RE: Why memeoids?

From: Lawrence DeBivort (
Date: Sat Jan 19 2002 - 15:21:53 GMT

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    Subject: RE: Why memeoids?
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    Some thoughts to add to the Turkey pile:

    > They have a reservoir of discontented Islamic fundamentalists. I
    > have not
    > looked at the situation in detail, but I think it is clear that most
    > Islamic countries have some. The question is what does it take for
    > memes/groups to become a problem?

    I don't think that two of the classic reasons given for insurrection are
    accurate: poverty and over-population. I know that it is almost a given that
    these are causal, but in the many years I spent travelling and studying, I
    have not been able to find the correlation. Poor people can be content
    (especially if they belief that everyone else is in the same boat) and
    overpopulation has many non-insurrectional escapes. The factors that I have
    found pront to insurrection are a sense of injustice, whether it has to do
    with the perception of inequality of income, or corruption or among the
    elite, or imposition of an alien culture or belief-sytem (often from the


    > It would be most interesting to study the indicators in the population
    > leading up to a coup. As candidates, I would put forth wealth per capita
    > and maybe more important rate of change of wealth. Other
    > candidate factors
    > would be culture being displaced, percentage of later born children,
    > percentage of young men in bonded (or any) sexual relations. Subject to
    > real measurement, my expectation is that falling wealth per capita, more
    > later born children, and high percentage of males without sex partners
    > would all contribute to instability. Another possible factor
    > might be the
    > extent to which wealth is stratified. There may be other factors as
    > important or even more so.
    > Turkey may have escaped some of the factors contributing to
    > instability by
    > exporting a substantial fraction of its population of young
    > people to Germany.

    Yes, and add to this that when these workers come home, as most do, they
    carry with them the memes of secular materialism.


    > That is certainly true. Turkey has a unique history in that one of its
    > most forceful leaders, Atatürk, yanked Turkey into the modern age between
    > about 1925 and 1935.

    Yanked is the operative word here. I spent some time in Turkey a couple of
    years ago studying Ataturk's legacy in Turkey today. I came away concluding
    that while he had forcibly imposed Western behaviors on Turkey, that he had
    done so in such a way that failed to persuade many, especially those in
    rural areas, and that they harbored both resentment and resistence to it,
    that even today serves to diminish the impact of many of Ataturk's efforts.
    The issue is far from solved: massive Ataturk banners (a la Stalin and Mao)
    hang from some public buildings, and in quiet corners of the mosques and
    cafes, people speak with bitterness of the cultural high-handedness of the
    educated elites of Roberts University, now University of the Bosphorus.


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