By waging a war against Afghan tribes the USA promotes the coming of a
catastrophe, a fundamentalist Islamic revolution.
In my last catastrophe
introduced the theory that five moving factors and a promising idea about a
future society can cause a fundamental change in society. The Theory of Catastrophes can be used
discussions about the how and why of fundamental changes in our complicated world.
A different paradigm about a new future society and the five
factors make clear why the chance is growing that in part of our
world a wrong catastrophe can occur, a jump in the direction of a
fundamentalist Islamic society. This catastrophe is stimulated by the
disastrous American (and Western) policy.
To get a catastrophe a new paradigm is needed, a vague idea about the
organisation of the future society. As new paradigm I propose a society
based on the activity of alternating involved minorities instead of the
predominantly inactive majorities in our elitist democracy. In the Moslem
world another paradigm is growing, a fundamentalist Islamic society in
people have to behave according to fixed rules. Autonomous human activity
will be supplanted by obedience to (religious) leaders.
By taking the five factors of
my last article it will be clear that the Western involvement in
Afghanistan can lead to a catastrophe.
In the first place the awareness is growing that the present society is
failing. The American bombardment and invasion of Afghanistan and the
suppression of freedom struggles elsewhere is a considerable contribution
the increasing strength of this factor. Impotence against the almighty
and despair over the hardly changing situation in Moslem countries are
accumulating. The need for something else is growing.
In the second place the autonomous activity of masspeople is
growing. In this case
the paradigm is different and so this factor changes. The Islamic paradigm
demands an obedient mass and so the second factor becomes the growing
activity of the masses, controlled and led by Islamic leaders. In the
twenty years fundamentalism in the Moslem World has grown enormously. The
West has some influence on this factor as is seen for example in the
Israel-Palestine conflict where more secular guerrilla movements have been
eclipsed by more fundamentalist ones.
In the third place the centralised power structure is
power of the rich and elitist Islamic governments is dwindling and
the support by the West undermines further the strength of these corrupt
regimes. The unconditionally Western support of the Shah and the rise of
Islamic fundamentalism in Iran were clearly connected to each other and
was one of the important factors that led to the Khomeiny revolution.
In the fourth place there is growing hope that a new society is possible
in the foreseeable future. The defeat of the Taleban-regime and the
away of the Bin Laden group from Afghanistan seem to reduce this factor.
effect of the Western action in Afghanistan will however be temporary. It
possible that the Bin Laden group will become stronger because it is
released of the burden to support the Taleban and can now concentrate on
building of a terrorist network of people that already live in Western
countries. Some small successes will strengthen the fourth factor. This
happen when a fundamentalist government replaces one of the present Moslem
governments for example after American bombs devastate Iraq. But the
self-confidence of Moslems will also be enhanced when the overwhelming
Western power is again attacked in its own home.
In the fifth place the general knowledge of masspeople is
changes also somewhat because the Islamic paradigm does not ask for
knowledge but for knowledge of the Islamic religion. Then obedience of the
masses is stressed instead of autonomous knowledge and activity of
individuals that is needed in a society in which alternating minorities
important. The Western policy does support the growth of the fifth factor
because the connection of the West with corrupt Islamic regimes promotes
non-Western Islamic education in Koran schools.
I have to conclude that fundamentalist Islamic revolutions
are coming nearer also because of Western policies. At the same time the
struggle against terrorism hinders a more positive catastrophe in the
direction of a society with more autonomous, creative people because the
Western elite restricts the freedom of the individual Western citizen
the pretext of combating terrorism.
The future is not bright when this will not change, but behind every cloud
the sun is shining.
Joost van Steenis (December