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Is the West Dead Yet?

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The West is paradoxically dominant on the global stage and eroding from within. Never has Western culture seemed so all-powerful. Look at the 30 top-ranked universities in the world; they are all American, British, or European — albeit these rankings are based largely on the excellence of their science, engineering, medicine, and computer departments rather than their English and sociology departments.

The American West Coast changed the world’s daily lifestyle with Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo. The worldwide reach of schlock American pop culture is frightening. Hollywood psychodramas, rap vulgarity, reality TV, crude body tattooing and piercing, and the sorry, unhinged Miley Cyrus find their way up the Nile and around Cape Horn. The United States, even with recent defense cuts, has more conventional military power than nearly the rest of the globe combined. American oil entrepreneurs have changed the global energy calculus. Millions flee their homes to enter Europe — not Russia, China, or India. Ten percent of Mexico lives in the United States. Polls in Mexico suggest that half the remaining Mexican population would prefer to head north into the U.S., a nation to which, polls also suggest, they of course are hostile.

Immigration is a one-way Western street. Those who, in the abstract, damn the West — as much as elite Westerners themselves do — want very much to live inside it. The loudest anti-Western voices in the Middle East are usually housed in Western universities, not in Gaza. Jorge Ramos is a fierce critic of supposed American cruelty to illegal immigrants — so much so that he fled Mexico for America, became a citizen (how is that possible, given American bias against immigrants?), landed a multimillion-dollar salary working for the non-Latino-owned Spanish-language network Univision, and then put his kids in private school to shield them from hoi polloi of the sort he champions each evening. Now that’s the power of the West.


Source: Victor Davis Hanson, http://www.nationalreview.com