Monday, October 21, 2013

Gulfization of the Arab world: my response

So Abdulkaleq said:  "The Gulf moment indicates that the Arab Gulf states are today the net exporter of soft influence as well as hard power. This has set in motion a unique process of Gulfization/Khaleejization  (خلجنة) of the Arab world. Khaleejization simply means that at this moment the influence of the part (the Arab Gulf states) on the whole (the rest of the Arab world) is greater than the influence of the whole on the part. " 
And I say: yes, there is such an impact by Gulf potentates and their rentier culture on the Arab world, and it can be detected: 1) the promotion of the acceptance of polygamy as a modern phenomenon that does not have to be discarded; 2) the elevation of the vulgar and cheesy aesthetics of Las Vegas as the ultimate model of beauty and standards; 3) the promotion of sleaze in all manifestation of Arab culture, according to the taste of oil and gas princes and sheikhs; 4) the enforcement of various degrees of gender segregation; 5) the relegation of Asian labor to the lower part of the hiearchy; 5) the fetishism of money as the ultimate measure of success; 6) the worship of the White Man and the juridical enforcement of his superiority in contracts and in wages; 7) the propagation of themes of class obedience by the poor toward the rich; 8) the adoption of an ideology of hostility toward all manners of progressive and leftist thought; 9) the notion that politics and political representation don't matter as long as the ruling dynasties provide a generous program of social welfare; 10)  the standardization of commercialization and of sexual commodification of females; 11) the establishment of artistic and literary awards in order to ban a free culture and of the expression of views and opinions counter to the tyranny of Arab potentates; 12) the notion that problems--all problems--can be solved with money; 13) the notion that intellectuals can, and should, be bought and sponsored by an oil or gas prince to prevent the existence of free public intellectuals; 14) the export of rigid personality cults around the ruling Gulf potentates.  So in that sense, Abdulkhaleq is right.  There is such a thing as Gulfization.