24 May 2007

Globalisation: Tribalism v Liberalism

Melanie Phillips has posted "Liberalism v Islamism" in which she decries the apparent suicide of liberalism. She claims that by abandoning its principles for multiculturalism, liberalism is appeasing and succumbing to the Global Salafist Hirabah (aka the Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders - and if you are not an Islamist, then you're at least a Crusader). She also refers to London as "Londonistan," because of the increasing frequency of honor killings and other cultural baggage brought by immigrants from certain predominately Islamic countries.

She's a bit over the top, but well worth a read, nevertheless. We all need to recognize that the Hirabah is simply another facet of Globalization. Globalization was once thought to be a form of economic and cultural imperialism on the part of the West. Now we see that Globalization is a leveling of the world's playing field, so that not only money, but values - cultural values - can compete for territory, like players in a multi-way game of Go. In this case the counters on the board are not little round stones, but immigrants and less recent immigrants, or "natives."

Back in the old days, when it took months to travel from one country to another, new immigrants found themselves isolated in their new homelands. Messages to and from the old country took those same months to travel. It was almost impossible to keep reinforcing the values of the tribe you had left back home. (I use the word tribe, because the tribe is the fundamental unit of human societies, and has been so for as long as humans have lived on earth. If it seems less true in America, that is because everybody in America is from somewhere else, and has lost their tribal affiliation in the immigration process - except, of course, for the First Americans, who have had their tribal cultures overrun by the immigrants.)

Nowadays, you can migrate across the globe by stepping on an airplane. In a few hours, you are in your new country with your old affiliations and values. If you want to reinforce them, you need only pick up a telephone. Or tune into internet or satellite radio. Thus has Globalization made smooth the path for values from outside the prime Globalizers' (the "developed nations") core.

So, for those of you who want to be nice people, and who think it wrong to impose our Western Liberal values of limited government power, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, equality of women, etc., on other cultures, think again. If we do not live by, trumpet, and enforce those values in our homelands, and sell them abroad, then those other values that we think are "good enough for those people" will be lived by, trumpeted, and sold everywhere, even where you live.

No, pushing Western Liberal values isn't cultural imperialism anymore. In the Global Bazaar of ideas, it is just one voice among many, competing to be heard. Time to stand up and shout, before we are terrorized into silence.

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