Not everyone needs to think the same way. You babyish students.

Foreign Minister Lavrov has given a press conference in which he has made some important comments regarding the difference between Western and Russian Foreign Policy. These comments are reported by RT. Lavrov is very succinct:

The export of values continues to sow crises in international relations. This export of values and the demand to adhere only to a European perspective launched the crisis in Ukraine.

Exporting democracy led to the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ [and] gave birth to the export of refugees into Europe.

If we talk about the Western, European values that we are all constantly reminded of as exemplary, they are not the values that were professed by the ancestors of modern-day Europeans, they are something new, modernized. I would describe them as post-Christian values [that] are fundamentally at odds with the values of our country, which we want to keep and pass on.

Even the Director of the CIA, John Brennan, recently conceded that the US had over-estimated the interest in democracy in the Middle East:

I think there were very, very unrealistic expectations in Washington, including in some parts of the administration, that the Arab Spring was going to push out these authoritarian regimes and democracy is going to flourish because that’s what people want..

concept of democracy is something that really is not ingrained in a lot of the people and the cultures and the countries out there [1]

Lavrov is right on it. The campaign by Western liberals to impose contemporary hedonistic Western values on the rest of the world (a campaign epitomised by the Guardian newspaper) is the same campaign as the one to impose ‘democracy’ (in fact American business systems and values) on the whole world.

The campaign to impose the values of Western decadent hedonism on the rest of the world is irrational. Values such as the ‘right’ for gay couples to adopt children (point to note; to question the ideology that asserts equality between homosexual ‘families’ and heterosexual ones is not to propose that gay people never be allowed to adopt) and, (currently trending in the Guardian) the value that to fail to support young people who do not wish to accept the gender they were ‘assigned at birth’ is oppressive, are very recent even in Western culture. Even if these values really are ‘right’ – in the sense that no other value-systems are humane and decent (which is what the promoters of these value systems do indeed assert) then it remains completely irrational to claim that any country which does not promote these values is backward, oppressive etc. It shows, apart from anything else, zero understanding of history. If it took the (supposedly) enlightened West 12,000 years (say from the first cities) to establish these values then to denounce a country which might be taking 12,050 years to come to the same realization is irrational. Why should everyone in the room have the same realization at exactly the same time? The manner in which those who have yet to come to these wonderful realizations are so suddenly denounced – for something which only a moment ago the denouncers themselves did not realize – is irrational. It betokens a certain hysteria on the part of the promoters of the values. It reflects an ahistorical way of looking at the world. It is reminiscent of a debate in the Student Union. Once a view is established then everyone must accept it. Everyone in the group must think the same way because only one view is ‘right’. And, most ironically of all, it is reminiscent of the Soviet Union – a state which sought to impose a unitary ideology on all its members.

The campaign by the Western political class to impose a one-size fits all political model on the whole world is also irrational. The idea that this could be feasible also stems from living in the ‘eternal present moment’ – the ahistorical world of the politically naive. If we trace the history of parliamentary democracy in the UK we have to go back to Saxon times. From Saxon burhs and law codes we can trace it through the conflicts between the king and his barons in post Norman conquest England, through concessions to landed gentry by the monarchy in 17th and 18th century England, through early industrial tensions to the suffragettes – and so on. It is a complex history of many forces being balanced over centuries. How could anyone think that this system could be successfully parachuted into different countries – which have and are having (so to speak) completely different histories? Only someone who is blind to history could believe that parliamentary democracy can be stamped onto a country from above regardless of its own history.

The West today is driven by irrational cultural and political ideals. The irrationality of these ideals explains why all attempts to explain and justify its actions have to take place in terms of narratives rather than factual analysis. These narratives are super-imposed on reality and take precedence over reality. Ukraine is a case in point. A short period of serious research can establish that there is a long history of a division in Ukraine; that people in the East genuinely look to Russia while people in the West of Ukraine are more minded to be independent of Russia. This split can be seen in recent times in (Western conducted) opinion polling and in the pre-coup electoral results. What happened in Kiev in February 2014 is entirely understandable in terms of the history of that region. The reaction of the East to the triumph of the Ukrainian nationalist faction in Kiev is similarly understandable. Only those who are willfully blind to basic facts of history can portray the dissidence of the East in regards to the triumph of Ukrainian nationalism as an evil plot by Russia.

The problem appears to be (put rather simplistically) that the West has lost its head. Western leaders act with no sense of history. They are like students in their first year at ‘Uni’ – who live in the ‘eternal present moment’, an ahistorical world in which reality can be sorted out by having a vote on it in the Student Union. A world in which there is only one permissible view; whatever it says on the latest corporate hand-out. Of course; maintaining this blindness in relation to history long into adulthood is not excusable. It is an act of wilful blindness, driven, most likely, by a perception, that must remain somewhat unconscious, that to base policy on a more realistic analysis of the world, an analysis which encompasses divergent histories and which accepts divergent views as being part of the human story, would be to accept a loss of poll position. They keep their heads in the sand so they can keep their noses in the trough.

And millions of people die as a result.


1. Quoted, possibly selectively, on RT from a CNN interview. RT

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer