Kevin MacDonald sagely advises us that Syria is not like the West, and rather than being a high-trust society with unified ethnic groups, is seriously divided along ethnic and religious lines.
MacDonald is blinded by his focus on the Jews. To people like him, it’s “the Jews” and everybody else. The great accomplishment of the West, or specifically the US, hasn’t been ethnic and religious unification, but pretending ethnic and religious unification. The US is not at all different from Syria. It is closely divided along ethnic and religious lines, but these have been carefully papered over.
Kurt Vonnegut once wrote about the end of German culture in his home state, Indiana. It became politically inconvenient and unacceptable, so it disappeared. I am now in the Midwest, a place widely regarded as a cultural wasteland. But there is plenty of culture here, just of the wrong kind. The culture is German, but German culture as a whole is simply unacceptable. The culture is also substantially Scandinavian, which is OK as long as it is the castrated, feminist-socialist, Garrison Keillor version of Scandinavian culture. German and Scandinavian culture is strongly communal, and if ethnocentrism is prohibited, you get socialism convenient to the powerful, which is what the Upper Midwest has.
The castrated German and Scandinavian Lutheran culture cooperates with the Puritans. The coopted Irish Catholic culture, along with its non-British and non-Protestant soldiers, cooperates with the Puritans. The coopted Jewish culture cooperates with the Puritans. The Italian Catholic culture avoids openly confronting it. The English Anglican Cavalier culture maintains an uneasy truce. The “Scots-Irish” or actually northern English Presbyterian culture gives it flashes of defiance. The bulk of non-differentiated “Americans” think they are liberal Democrats or conservative Republicans, but are just bit players in the tightly scripted reality show.
In any case, how does a small minority of an obscure sect, the Alawites, control Syria? Well, how does a small minority of an obscure sect, the Puritans, control the US? They have the whip hand and nobody sees the profit in challenging them.
Until now, anyway. In Syria. Everybody says the Emperor has clothes, until somebody mentions he doesn’t, and then it’s blindingly obvious to everybody. In the US, everybody still vigorously affirms the Emperor has an usually fine set of beautiful clothes. That doesn’t mean somebody won’t notice he doesn’t. The penalty for mentioning such things was much higher in Syria than it is here, and yet eventually somebody noticed.
The US is just like Syria.