As an amplification of my earlier post about Saudi influence on modern Islamic culture. Throw in a bit of Bryan Caplan and Eric Hoffer, and I’m closer having better thoughts on the subject.
To wit, the problem is the merging of state, society, economy and religion into a single unit. The most obvious parallel is pre-revolution Russia, with the Saudi royal family playing the Romanovs, and bin Laden playing Lenin.
After Ivan the Terrible essentially annexed the Russian orthodox church and installed the Czar as head of the church (or maybe that was Peter the Great, I can’t remember), all authority, be it economic, political, or religious in Russia became ever more centralized in the person of the Czar. When Lenin seized power in 1917 he merely continued this process, finally culminating in Stalin.
All of this centralization basically discards useful information as revealed in action and prices per Hayek in the Fatal Conceit. One man does the thinking for millions, and the society is one millionth as smart as it could be. Could this be what is happening in the Arab world right now? Is the problem just lack of knowledge and power distribution, as it was in the Soviet era, and current North Korea?
As I read over this post I see it is very jumbled and unclear. I’ll explore more on this topic later.