A Man with a Flashlight

Bruce Bawser puts his finger on it
May 23, 2007, 9:10 am
Filed under: The West

Andrew Sullivan gets it. In an interview:

BILL MOYERS: You describe so well the values of democracy, pluralism, tolerance and sexual equality that took root in modern Europe. Why aren’t they powerful enough to absorb and assimilate and mitigate these tribal customs?

BRUCE BAWER: I think that for one, I think that European leaders in many cases have lost confidence in the values of their own society. They’ve placed multi-culturism above democracy and freedom.

I sensed a similar attitude among many of my friends in the young left in America who were and are active in anti-globalization politics. I might not use the word muliticulturism, but there is a widespread devaluation of freedoms that are too hard-won to be treated with indifference. In this day and age it’s considered bad form to say we are better than anyone else – not in general, but even in any particular way. The irony, as Bawer points out, is that this hurts not only ourselves, but also the powerless within other countries and cultures who would be protected most by Western freedoms.

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