Thursday, September 20, 2007

virtue of asses

the following are excerpts from a research proposal (*), written by the blogger in the early years after the collapse of the soviet regime.

“the end of the cold war has not signified the termination of conflicts but rather caused a shift in heretofore well known objects, objectives and borders of conflict ... the “new” conflict, which although it actually was always there, was shadowed by the controversy between the west and the east, is the one between modernity, with all the material, practical, social, political and psychological values ... and the non-modern world for which the fruits of modernity are not easily accessible or acceptable and therefore, sometimes an anathema.”

“the border along which ( the conflict) materializes has moved to what was formerly the southeastern flank of the (nato) alliance. of the postmodern threats classified by nato, terrorism and fundamentalism are rooted and nourished in the middle east... (migration and environmental deterioration are not problems foreign to the near east either). terrorism ... is used unscrupulously as a political means by the states in the region and iran is openly an exporter of fundamental islam, as well as a quite probable sponsor of political violence. in short, the eastern and southern frontiers of turkey, in a sense, is the physical boundary between modernity and non-modernity.

[and from another contemporary paper: ... “(terrorism), this “world wide war” thrives in the historical fault line along the schism between modernity and nonmodern modes of existence, easily recognized in a propensity for seeing violence as a solution to problems at any level, from the international to the familial and the personal”...]

... “the empire of evil has toppled to reveal a boiling cauldron of evil, to the east and south of the anatolian peninsula... this borderline of imminent threat to the west, or the western style of life, which now includes former soviet bloc societies as well, is practically extended on an axis that begins from the caucasus, reaching as far as the ionian islands ...”

and the following are passages from an article by robert kagan in the sunday times (**). mr. kagan is a senior associate at the carnegie endowment for international peace and transatlantic fellow at the german marshall fund.

… “the years immediately after the end of the cold war offered a tantalising glimpse of a new kind of international order, the hope that nations might grow together or disappear altogether, with ideological conflicts melting away, and cultures intermingling through free commerce and communications. that, however, was a mirage…”

… “it is a time not of convergence but of divergence of ideas and ideologies ... the old competition between liberalism and absolutism has reemerged, with the nations of the world increasingly lining up between them or along the fault line of tradition and modernity – islamic fundamentalism against the west...”

… “the islamists’ struggle against the powerful and often impersonal forces of modernisation, capitalism and globalisation is a significant fact of life in the world today, but oddly this struggle between modernisation and traditionalism is largely a sideshow on the international stage. the future is more likely to be dominated by the ideological struggle among the great powers than by the effort of radical islamists to restore an imagined past of piety … the enduring ideological conflict since the enlightenment has been the battle between liberalism and autocracy”...

back to my nato paper, further elaborating on the relationship of modernity and security:

… “(modern west moving toward) an organic functional integration or, as popularly called, globalization... a structural incorporation into the forming organism means taking part in the shaping of the “better” world; of being able to determine for (one)self. the inner core of global security in the near future, is likely to be based on a world that is predictable, controllable, manageable and therefore safe and therefore free, i.e.; where no setbacks on the rule of modern democracy and economic liberalism are necessary or tolerated. this world (of modernity) is one that can expect growth in every aspect of life in geometric proportions”...

then, about islam (religion), democracy and modernity, from another paper:

... “modernity is a uniquely eurogenic phenomenon. it corresponds to the progress of capitalism as a world system and the evolution of a modern geoculture (cf. immanuel wallerstein) i.e., a typical way of mind and life (***), shared values and praxes around more or less homogeneous social, political, economic and psychological structures. the singular "controversy" of essence in the history of (at least) the last five centuries is being or not being modern. along this dichotomy, religion plays a determining role only in relation to and to the extent of its influence on the processes of modernity in any society ..."

oh no, no, no no!!!!

i have not grown complacent, i am not bragging, i am not being vain, i am not jealous, i am not angry and i am not polishing my manure!

i am just laying the grounds so i can demand a hearing ear for what i am going to say in the near future. i guess i have a right to, if long-titled international fellows can only now see or dare speak out what was obvious to me a decade ago.

if that is rodomontade... big deal! the brits used to say modesty is the virtue of asses.

(*) presented to nato, however not evaluated because it lacked the “hard (physical) science” component required. the project foresaw the extension of western security along a caucasian – ionian axis involving greece, turkey and armenia, through political moderation and mediation, aided by science. it may be worthwhile to remind readers that in those days, “war” was a rhetorical standard between ankara and athens and turkey was chastising the pro-islamic confectionary maker ülker for selling chocolates and biscuits to armenia! prof. burcu bostanoğlu of the gazi university in ankara was my partner in crime…

me? i was, at the time, a humble and happy skipper of pleasure boats in the mediterranean when I was not writing ambitious papers…
(**) september 2, 2007
(***) it is exrapolated in the paper, with elaborate references to wallerstein's "the end of what modernity?" that capitalism involves both economic and political - social freedom and liberalization.

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