While the rest of us were grieving over our broken financial instruments last October, there was a man somewhere on the Asian side of Istanbul, or perhaps scooting around the Bosphorus in his yacht, who realized something awesome.
You know Iceland? The tranquil little island nation northwest of Ireland that looks like a flying cow without legs? No place had been immediately hit harder by the economic tailspin, its banks having gorged themselves full on a plate of Europe’s most toxic assets. So get this: no other country has a higher rate of belief in monkey-to-man evolution—not one. Coincidence? The man thought not.
Earlier that month, I went to Istanbul to interview Harun Yahya, a.k.a. Adnan Oktar, who has spent most of the last few decades obsessed (to the tune of writing 200 or so books) about how all the world’s problems derive more or less directly from Charles Darwin’s brain. He’s also the handsome guru-in-chief of an allegedly criminal, several-hundred-strong religious brotherhood of Turkish elites that operates an international Islamic creationist media network and a tidy import-export business on the side.
I asked him about Scandinavia—after all, those countries seem like pretty nice places to live, even without having fallen utterly into the thrall of his Versace-creationist version of Islam. He explained that my impression was mistaken. “There is an inner chaos going on in those people’s hearts and minds,” he said, through a young and nimble translator. “They are not really people.”
He goes on. Suicide, drugs, rock music...many, many maladies. “Theirs is not real happiness,” he says. “We cannot call artificial happiness real happiness.” Their economic meltdown was fantastic confirmation of his entire reason for existence.
I’m sitting before the man in the house of one of his associates, each of us with a glass of peach juice, and it’s getting past midnight. Lights and cameras are there to record the conversation for his website. The camera crew, the translator, and I are all in socks, but Yahya is wearing shoes. I can’t stop staring at them, resting on the black-and-white animal hide rug beneath us. My defenses collapse in jet-lagged fatigue and presence of cult-of-personality. He goes through three or four glasses of juice; I get halfway through one.
I feel, in some manner of speaking or other, he has to be right. The coincidence is too uncanny. Evolution is the demonic gateway to fiscal implosion. Back home, where Lower Manhattan feels like a graveyard for modernist giants, I read over the press release again and again.
As a requirement of savage capitalism, the poor have to be eliminated. Poor countries have no right to life. According to this perverted perspective, the strong must grow ever stronger and ever richer. That is why available cash is kept back in the interest system for the enrichment of the wealthy, rather than being used to help the poor or make production. The basic idea on which savage capitalism is based is, naturally, Darwinism.
Iceland in the global financial crisis is another tragic example caused by the materialist, capitalist system. With regard to Iceland, however, we also need to emphasize that it comes as no surprise that the effects of social Darwinism have appeared very swiftly in the country. According to a public opinion poll conducted by Science magazine in 34 countries in 2005, Iceland emerged as the country with the highest level of belief in Darwinism:
Turkey’s on the bottom! And, next... oh. The United States. That’s weird.