I was interested in the comments that Qutb’s philosophy was against the materialism of the West. That he admired scientific progress but not the institutions of the capitalist nations that have been at the forefront of that progress. He wants, like the socialists, progress without competition, without profit it seemd.
He dcries the separation of state and religion.
He bemoans the demise of the kind of laws based on a strict, detail code of conduct regardeding clothes, diet, religious practise, and the “proper” role of each gender in the community.
He is basically against individualism and in favour of a prescriptive society, based on well-defined, detail rules of conduct, derived from a single state-sponsored religion.
Again, similar to socialism, the assumption is that people’s wants can be logically derived from their environment - in Marx’s case, their economic class; in Qutb’s case, from the sharia laws developed to sustain life in pre-modern, clan-based communities.
I think, though, that the Bush doctrine understands this. And that the War against Iraq - apart from WMD and the many unheeded UN resolutions, etc - is a deliberate effort to purge the Middle East of these notions. To set up genuinely civil societies with democratic, secular states, that preserve the freedoms of the individual.
Its a bold view.
I think the problem comes, as some writers have pointed out, when Bush realises that any democracy in the middle East will likely NOT be secular (at least at first) but will be dominated by commonly held Islamic beliefs.