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Political Crisis in Middle East

This is the last post in this 3-post series; read the previous one.

I argued in the previous post how urban slums arose as a result of "cultural pollution" by the imperial powers who attempted reengineering the socio-demographics of Indian cities and villages. I must clarify that I do not blame the continuance of these slums on imperialism - I am merely trying to identify the root causes in an attempt to better understand these phenomena and hence lead a way towards solving them. 
Presented next is another example of how cultural pollution has created a problem for the modern world.

Most political systems in the world which developed without any interference from outside developed through a natural cycle of tribal / feudal set ups to monarchial / semi-monarchial setups to parliamentary or councilor (community based) democratic systems. This is true of ancient democracies as well as modern.

After the end of imperialism / colonialism, most of the world underwent democratic revolutions. However, one of the regions which have remained undemocratic and largely monarchical is the Middle East. Why are the political systems of the Middle East still completely monarchial andto a certain extent corrupt? While Middle East has prospered economically – thanks to oil reserves, why is the society still orthodox and closed over large parts of Middle East?

The answer lies in the way these countries govern themselves. The rulers in Middle East are not answerable to the people in the region and the ownership of oil reserves in the region is controlled by these rulers like private property and hence wealth generated by these reserves, though being spent on the people as well, is not propotionately distributed between the ruler and the people. Rulers live lavish lifestyles with the money earned from the oil rigs.  

In spite of most of the world completing its democratization about a decade ago, why has Middle East remained monarchial? What gives its rulers the ability to remain in power in undemocratic and autocratic mannerisms. The answer, unfortunately is the support of Western [American and British] democracies to these rulers.

It is in favour of western powers that the ownership of oil remains in hands of few with whom they can negotiate contracts and also coerce discounts against provision of military and political security from potential enemies. What is implict here is that these 'potential enemies' are not only neighbouring hostile states but also any domestic uprisings in favour of democracy.

In absense of this external political interference, probably most systems in Middle East would also have evolved into more participatory forms if not pure democracies. However, the convenience of the west has created an anachronic juxtaposition of wealth with non-representative governance which is leading to many side effects including terrorism and dictatorships (like the one which survived in Iraq in the time of Saddam Hussain) for this region.

. [series concluded]


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