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George Handlery / May 25, 2016

Failure, Much Blame, and Some History

Western-type societies — they are not limited to a location, but are economically advanced and politically democratic — are badly governed; the blemish is not accidental. Occidental values that express a culture, allow themselves to be misused. Often with the connivance of those that think it is illiberal to resist anything that is sufficiently outraged to threaten them. Thereby, our principles are allowed to be used against our system. This is so because, our way of life’s virtues and successes are not understood by the intellectual leisure elite which feels that nothing can be worth its defense by multiculture-sensitive PC folks.

An ambivalent governing class has arisen in our midst. It is coddled by a system of unearned plenty and it suffers from muddled thinking. Due to its confusion, and wanting to “do good,” it is committed to policies that invoke “fairness” and “tolerance.” In fact, the preferred course of such elites ignores reality, and the interests of the nations they are mandated to represent. If unchecked, the upshot will undermine Western Civilization. The carriers of delusion do not have a grasp of what deeds, and the avoidance of which mistakes had made their culture successful.

From where comes the failure not to feel justified to protect in terms of the threat posed, a civilization whose success is confirmed by those geographical and ethnic cultural-religious outsiders that emulate it?

A reason for the instinctive retreat under pressure comes from several negative prejudices. If you consider material achievements, Western Civilization is a star. It has moved human existence from history’s defining poverty to a shared plenty and is doing so for countless millions on four continents. This, however, does not impress the committed detractors but is muted into proof of vice.

Harking back to Marx, in the West, entire movements associate success with crookedness. The result is the well-sounding maxim, that “property is theft.” Globally applied, through the pink glasses of socialists, a culture’s rise above others must be the result of “exploitation” and of “oppression.” Thus the poor are not poor because their civic culture or religion prevents innovation while bad governance handicaps their competitiveness. Since the end of the European Middle Ages, we compete with our cultures. Yet, according to leftist doctrine, misery is imposed from the outside and serves the interest of exploiting foreigners.

Accepting this reasoning has consequences. One is that “capitalism” is made responsible for privation. Since capitalism is a tool that has made the modern world possible, the blame serves two purposes. In advanced societies it de-legitimizes the system and questions its ability to provide, with morally acceptable means, the good life. In the underdeveloped world, the mantra hinders the resort to a modern economy that had accompanied the rise of achieving societies.

Further damage flows from western leftist theoretical postulates. It tells the deprived that they are not responsible for their lot, and adds, that penury is a mark of moral superiority over the materially dominant but ethically inferior West. Stifling and excusing victim status is conferred upon those that suffer from tradition-bound immobility. The suggested remedy of the ideologues is not a renewal to close the gap to the modern world through self assertion. The suggested remedy is a global struggle against the progressive systems of the West. Their destruction is to bring benefits to those that struggle to restore an old, natural and idealized order. This erroneously set goal explains why “liberation” from colonial rule — independence — has not brought everywhere liberation from injustice and privation. Those stuck in a deep pit become truly misfortunate only once they are induced to smash their ladders.

Yes, dissatisfaction is a precondition of change. However, to improve, a community must comprehend the real origins of its condition. Thereafter, it must be enabled to formulate a realistic and unabashedly critical response to the need to overcome its flaws. To score in the ball game, you need to tackle the ball carrier and not the referee on the side-line.

Doing the self-evident is more difficult than it seems because the road to renewal is slippery. Usually, the motive for closing the developmental gap is the humiliation of dependency and exploitation. That can create a chauvinistic sense of “we” against “them.” In the resulting process, the insiders are going to attribute to “our way” noble traits and a past glory that assures of a repeat performance. While this self-indulgence will rally the group, it will also reduce its ability to become a good “cultural learner.” It is hard to admit to errors in a glorified past, even if modernization demands that we break with it.

Underdevelopment — revealingly the term is a taboo to those that need to overcome it — can only be surmounted if the advanced, therefore superior, “enemy” is copied. To quote Deng, the test of the cat is whether it catches mice. Cultures that fall into their self-built trap of pride are likely to rely on a “but is it our cat” as their criterion. Only the thriving “mice” will appreciate that.

The programs generated by the misguided reaction to backwardness find approval among “progressive” westerners. Indigenous “rejectionism” of the ways of successful societies caters to the self-hate of those westerners that are frustrated by their lack of political success in their open societies. The tendency is supported by a secular cult that enjoys a revival. In its center stands what has been tagged in the 18th century as the “Noble Savage.” Especially among the Greens that strikes a romantic tune. The illusion is that the pure that live in tune with unspoiled nature, represent a higher moral virtue than their spoiled-by-technology contemporaries. This not only helps to direct, as atonement large sums to the elites that rule over the “children of nature,” but it also serves, through “third-worldism,” to endorse moribund systems.

The popularity of the schools of thought that are a mixture of Marxistoid, chauvinistic and race-centered ideas, confirms the foregoing. This might earn the cheers of related souls. It can also legitimize dictatorships that claim to use unlimited power to speed up a renewal. What the confused resort to are self-defeating programs and ideas that have failed elsewhere cannot do, is to achieve the good life for the many and to bring liberty to all.

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