On East Asia and the Islamic world (from page 124):

 

.... Eastern Asia occupies a crucial place in the psyche of today’s atomists, quite beyond the vindication of free trade that some—questionably—find in it.  Here they see a major non-Western civilization that modernizes but keeps some superficial differences from the north Atlantic.  Conveniently, it shows that atomism resonates anywhere.  The capitalist boom in eastern Asia has proved more useful, ideologically, than would have a capitalist boom in such semi-Western areas as Russia or South America.  Western atomists make much of finding corresponding strands of thought in eastern Asia, despite its exoticism....  If eastern Asia is atomists’ dream region, then the Islamic world is their nightmare.  This attitude goes well beyond the knee-jerk stereotypes of “Qur’ān-screaming” fundamentalists, or statements that “the Qur’ān is food for no-thought.”  It also long predates the spectacular bloodletting by al‑Qā‘idah on 9/11.  The underlying reason is that Islam’s image contradicts the whole idea of a placeless atomist victory.  Even Fukuyama acknowledged that “Islamo-fascism” is a gap in the consensus of history’s end.  Universal atomists everywhere share this disdain for Islam.  From his Mexican vantage point, Paz called it “the most obstinate form of monotheism,” an exception to “the vast relativist civilization” gaining ground elsewhere.  What seems to offend most is Islam’s resilience as an ethical system, rather than an easily manipulable grab-bag of “artifacts.”  Its revealed scriptural basis makes it hard to reinterpret in a way that releases atomists from its demands.  The survival of a largely uncontaminated Islamic high culture among the clergy also gives a certain robustness and confidence.  Atomists face stauncher resistance here than in other regions....

 

 

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