Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The "differences" of the World

After reading Vin's article it occured to me that, though I do agree with his assessment, the most important part of the argument is that, culturally, there are still those out there who are not accustomed to autonomous behaviour.

That there is a "culture gap" doesn't even really describe the situation.

In this respect, I have no opinions about there being a "better" culture, or that our system, as good as it is, is either perfect, or for everyone.

I can't abide communism, except as a voluntary exercise (hippies living in communes), and the idea of aristocracy is equally repugnant, though both are still seen in the world today.

Iraq was, for a long time, the most progressive society in all of the middle east. There were many western influences prior to the Ba'athist revolution of the 60's, if I recall correctly. Night life, modern conveniences, Liqour, western clothing, all could be had in Baghdad circa 1955. Truth be known, all can still be found today, if willing to risk certain things.

So what went wrong? Why can't these people return to that type of open society that nurtured social reform?

Is that asking the Iraqis to adopt our standards, our lifestyle, or our culture? I don't think so, and I very plainly say that that has nothing to do with "relativism" or an "either/or" situation. It isn't about imposing our supposed Americn "exceptionalism" on them, only about giving them an oppurtunity to have some dignity and determine their own path. This is something that I believe Bush understands and JohnJohn never did, and an issue that the typical Leftist can only deal with by being a member of Amnesty, Int. or something along those lines.

My guess as to why the Iraqis have not taken to the whole freedom thing is that having the Ba'athists stick their collective jackboot on everyone's neck for the better part of 2 or 3 generations had squashed all of the resistance out of them. Fear, afterall, is a very powerful tool.

It may take time for them to come around. Perhaps not. Perhaps they will never know what it is like to grasp the concept of liberty. That is possible, I suppose. All we can do is help that cause along and hope that it takes hold.



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