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Tag Archives: Sunni

Enlightenment foreclosed?

Uttering the cliche that “what Islam needs is a Reformation” merely shows that the speaker understands neither Islam nor the Reformation. The Protestant Reformation was the rejection of traditional accretions in favour of the authority of scripture; an attempt to return to “original” Christianity. Islam has experienced waves of such reformism throughout its history, also […]

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold … A post somewhat about China

Historically, taxing land (rents) and trade have been the dominant income sources of rulerships not reliant on labour service (not to be confused with taxes on labour income, which have a different dynamic).* Trade was a particularly attractive source of income because it often involved taxing outsiders. But trade was also mobile–too much tax for […]

Some words in favour of monarchy

I rather like monarchy.  I like the pomp and ceremony. I like the sense of continuity. (The Papacy, the Japanese monarchy, the English monarchy and the Danish monarchy are the oldest political institutions on the planet; the English coronation ceremony has elements that date back to Anglo-Saxon times.) I like monarchy’s capacity to separate the […]