Western Democratic Imperialism
There is an age-old saying in Chinese: ‘Xiushen qijia zhiguo pintianxia.’ Literally translated it means: ‘look after yourself; look after family, look after your country, all will be peaceful under heaven.’ The saying is a verified truism and is only threatened or disrupted by external interference or aggression. The ethical basis and moral framework of society rest on the importance of personal responsibility. Each individual must be accountable and responsible for his own action.
The word nation in the Chinese language means ‘guojia’ – national family. It is this complex of individual families that made up a nation. In the Western world the ethical basis for society is abandoned largely for that much-clamoured human right, believing too that all problems can be solved by a good government. This is never believed to be possible in the East.
Human right must not be upheld at the expense of orderly society. Where the diminution of personal responsibility and moral erosion are overlooked, chaos sets in. A materialistic civilization breeds ills over and above those of a philosophical civilization. The lights of guns, drugs, violent crimes, vagrancy, all sorts of unruly behaviour and hell surface in the best of times, what more in a disaster, like the catastrophic Katrina, and the worst may yet be.
There’s always enough for human needs, but not for human greed. Materialism and capitalism thus often lead to moral degradation. Under the guise of democracy, liberation & freedom, the Bush Administration managed to “cover up” its true motives through lies, deceit & its glorified humanitarian objectives in misleading the American public & the world to invade Iraq.
In trying to propagate the Western brand of democratic imperialism, Bush has overlooked his own backyard. Much is left to be said even of its historical past and present where human rights are questioned. Justice must not just be heard but seen to be in practice, otherwise it’s like blowing hot air in the desert. The US Government has suffered a total breakdown of its civil society in the wake of “only water” (Hurricane Katrina) in New Orleans.
Lessons from the past with the Korean & Vietnamese Wars have failed to sink in with the Bush Administration. Its invincibility cannot however match up with the hearts & mind of the people fighting for the cause of their motherland.
To indiscriminately foist the democratic system on societies where it’s not workable only brings on more problems. There are many forms of government in the world even today. It’s not just democracy as the be all and end of all. Historically, societies had adopted systems of government best suited to their needs and circumstances. What works for one country may not necessarily works for another. Nations need to respect each other’s sovereignty. To each his own. Respect begets respect. Honour begets honour. Even with democracy, variants exist. The American brand is not necessarily the best brand or best suited to the needs of any nation.
The Big Brother Syndrome must not be in play. Guarding sovereignty & peaceful coexistence is the day.
(Tuesday, 20 September 2005)