24 September 2006

The West as uniquely evil

For a long time, it seems, some people on the left have been afflicted by an odd belief that only Westerners can originate evil. If Third World terrorists attack Westerners, it's axiomatic that the West must have done something to provoke them, which was the "real" cause. If two Third World countries fight a bloody war, the West must somehow have caused it, even if that part of the world has been full of war and violence for millennia. If a Third World dictator is brutal, the West is really at fault because it supports him (however small the role that support plays in his ability to hold power), even if his country has been ruled by tyrants for its entire history. If a Third World country is in poverty, it's because of Western economic exploitation, even if the country was always even poorer before it became integrated into the global economy. The West does not need powerful military forces because no one would ever make a truly unprovoked attack on us, even though the people who say this constantly insist that the West has repeatedly attacked others without provovation. The responsibility never stops on the head of any regime or cultural factor in the Third World. Everything has to be somehow the West's fault.

Westerners and Third Worlders are not biologically different. If you believe that Westerners can originate evil, why don't you believe anyone else can?

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