a reply to: kelbtalfenek
You know, I probably wrecked the thread from the outset by using that word, since liberalism didn't exist until the Enlightenment.
maybe I should have said, "advocate for an open society"
"who don't believe in defining "the good life" for other people."
how about "advocates of compromise."
Basically, my point was that what you have populations in collision, the culture that "loses" tends to have it's middle-of-the-road members killed
off, and the fanatics are selected for, since they are usually holed up in some Masada-like enclave.
If you look at the movement of American pioneers onto the North American plains, you see the same phenomenon. In spite of the stereotype, the US
government spent most of its efforts trying to protect the Indians, and provide a buffer between them and the river of immigrants who did most of the
burning villages and slaughter. But the result was the same as the Ottoman moving across the Balkans: moderates were prey for the incoming tide;
while the zealots and "1%-ers" managed to survive as partisan or scalawags.
It happened in the Boer Wars.
It has happened in Afghanistan for generations now. The British did it before the (American) coalition that is doing it today. The local peasants
are merely pawns in a regional chess-game between rival war-lords. The best way to keep your family safe is to join a militia. Afghanistan has been
the "graveyard of empires" since the time of Alexander; and each new waves pushes another generation of hill-people into zealotry.
Basically, when society-wide violence arrives on the social scene, the moderates try to preserve the status quo, and so are softer targets than the
saucer-eyed fanatics who just knew this was bound to happen.
Imagine, if the Soviet Union really had nuked America. Who would have survived? Almost always, they would be people who had a fully stocked fallout
shelter, and had meticulously planned for just such an emergency. Can you imagine a whole society of those folks?
That's the kind of people who survived the Moorish invasion of the Iberian peninsula, and carried out the "reconquista".
If we don't find a way to stop the impact of terrorism on the west, we will see the same thing over time... the end of moderation, and the increase of
zealotry, and "Kill them all--let God sort them out!!" (a quote from the crusades.)