Friday, January 09, 2015

I guess We Are All Charlie Now....

as events unfold with the speed of a massacre in Paris and beyond. Of course it ought to be remarked in passing that "Charlie Hebdo" was a scurrilous publication by all accounts but the First Amendment exists to protect not the Gods but the Goddamned Grotesques...and never more have those grotesques needed succor, protection and justice. In a larger context though, a lot of copy will be devoted in the coming days attributing this whole god-awful situation in Paris to the lack of freedom and economic opportunity in the "Muslim World". That is true up to a point but it is also a fairly pat example of reflexive western Utilitarian Thinking. Poverty and Oppression are powerful things but to get so many young persons to enthusiastically embrace mayhem and their own consequent annihilation speaks of some powerful wellsprings of auto suggestion in the Middle East. Indeed auto suggestion so powerful and invasive that no contradictory thoughts or impulses rational or not may penetrate. Increasingly I come to the conclusion that there is a sub-rational context to the region's politics and it is so very powerful that our Western Utilitarian Balance of Power style Metrics are completely useless. And that....has powerful policy implications as the USA pursues yet another round of peace negotiations within the region.

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