For the following discussion, we need to clarify some everyday terms that have been blurred beyond recognition.
These definitions appear to be different from what dictionaries provide, but I think they say the same thing.
The Western Ideology proclaims that the ideal society must be pluralistic, democratic, tolerant to different views and lifestyles, liberal in its economic policy and respecting individual privacy and liberty.
This ideology is a religion, just like Christianity or Islam are religions. There is no evidence that its notions are "correct" (it is not even clear what this "correctness" might mean). Even though the Western-style societies appear to be more affluent than those which follow different religions (e.g., Communist or Muslim), the people there are not necessarily happier (the suicide appears to be more common in the West). Since following this Western Ideology is not justified by any logic, I think it is reasonable to classify it as a religion.
Since the demise of the Soviet Communism, the West, spearheaded by the USA, has been vigorously engaged in exporting its ideology (the West did it before also, but it became much more active).
The problem with this export of ideology (or, to use a more traditional term, holy war) is that it is internally inconsistent - for this specific ideology.
When the Christians or Muslims go out on their crusades and jihads, they are logical and consistent: they believe that their faith is The Truth (TM), everyone else is Wrong, so it is their duty to make the infidels see the light.
When the West goes out to export its liberalism, it cannot say "you are wrong", because it is not "tolerant", thus the "stick" is out. It also cannot use just the "carrot", because then the infidels grab it and use it to do what the Western Liberalism deems wrong.
So, any attempt by the West to export its liberalism will be always attacked from the inside: it is both too much (because it is intolerant and disrespectful to the traditional lifestyle: "The traditional Islamic covering worn by Saudi women is a modest yet fashionable garment that covers all of a woman's body except for her eyes and fingers" - how can we put down their traditions?!) and too little ("The burqa, imposed by the Taliban, is an evil tool of patriarchal oppression that covers all of a woman's body except for her eyes and fingers" - how can we keep our peace in the face of such brutal oppression?!)
To win, a combatant must firmly believe that his side is in the right and the opponent is wrong, he must be prepared to "go all the way". Thus, when the West suspended its liberalism in the WWII and carpet bombed Germany and Japan, it won (I am not talking about tactical effectiveness of carpet bombing, only about the message - unconditional surrender or certain death - it sent). When the US decided that attacking China during the Korean war was out, it lost (same with Vietnam and now Iraq).
The Western ideological parlance does not provide for an expression you are wrong, it proclaims un-reciprocated tolerance and thus the West it doomed.
|Sam Steingold<email@example.com>||created: 2003-09-04|