Wars of Tribe and Faith
(The American Conservative) -- by Patrick J. Buchanan --
...“Nationalism remains after two centuries the most vital political emotion in the world — far more vital than social ideologies such a communism or fascism or even democracy. … Within nation-states, nationalism takes the form of ethnicity or tribalism.”
Ethnic ties, Schlesinger wrote, might prove more powerful and historically important than the forces of globalism and democratism, which then seemed ascendant. He only neglected to mention religious faith as often a “far more vital” emotion than ideology.
And though the Iraq elections have been hailed as a triumph of democracy, they would seem to prove him right.
Kurds voted for Kurds, Shia for Shia, Sunni for Sunni on a slate led by Ayad Allawi, a secular Shia who campaigned on a unity ticket...
Hence, as we indulge in self-congratulation for having brought democracy to Iraq, Iraqis seem to be using the process to advance ethnonational and sectarian ends that are the antithesis of U.S. democracy. We see democracy as an end in itself. Many in that part of the world see it as a means of establishing their ascendancy and hegemony over other religious and ethnic minorities.
In 2005, George W. Bush, then promoting global democracy as the answer to all of mankind’s ills and an essential precondition for any permanent security for the United States, demanded free elections in Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine. The winners: the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas. A perplexed Bush refused to accept the results or recognize and talk to the winners.
Before the invasion, most Americans were probably unaware of the tribal and sectarian divisions in Iraq that may yet produce a new Saddam to keep that country from coming apart in sectarian and civil war.
And how many Americans were aware of the ethnic divisions in Afghanistan, among Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras and Pashtun, before we invaded? A program is underway to bring more Pashtun into the army and police, lest the Pashtun in the south feel invaded and occupied by alien tribes.
Globalization is no longer on the march, but on the defensive. Economic nationalism is rising. Across the Third World, we see an upsurge of ethnonationalism and fundamentalism, especially among the Islamic peoples. From Nigeria to Sudan to Mindanao, Muslims battle Christians, as Christians are persecuted in Egypt, Iraq and Pakistan.
In India and Thailand, Muslims battle Hindu and Buddhists. In the Northern Caucasus, they fight Russians.
Ethnonationalism, that relentless drive of peoples to secede and dwell apart, to establish their own nation-state, where their faith is predominant, their language spoken, their heroes and history revered, and they rule to the exclusion of all others, is rampant.
In China, Tibetans fight assimilation and the mass migration of Han Chinese into what was their country, as do the Uighurs in the west who dream of an East Turkestan breaking away and taking its place among the nations of the world.
In speaking of the rising tribalism abroad, Schlesinger added, “The ethnic upsurge in America, far from being unique, partakes of the global fever.”
Indeed, separatism and secessionism seem to be in the air...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
Buchanan: ‘In speaking of the rising tribalism abroad, Schlesinger added, “The ethnic upsurge in America, far from being unique, partakes of the global fever.” Indeed, separatism and secessionism seem to be in the air.’
Re tribalism in America…no question. La Raza and what it represents; the Black Caucus and what it represents; the Jewish lobby and what it represents.
Those Marxist who truly believed their faith (instead of as a tool for a wealth/power transfer) thought unification would come through government worship. They were wrong.
One step to the right, the socialists/left-liberals thought unification could be attained through multi-culturalism (patchwork tribalism) engineered and overseen by Big Government. They were wrong.
One step to the right of them, the Bushcons/Neocons thought unification could be attained through war, money-worship and Empire building, also engineered and overseen by Big Government. They were wrong.
Standing alone, as always, were the authentic conservatives who realized that the only force in the history of the West that successfully united (or at least reconciled) its disparate tribes and belief systems was Christianity. Western civilization was the result.
No wonder the first three ideologies above have united to attempt to strangle their superior competition. They’ve nearly succeeded. If they ever fully succeed, they’ll reap the whirlwind of the vacuum, the likes of which we are only starting to taste.