Some interesting ideas from Sarah Chayes:
The Enlightenment (historians and philosophers, please forgive the simplification) was the moment when certain Western countries dethroned God from his role directly ordering human affairs. A set of rules was substituted, derived from human reason and thus subject to amendment and expansion as conditions evolved or as the understanding of who is a full human being in the eyes of the law — and could therefore benefit from these protections — expanded. One of the key elements of these rule-based systems has been legal recourse against perceived abuse of power.
But if such a rule-based system is captured by a criminal network, thus injecting an intolerable degree of the arbitrary into the award of opportunity or benefit, then citizens are denied fair recourse. To whom, then, should they turn for redress of legitimate grievances? In many cases — in Afghanistan as well as in Nigeria or Uzbekistan — they have turned back to their interpretation of God and his laws, obliterating more than 200 years of political history.
We’ve got crony capitalism now, a government becoming more corrupt by the day, where the lead-off item in a morning White House briefing is a car dealership in Missouri, where agents buy guns and give them to Mexican drug cartels. And the people supporting this gang are deathly afraid of the possibility of some Chritianist oppression (like, you know, the 1950s). Could it be that they are creating their own bogeyman, by not cleaning up their own government?