Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I guess we really need a new communist threat

Uh, the entire excerpted passage from Niall Ferguson's new "kill the bastards" manifesto is weird but the weirdest thing of all is this part:

Al Qaeda is different. Its members seek to undermine the market-state by turning its own technological achievements against it in a protracted worldwide war, the ultimate goal of which is to create a Sharia-based “terror-state” in the form of a new caliphate.

Despite Bill Kristol's op ed comparing hyperchristian Barack Obama's understanding of religion and society with Marx's; or the even more amazing accusation that Obama's very physical body is the byproduct of some jewish/marxist interracial conspiracy (yes, let's not forget that one), or the now standard line from right wing bloggers that everything that smacks of the public good (including Hammurabi's codes as some wag put it) is really communism or fascism or some damn liberal philosophy I'm still surprised by Ferguson. Is it in fact the case that what we value most in western society is denoted by the strange phrase "market state?" And is it actually even more the case that the "market state" can be opposed to a hypothetical "sharia-based terror state?" It may have escaped Ferguson's notice but we are actually living in a "terror state" and a "torture state" to boot. I see nothing in Sharia law that distinguishes it from American law, at this point--other than perhaps the limitations on usury and on interest. So is that what this is really all about? Are the glories of Western Civ reducible to the ability of large banks to lend out money at interest?