A society is inferior when its culture sucks, Liberal moral relativity
Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
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Some years back, I penned a column outlining the virtues of imperialism and the colonialist practices of America and European nations in bygone days. Of course, it came under fire by those who charged that this was tantamount to defending slavery or Jim Crow laws in the U.S. My argument was probably the same as that of many pro-colonialists of the period (from the 15th century through the mid-20th century). This consisted of the belief that colonialism was, in addition to being profitable, a better idea than allowing undeveloped societies to advance unchecked, while obtaining just enough knowledge and modern technology to threaten their neighbors.
The argument against, which is still used to this day, is that colonialism was oppressive by definition, and that as advocates of liberty and self-determination, Americans in particular had no right to do it. This logic is taken as gospel by most Americans these days, regardless of their political bent. The more vocal opponents of imperialism and colonialism – those on the left – cite the wretched state of post-colonial nations as proof positive that colonialism was harmful to these societies.
But was it? Let’s take a look at how our aggregate movement toward a more “civilized” (read liberal) worldview in recent decades has placed the West in circumstances wherein it is likely that the most desperate measures will ultimately be necessary in order to extricate ourselves from same.
Thousands of opponents of Egypt’s new Islamist president Mohammed Morsi clashed with his supporters in cities across that country this week in the most violent and widespread protests since the revolution – or “Arab Spring” – which led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak two years ago. The uprisings were the result of Morsi’s move to grant himself what were being called “dictatorial” powers.
The Arab Spring itself was largely catalyzed by the Obama administration, calculated to remove the last vestiges of Western colonialism and puppet dictators from the region, as well as to empower Islamist factions (such as the Muslim Brotherhood, whom Obama supports), but it has led to far more instability in the region than advertised. Syria remains in the midst of a civil war, Jordan is likewise threatened, and I won’t even get started on Libya.
In 2016: Obama’s America, the 2012 documentary by Dinesh D’Souza, Barack Obama’s own brother George, who lives in Kenya, pointed out that at the beginning of the 20th Century, Kenya was economically on a par with countries like South Korea, which has since far surpassed Kenya and other post-colonialist nations in productivity and prosperity, while Kenya continues to flounder in a morass of tribalism. He went as far as to postulate that Kenya might have been better off had it remained under colonialism. The very same might be said of pretty much all African nations that were once colonies of European nations, including Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and South Africa, given the socioeconomic nosedives these nations took upon gaining autonomy from colonialist influence.
Even if one is not an historical scholar, it is easy to see how Europeans of 400 years ago might have observed the instability of regions they encountered due to tribal warfare, and determined that this was why so many were technologically and culturally disadvantaged to start with; they were too busy warring to get anything else done! Factor in some greed and great hubris, and Europeans reasoned that these nations – most of which weren’t even nations at all – were better off as colonies.
As far as the “wretched” present state of these nations goes, in my estimation, I’m with George Obama; most of them are the worse for their occupiers having left, not because they were there in the first place. Unfortunately, the course that was taken is proving far more dangerous than having let these societies be – this being, in having outfitted retrograde nations with modern technology, weaponry, and top-notch Western educations, then leaving them to menace the globe at their pleasure.
Now, this does not mean that developed nations ought to occupy and enslave less developed ones and make off with their resources (which is the conventional wisdom Marxists have inculcated into Westerners with regard to the historical record). What we have now is proving disastrous however, with both naïve and treasonous factions in the West who believe that building up misfit, aggressor, terrorist nations represents some form of justice. Thus, the Islamist regime of Iran is a hair’s breadth from acquiring nuclear weapons, the geopolitical equivalent of a monkey with a shotgun.
A society isn’t inferior because its people have a certain set of ethnic characteristics; a society is inferior when its culture sucks. So of course it was necessary for the political left to advance the notion of moral relativity, that those in developed nations might capitulate to the suicidal course of empowering sociological simians.
A culture is inferior to that in the West if, for example, forcibly cutting a young woman’s clitoris off as a cultural observance is accepted. I would say that societies which advance such things ought to be contained, at the very least, and that anyone who world perform such an act ought to be shot in the head. I would add that those considering the question of who I think I am to judge what’s culturally acceptable right about now might benefit from some cranial ventilation as well.
A desperate measure? Probably not to the young woman with a knife at her loins…
Societies that tolerate throwing acid in women’s faces as a disciplinary measure, child rape, roasting a person over a low fire for blasphemy, and things of this nature are inferior to Western society. Yes, similarly heinous acts were once tolerated in the West; I concur that the respect for human life that we in the West have cultivated is a relatively recent development, and that it can be tenuous.
I believe that this nascent respect for life in the West sprang from moral enlightenment, but had its genesis in Judeo-Christian thought. Some will assert that a solemn respect for life is embraced by other sects around the world, and this is most certainly true. The avoidance of doing harm to any form of life is admirable, but I do not subscribe to human life being as significant as an insect’s. I am speaking of morality, not unrefined cosmology.
Some of this doctrine, rooted in Eastern thought, has in fact enhanced Western convention, but it has also manifested in the form of environmental zealotry and yet more moral relativism. When my sister was in college at the State University of New York at Stonybrook, there were foreign students in the dorms who were Jain Buddhists. Holding that all life is equal and sacred, they fed the cockroaches in the dorms simply because they were present. Consequently, the dorm positively bristled with roaches. An American student would have been kicked out of the dorm with all due speed for posing a public health hazard, but these dullards were tolerated for the sake of diversity. And this was 25 years ago.
For the sake of diversity, I might have given the students a choice: Submit to their dorm being fumigated, deportation within 48 hours, or being roasted over a low fire – the students, not the roaches.