Posted 19 августа 2021,, 10:00

Published 19 августа 2021,, 10:00

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Elite vs idealists: what hinders the normal development of Islamic countries

19 августа 2021, 10:00
As a rule, in traditional Muslim societies there is a corrupt elite that does not feel responsible for the future of the country, and active, Islamized youth, ready to fight for justice.

Irina Starodubrovskaya Expert on the North Caucasus at the Institute for Economic Policy named after Ye. Gaidar

Today I read all day about what we, civilized people, do with archaic societies - isolate, colonize, invent something else so that they do not spoil our view. Now I will not even talk about the relativity of the categories "civilized" and "archaic" and about what makes people declare themselves civilized and on this basis consider themselves entitled to decide someone's fate. Although it is difficult to resist noting that in America, it seems to me, this largely stems from its radical religious origins, forcing to sacralize its own values and practices - "city on a hill." At one time, Orkhan Jemal wittily called the States a Protestant Caliphate. Well, for many others - just from an inferiority complex.

Well, okay, that's not what I mean. At some point in my Caucasian studies, I was asked to express my opinion on how effective power should be built in the North Caucasian republics. Kostya Kazenin and I even prepared a separate report on this topic. My analysis was based primarily on the situation in Dagestan at that time. And the conclusion was, in fact, the following. There is an elite - the overwhelming majority of them are corrupt, rotten, and do not feel their responsibility for the future of the republic. I had little contact with this part of Dagestan society, but the impressions are indelible. Mansions in the poorest areas; children with pre-purchased jobs, who sit back and wait for these jobs to be vacated. A very difficult impression. And there is an active, Islamized youth, ready to resist the prevailing practices in a certain part of them, not to fit into the established structures, to fight for justice. But at the same time we are talking about people of completely different values and social ideals. Here's the deal - take your pick.

I didn’t like the report - I didn’t find the magic key. And, most likely, today it is hopelessly outdated. But that's not the point. I'm just wondering - how are civilizers going to modernize societies that are arranged in this way? After all, any force coming from the outside must rely on someone in its policy. Usually, the support still goes to the elite - this is "your son of a bitch", she protects from terrible strangers with other values. But by and large it is a dead end. Because in such a situation, civilization is associated not with great technological achievements or the security of life, but with endless lawlessness, extortion, repression, and a lack of prospects. In Western science, which was aware of the problem, it was neatly called the "dark side of modernity." And, in order to end this, a considerable part of people in the end become ready to put on a burqa and obey the most stringent laws. Voluntarily. With joy. Because it got enough. And regardless of how archaic these people are.

Another thing is that there is no magic key on the other side either. To fight for a religious idea and to run a modern state, very different qualifications are needed. Well, even ideologized people are people, they are built into the relationships that have developed in society, they are subject to human passions. And, besides, they will expect a miracle from them, and a miracle has nowhere to come from. Therefore, most likely, if they come to power, they will face an internal crisis, and the growing discontent of the population, and general disappointment. Of course, it would be good if in such a situation a “god from the machine” would arise, who in some proportions would unite the best of the elite with the moderate of the Islamists, equip both of them with modern management technologies, establish a dialogue, and provide a breakthrough. But this does not happen in life, only in fairy tales about modernization. And it happens like in Afghanistan. Alas.

Original is here.