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World & Current Events > Western values: for real or for veil?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments On a geopolitical level a friendship between countries is often based on the 'same values we share' and similar ideological fulcrum. The Western World is assumed to have common values , which it tries to export with limited success elsewhere.
Soviet bloc was based on a different ideology and encompassed a different list of friends. Third world, well... they mostly coped with hardships, often resulting from the activity of the other two, developing their own -:)
Not sure anyone can provide the list of what constitutes the Western values, but I guess they are presumed to include democracy, private property and capitalistic economic system, personal liberties and freedoms. Found some sources that extend them to or elaborate like: "rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law, equality before the law, freedom of conscience and expression, human rights, liberal democracy, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

To a great degree they all exist of course. However, every here and there, some of them are bent, the justice is selective, the standards are double..

More cynical and pessimistic folks even claim all of the above as secondary and forming the ambiances for real values, claiming them to be: moneymaking, amassment of wealth, power and domination.

What do you think?


message 2: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments On a geopolitical level the only "values" that will cement a relationship is one of trade and commerce. Sometimes humanitarian issues will come to light. But mostly it is money.


message 3: by Bob (new)

Bob Rich | 72 comments The way I think of it, Nik, is that there is a global culture with minor variations. It has developed into one that encourages and rewards the worst in human nature: greed, envy, territoriality, hate and fear of those slightly different.
The difference between communism and capitalism is superficial. Edward Goldsmith said it in the 1970s: There is a limited pie. The difference between communism and capitalism is who holds the knife.
This is now out of date: we have a shrinking pie.


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments Bob wrote: "The way I think of it, Nik, is that there is a global culture with minor variations. It has developed into one that encourages and rewards the worst in human nature: greed, envy, territoriality, ha..."

That's the dichotomy between what is preached and taught: humanity, help to the other, tolerance, compassion, unselfishness and so on and what happens on the ground, where often 'righteous' dudes are suckers for less particular ones


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments It's an issue with humanity in general, no matter what country you're from. If we point fingers at culture it lessens impact for global change.


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9198 comments Nik suggested the representative republic and "private property and capitalistic economic system, personal liberties and freedoms". He then suggested some additions, however, I would dispute some as listed to Western life. I think most countries have rule of law, and for that matter, China includes private property. I think the differences are largely those of economic development, now that communism in the dictatorial style has collapsed. Humanity, tolerance, etc are everywhere, as are the violations of it.


message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments The Khasshogi case kinda naturally raises the question of 'values' vs 'double standards' again, especially with Germany suspending arm sales to SA (but they don't sell much anyway), Europe calling for embargo, while the US administration's being of a different opinion (and they have huge contracts) ..


message 8: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9198 comments I have just finished reading "Dictatorland" by Paul Kenyon, which is basically about western values with respect to African "independence", and basically this suggests that the only values the western countries had were a deep desire for money, oil, or whatever, and "human values" went out the window when it involved big money. If it did not involve big money, they did not want to know. I shall put up review on Goodreads.


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments So, is the right for moneymaking absolute, while all the rest - are universal, relative, flexible, sometimes - negligible? -:)


message 10: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) This is a pretty good moderately in-depth article, which touches on Saudi Arabia as a US proxy against Iran, the Washington think tank financial connections.

Looks like Ian is right in that the possibility of the arrested ones being killed is a very real one.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/...


message 11: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9198 comments The link Alex gave certainly paints a depressing picture of US policy in the region. The proxy against Iran may well be, but apparently the picture of life in Yemen is getting more attention, as malnourished children with swollen bellies are starting to fill the news. Unlike the famines in parts of Africa, where this sort of thing came about simply because there was no rain and hence no food, here it is simply through Saudi bombs, and if they are a US proxy, sooner or later the US will be labeled as responsible, which to a point it is. As the article said, the US could stop that bombing tomorrow. Will it? Obviously, not tomorrow, but soon enough to save a massive number of child deaths through malnutrition?


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