What and who is "The West" ?

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by The Messiah, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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  3. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    The West is just another civilization, one out of several that exist in the world today.

    Many people associate the term "Western values" with things like freedom, democracy, free market capitalism, etc. But anyone with even a basic knowledge of Western and world history knows that such values were hardly characteristic of Western civilization, nor are they exclusive to it. Like any civilization, the "West" is a very diverse entity that has produced many different ideologies and ways of looking at the world. As the fellow from George Washington University in the video that you posted pointed out, the most widely disseminated Western ideology is actually communism/socialism, which during the past 100 years has spread from its roots in Western Europe to Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Countries like the Soviet Union and even Nazi Germany were following "Western" values just as much as the United States was/is.
     
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  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    (Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6)
     
  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Collective well being over the individual was widely practised in china and in other parts of the east. Obviously it wasn't named socialism or communism nor was it practised in its true economic sense but neither was it practised in europe.

    Id say the only true and unique constribution of west regarding "ideology" has been fascism.
     
  6. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    That's a lot already! You've been too generous my friend... :cool2:
     
  7. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    The West can be defined within the constraints of geography and time, together.

    Broadly speaking, the West is identified with industrial progress, and the consequent quality of life.

    The West wouldn't be what it is today without Greece, and Greece can be called barely West.
     
  8. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    "Western World" versus "Western Bloc." There should be no confusion. Since the story above is sourced from RT news then I can safely assume that the discourse is about the Western Bloc (the capitalist camp). After all Russia is very much a part of the Western World.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  9. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Note sure why you brought in Capitalism here. Marxism was a product of the West (see the videos). Russia is a capitalist country as well. How would you define "Western Bloc?"
     
  10. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Marxism as an idea may have originated from the West but they never put it into practice. Anyway, the Western Bloc should largely refer to the NATO countries of the Western hemisphere. Their most important contributions aside from the defeat of the USSR are Western democracy (parliamentary systems or presidential in the case of America), free market and globalization (capitalism as it is commonly called).
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    What is the West?

    [video] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZJHZ...layer_embedded [/video]

    [video] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzQ_x...layer_embedded[/video]

    Note the difference of understanding between the Oriental and Occidental viewpoints.

    Quote:
    Many of those involved in the antinuclear movements certainly perceive themselves as altruistic. In their own minds, they are saving the planet from the scourge of corporate capitalism. That's an agenda, but it isn't a government agenda or a unitary "Western" agenda.


    Indeed protests can be with an altruistic drive. However, not all such protests are very noble so to say and can be driven by foreign money.

    It is claimed that USSR with the WPC used the undermentioned organisation to spread its of view of peace.
     Christian Peace Conference
     International Federation of Resistance Fighters
     International Institute for Peace
     International Organization of Democratic Lawyers
     International Organization of Journalists
     International Union of Students
     World Federation of Democratic Youth
     World Federation of Scientific Workers
     World Federation of Trade Unions
     Women's International Democratic Federation
     World Peace Esperanto Movement.
     International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

    Obviously, the way these organisations could be used was with funding and infrastructure and behind the ‘altruistic’ aims, they were basically being used to promote the Soviet agenda.

    Whether it is true or not, one can always dispute it. Credibility is based on which side of the fence one is.

    In 1951 the House Committee on Un-American Activities published The Communist "Peace" Offensive which detailed the activities of the WPC and of numerous affiliated organisations. It listed dozens of American organisations and hundreds of Americans who had been involved in peace meetings, conferences and petitions.

    I take it that this House Committee on Un-American Activities is not a totally bogus Committee that is asinine in thought and deed!

    Now another one. This will indicate how NGOs and others are not aware of being used

    In 1982 the Heritage Foundation published Moscow and the Peace Offensive, which said that non-aligned peace organizations advocated similar policies on defence and disarmament to the Soviet Union. It argued that "pacifists and concerned Christians had been drawn into the Communist campaign largely unaware if its real sponsorship."

    So, would it be wrong to believe that the NGOs know who are their actual backers?

    Further, in 1985 Time magazine noted "the suspicions of some Western scientists that the nuclear winterscenario was promoted by Moscow to give antinuclear groups in the U.S. and Europe some fresh ammunition against America's arms buildup."

    One could give examples at length, but suffice it to say, that foreign Govts do indulge in using NGOs to promote their agenda, and rarely will it admit that they are funding them or they are using the NGOs. Nor will the NGOs know who actually are their backers.

    We are aware of the Western commentaries because it is widely read by the English speaking world, but then if one could read and access Soviet or even the Chinese commentaries, they would have told a different story.

    In short, in this murky world of geopolitical one-upmanship, to stay relevant and capable of influence peddling, it becomes essential to use every instrument available to maintain supremacy.

    I have given adequate examples to include the Raymond Davies case, but then it appears you have missed the same.

    I have even said, it is only a silly Govt, which does not use these instruments (even if they are morally base) to ensure furthering its national agenda.

    Like, the once hero of India, JL Nehru, who wanted to be the moral conscience keeper of the world, sold us all the way through from Kashmir to Tibet.

    Good chap he was, but he failed to see reality.

    Other nations like the US or UK, with their long history of governance and world domination, are hardly of the ilk of Nehru or even Gandhi!


    Quote:
    What do you mean by "the NGOs"? Which NGOs? There's a huge spectrum there, ranging from finance for small development projects with minimal or no political engagement to pure research to open advocacy and support for radical political causes. Some NGOs get government funding, others don't. Some openly loathe their governments and are intensely disliked by those governments. US NGOs involved in environmental and antinuclear campaigns have been monitored by the FBI, suspected and even accused of criminal and "eco-terrorist" activities. They do not get (and would not accept) government funding. They do raise funds, and they do support anti-nuclear campaigns all over the world. This is not some government or "Western" agenda, it's an agenda driven by a particular social philosophy that has attained a substantial following in much of the west.


    I precisely mean the DFID supports NGOs. Which NGOs? I am sure you could go on their website and find out for yourself, so that there is no doubt in your mind that may happen if I told you.

    US NGOs maybe monitored by the FBI. But what of it? Are they independent of the Govt? Will they disobey the directions?

    How come David Headley was a double agent? He worked for both US and ISI. He screwed the US.

    The US government has sentenced a Kashmir-born American citizen Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai for having ties with the Pakistani intelligence community. Fai acknowledged that he relied on funding by way of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) to stay afloat. Fai admits that he hid information about the more than $3.5 million that was sent to his group from the ISI but says he saw no reason to disclose his ties.

    That puts paid to the issue of active and hotfoot FBI monitoring. It was convenient to keep him off the radar, and when it became inconvenient with India warming up to the US, Fai was nabbed and booked!

    So, give us a break with moralising, even though that is a Chinese trait to cover misdoings!

    It merely proves that Govts, not only the US, but all, use every means available to ensure its national agenda is in place.

    To deny it would mean that one is but Goody Two Shoes and pulling wool!

    Understanding Indian Insurgencies - Page 7 - Small Wars Council
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
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  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    (contd)

    [Quote ]It's an accurate description of what has become a pervasive trend in much of the world: widespread belief, often absolute and unquestioning, in propositions that are supported by neither logic nor evidence. It's a fascinating trend, often supported by the internet, which allows believers to construct a closed circle of superficially credible websites that tell them what they want to hear.[/quote]

    Actually, it is not the internet alone which could be the purveyor of motivated information. Govts, individuals, think tanks et all are guilty.

    The unfortunate part is that one has to believe them or else one has to have the finances, organisation, authority and reach to penetrate every action taking place in the world to sift that wheat from the chaff. But then, even that would not be believed by the cynics and the motivate to sell an agenda!

    Quote:
    I have no doubt that US-based NGOs fund antinuclear groups in India and in many other places. The same happens in the indigenous rights movement, the environmental movement, the animal rights movement, the feminist movement, etc. We routinely get foreign activists blundering into local movements and trying to offer support. They're often annoying and genrally utterly naive, but they are in no way the cutting edge of some generically "Western" conspiracy to undercut the Philippines.


    The backing of NGOs around the world is not US centric.

    It is a worldwide phenomenon pursued by all Govts.

    I believe it is legal in the US to have lobbies to promote agendas of companies, political views and of foreign nations. These lobbies naturally do not have truth as a part of their agenda! And yet they can influence the US Congress and Govt and decide, if you will, the fate of many countries, like it or not!

    Isn't that how life is?


    Quote:
    And from this you deduce that protests in India are funded by the US Government? Isn't it more likely that money is coming from groups like Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth. groups that the US Government wouldn't touch with a barge pole? That's what these groups do, they are quite open about it and quite proud of it.

    That does not mean that these groups would directly fund Maoist rebels. Some of the individuals in them might want to, but the groups themselves would be very careful: direct support of violent movements would, if exposed, dramatically reduce their ability to raise funds.

    The idea that the US Government is funding Maoist rebels is too absurd to countenance. If we heard that the CIA was funding a covert hit squad to whack Maoist sympathizers, that might be more believable.
    One would be surprised if the US’ agenda could be furthering radical Communist organisations as the Maoist.


    I fail to see from where you deduce that.

    Your interesting deduction does leave me baffled.

    If you are meaning that the US is backing radical forces to topple State Govts that are not too favourable to the US' point of view, you maybe right.

    But then, you alone would have such information. I confess, I don’t!

    The nuclear plant is not in a Maoist infested area in case you are not aware.

    Would you not drag in the US when none have mentioned it so. It may get you brownie points in this US forum, but then it is far from what I have stated


    Quote:
    Protest do get widespread support in Western countries: that's why NGOs are able to raise the money they raise. This does not mean the support is institutional or that it comes from government. Many of the people involved are deeply suspicious of government and see it as an antagonist, along with the much loathed bogeyman of "the corporations".


    You view is too simplistic.

    I am not aware if you have worked in the govt or even in the Intelligence apparatus.

    If you haven’t, then you are entitled to that view.

    Unfortunately, that is not how the world rotates in the geopolitical environment.


    Quote:
    Many of the same groups hold the same kind of protests against nuclear moves in their own countries. These groups act on their own, generally oppose their own governments, raise substantial cash from sympathizers, and are globally interconnected.


    Globally interconnected is the keyword.

    It is the business of any Govt to penetrate every organisation and ensure that they do not upset the national agenda.

    You must work with Homeland Security so that we can have a more constructive debate.

    Or else you will be another Nehru living in your ideal dream world.

    I hope I am not sounding like Carl!

    Quote:
    Is there any evidence of government support, or are you simply assuming that all foreign NGOs are government-funded?
    My assumption is not material.


    Note what I have appended about the USSR.

    Is that evidence or mere assumptions?

    Internet you say is a purveyor of bogus information.

    In short, you are indicating that anything said, but for what you say , is mere figments of imagination based on links from a bogus instrument – Internet.

    Sadly, I have not penetrated every organisation in the world to obtain ‘authentic’ information, and even if I did so and stated it here, you would declare it as bogus.

    Damned if you do and damned if you don’t!

    Quote:
    Of course it has its own agenda. That doesn't make it a tool of the US Government or of "the West". Where I live Amnesty International and similar groups are believed in military circles to be tools of international communism. Same complaints: they complain about government abuses but ignore those of the rebels, etc.


    Why bring in the US in everything?

    Because this a US forum and it will agitate the members?

    Not only the US, we too feel that the Amnesty International is a total fraud!

    Quote:
    Governments do actually do that, all over the world, on a regular basis.
    That is the cardinal point that Pollyannas and egotists who feel that Life has not recognised their talent, feel.


    It reminds me of Shedon of the serial Big Bang Theory, an American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady.

    Sheldon is a great one of being the sole soul who has the answer to everything and others are but idiots!


    Quote:
    Has anyone actually been accused of funding insurgency? Who, and to what extent? All I've seen is a claim that Indian NGOs diverted foreign funds to support protests. That's by no means incredible, but it's a far cry from funding insurgency.

    I've also expressed curiosity about where Indian insurgent movements get their money, especially if it's true that the fighters are fighting for pecuniary benefit. Claims that the insurgency is directly funded by foreign NGOs or governments, though, have to be supported by some kind of evidence or at least some kind of logic. There's simply no reason for the US or any western government to fund Maoist insurgents in India.


    Has anyone accused anyone of funding and giving support infrastructure to Maoists? You possibly live in the back of nowhere.

    Even if you don’t subscribe for international newspaper, you can always try them on line (even though you have a poor impression of the Internet).

    Again you bring in the US.

    Do you think I am that daft to feel that the US is backing the Maoists?

    However, you may see this:

    International coalition to free Dr. Binayak Sen stages demonstration at Indian consulate in New York � Free Binayak Sen

    Binayak Sen has been passing on Maoist literature and is a backer of the Maoists!

    Since you are not aware the Maoists are getting their act together with Chinese support.

    Quote:
    Self-sustaining insurgencies have existed, especially in their early stages. Foreign funding or ideological support can advance an insurgency, but they can't create one, not unless the domestic conditions exist. Governments would be well advised to address the domestic conditions instead of blaming foreign subversion.


    The best example of Insurgency and Popular Revolution is the Chinese Communist Movement.

    You may not know but in 1933, Bo Gu and Otto Braun arrived from the USSR, reorganize the Red Army, and take control of Party affairs. They defeat four encirclement campaigns.

    1934: October 16, breakout of 130,000 soldiers and civilians led by Bo Gu and Otto Braun, beginning the Long March.

    Otto Braun? Funny Chinese name!

    You are a pro China person. But you sure need to read more about China!

    Quote:
    So people pick up guns and start shooting at vastly superior forces just because some foreigner wants them to? I don't think so, not without some pretty powerful motivation on a local, personal level.


    You seem to be influenced by the college shootings in the US expecting it to become revolutions!

    Rather simplistic a thought.

    I gave you the laundry list that requires organising a movement/ insurgency.

    Apparently, it suits you to obfuscate and drive everything to irrelevance.

    I thank my stars you have not brought in the US even out here to play to the gallery!

    Quote:
    What you're not recognizing is that "Western" encompasses huge variety. There's the "West" of the tea party and the west of the Occupy movements, the west of Exxon and the west of Greenpeace, the west of the IMF and of the anti-globalization protestors and all stripes in between. Governments juggle and dance to try to gain support and deflect opposition from as many parties as possible. Different factions compete aggressively for followers, all over the world, and link with the like-minded all over the world to advance their own agendas.

    It's impossible to speak of a unitary "Western" agenda because no such thing exists.


    Please check those video - What is the West.

    Understanding Indian Insurgencies - Page 7 - Small Wars Council
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
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  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I have appended the above two posts to enlarge your vision and give you another view from the world audience.

    The person is a US Peace Corps worker who has settled down in the Philippines where he was stationed.

    He is a votary that Chinese are pursing a Peaceful Rise and the US and the world is just being obtuse and difficult.
     
  14. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    It seems that his host country (Philippines) does not agree with him... :shocked:
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Try telling him that! [​IMG]

    He claims to understands the Philippines better than the Filipinos!
     
  16. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Maybe he hasn't been tuning in to the news there in the Philippines. That country is allocating more and more of its hard earned money to defense spending (and away from social spending) due to issues with China which traditionally it does not normally do.

    These pictures will refute the blabbering of that wet dreaming American...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
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  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Thanks for the details.

    Have posted it for his info.
     
  18. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    To me the West versus East thing lost meaning sometime after the Greek city-states defeated Xerxes. Alexander the Great made the whole West versus East concept meaningless by the time he was done.
     
  19. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    The concept still seemed to have considerable meaning to the Europeans of the 18th and 19th centuries.
     
  20. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    What makes you say that?
     
  21. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Tsar Peter said so.
     

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