The deserts of Araby are paradoxes of nature, so outwardly sterile and yet so rich. Because of them, some of the world's most industrially backward countries control most of the world's energy. The technical advances that differentiate the West from the torpid heirs of the Prophet would come to a grinding (literally!) halt without Mideast oil to lube and power them. So the refined, it seems, must always reach back to the crude...
Africa is bursting with mineral wealth and hydro power but remains developmentally prostrate for lack of human resource. Unlike the Arabs and Persians, the Africans haven't as yet mustered the political smarts which would enable them to harness their wealth for themselves. Israel, the Dark Continent's incongruous pendant, is perhaps the world's most intellectually endowed country, but one of the most barren in terms of natural resources. It seems fate or the apportioning deity has a sense of irony, if not equitability.
In His Name
In the USA, conservatives believe in Jesus but don't follow him, while liberals follow him but don't believe in him (web lore). Most of the "socialism" now being imposed on the electorate in the USA traces back, ultimately, to the sermon on the mount, though each side, right or left, and for different reasons, would be loth to admit it. The same inversion could also be made regarding the US Constitution.
The more "successful" a race/people become, the less fecund its women become, countervailing its evolutionary advantage and leading, ultimately, to extinction. Example: Canada, where the next generation is now of necessity brought in off the boats like a cargo of under-ripe bananas. Someone's got to support all those sterile white ladies in their old age, after all.
Bored Black Jungle
The least educated sector of modern democracies, i.e., that comprising black males, is more dependent on the fruits of higher education for artistic expression than any other. The "rapper" who can neither sing nor play an instrument, so unlike his cultural forbears, and who probably can't tell an algorithm from a rag rhythm, relies almost completely upon computers and state of the art electronics to generate, record, and transmit his "message" for sale. Needless to say, that message, as often as not, conveys some measure of hostility toward the established culture of progress and education. More broadly, the "gamer" culture so attractive to young men of all ethnicities, seems to share with the above an inverse proportion of brains with proclivity. How so much science should be devoted to so little sense is one of the conundrums of our time.
Conservative republicanism in the States, traditional bastion of the kinder, kuche und kirche school of feminism, has become radically spindlized over the last decade. Whether as pols or journos, organizers or bloggers, the spectacle of women invoking the Founding Fathers as they forsake hubby and kids for the public arena is now a commonplace. This paradox at times borders on the self-repudiating, as when Ann Coulter argues that America might be better off if women weren't allowed to vote. According to Sarah Palin, the majority of "Tea Partiers" are female, sisters in sedition all. "If fascism comes to America," as Sinclair Lewis infamously wrote, "it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross..." And, he might have added, wearing way too much lipstick.