[ExI] The Evils of the West

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed Apr 15 00:09:27 UTC 2009

Eschatoon Magic wrote:

> Why not just "On the world stage, this means trying to help all
> societies acquire the institutions that deliver the goods", without
> "Western"?

Yeah, I only meant it as an additional adjective, not a
qualifier. (We'll have to ask some Language major what
the exact terminology is.)

It just so happens that almost all the institutions that
"deliver the goods" are Western (and their derivatives,
e.g. Japan, of course).

Dan wrote

 > I thought two of the quintessential Western traits -- dating back to 
  > the Ancient Greeks -- were 1) to be self-critical and 2) to learn from
 > others.  Think of Herodotus and Hippocrates.  (To be sure, I doubt
 > Westerners had or have a monopoly on these traits.  It's perhaps more
 > accurate to say these traits tend to be more extreme, historically and
 > currently, among those in the West.  I grant that probably many if not
 > most in the West do not adhere to these traits and just sheepish
 > follow whatever fads are current.)

Yes, self-criticism in pretty Western all right, but
on the other hand, surely no one elevated self-criticism
to the heights advocated by Mao. Every neighborhood cell
in his reign had to undergo extremely intense "self-criticism
sessions" in which anyone at all, IIRC, could be accused of
being insufficiently Red or insufficiently obedient to the
path Mao laid down.

As for learning from others, yes, I admit that that too is
a pretty Western trait. The Eurpoeans were extremely eager
to learn from the Arabs and later the Chinese---but those
cultures had no reciprocal interest. (East Asia and India
eventually came around.)

No, what I meant by the Western institutions that "deliver
the goods" was free-market capitalism, rule of law, and
very high regard for private property. Well---at least
we *used* to highly regard all three...


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