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Opinion Religious Revival Challenges Consumerist Capitalism


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
By Dr. Sawraj Singh

A recent survey in Pakistan showed that 67% of the population in Pakistan favors an Islamist takeover of the country. This will be a nightmare for America, the West, and Israel. An Islamist Pakistan, along with the Taliban in power in Afghanistan and an Islamist Iran, can create a very large and crucial area of fundamentalist Islam. This will significantly affect the balance of power in the world and challenge the western domination of the world.

Historically, the western domination of the world started after the Islamic empire of Turkey was defeated. From the middle age to the nineteenth century, Turkey was a very powerful country. The Turkish Empire covered a very large area, connecting Europe with Asia and Africa. The Europeans could not use the land routes for their trade and expansion. Therefore, the European powers used the sea routes. To reach Asia, the Europeans had to go around Africa through the Cape of Good Hope.

With the fall of the Turkish Empire, the land routes became available to the European powers. This started the real era of western domination. It looks like the western domination will also end the way it started. The west is going to be defeated by the Islamists in the Middle East. The oil in the Middle East played a very significant role in the domination of the world by the West. The Islamic revival and coming into power of the Islamists in an area which is right next to the Middle East, will hasten the decline of the west.

Already, there is a movement towards the unity of the different Palestinian factions. Israel is very nervous about the emerging trends in the Middle East and the adjoining area. America and the west will be tied down by the Islamic fundamentalism and that will give China a relative advantage of continuing to pursue economic and technological development. Ultimately, the rise of Islam will play a significant role in ending the western domination and the American era.
America and the west have so far been successful in diverting the Hindu revivalism to an anti-Islam feeling. However, this policy does not seem to be very successful. Ram Dev, a popular Hindu nationalist, is directing the anger of the Hindus to the ill effects of western consumerism. He has opposed the western domination of India and has opposed the policies of the large corporations, who favor western consumerism. He is going to start a fast un to death to oppose the illegal taking away of the Indian money to the western countries and not using it for the betterment of the Indian people. Even though he has taken the issues of corruption and black money, yet the impact of his movement will also challenge the western consumerism and the western domination of the world.

There are some Sikh holy men who are promoting an alternate model of development in Punjab. These people are inspired by the philosophy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs. The Sikh philosophy advocates a model of development which is based upon the principles of universal concern and universal well-being. Therefore, the model of development based upon the Sikh philosophy can provide an ethical aspect to the present economic-only globalization. This philosophy can also provide a global perspective to the present globalization which lacks such perspective. By providing an alternate model of development to the western capitalist consumerist world, the Sikh philosophy is also challenging the western consumerist capitalism.

The net effect of the religious revival will be that it is going to hasten the end of the western domination and the American era. The western powers have used religion to divide people. However, they may face more and more people who are convinced that the western consumerist capitalism has outlived its usefulness and needs to be replaced.

Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice.



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