“The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism... What we may be witnessing in not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”
Francis Fukuyama, “The End of History?,” the United States, 1989
Do the Americans actually want to spread their values all over the world? Do they seek to reformat the world’s governments and societies according to their own model? Some may say, “Yes, they do.” Indeed, today the Americans have a decisive role in the world. But where do their ideas come from and where they may lead humanity if it follows them? Is the western vision of the world close to reality or is it moving away from it?
The preset-day West does not believe in the power of traditions. They believe that they can establish democracy in Iraq by means of a military invasion. They believe that refugees from Syria or Somalia will accept their values. They believe that Sweden will remain Sweden no matter how many immigrants it will have to shelter. They believe that liberal democracy is the end point of any society.
They have not always been like that. They transformed into what they are now after the WWII under the active guidance of the United States.
What has made them like this? Historically, the United States was formed as a state of immigrants. In order to co-exist, different cultures need to forget their traditions – for what it usual for an Englishman is strange to a German or an Italian. So, in order to go on, the multi-cultural American society had to adopt its own rules.
Any tourist visiting the United States can notice how many signs – advising or prohibiting to do something - the Americans have. Gabriel Garcia Marquez described a similar situation in his One Hundred Years of Solitude: when the residents of a village forgot the names and the purpose of things, they began using sigs. For example, on the neck of a cow they hung a sign saying, “This is the cow. She must be milked every morning so that she will produce milk, and the milk must be boiled in order to be mixed with coffee to make coffee and milk.”
Very soon the Americans became so dependent on written rules that they began forgetting unwritten ones, with more and more of them beginning to say, “I didn’t know I couldn’t do this. There is no written rule about it, is there?” This all resulted in a huge number of absurd lawsuits and no less absurd rules.
As a result, morals in the American society have been gradually replaced by law. Today, a judge in America is something like an elder in an Asian village. So, when in 2008 a judge in California cancelled the Californians’ vote against gay marriages, none of them protested. If the judge says yes, we must accept this - for law is above morals.
So, the average American like George Bush Jr. really believed that removing Saddam Hussein and changing a couple of laws was enough for democracy in Iraq - for the average American is not aware of centuries-old traditions. By the way, Bush had never been outside America before his election as president.
Of course, this is not the only reason why the United States ignores traditions. The second reason is their belief in some ideal society. Any ideology tries to fit reality into existing frames. Centuries-old traditions and cultures do not fit into the American ideology of progressivism. So, we can say that the main idea in the United States today is Global Cultural Revolution (multiculturalism, no religious institutions, gay marriages and no difference between men and women).
Yevgeny Rublev specially for EADaily