...the West embarked on a brutal, Machiavellian path: it decided to destroy socialist Islam – that (historically) moderate, compassionate and progressive religion. It smashed once secular Egypt; it overthrew the government in socialist Iran and then in near-Communist Indonesia, implanting in all these places horrifically degenerate and fully outdated religious concepts. It used extremists to destroy healthy patriotism and socialism. Like the Brits in the 19th Century..., the West embraced Wahhabi teaching, because it was able to guarantee full obedience, dictatorial (pro-Western) governance and oppressive feudalism.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up