Sunday, August 28, 2022

Petroleum: The Devil’s Excrement

First oil well in Saudi Arabia

struck in March 1938

“It is the devil’s excrement. We are drowning in the devil’s excrement. Ten years from now, twenty years from now, you will see, oil will bring us ruin.” ~ Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo, Venezuela's oil minister in the early 1960s, made this lamentation in 1975.

The oil exporting states of the Middle East, Arica, South America, and Asia are plagued by tyranny, corruption, economic woes, and an unending cycle of lawlessness and political instability. Iraq, Iran, Syria, Algeria, Nigeria, Sudan, Columbia, Venezuela, Libya, Angola, and Yemen have been devastated by tyranny and decades of civil war. 

The connection between oil and tyranny, and oil and violence is obvious. But the connection between oil and religion (Islam) is also obvious. 

Many of the oil exporting nations are Islamic—the Middle East holds more than half of the world's proven oil reserves. Some observers have posited that Islamic traditions, not oil, could be the real cause of the authoritarianism, gender inequality, lack of economic reforms, religious fundamentalism, and violence in the Middle Eastern nations.

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