. In America the Taliban's vision wouldn't even make sense as we are not muslim and hold the separation of church and state sacred. That is not to say that muslim terrorists could not destroy our ability to uphold our values (after all they have already foisted the Patriot Act on us). But what would emerge would not be an Islamic state, but military rule or chaos. Pakistan is a muslim state and therefore full of muslims. The populace will thus have a natural antipathy to liberal democracy. An Islamic state will take hold there. The few elections that Pakistan have had were an aberration, not a new norm.

Culturist hold as fundamental the idea that diversity exists. Here we share common ground with others that worry about Islamic fascism. Not all people make great Americans. We should bar people from Muslim countries from immigrating to the United States and gaining citizenship. Islam is not just another version of liberal democratic culture. Diversity is real. Certain values are needed for democracy to thrive. And, as we saw in Pakistan, no universal rights or norms prevent democracy and the appreciation of individual rights from disappearing.

The shock when Pakistan goes Islamic results from a failure to appreciate that there are fundamental differences between cultures. This shock reflects a denial of diversity which assumes it natural that all peoples value equality, feminism, individual rights and democracy by nature. It is the same thinking that justifies massive immigration from nations that are hostile to America and the values that made it a first world bastion of free conscience. Culturists, would be willing to take out Iran's nukes, but not rebuild their nation. Culturists recognize diversity is real and are not outraged or shocked when it manifests itself. We say pull up the drawbridge and do not fight the cultural wind outside of our sphere.
Post a Comment