Why the world hates the west

Americans, and others who have followed the path of individual desire to democracy, consumerism and the nanny state, have no idea why they are loathed.

They assume it’s from bad results of our interference in other nations.

I’d suggest it’s from the reasons we interfere. Because our society is based in the revolutions of 1789 and 1968, we a dichotomy between “free” and “not-free” with no shades of gray.

In other words, either you’re on board with our agenda — path of individual desire, democracy, consumerism, egalitarianism — or you’re the new Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot, rolled into one.

We must have our moral superiority.

This goes back to our own Revolution. The English were bad because they taxed usdidn’t allow us to do whatever screwy stuff we wanted to, and they also taxed us, which made us mad.

Ever since then, the pattern repeats. The Confederacy owned slaves. Nazi Germany tortured Jews. The North Vietnamese killed civilians. Saddam Hussein gassed Kurds. Kim Jong-Il feeds his citizens dead baby birds and makes them watch patriotic movies. Whatever it is, they’re not-free, but we’re free, so we have the moral right to do whatever we want to them.

This is why the world dislikes us: we can’t stop judging them by our standards, which may be a little off, if you look closely enough.

Even more, it seems as if we’re trying to draw them into our system of civilization — even with its vast problems — so that they cannot have a competing style of government that might prove better. If this modernity thing is going to kill us, we want everyone else to go down, too, or someone got ahead and — and that’s unfair!

Exhibit A:

The Iranian government has accused the U.S. and Britain of interfering in its election. Both countries have government-funded broadcasters that offer Persian-language reports.

BBC Persian launched television programming in January to supplement its longtime radio and Internet services. The TV service quickly developed a following in Iran

Afagh said Thursday that the service had found a new satellite that would not be vulnerable to jamming from within Iran.

VOA’s Persian News Network offers eight hours of Persian programming daily. Like BBC Persian, it has been inundated with images and messages from Iranian civilians.

The Iranian government has intermittently jammed Persian News Network’s broadcasts, often by using microwave trucks to disrupt signals. In anticipation of that, the network sought additional satellite paths for its broadcasts before the election.

LA Times

So let me get this straight:

  • Both the US and UK fund media that broadcasts into Iran in the style of our own media.
  • Iran has been jamming these stations, and we’re counteracting the jamming.
  • These stations don’t consider what they’re doing to be wrong because, hey, it’s how we do things back home

That’s the very archetype of cultural clash: we’re assuming they’re just like us, and they want to do things their own way.

Now look at our unbiased coverage:

Iran’s ambassador to London was summoned to the Foreign Office this morning after the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, singled out Britain as Iran’s foremost enemy.

“The outstanding diplomats of some western countries who have talked to us with diplomatic courtesy up to now, have, during the past few days, taken the masquerade away from their faces and are showing their true image.

“They are showing their true enmity towards the Iranian Islamic state and the most evil of them is the British government.”

Brown intensified his criticism of Iran’s handling of the election dispute today.

“We are with others, including the whole of the European Union unanimously today, in condemning the use of violence, in condemning media suppression,” he told a news conference after a European Union summit in Brussels.

“It is for Iran now to show the world that the elections have been fair … that the repression and the brutality that we have seen in these last few days is not something that is going to be repeated,” he said.

The Guardian

This is classic passive-aggression.

We accuse them of doing things all wrong, according to our standards. Then when they point out we’re attacking them, we take cover under the mantle of moral superiority and call them the aggressor.

But they’re not the ones broadcasting propaganda past our jamming. They’re not the ones telling us that our government is wrong. They’re the ones trying to, within their country, settle their own issues.

And we won’t let them because like neurotic aunts playing matchmaker, we have to assume we know better — presumably because we are sealed off from reality in a world of ourselves.

Nearly half of teachers believe the health and safety culture in schools is damaging children’s learning and development, a survey suggests.

When questioned by Teachers TV, teachers complained about a five-page briefing on using glue sticks and being told to wear goggles to put up posters.

Others said pupils were not allowed to enjoy the sun or snow without taking health and safety precautions.

BBC

What kind of a neurotic place is this — stay out of the sun? Don’t play because someone might get hurt?

While on the surface we’re lands of plenty and freedom, an insightful observer might see big problems beneath the surface, starting with an inability to accept personal mortality.

Let’s look at signs of difficulties:

  • Our country is irreconcilably divided between left and right.
  • At least one in 15 citizens is depressed.
  • At least one in 16 citizens is alcoholic.
  • Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death.
  • Our cities are ugly, covered in advertising, full of businesses that pander to fools.
  • We can’t decide whether climate change is for real or not, and we can’t act either way.
  • Up to a quarter of our children are sexually abused
  • We have plenty of crime, graft and incompetence.
  • Our sense of social isolation is widespread
  • We often lump our smart people in with our dumb ones, resulting in the smart people being bored and alienated

Does this sound like a society few problems? No society is perfect — but this sounds like a society that by avoiding conflict, has deferred its problems and made them more potent, more internal.

Iran might not want to follow us down that path, but our mindset prevents us from seeing how our way is not the only way. Our moral justification gives us a shield of good intentions to hide behind, but at the end of the day, it’s just an advanced case of confirmation bias, the Dunning-Kruger effect and competitive altruism.

In the meantime, Iran fits a standard pattern dating to before WWII. When we find someone obstructing our interests, we round of millions of useful idiots to begin clamoring for “freedom,” and use that to passive-aggressively unseat the regime.

All while we are increasingly banning our own freedoms here in the West, and might be better off with a goal of “an organized, thoughtful society” instead of the nebulous “freedom.”

Update: Counterpunch.org asks the question “Are the Iranian Protests Another US Orchestrated ‘Color Revolution’?”:

The claim is made that Ahmadinejad stole the election, because the outcome was declared too soon after the polls closed for all the votes to have been counted. However, Mousavi declared his victory several hours before the polls closed. This is classic CIA destabilization designed to discredit a contrary outcome. It forces an early declaration of the vote. The longer the time interval between the preemptive declaration of victory and the release of the vote tally, the longer Mousavi has to create the impression that the authorities are using the time to fix the vote.

There is a power struggle among the ayatollahs. Many are aligned against Ahmadinejad because he accuses them of corruption, thus playing to the Iranian countryside where Iranians believe the ayatollahs’ lifestyles indicate an excess of power and money. In my opinion, Ahmadinejad’s attack on the ayatollahs is opportunistic. However, it does make it odd for his American detractors to say he is a conservative reactionary lined up with the ayatollahs.

Commentators are “explaining” the Iran elections based on their own illusions, delusions, emotions, and vested interests. Whether or not the poll results predicting Ahmadinejad’s win are sound, there is, so far, no evidence beyond surmise that the election was stolen. However, there are credible reports that the CIA has been working for two years to destabilize the Iranian government.

Counterpunch.org

Roberts doesn’t really go for the kill, which is to point out how Western media interests are dependent on government for access to information, and thus are easily induced to attack an enemy with the usual diatribe about “rights and freedoms,” and how all of these attacks mimic our WWII/Cold War propaganda where it’s the Free World versus the evil, personally corrupt, authoritarian Hitler/Stalin figure.

Notice how little time it took them to tie Slobodan Milosevic to ethnic cleansing, and how they also tied Saddam Hussein to not only gassing ethnic minorities (an abuse of the Holocaust memory, if you ask me) but also to dictatorial ambitions. They did the same thing to Muammar Qaddafi, a sensible man who wrote a lengthy treatise on environmentalism 20 years before the West even cared, and now they’re doing it to Iran.

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