A Thirty-Year War

An editorial in The European, December 7, by Alexander Görlach titled “Hanging by a Thread”

On September 11, 2001, the world entered a new era of violence. In the end there will be less religion in the world, just like in Europe after 1648, when humanism and the Enlightenment unfurled their victory banners. Before us lie bleak years….

Islamism is a malformed offspring of globalization: the fear of others who are coming ever closer to us through new means of transportation, the Internet, and real-time communication across the globe. Those who believe that the benefices and clerics hold exclusive knowledge in their hands must see now how their power is dwindling. Therefore, violence breaks out everywhere in the world; there are desperate attempts to stop us from coming together. Because certain people have always had much to gain from discrimination.

The new growing humanism we are experiencing at the same time is, however, the most noble of globalization’s children: in seeing and recognizing others who are like me that live only a mouse click away, there is the potential that all the barriers of race, religion, and the rest can be driven from the world forever. Did we really believe that we could achieve this without a struggle? Did we really believe that the old and new representatives of exclusionary ideologies and worldviews would ignore our efforts?

The resurgence of nationalism and religious fanaticism is being celebrated from India to Brazil with a vengeance. The radical Stone Age Islam is the worst ulcer among them, the Bubonic Plague that wants to take possession of our human civilization….

At stake in this Thirty Years War is nothing less than if the modern world can remain a place of freedom, or if this final bemoaning performance of the intolerant will succeed in ending the freedoms of the Modern era, and bomb us back to the near-forgotten darkness of earlier times. In the end there will be, so we want to hope, a large space for empathy and coexistence, which will be determined by tolerance and by a social contract, esti Deus non daretur, as if there weren’t a God. If we succeed in this, then we succeed in our modernity, by destroying the targets through which the jihadis today pull us into war.


One response to “A Thirty-Year War

  1. An interesting long-term perspective! A piece in today’s NYTimes similarly tries to put the current situation into a more recent historical perspective.