As recently as 50 years ago, the Middle East consisted of a number of stable countries controlled by authoritarian dictators where Arabs and non-Arabs generally lived peacefully together. Today, many of these countries are losing their identity as separate nations. The entire area is becoming enveloped in chaos and much of the population is fleeing into Europe and beyond as radical Islamic terrorists are murdering anyone who stands in their way.
Current attempts to understand the reason for this disaster are inadequate because people have no knowledge of the underlying forces at work. The explanations only recognize what is happening on the social surface not on a bio-social, core level. An example of such an attempt at understanding given recently is to blame “civilization’s failure either to overcome or to accommodate the forces of modernity.”
Let us begin by asking another question: What happened to the so-called Arab Spring movement that was supposed to bring democracy to the Middle East and elsewhere? While it may have ended the regimes of secular strongmen in those countries it did not result in expected democratization in any of them. In fact, there has been more violence, chaos and less democracy than there was before the start of the Arab Spring.
Largely unrecognized is that the widespread destructiveness that is happening in the Middle East and Africa today is the direct result of the breakdown of the authoritarian structure of society into anti-authoritarianism that began in the West around 1960 and has spread like wildfire throughout the entire world including the Middle East.
A related question is the following: How can the Arab population in the Middle East who have lived under extreme authoritarian, often tribal conditions for centuries and who belong politically to the far right of center be realistically expected to function overnight in a way similar to people living in a modern, Western-style liberal democracy? This question which goes to the heart of the Arab Spring problem stems from the liberal’s mystical belief in the perfectibility of man through social and political intervention. It is mystical because what is expected is totally unrealistic. This is the belief of liberalism, a secularized version of the idea of salvation through divine intervention that is held by religious mystics on the political right. But from what has happened in the Middle East this form of mystical thinking is clearly far more socially destructive when it comes from the left.