2015 January

A War Between Two Worlds

I think this has already been passed here…but this quote was so important developmentally, that I wanted to send again!


The current crisis has its origins in the collapse of European hegemony over North Africa after World War II and the Europeans’ need for cheap labor. As a result of the way in which they ended their imperial relations, they were bound to allow the migration of Muslims into Europe, and the permeable borders of the European Union enabled them to settle where they chose. The Muslims, for their part, did not come to join in a cultural transformation. They came for work, and money, and for the simplest reasons. The Europeans’ appetite for cheap labor and the Muslims’ appetite for work combined to generate a massive movement of populations.

The matter was complicated by the fact that Europe was no longer simply Christian. Christianity had lost its hegemonic control over European culture over the previous centuries and had been joined, if not replaced, by a new doctrine of secularism. Secularism drew a radical distinction between public and private life, in which religion, in any traditional sense, was relegated to the private sphere with no hold over public life. There are many charms in secularism, in particular the freedom to believe what you will in private. But secularism also poses a public problem. There are those whose beliefs are so different from others’ beliefs that finding common ground in the public space is impossible. And then there are those for whom the very distinction between private and public is either meaningless or unacceptable. The complex contrivances of secularism have their charm, but not everyone is charmed.


At the core here are ValuDYNAMICS:

Different ways in which means serve ends.

The quote critically framed the dance:

“… secularism also poses a public problem. There are those whose beliefs are so different from others’ beliefs that finding common ground in the public space is impossible.”

It appears…that a values basin has a bell curve distribution…and that once you leave a basin to gain/tolerate more freedom, the distribution shifts to long tail distribution…

What this “might” mean is that it will be towards impossible to coalesce and gain cohesion among those in long tail distributed space when no superordinate scaffolding is present.

This alone has serious implications for policy and explains the ground of Europe…in a literal and figurative sense.


22 replies on “A War Between Two Worlds”

I don’t agree with George Friedman’s geopolitical analysis. It’s a neat attempt rationalize a messy world. But I don’t have the impression it is based on close up experience on the ground. It’s represents more his projections as “geopolitical strategist” and what he considers to be “Christian”, “Islam”, “Secular”. What an “American strategist” thinks of “Europe”.

Olivier Roy, wrote a noteworthy article, that to my mind gives a more accurate and sharper picture, in Le monde ( setting a sobering “antidote” to the prevalent media hysteria (I am Charly). He points out that there is no “Muslim Community”, you get all kinds of people from all parts of the world where the Islamic faith is prevalent: Bosnia, Marocco, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia. They are all different. The fundamentalist terrorists are rooted in another ideological tradition. It’s a more of youth movement in the tradition of “heroic freedom fighters”. They are creating their own Islam to suit their motives. The danger is of a different nature than it is generally constructed. Btw. nobody went onto the streets to mourn over the 2000 people killed in Nigeria by Boko Harum terrorists these days.

Here’s an interview in English with Olivier Roy that shows his thinking: I like it. It comes closer to my experience.


Thanks for this Mark….one parallel between the two is the fact that there is no “one islam”. Their world does not have a Vatican as George Friedman points to… now way of really saying that is the right or wrong way of interpreting Islam….therefore all these factions. Sunni vs. Shia, fundamentalists vs. moderates. ISIS (the near war…against moderate Muslims, with no apparent beef with the West) and Al-Qaida (the far war, against the West) Angry young men, with no futures, vs. middle class Muslims….etc. etc.
Thanks for the other articles.


You are welcome, Brian. Living in a protestant part of Switzerland (in which 40% are non confessionals or “seculars”), I need to point out that our world has no Vatican either! And even the secular world doesn’t recognize Richard Dawkins as reference .
I find these categories Muslims, Christians, etc. with the subcategories moderate, fundamental neither helpful nor enlightening. However they are prevalently used to make sense of the world and lead to much trouble.


I find Richard Dawkins, when it comes to his views on God, just another form of fundamentalism around science and humanism. The more I think of it, we (westerners who have some sort of spiritual context) don’t really have a Vatican….when I am asked, “Do I believe in God?” The first thing I think of is, who is asking, and what do they mean by God?


It’s the first question that comes to my mind too.
I need to know what they are talking about before I can know whether I can rely on it. For me it is another word for the unknowable, the mystery of life. So how can I debate it?


And for others, it is no mystery, it is a very concrete supernatural being ruling over us…..we can’t have a discussion with each other.


And maybe they are right. Who am I to know? The trouble starts when people think they can act in lieu or on behalf of such a supernatural being…


I think more it’s people acting consistent with their CBSLRVS…where _________________ serves as the object of the subject….


this is never going to change…

so, horizontally…the war between worlds continues…?

vertically…what then…

there is NOT going to be a transcendence and inclusion, that is not the key…

the idea would be that all would coexist as valuable into and among themselves…

and yes, disagreements, conflict and wars are a norm…

a differentquestion would be is could we lessen the collateral damage…

rather than win…?

win what?

a chance to fight another war at another point in conflict?

our humanity–until it evolves–still replays (or at least it has for 3500+ years of record (see Durant)…over and over and over…

each new child born into a world where values matter…


I can quote Jung…as part of the debate;)


Whatever I perceive from without or within is a representation or image… caused, as I rightly or wrongly assume, by a corresponding “real” object. But I have to admit that my subjective image is only grosso modo identical with the object…
our images are, as a rule, of something… The God-image is the expression of an underlying experience of something which I cannot attain to by intellectual means… (Jung 1959c)


/articles…read more

Jung was an INTJ, of course the interviewer used that against him, and created the space for scripted responses from the LT.

Later after having the time to deliberate, of course the GENERAL would say that the LT acted precipitously…however, the script ran…and it was one which was already agreed upon–the LT being pressed.

Extraverts almost always take advantage of the LT in introverts and consequently, the extraversion by the LT is almost always a script, especially in circumstances where fear is in the space.

I liked Jung’s explanations (at least the one’s in the article)…

We all have a concept of what things mean, and then to that we attach objectivity, rightly or wrongly.

For me, I just don’t see where it’s such a big deal to believe in God or not?

I can’t understand for the life of me what one or the other position will do, unless of course, you believe in ONE or the other…what about both/and…?

I prefer to live in that place.

However, as Durant described, it’s important to find ways to manage the pugnacity of man, and therefore if NOT religion…then other aspects of constraint must be in place.

Once you lose the “you’ll go to hell” idea, then I guess jail is next, however what I have realized is that jail (loss of liberty?) is preferable to the life that some live…thus hell, now jail, are still less than what lies for a lot of people as a choice…go figure….

So, realistically, I don’t know what can be used to stem the pugnacity of man…


Like you I don’t find religious labels very useful. I have been on a long journey.
I have come to a couple of concepts that I find helpful—maybe more if I gave it more thought.
Here are my two.
1. How the Bible READS isn’t always what it MEANS.
2. My main goal is be a CHRIST FOLLOWER based on the conclusions I have drawn from #1.


Thank you, John, for these thoughts and the article on Jung, whom I always find very inspiring on these matters as is Joseph Campell who was close to him.
The last fortnight I was in Togo where I attended the inauguration of a children’s hospital in the rural central region. I acted as an intermediary – a trust link – between a private Swiss donor and the catholic sisters (“on est des soldats de Jesus” – we are Christ’s soldiers) of the local diocese who initiated the project. We started the project a year ago. Now it’s finished, an amazing project with an incredible energy. I spend a few days with Father Patient who managed the whole project. There was so much faith, joy and serenity – it was very moving. Here you do not argue about God. You bow.



Thanks so much for your narrative and example—for me it was significant.

Are you creating or destroying? Do people feel happier, enlightened, exuberant after interacting with you?

One of the most beautiful things about life is simply having the opportunity of uplifting others; leaving a wake of vigor, warmth, love and happiness…exuberance.

Most people don’t think about the beauty they can create simply through interacting with others.

They just exist.


Thanks John,

Life requires a living being with all its complex genetic hardwiring that all the rocket science hasn’t been able to figure out so far 


We were all caught on the wrong foot. It seems that with Draghi announcing QE, the prospect of having to buy up even more € in the light of the already highly bloated SNB balance sheet, thus printing the CHF into oblivion.Thomas Jordan had no choice. As former UBS CEO Grübel said in a discussion, though was not heard, it would be cheaper for the SNB to pay all our salaries. Voodoo economics hitting the fan? We’ll see more in the days coming.


Yes, it’s not the private family affair that we can control ourselves anymore. The WEF is starting next week in Davos. It will be a topic no doubt.


People are comparing it to the usa gold confiscation…

who made all the money in the swiss franc rebound?


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