Monday, August 14, 2006

Will the Middle East implode?

A quick note: My prayers and thoughts go out to Fox News reporter Steve Centanni and his photographer, Olaf Wiig, who've been reportedly captured by unknown terrorists (not militants) in Gaza.

My question of the day is: Who is left in Lebanon? Who is left besides the Hezbos and people who are either too poor or too brainwashed to get the heck out of dodge?

People might think Birmingham is a cracker town, but you'd be surprised how many entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals here are not Scotch-Irish. I know a bunch of them. They're Cuban and Ecuadoran and Iranian and Lebanese and from a hundred other countries on Earth where twisted and evil governments can't deal with people who are self-reliant, intelligent and resourceful.

I'm no political scientist, but I don't see how you can have a stable society without a robust middle class. And dictatorships tend to purge their own middle classes, either through deliberate oppression or by making things so intolerable, the smart and resourceful people leave.

(I am not saying the masses of Iran or Cuba are all dupes or dummies, but good grief, why would you want to live there?)

I keep waiting for socieites like Iran to reach critical mass where there aren't enough people producing and creating -- they're all oppressing or being oppressed -- and the society just disintegrates. How long can something like that last?

1 comment:

Rich said...

I suspect the answer is to be found in North Korea: limping, starving itself, yet flogging innovations (or poor copies of them) out of its own autoimmune flesh.

NK's misery ought to be unsustainable, its septic infrastructure collapsed under its own ungainliness years ago, but sadly the human creature seems tailor-made to endure oppression, and so the North Koreans endure.

Free societies are rare, recent inventions within the scope of human history. Most of us, over the millennia, have toiled under the lash.