Just found this interesting video-clip. Maajid Nawaz, a former islamistic extremist (since he was 17), now trying to find ways to create a global culture to fight hatred and any form of extremism. Some of his summaries may be a bit rough, but the overall story, including his personal story are very interesting and I belief especially so in the light of the recent mad mass-killing of people in Oslo due to right-wing extremism.
He explains, that extremist organisations are much better succeeding in globalized ways than democratic organizations (he understandably seems to look at democracy and extremism as opposites) due to four reasons (I tried to shortly summarize them):
1. Complacency – We do not feel the need to advocate democracy, because WE already have it
2. Political correctness – going around and saying ‘Democracy is cool’ would not feel politically correct but rather an extreme statement, so we lack the will to advertise it
3. Political choice – democracy has become one of many choices, as theocracy, military rule, etc…
4. Ideology of resistance – We try to resist super-powers, but the super-power right now is still the USA, a democratic country, that makes it harder to cheer for democracy
Movements apart from political parties could build a democratic fabric of society. He links the uprisings in Arab countries to this, though he argues, that ‘removing the leader’ as a political goals to civilizational coalitions and goals – working for democracy, working against extremism. All in all, he goes forward saying, that what is needed is a grass-roots culture, concentrating on civilized structures within society rather than political goals. I find that quite thought-provoking – so definitely something I would love to read comments from you about it