We usually think of culture wars in the domestic sense, the American political right versus the left. But of course, there is an international sense to it was well. I recall my early days of college where instructors routinely repeated the lie that all Western (ie, North American and Western European) culture was evil and destructive, and not in any way morally superior to Third World cultures. Further, the evils of colonialism were the greatest crime in world history.
From the first piece:
Stories like this are catnip for nationalist parties in Europe worried about the cultural effects of immigration and inter-religious tension.
Moreover, the world is seeing enormous and possibly still growing levels of refugee migration. According to the New York Times, Syria’s neighbors are being overwhelmed by more than four million refugees, and many are taking steps to restrict the flow. Western governments have still only taken in a relatively small number of Syrian refugees, despite the UN’s calls for them to open their doors.
Indeed, for all the time that our political left has spent denigrating our culture, and railed that we must respect others, do note that the population of those supposedly morally superior cultures are voting with their feet, routinely risking, indeed losing, their lives in an attempt to come to our evil culture. Their cultures, be in in the Middle East, North Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, are deeply and fundamentally flawed. There’s a reason so many seek to immigrate here, and so few to emigrate there.
The left will tell you that these cultural schisms are the results of colonialism. Rubbish. In many of these places, the paltry infrastructure and civil institutions exist only because they are the vestiges of colonialism, and these societies would be even more backwards and horrific without them.
Western governments are quite right to be wary of taking in refugees from failed societies, particularly when those very refugees insist that our culture must adapt to theirs. Instead, their cultures, in their own states, should look to adapt our culture, one proven to be successful, stable, and worthy of emulation.
And as the post at TAH shows, there was a time not very long ago when the US, both Democrat and Republican, was willing to say so, loudly. Sharansky in WaPo, via TAH:
When American negotiations with the Soviets reached the issue of trade, and in particular the lifting of sanctions and the conferring of most-favored-nation status on the Soviet Union, the Senate, led by Democrat Henry Jackson, insisted on linking economic normalization to Moscow’s allowing freedom of emigration. By the next year, when the Helsinki agreement was signed, the White House had joined Congress in making the Soviets’ treatment of dissidents a central issue in nearly every negotiation.
We, in the United States, building on the shoulders of Western European Enlightenment, have the most successful, robust, culture in the history of the world. We can acknowledge imperfections and past injustices. But unlike the political left, we can also recognize that those imperfections and injustices pale in comparison to other cultures gross failures, and discern that destroying our culture and institutions in the search for a more utopian society is certain to lead to misery for all.