The Druzes in Israel: A Political Study : Political Innovation and Integration in a Middle Eastern Minority

The Druzes in Israel: A Political Study : Political Innovation and Integration in a Middle Eastern Minority

The Druzes in Israel: A Political Study : Political Innovation and Integration in a Middle Eastern Minority

The Druzes in Israel: A Political Study : Political Innovation and Integration in a Middle Eastern Minority

Excerpt

Perhaps one of the true ironies of contemporary politics is the reemergence of that hoary, disturbing problem supposedly solved at the end of World War I — the painful consequences of attempting to build viable political entities out of territories containing diverse groups of people separated rather than united, by real or imagined ties of race, color, origins, religion or language. Optimists in the earlier years of this century might have believed that his problem was an infantile disease of weak and underdeveloped countries, certain to disappear as those countries — reshaped on a more rational demographic basis — grew and developed. Present-day political scientists clearly regard this hope as an illusion. Economic development, literacy and technological progress have not only failed to solve the problems of ethnicity, but in fact seem to have made them worse — more pressing, more conspicuous and more violent. Above all, there is increasing recognition that "melting pots" have failed to solve the problem of integration: ethnic and racial particularism has reemerged, and will probably play a very prominent role in political life not only in Nigeria or Pakistan, but also in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and even in Belgium and Canada.

Furthermore, the reappearance of ethnicity is now seen in an entirely different perspective by reformers, revolutionaries, and would-be innovators. In an earlier, more optimistic, age Marxists believed that a future revolution based on the potential and solidarity of the working class would demolish national boundaries, let alone ethnic differences within nations. Now, one of the most consistent, articulate and orthodox thinkers of the Marxist dialectical tradition in our time is pessimistic about the future of revolution, or even pressure for innovation originating from the working class, and puts his faith in the "revolutionary opposition" of the lumpenproletariat ("the unemployed and unemployable") and the "substratum of . . .

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