Plato Nailed It a Long Time Ago…

July 23rd, 2006 by xformed

I picked up this link to Mahmood’s Den blog from Chapomatic, who’s broad reach provides many interesting links, and his own excellent commentary and analysis, when he (Chap) gets rolling.

Here is the point, from near the end of Mahmood’s post that I think is particularly notable:

Regarding the deafening Arab silence in condemning Israel, I think it demonstrates several important factors:


5. Nothing, absolutely nothing demonstrates the tribalism of Arabs more than wars and conflicts, even on a micro level, let alone this “huge” conflict we have on our hands now. These events crystalizes positions – unfortunately – without much thought beyond the family, tribe, sect, country. The brain ceases to function beyond those things, and of course logic has left the building quite a while ago, and if – and that’s a big if – one declares a position slightly out of those drawn and accepted lines, then that person is immediately vilified, attacked verbally and possibly physically, labeled a traitor and a sell-out, and ostracized. A lot of these people who do question accepted norms more often than not answer with their lives.

Violence, you see, is something that is built into our psyche as Arabs, if the situation does not yet demand the use of fists, then at least the floor belongs to that person who shouts loudest. [CSA emphasis added] Most definitely not to that person who is trying to reason and look at alternate points of view to arrive at a conclusive solution.

It is this trait, I think, more than any other that has succeeded for centuries in cowing us, in forcing us to happily accept tyrants, and has allowed us to regress rather than progress. And we really have only ourselves to blame.

One of my friend Mohammed’s conclusions is that this situation will breed more terrorists. Mohammed I agree with you; this will most certainly rub some passions raw and someone will take it upon themselves to “avenge” the Arab honour. After all, Hizballah’s birth was another Israeli incursion into Lebanon, Al-Qa’idah’s birth was the mountains of Afghanistan in response to Soviet intervention, Zarqawi et al is the result of the American insurrection in Iraq, so it is safe to assume that this conflict too will give birth to some more “freedom fighters” who will continue to perpetuate and wreak havoc in the world.

By the same token, and in the continued absence of proper educational systems in the Arab and Muslim worlds [CSA emphasis], one that values critical thinking rather than learning by rote, there is no doubt in my mind, that someone, somewhere, out of 250 millions of my Arab brothers and sisters, and the more than 1.3 billion Muslims around the world, will have read part of this post and have already decided that I too, should be ostracized for my views… Simply for asking the “wrong” questions.

So…what does Plato have to do with this?

“Man, as we say, is a tame and civilized animal; nevertheless, he requires proper instruction and a fortunate nature, and then of all animals he becomes the most divine and most civilized; but if he be insufficiently or ill educated he is the most savage of earthly creature.” – Plato

I do believe there may be a connection between studying a single set of writings as the sum total of wisdom and the outcome discussed above by Mahmood.

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 23rd, 2006 at 8:15 pm and is filed under History, Political. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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