The worst possible arrangement.
The worst kind of government I can think of for constraining the human spirit and stifling liberty is a theocracy.
Theocracies are noted for bloodshed, heartbreak and tears yet they loom as the long sought panacea for the most disadvantaged and poorly governed; the uneducated and idealistic elements of humankind mainly outside of ‘Western’ influence.
The present surge in Muslim idealism appears to be creating their Islamic paradise under a medieval caliphate. I am reminded of the optimism and rhetoric of communism which was also going to save mankind from religion, monarchy and capitalism. Once it was up and running, it cost the lives of millions who disagreed.
In his book, “Unnatural Deaths in the U.S.S.R.: 1928-1954,” I.G. Dyadkin estimated that the USSR suffered 56 to 62 million "unnatural deaths" during that period, with 34 to 49 million directly linked to Stalin. In “Europe A History,” British historian Norman Davies counted 50 million killed between 1924-53.
Any system of political control which places the value of human life below its primary ideals is going to result in tragedies.
How do theocracies recruit new members? Fundamentalist radicalisation is the new term. In the UK there are many immigrants from Muslim countries living peaceful lives but the children of these new Britons have an ambivalent identity. They are taught the merits of Islam but exist in a society which ignores the religious imperatives of their parent’s homeland. Being young and not understanding the illusory nature of religious ideals; the notion of fighting against injustice and defending Allah’s name, are the ingredients to lure them to war (albeit they are fighting other Muslims of the wrong stripe). This awful dream of cutting off people’s heads in the name of God costs not only their victim’s lives but their own chance of a peaceful future should they even survive the carnage they are embroiled in.
Theocratic fundamentalism is also at the heart of Jehovah’s Witnesses belief system and to become a JW is to become radicalised.
Perhaps the counter-measures now being studied for radicalisation will help us in understanding the dynamics of this phenomenon?