Category Archives: half-education

Islamism’s intellectual content is nugatory and contemptible

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 13.23.31Mohammedanism rushes in where Marxism can no longer tread

The downfall of the Soviet Union, writes Dalrymple, resulted in

an ideological vacuum for people seeking a total explanation of their discontents, people who—thanks to the spread of semi-education—were probably more numerous, and therefore more desperate, than ever. The only alternative on hand, and one with much deeper roots than Marxism, was fundamentalist Islam.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 13.19.44Islamism’s

intellectual content—the idea that a return to Islamic practices of the past (apart from the use of Kalashnikovs, etc.) is the solution to life’s woes everywhere—is so nugatory and contemptible that it is not worth an intelligent person’s efforts to refute it, any more than it is worth trying to refute the idea that the moon is made of blue cheese.

Alas, says Dalrymple,

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 13.19.21nothing is so foolish that some philosopher has not said it, and no utopia is so absurd that people cannot be found to believe in it and, worse still, fight for it.


would form yet another chapter in Walter B. Pitkin’s A Short Introduction to the History of Human Stupidity (nearly 600 pages long) had the author not died in 1953.