DISRUPTIONS OF THE WORLD
by Amin Maalouf
Grasset, 318 pages, 18 euros.
Disruptions of the world, this is the dangerous coincidence between several crises geopolitical, economic, ecological and identity withdrawal which combines with globalization and the digital revolution to give birth to a "global tribalism." Novelist of talent, great connoisseur of the Middle East, the author, Lebanese of origin, has a valuable dual culture. If his book, succession of brief remarkably written tests, brews a number of topics, on which it focuses to illustrate the risk of widespread "regression" is the confrontation between the West and the Arab-Muslim world.
Their mutual demonization peaked with the Iraq war: West, voices regret "barbarism" of a decidedly unable to convert to the democratic nation. The Arab side, it denounced the cynicism of the Western powers who, after having imposed on the Iraq a murderous embargo, invading a false pretext actually to get their hands on its oil resources. In fact, the great or the US, for the author, is not only committed this war, but also have installed based on communitarianism, which perpetuate the old tribal rivalries and institutions are the opposite of democracy.
Why has radical Islamism become so powerful in the Arab world The torts, said Maalouf, are shared. Nationalist experiments degenerated look took place after the first world war, in Turkey with Atatürk, and even Afghanistan between 1919 and 1929 which proves that the "cultural" obstacle to democracy is illusory , but this movement has been limited by maintaining an almost colonial system. The dream of a pan-Arab nationalism embodied by Nasser, broke on the defeat of 1967 to Israel. A large part of the local elites then turned to Marxism-Leninism, but the support of the "big brother" is stolen with the collapse of the USSR. Still, as an alternative to Western ideology, Islamism: he had the triple benefit of not being a culture imported to represent a tradition of charity towards the poor and to establish a cement for the Muslim world. The United States and Europe have largely contributed to this evolution by sabotaging the democratic attempts in which they saw a threat to their interests, or by supporting, in Afghanistan or elsewhere, the forces ultrareligieuses to counter too close Moscow leaders.
Any power without opposition, any ideology without control are dangerous: it is one of the ideas that drive the book. After the end of the cold war, capitalism would not have been the "wild" excesses that led to the crisis had been opposite him a plausible alternative. The United States would have perhaps not launched Iraqi shipping if they had to take account of the reactions of a powerful opponent or the opinion of their allies. Today, a multifaceted moral crisis is installed. Out of this "long prehistory", it is necessary, says the author, promoting a pluralistic culture that integrates the knowledge of other cultures, including rewarding immigration. Historic exploration in which the book takes us is appealing. But his appeal, while persuasive, is likely to remain a cry in the wilderness.