A depressing interview (Saudi Arabia: Papering over the cracks
By Syed Saleem Shahzad) with a pseudonymous Saudi in the Asian Times contains a trenchant description of the Saudi theocracy functioning like a poisoned mind in a vat -- that intro to philosophy trope which has taken the place of Descartes much more elegant malin genie. In Descartes nightmare, the darkness of subjectivity has the black magic of making anything it contacts unreal. In the same way, the Saudi royal house has created a politics out of a geriatric delusion, while its opposition simply clings to another form of the delusion, even more purified of real content. The victory over secularism, which was subvented by the US to get rid of Nasser way back in the fifties, has succeeded, and man, the landscape is blasted. God, of course, is at the head of the table, and treats are handed out via the Royal family. Limited Inc was unaware that the Q'ran, by the Basic Law of 1992, was adopted as the Constitution of the State. For those who wonder how that works, here's a quote from the interviewee:
"The Saudi government has a board comprising Islamic scholars. Every issue is sent to them. These scholars evaluate the issues in the light of Islamic teaching and then forward their findings to the government. I believe this is the right way of doing things. The way Islamic scholars issue religious rulings in Pakistan is not right. [Without higher supervision] this will take the country towards anarchy. These religious rulings can only be issued by the state or by Islamic scholars nominated by the state. Now, under this discipline nobody can issue his own brand of ruling, and if he does it would be considered as an anti-state activity."
Ah, this is enough to send us reeling back to Marx, K. The only thing worse than the God that failed is the God that succeeded.