I grew up promised vacations on the moon, astronauts on Mars, flying cars and steak dinners in a pill as mankind moved into the 21st Century. We got none of that. We’ve retreated from science and complex perspectives, surrendered to a marketing-driven social swamp of banality and disposable everything, and we’ve seen the world of religious extremism and warfare reawakened from its ancient grave. The unrest by idiots in Egypt and Libya, provoked by idiots in Israel and the US only underscore how much we as a species have reverted.
This has been long in coming. Religion is not the issue. Control is. It stems from power and wealth systems gravitated or wrested by a small number of people, which is always, always by definition an effort by the Far Rightwing. From Webster’s New World Dictionary, College Edition, revised 1968:
Right Wing, [See RIGHT n. 6] in politics, the more conservative or reactionary section of a party, etc.
By definition, Liberalism eschews centralized control, while conservatism and reactionary extremism demands it and cannot survive without exerting control. There is no better way to do this than through religious extremism. It is the extreme Right, small minorities of their larger and far more benign constituent religions, that are allowed to dominate the relationships across this planet. It is not Islam, Judaism of Christianity to be feared. It is those who manipulate it for insidious gain. It is the extreme Rightwing Islamists,Jews and Christians that need to be marginalized, ignored and forgotten to the colostomy bag of history.
The vast majority of human beings on the planet are suffering the effects of wealthy monarchs and dictators, more often than not created or supported by the West and colonial powers allowing, enabling or acting ambivalent to us those regimes cultivating religious fundamentalism among predominantly tribal and impoverished peoples as a means of control.
In America, we have tolerated the ascent and belligerence of the religious Right, and their co-opting of rational political discourse. It is one of those extremists that helped to stoke the current and well-known sensitivity Muslims have to insults to their prophet. He was there before. He knows the consequences, and now has the blood of Americans and Libyans on his hands. The trailer for the film that stoked this-perhaps for political reasons in this country, was uploaded to Youtube in English and Arabic-just to twist the knife in the gut of Muslims. For Jews, there is a small but powerful reactionary Right whose tribalist hysterics, perhaps and understandably driven by holocaust memories only a few generations old, but more informed by self-serving and profit driven militarism and bigotry, hides under the wing of the United States, running out to take shots at their antagonists and running back under the protection of that wing again.
We in the west are aghast at the tribal barbarity of those “muslims” burning our embassy and killing our fellow Americans. It is all too simple to accuse a minority of instigators, and others who would take advantage of the situation in Libya and Egypt, or those using this for political or criminal gain. That minority, that rightwing and reactionary mob doesn’t have a monopoly on being scum. It is only that the flavor and tactic of scum is culture specific. The extreme Islamic Right whips up some poorly educated louts, local criminals and fools who only read was is filtered through narrow channels of information. The Christian Right uses the media, lawyerism and the military in this country. The Israeli Right uses FOX News, the Christian Right and bully tactics
Honestly, it has always amazed me that such small minorities are allowed to drive political and social discourse, and that these people are not relegated to loony bins in which strapped into a holy straight jacket they are relegated to proselytizing to trash cans and water fountains. We’ll never get those flying cars and crater-side vacation spots on the moon until we can intellectually but firmly purge extremism from our midst.
And by the way, as of this writing, fully 24 hours after the attacks and killings began at our consulate, Youtube still had the video for the movie up and running.