Westerners’ thoughts and values don’t suit the rest!

Trends in Western nations are frequently the source of global discourse. A topic suddenly appears and occupies the world’s minds for a few months. Then the world realizes that what they had been engaged with was irrelevant, irrational, or immoral, at least to non-westerners, such as the Affirmative Action, U.S. debt ceiling, Trump’s indictment, or the ongoing contest between conservatives and liberals. These trends crowd out other issues that could be more significant to humanity, such as democracy and poverty.

The vocabulary of this discourse—hero, betrayer, ally, or adversary—used to designate the rest of the world is quite evocative. Consequently, the West inflates the hero’s role, ensuring that allies are united. Adversaries are isolated through character assassination that is applied only to a few dictators who are the West’s key rivals, such as Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi. Meanwhile, the world has 52 authoritarian regimes, some of which are good Western allies.

This Western scheme complicates world dynamics by framing their relations with these adversaries as a battle between heroes and villains, locking in policies and preventing political compromise. Whereas, reality tells us, there are no permanent allies; common interest is the only factor that separates friends from foes. However, Westerners’ dilemma lies in their strict shortsightedness and interest in best serving the incumbent ruler.

While the Western viewpoint fails to digest the diversity of the rest of the world, whose real life is progressing differently. Human beings naturally value freedom, justice, and equality, for example; however, the importance attributed to these values differs from culture to culture based on their thoughts, emotions, and spirituality, which can easily be manipulated by their autocratic ruling regimes.

For example, rulers’ sentiments could play an essential role in calling for a war; religion is more important to freedom in a given culture; some nations are individually driven and others are community-oriented; contesting is essential in a society; and recklessness could be a common behavior in other humanities. In short, Western civilization’s evolution isn’t always valued by the rest of the world but is habitually imposed on them.

“It’s the economy, stupid” is only applicable for advanced rational nations, while citizens of other nations may offer their votes for a party’s membership or for a charismatic leader in a time when their economies are declining. Western citizens, at large, have a structured mind that is driven by cause and consequence, while most of the non-western nations are casually oriented. Nevertheless, an advanced society isn’t necessarily a sensible one, especially when it comes to a different culture.

Whereas the intelligence that Western nations possess for the rest of the world is comprehensive but fragmented and deserted by being processed by Westerners’ lenses and minds. For instance, polling operations that western intelligence rely on are a completely misguided method in which people tend to offer their aspirations instead of being authentic, and in a despotism-driven nation, they offer a view that could keep them away from prison.

Moreover, ideas, the core essence of innovations, emerge by drifting outward from knowledgeable minds. However, in the world of politics, ideas are exclusively developed, circulated, and endorsed by Western influential. For example, Western technology that is universally acknowledged is a clear proof of its nobility, while Western foreign policies’ accumulating failures should call into question their meritocracy.

Eventually, Western policymakers articulate their own thoughts by being exposed to intensive data that is naturally influenced by their personal views while complying with their respective affiliations’ missions—a group of collective minds who produce economic and political models, which eventually became their manifesto that requires them to blindly defend, preventing any outlier idea from emerging. Whereas less powerful nations are often obliged to reshape their thoughts to suit the West’s predetermined minds.

These western-framed “beliefs” are meant to serve their respective authorities’ static missions without questioning their significance to the rest of the world, which is obliged to live by them. The stronger the bond that politicians or scholars abide by this platform, the better they personally progress. Whereas the narrow specialization structure of Western scholars, on which their policymakers rely, creates plenty of information silos without a true synergy to better digest the world’s progress.

While mainstream Western media that should broaden citizens’ horizons tend to sustain this political dilemma by offering “space of minds” to their elites exclusively, barely presenting the adversary’s view of the rest of the world, meanwhile, the media of autocratic regimes work to misinform Western nations with false narratives, which are implicitly accepted as long as they are part of the Western alliance. In fact, we are all living in an ill-informed society that varies in shape.

Debate is a Western invention that is meant to solve conflicts; it is a process that engages quarreling parties in dialogue that requires more of their arguable talents and fewer credentials. Actually, dialogue with dictators who don’t represent their people instantly disqualifies this mechanism. Ultimately, arguing parties reach a compromise that naturally favors powerful democratic nations at the expense of misrepresentative ones.

Meanwhile, Western supremacy and unification are over empowering its policymakers, who are comfortable dealing with each other but whose egos prevent them from attending to non-western’s perspectives. Westerners’ democracy and claimed superior values are completely irrelevant to the rest of the world as long as they aren’t applied to their foreign affairs. In fact, western democracy could be easily manipulated by its rulers, which may lead us to believe that supreme nations aren’t always correct by default and that mediocre nations shouldn’t follow supremacy blindly.

Western nations’ leaders believe that peace and prosperity will make this world a better place, best reached by applying capitalism and democracy; they have managed to universally apply the former at the expense of the latter. Meanwhile, Western nations’ foreign military interference in Iraq, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, and Syria, for example, was led by fairly elected western politicians that served their narrow interests and weren’t avoided by their nations’ “checks and balances.”

Deficiency in leadership has been a Western excuse for their failure, which may prompt us to say that today’s world crises, such as Western democratic decay, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the pandemic, are beyond the current western leadership’s capacity to address those who tend to bully at the cost of diplomacy, giving the rest a valid reason to unfollow them. In fact, Western politicians’ success should be measured by their policies’ results, not by their rhetoric – Western’s failure to prevent Russia’s invasion of a sovereign nation is a defeat per se for the West.

There is a huge difference between democracy as a mechanism that can easily be manipulated by politicians and values that are more of a personal motivation that might contradict one’s interest. Believing that Western nations interests and values are harmonized is a ridiculous argument. Western politicians are often willing to give up their values if authoritarian regimes open their markets to Western nations’ products that boost their economies.

A large number of non-Western citizens believe that the United States formulates the world’s geopolitical rollercoaster simply to serve its interests. Certainly, the U.S. isn’t capable of doing so and is even getting weaker at handling the world’s challenges while its credibility is declining. Whereas, Western politicians who manipulate foreign affairs have been working to maintain this status quo and tend to justify their misconduct, knowing how to avoid their internal democratic accountability.

Overpowered Western nations have taken the world for granted; however, absolute power has a backlash visible in the falling out of favor of Western perspectives. Meanwhile, any offensive approach by a powerful nation leaves the world with a broadly irrecoverable negative mark. Western democracy, for example, should not be sufficient to empower a single person, the ruler, to initiate a war, and equally, it shouldn’t undermine the relative power of autocratic nations.

Different forms of disobedience have been the solution for the universally marginalized citizens whose attempt to superior China or Russia, is meant to get even with the west, not because of being a preferred ruling model. In democratic nations, citizens punish their leaders by refraining from voting or giving their votes to an unestablished candidate, such as Donald Trump. Less fortunate and illiterate citizens who are ruled under autocratic regimes whose votes never count have one option for expressing their frustrations: violence, which sadly claims the lives of many innocent people.

The West doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the rest of the world. The latter aren’t against the west per se, but against their narrow-minded approach, egoism, and double standards. The true success of western nations should be measured by their ability to maneuver the rollercoaster of world events in a direction that makes this world peaceful and prosperous, which entails aligning outraged nations, not isolating them. This could happen by fading out western hegemony and having a cross-cultural dialogue among universal citizens on how the world should function.

Mohammed Nosseir
Mohammed Nosseir
Mohammed Nosseir is an Egyptian liberal politician, living in Cairo and advocating for political participation, liberal values and economic freedom. He tweets @MohammedNosseir