The new world disorder???
An important article from Robert Sibley of the Ottawa Citizen...
Over the last 50 years, western countries have become therapeutic societies. They are populated by consumers who think security is a birthright, that they have a "right" to lives of comfort, that the state exists, if not to provide happiness, then, at the very least, to mitigate the conditions of unhappiness. The idea that citizens might be called upon to forego self-indulgence in order to maintain the orders and institutions that keep us secure seldom intrudes our narcissistic assumptions.Please read the whole thing....
But then it doesn't help that so many of the West's intellectual elite have taught westerners to despise their own civilization. Up until the 1960s, intellectuals were generally respectful of the western inheritance. It was thought -- and taught -- that whatever its flaws and failings (and yes, there were many), the West, drawing on its Greek and Judeo-Christian inheritance, had benefited mankind as a whole, bringing the rule of law, literacy and technology, among other benefits.
Beginning in the 1960s, though, a post-modern attitude emerged: the West as the fount of the world's ills. Imperialist, aggressive, exploitative, environmentally destructive; these came to be regarded as the characteristics of western triumphalism. Western economic success is at the expense of other cultures. Human rights are merely a western ethnocentric value, with no universal applicability to other cultures.
This assumption of cultural relativism -- the notion that all cultures are of equal value -- now dominates the western mind. You see it in esthetics and the social sciences. Tolstoy's novels possess no greater quality than the fables of pre-literate Zulus. Western feminists, who once objected to western patriarchal attitudes, now defend the body-covering chador as a liberation from men's eyes and female circumcision as a form of "self-decoration," as Germaine Greer once described the procedure. As for hard science, well, it's only a western way of knowing.
Such views beggar intelligence. As cultural critic William Henry so aptly, if unfashionably, stated: "Some ideas are better than others, some values are more enduring, some works of art more universal. Some cultures, though we dare not say it, are more accomplished than others and therefore more worthy of study ... (But) that does not mean that all contributions are equal. ... It is scarcely the same thing to put a man on the moon as to put a bone in your nose."
But why are those who so obviously benefit from western culture so willing to denounce it? The relativists want tolerance for other cultural practices, yet deny the same to western culture. As historian Keith Windshuttle puts it: "The plea for acceptance and open-mindedness does not extend to western culture itself, whose history is regarded as little more than a crime against humanity."
Arguably, such thinking has sapped the West's ability to believe in itself. How, though, do we account for this suicidal mentality?