The Modernist Nightmare:
Review: Eric Walberg's From Postmodernism To Postsecularism:
Reviewed by Richard Wilcox,
Following the end of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, there was supposed to have been a “peace dividend” which would have allowed the world to stop wasting money on arms manufacturing and explore roads toward peace and commerce. However, the Cold War itself may have been a ruse to some extent in order to justify the growth of global totalitarian government and corporate power in both the West and East, and as a result a peaceful world was never achieved.
Even the most naïve observer could see that something was very odd, given that at the same moment that the Russian enemy was tamed and the Berlin Wall had fallen, a new, even more nefarious enemy was born: the Muslim Terrorist. This seamless transition that benefited the military industrial complex and zionist warmongers was practically lifted out of a Hollywood script. In fact, Hollywood played an important role in creating the caricature and stereotype of the “evil Muslim” through innumerable anti-Muslim Hollywood propaganda films. All the while, Holocaust films of Jewish suffering during WWII have never ceased, despite massive scholarly evidence to the contrary of that official mythology (2) .
After a series of mass slaughters in one country after another, we tragically find ourselves on the precipice of the US/UK/Zionist led slaughter against another country in the Middle East, Syria. There has never been a more important time for understanding the true nature and historical relationship between Islam and the West.
Eric Walberg is one of the most well-read, insightful, articulate and educational writers working in the alternative media today. His breadth and depth of historical issues defies easy pigeon holing even though he harbors a well intentioned and benign Leftist perspective. That said, he does not go soft on the failure of Communism but assesses the role of the rivalry between 20th century capitalism versus communism with an eye to what the real world results were for the countries under their (US or Soviet) influences. This provocative and original analysis was spelled out in his previous book Postmodern Imperialism (3).
In what can be viewed as the logical continuation of the latter, “Re-emerging Islamic Civilization” takes a decidedly pro-Islam stance, arguing that whatever Islam's anachronistic flaws, they pale in comparison to a West hell-bent on literally destroying the entire planet due to unrestrained greed, violence and a desire to control and dominate every living thing on the planet. Walberg and I concur regarding the failure of the western model of “civilization,” along with Ghandi who famously quipped: “What do I think of Western Civilization? I think it would be a very good idea.”
Walberg writes in the introduction:
“Modernist icon Newton's third law is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Using this law as a metaphor, in the face of the 'modern' West's soulless secularism and outright hostility to Islam, there is an inexorable reaction, as the eternal values of Islam continue to manifest themselves. This is especially witnessed in the month of Ramadan, which continues to demonstrate the powerful spiritual calling of Islam. More than one billion people around the world endure a month of dry fasting from sunrise to sunset, not just as some grueling health gimmick, but a test of the spirit, the will, as proof of devotion. And it is precisely this cultivation of mass 'mind over matter' that frustrates western secularists, so used to indulging in every consumer fetish.
Why are Muslims so stubborn in nurturing ancient beliefs and rituals when they fly in the face of modern science and the touted (albeit deceptive ) prospect of material plenty? Secular critics dismiss Islam as a harmful, even dangerous anachronism....
The now rich and self-satisfied secular West, after centuries of conquest and imposition of its colonial and now neocolonial order, has found itself at a nightmarish deadend. Wars, riots, drug addiction, corruption, famine, and ahead, ecological Armageddon.... the demand that the Muslim world follow in western footsteps rings hollow” (p. 20)
I know a teacher who has often presented the counter argument, stating that for all of its flaws, the Western liberal model has done the world more good than harm. But my friend relies on a mainstream New York Times revisionist and propagandized version of history. I once chided this particular teacher that, “well, I can't say your thesis is completely invalid” but then laughed because I did not want to hurt his feelings too badly. Glaring, irrefutable examples of US aggression followed: the illegal wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria; the CIA terrorist drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, who among other sovereign nations are and have been unfortunate targets of the murderous and malevolent zionist controlled US/UK/EU “foreign policy.” There was not much he could say to respond except smile and look up at the TV in the bar we were sitting in.
It is also interesting to compare how Walberg presents Islam as a force for peace and stability in the face of Western devastation of the planet, with another group of people who's religious beliefs have not allowed them to be absorbed into secularism: the Amish. The Amish are a Christian religious people who immigrated from Germany to the midwestern US and have largely maintained their puritan ways. They reject modern technology, rely on tried and true farming techniques and God's bounty. They live simple, decent, hard working and fulfillled lives and don't owe any money to the usurious bank lenders. Most people respect the Amish and appreciatively purchase their delicious, organically grown foods and goods sold in Amish markets. It is a sign of hope that the small enclave of Amish can survive and indeed thrive in the midst of modern American decadence and decay.
By the same token, Walberg presents a countervailing argument against unrestrained western power, greed and militarism in the form of a re-emergent Islam. Whether Islam can indeed resist the west's bludgeon of secular totalitarianism is an open question, given the steady cultural and military onslaughts the Muslim world must endure.
This book is a detailed primer and reference library for understanding Islamic history and is divided into key parts: A history of Islam, Christianity and Judaism from the 7th to 16th centuries; the re-emergence of Islamic civilization as a reaction to the western imperialist system, with its own internal dynamics; a survey of Islam as practiced around the world; an analysis of contemporary issues in Islam; and a consideration of Islamic culture in relation to both secular socialism and globalization.
The book also offers a glossary of terms for understanding the difficult terms for describing important aspects of Muslim culture.
Walberg's book is a good way to begin a study of Islam and the Quran, which, for non-Muslims, needs cultural, political and historical context to reveal much of its wisdom. Walberg does a thorough and scholarly job of providing this background.
1. Eric Walberg
(2013). From Postmodernism To Postsecularism: Re-Emerging Islamic Civilization.
368 pgs., Clarity Press.
2.The Holocaust Hoax Exposed: Debunking the 20th Century’s Biggest Lie http://www.barnesreview.org/the-holocaust-hoax-exposed-debunking-the-20th-century%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99s-biggest-lie-p-552.htmlhttp://www.barnesreview.org/the-holocaust-hoax-exposed-debunking-the-20th-century%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99s-biggest-lie-p-552.html
3. Book Review ~ “Might Makes Wrong”Eric
Walberg’s Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics And The Great Games
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