For as long as I can remember, many so-called liberals have flagellated our "western values", demeaning 2,500 years of intellectual and cultural growth as that of "dead white males". They spout what is wrong with us. But do THEY truly have an absolute value system or are they posturing to get power for themselves?
By "Western" values I mean those that predominate in developed nations such as the US, Canada, and Europe (all of Europe including the east); perhaps Japan and urban areas in South America and a few other nations qualify, too. I don't know enough to set the boundary line.
What have Western values accomplished in the past 1,000 years? Let me list some successes: unprecedented human freedom, elimination of tribal prejudices, emancipation of all people, and particularly women, and by empirical observation, unprecedented human happiness, compared to the non-Western areas. How do I adduce the latter? The observed desire of people to move physically and (if permitted) emigrate to nations with those western values.
What still exists in the non-Western regimes? The predominate cultures still are tribal and virtually enslave women; some are often dominated by religious cultures that limit human thought. For Western cultures, tribalism has ceased to be a social factor for at least 1,000 years and religious oppression began to disappear slowly about 500 years ago. Slavery disappeared about almost 150 years ago. Freedom for women became predominate about 80 years ago.
Since then, the economic and technological growth has been enormous. What else would one expect, when the chains are loosed from over half the people in the West, letting them strive for the benefits of themselves and their own families?
In much of "the east", virtual slavery of women still exists. An full page article in the Financial Times of Monday, July 11, describes the slavery of huge numbers of women in India, China, Vietnam and other nations of Asia: they are "bought" while young and forced to bear children for the sons of more wealthy, those same people who have been aborting girls from their own marriages in a cultural preference for sons. Millions of women are living in virtual slavery. And in places like Saudi Arabia, women are virtual household slaves, being denied the right to drive a car. Similar religious oppression of women exists in much of northern Africa and south Asia.
Yet, where are the shouts and protests of the liberals and human rights activists in the US and Europe? It's so silent I can hear the crickets.
Tribalism predominates relations, too, in much of those areas. Caste bigotry prevents modern economic activity for all.
A nation cannot overcome poverty while losing the productive output of more than 1/2 of its people. A nation cannot overcome poverty without breaking tribal and caste barriers that limit free exchange of ideas, goods and service.
We need to be proud of our values and should endeavor to export them. Too long people in the west, seduced by desires for power or money, have countenanced those despicable cultural values. Let's stop it and proclaim all that is good about how we live.
Our values make us what we are, and it is truly pointless to send aid without coupling it to instructions, yes, instructions, about how thoses places need to change in order to join the modern world.
After a week of study of charts, earnings, and review of general prospects, Mrs. B sold some stocks Friday morning that were performing with high mediocrity. Krypto's model did not give a signal, but she wanted to clean her portfolio. The funds went to cash to await better prices for either equities or municipal bonds, whichever comes first.
Word of the Day
"Recherché" - adjective [$10]
Recherché means 1. carefully sought out, rare, exotic; 2. far fetched, obscure.
Sentence: (A) [from Cambridge Companion to T. S. Eliot, page 148 re the poem from Four Quartets, "The Dry Salvages"] "... it bristles with recherché words, such as 'haruspicate' or 'scry', 'sortilege' ..." (B) Bunkerman's Word of the Day may soon descend to recherché words as 4+ years of daily words have used many of the more 'common' $10 words, or he'll have to start re-using them.