The West and the Rest: Globalization and the Terrorist Threat (Continuum Compact Series) Paperback – 1 May 2005
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"'... a veritable tour de force which deserves to be widely read.' The Commonwealth Lawyer; 'Scruton's book is a powerful and eloquent analysis of one of the greatest issues of the age. It should be read by everyone grappling with the necessity of understanding and responding to the al-Qa'eda offensive and avoiding a clash of civilisations.' Ian Christie, Resurgence No. 219, July/August 2003. '... a tour de force of concision, learning and wisdom... an important and impressive contribution.' The Literary Review"
About the Author
Roger Scruton is one of the most prominent contemporary English writers and media personalities. A philosopher who has lived for many years in the Middle East, Scruton has been Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, London and Boston University, USA.
Top Customer Reviews
Islamism is a totalitarian ideology precisely because the totality of society must submit to religion. The author argues that the political process in Western societies is what has made it so successful - western democracies are governed by politics while the Rest are ruled by force. In the West, the political process functions through negotiation and compromise. Religion and culture are binding principles but they do prescribe. But with the collapse of these roots in much of the West, a vital defence of our culture is being lost. According to Scruton, the love of freedom alone is not enough for our civilization to survive. He considers the nation state as a precondition for democracy and the rule of law. Under Islam, the Sharia is the only source of law and there is no room for dissent.
The UN is a club of gangsters. Most UN representatives do not represent the people of their countries but only the thuggish regimes that lord it over the people. In addition, Western elites and radical Islamists both despise Western civilization. This is particularly pronounced in academia, the media and the entertainment community.Read more ›
The most profound insight (that I dwell on almost daily when I listen to the news) is the link between democracy and the nation state. Scruton argues quite persuasively that to have a democracy means starting with a nation that sees itself as one. In other words, democracy is the child of nationhood and not the other way round because, in a democracy, all must agree to abide by the wish of the ruling majority. This is only possible because they trust (a key concept) that the majority have the best interests of all (not just their own) at heart.
A democracy calls for the participants to view each other as partners in a joint and quite specific project with names such as England, Ireland, France, Japan, India, Germany, The U.S, Israel and Australia.
It also demonstrates why these Western Nations have democracy and "the Rest", those places ravaged by factionalism, sectarianism and an understanding only of a greater Ummah never will. It also explains why the EU will never be a democracy and why a Balkanising multiculturalism is such pure poison to nationhood first and democracy second.
Sobering stuff when you see our foolish leadership spending our blood and treasure on "bringing democracy" to some bedevilled place on a map. They might as well be trying to grow bougainvillea on Mars.
They should have read this book!
But this is not the motive behind the 9/11 calamity. As one other commentator wrote here before, the real reason is the fact that the US is seen as an enemy of the Arab people. One blatant sign is its unconditional support of Israel in the Palestinian conflict.
Scruton's essay is based on abstract concepts (membership, religion, the muslims, the West, the Rest, authority). But 'religion' doesn't exist, there are only 'religions' (thousands of sects).
He sees 'loss of membership' as one of the main reasons for Western decadence. Membership (or solidarity) is not a basic need for mankind. People become member of something if there is a personel gain or plus.
Some of his ideas are very difficult to swallow.
Preposterous is his statement that 'the French Revolution should primarely be seen as a religious phenomenon'. One of the most important backers of the Enlightenment (Le Grand Orient de France) professes that 'believing in a God is a serious mental disease'.
Or, 'It is from a deficit of membership that the urge to revolution arises'. This is plain nonsense. People are revolting when they are exploited or when their individual basic needs or rights (food, land, shelter, freedom) are in danger or not respected.
Further, 'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori!' This is beautiful but bare nonsense, when we see all the draft dodgers. Powerful families keep their offspring at bay and fight with mercenaries.
Another of his obsessions is the 'devastating pornography'.Read more ›
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