Dear liberal friend. A surprise! You’ve found a time machine!
You decided to go back to the Middle Ages Europe.
Welcome my dear progressive, brave-world-builder friend. It’s your chance. You know the future; you know what ‘went right” and what “went wrong.” You are a lucky God!
You were not alone; you were able to convince some of the elitist minds you met that there was knowledge they didn’t know. You gave them some simple books. They were able to see your point. They were able to live the progress that would happen after their death.
How would you move from this point? What’s your first step? Let’s examine our options.
1- You will educate the people.
Good shot. But wait! Who gave you the authority to do this? And what do you think their reaction to your “knowledge” would be? Most probably the religious entities will hunt you down.
2- You will face those religious entities that control people’s minds.
Welcome comrade! What then. Would you take it to the political authorities and announce yourself the Big Brother?
3- No. You are not a communist – life forbid! You will take the nation to the ballots.
Yes of course. You are the enlightened, tolerant, guy.
Please tell me what options the nation would see on the ballot paper. Who would be able to campaign? What is the most likely outcome? What would you do then?
Oh, naughty boy. You’ll get in your time machine and flee to your time and place. You’ll regretfully leave middle ages people to their fate.
Now you are getting ready to ascend the high moral ground and accuse me of being anti-democratic. Far from true. The point is history went different ways. The fittest, as in natural history, survived. This does not say we don’t try new ideas. It means we must not risk provenly failed ones especially those we have seen in our living memory.
I am afraid my chosen course would not satisfy your radical fantasies. As economic activities grow and diverse, fortune is distributed to more hands, and so is power. Conflict of interests allows for different ideas to find sponsors. Ideas evolve and spread. Knowledge increases, people become more aware and informed about their own lives.
Now, my friend, consider the Middle East is Middle Ages Europe. I know there is a difference. But for most, it’s the same level of knowledge and awareness, and religious entities are not only a papal authority, but there are also extremist groups who use today’s tools to impose last millennium knowledge. They can kill more people. They can efficiently hunt down people who, like you, believe in tolerance and freedom of speech.
But, can you believe it, their most dangerous weapon is their ability to use “verbal’ tools. They discovered that it would give them a significant advantage to disguise behind slogans like yours and find ‘friends’ in the West. They infiltrated Troy in a wrap of Human Rights organisations and freedom of speech advocates. These are not assumptions. One of the differences between the Middle East and the Middle ages is the fact that you don’t speak Arabic. You miss their real advocacy in that language.
Military rule, my friend, is a thing of the past. We know that. We struggle for a civil one. Mind you, non-military does NOT equal civil. Non-military could be militia rule, which is far worse. If it’s religious militia rule, we will go to a bottomless abyss.
The mother of shocks/surprises, my liberal friend, is that out of all the options mentioned above you chose to be allied with the disguised extremists against us.