From the Comments: Islam and Islamism

Matthew riffs off of my recent post on imperialism: I am far too lazy at present to read the links you embedded in this article, so I will shoulder the lazy man’s burden, and provide some simple anecdotes. A very common reaction is to blame Islam itself for the problems Islamists cause in the West, … Continue reading From the Comments: Islam and Islamism

From the Comments: Islamism versus Islam

I am continuing a post I wrote earlier in the day on the difference between Islam and Islamism that was spurred by this thoughtful post from a blogger in India by the name of Geekay. You can find his awesome blog here. Very often these dissident clergymen in the Muslim world have a good point. States … Continue reading From the Comments: Islamism versus Islam

From the Comments: Islam versus Islamism

I thought I’d pull out the following comment from Geekay, an affable blogger in India, because it gives a good representation of the world’s ignorance about Islam. I use the term ‘ignorance’ in its literal sense, as in not much is known about the subject, rather than as a pejorative jab (I usually save those … Continue reading From the Comments: Islam versus Islamism

“Foucault’s Pendulum”: Social Scholarship, Ideology, and Libertarian Temptations

I’m no prophet. My job is making windows where there were once walls. ― Michel Foucault Martin Luther, a German Augustinian monk, is credited with triggering a profound spiritual movement in the minds of early modern Europeans.  Luther, who was an extremely pious Catholic, eventually became a reluctant rebel by channeling the frustrations of the … Continue reading “Foucault’s Pendulum”: Social Scholarship, Ideology, and Libertarian Temptations

Nightcap

Symmetry and Asymmetry as Elements of Federalism: A Theoretical Speculation Charles Tarlton, Journal of Politics The asymmetry of European integration, or why the EU cannot be a ‘social market economy’ Fritz Scharpf, Socio-Economic Review The past and future of European federalism: Spinelli vs. Hayek Federico Ottavio Reho, Martens Centre Secular Nationalism, Islamism, and Making the Arab World Luma … Continue reading Nightcap

A feast of classical liberal thought: Mont Pelerin Society in Stockholm

Last week, Stockholm hosted a special meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) on the populist threats to the free society. MPS meetings are held under Chatham House rules, which means I cannot report in any detail about the proceedings. Yet a few impressions can be shared. I have been a MPS member since 2010, … Continue reading A feast of classical liberal thought: Mont Pelerin Society in Stockholm

French Africa

This is a meandering essay; although it’s about history, it’s a bit personalized, for effect. In other words, it’s far from straightforwardly scholarly history but I think it’s all or mostly true. Be patient, at one point it will become about the former French African colonial empire and socio-cultural strata it deposited in France, and … Continue reading French Africa

From the Comments: Debunking Myths About Islam and Violence

Jacques, a retired sociologist and university professor, has been repeating himself over and over again for the past fifteen years or so. His gripe? The imminent danger of Islam. Or Islamism. It depends on when you began reading him. Until recently, until the time that Delacroix decided to try and pick on me, Jacques’ venom … Continue reading From the Comments: Debunking Myths About Islam and Violence

A Short Note on Islam and Violence: Russian Edition

Many notable, and many more unnotable, commentators will swear by Islam’s “violent penchant.” They don’t care for nuance. They don’t care for facts. Instead, they adhere to the old principle of repeating something often enough until it becomes true. I think there is an issue with Sunni Arabs and cultural chauvinism (the Qur’an is supposed to … Continue reading A Short Note on Islam and Violence: Russian Edition

From the Footnotes: Ignorance of Islam and of the Decentralization of Power

There are widespread calls for an Islamic reformation such as Christianity experienced in the sixteenth century, but the Reformation cleaved Christianity into two major traditions and many splintered sects; each grew independently of the others, eroding any hope of a Christian center that could rein in extremes. After its early division into Sunni and Shi’a, … Continue reading From the Footnotes: Ignorance of Islam and of the Decentralization of Power

The New Caliphate in the Middle East: When Islamists experiment with libertarianism (and why the West should do the same)

Richard Epstein, the legal scholar and libertarian Republican known for his erudite wisdom in the fields of law and economics and tort law, has recently joined in the chorus of Right-wing critics attacking Senator Rand Paul (and President Obama) for arguing that the US government does not have enough information to carry out an attack … Continue reading The New Caliphate in the Middle East: When Islamists experiment with libertarianism (and why the West should do the same)

Deviant Tendency: An inside look at the politics of Iran

[Editor’s note: the following is a short essay by Payam Ghorbanian. Payam was born in Tehran, Iran. He got his bachelor of science in Engineering from Zanjan University in Zanjan, Iran. He has been participating in liberal political activities and he was involved with some think tanks in Iran. He is doing research in the field … Continue reading Deviant Tendency: An inside look at the politics of Iran

Creative Destruction in the Levant

Creative destruction ain’t just a place for the marketplace, baby! The National Interest has an article out by Mark Donig on “The Twilight of Sykes-Picot.” It’s a great piece that basically acknowledges the end of an era (European imperialism and cartographic arrogance), and what this will mean for the United States. Sykes-Picot is an agreement … Continue reading Creative Destruction in the Levant