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Pakistan as Weimar Germany
July 31, 2011 - Harry Eagar
I have never liked the term Islamofascism. For one thing, Islam predates fascism by many centuries, and for another, fascism is all about antisocialism, and it is far from clear that Islamic traditionalists are antisocialist.
But that does not mean that the so-called modernist Islamic states are not patsies for Islamism in remarkably similar ways to the weak-kneed so-called democracies of the interwar period.
For example, a story about university vigilantes in Punjab from the Los Angeles Times. (Hat tip: Arts and Letters Daily)
Campuses house the children of a nation's elite (even in America, although less so here than in Pakistan, where just getting out of elementary school gets one into the intelligentsia). When an elite doesn't have the spine to protect its own children, you cannot expect much for the other children.
Pakistan is certainly a failed democracy and probably should be written off as a failed state. It is instructive to compare it to India. Neither society had much of modernity in it, other than what it picked up from the British or, latterly, from so-called anticolonialist modernism of antiBritish character (primarily although not only Marxism).
India has absorbed just enough modernity to be a functioning democracy, of a rather exciting character. Pakistan has not.
I do not consider that any mostly Muslim society is capable of self-government in the modern sense (whether democratic or any other modernist form). That is why I never believed in the Arab spring, the Iraqi parliamentary democracy or the Turkish secular state.
Today, we see Turkish secularism crumbling, suggesting it will soon be more like Pakistan than Pakistan will be like India.
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