The great majority of Western powers and intellectuals alike make it very difficult for progressive activists to push for democracy and secularism in the world today.
The crunch is this: Western secular types typically describe themselves as more ‘rational’ and ‘human rights oriented’ than others. They use condemning and condescending language in their common conversations even. Sure, no one is perfect. We all have to grow and learn to treat each other better as the globe shrinks in our perception.
Western hypocrisy is the bane of secular democrats everywhere.
The West commits mass murder and invades other countries through NATO and the UN, if they can get away with it. Their regular ‘regime changing’ rampages that are routinely supported by their supposed ‘intelligentsia’ – as was the case in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and is today in Syria – are accompanied by a flood of ‘local’ freedom fighters who more often than not turn out to be any hotchpotch of international mercenaries that will do it for some reason or the other and regardless of what kind of crazy ideology they might subscribe to. Al Qeada, Halliburton, CIA, Mossad, freelancers, you name it. Even cannibals are found on the side of the West’s agenda.
It really doesn’t matter why they do it. Some mercenaries will do it for the love of killing, some for the money, others will do it for the love of dying. But mercenaries, by definition, are not democratic in their core.
In fact, should Saudi Arabia turn democratic, it is very unlikely that it would continue to act like USA’s poodle in the Arab region. This has happened to some extent in Egypt and Tunisia already.
Independence, democracy and even secularism for subservient nations under imperial control would run against the interests of the imperial master. Why rock the boat if you are the captain?
It is therefore of no surprise that the CIA would work with the Saudi government and Mossad and Qatar, for example, to destabilise the only secular, independent nation – Syria – in the region. Of course, they scream about democracy and freedom while the fighters they pay for and arm are literally eating people’s hearts on camera and using chemical weapons in Syria.
The Real Axis of Evil today is the West-Israel-Al Qaeda one, funded by Arab monarchies, for whom no cause appears too low to kill for.
On a more personal level, anyone who takes up a weapon and tries to shoot their way toward democracy in an offensive operation (rather than a defensive operation against a direct threat to one’s life) simply doesn’t understand what s/he is doing.
People who use brute violence supposedly for the sake of ‘democratic freedom’ must ask themselves why it is that violence is justified to them.
And why is it that instead of a majority of people being in their camp, they are actually having to kill for their cause?
This is not to claim that no cause is worthy of use of violence. That discussion is just too difficult.
But, if there is a need for greater ‘democratic freedom’, how can murder help it grow?
Some would claim that it’s worth it in the long run. But how to know that democratic reform wouldn’t have happened peacefully in the long run? Why kill for the long run?
Saddam Hussein was violently removed 10 years ago. A lot could have happened in 10 years in Iraq. We will never know, but we do know what Iraq looks like now and what its prospects are for the next 5 years or so.
So the question arises: what is the Real reason for all these Orwellian non-causes for war after war?
It happens to be the case that when a violent uprising or yet another US/NATO attack takes place somewhere, the war-oriented economy of the West benefits somehow or the other, be it through war equipment, services or weapons sales; loot; or cheap energy grab.
Apparently so are the corporations, particularly the energy and weapons industries, always moving hand in hand like true global soul mates, forever growing in energy and fire power.
The average Westerner therefore believes that s/he benefits from imperial plunder, even if indirectly. This may help explain their lethargy when war and loot continue to recur with alarming regularity in their name, for their alleged beliefs, and in large part paid for by their taxes.
Civil society in Action indeed. Mafia style global protection.
Problem is, this barbaric image of the West is predominant in the rest of the world.
And this means that the causes of democracy and secularism are hard to defend in the world today.
In short, the West has given democracy and secularism a bad name.
What makes matters worse for secular democrats in the world is that the Chinese model of a ‘benevolent dictatorship’ is gaining traction globally, including in the West. Many progressives are losing hope not just in the current political elite in the West – as a corrupt and inept bunch in the face of a financial collapse caused by powerful thieving bankers – but they are also losing hope in the ability of the general Western public to rise to the challenge.
Some are questioning the morality and efficiency of democracy itself as an organising principle. This rising support for ‘benevolent’ authoritarianism is matched by a rising fundamentalist challenge – a subject that we shall return to in the next blog.