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scotsboyuk
18 Aug 05,, 23:46
What constitutes 'the West'? Clearly the U.S., Canada and the E.U. make up the West, but are other nations 'Western'? Japan is a U.S. ally, is it a Western nation? Is Australia? New Zealand? Is the West a geographic term or a cultural bloc?

dalem
18 Aug 05,, 23:50
What constitutes 'the West'? Clearly the U.S., Canada and the E.U. make up the West, but are other nations 'Western'? Japan is a U.S. ally, is it a Western nation? Is Australia? New Zealand? Is the West a geographic term or a cultural bloc?

America, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Italy. Japan is quasi-Western, as is South Korea.

-dale

scotsboyuk
18 Aug 05,, 23:53
@dale

So you don't consider the whole of the E.U. as being 'Western'? Granted I can see an exception being made for some of the Eastern European countries, but what about Norway, Sweden, Portugal, etc?

How are you defining 'Western'?

Asim Aquil
18 Aug 05,, 23:56
It's an old term. Probably the countries that fall on the Western half of the atlas.

dalem
18 Aug 05,, 23:57
@dale

So you don't consider the whole of the E.U. as being 'Western'? Granted I can see an exception being made for some of the Eastern European countries, but what about Norway, Sweden, Portugal, etc?

How are you defining 'Western'?

Yeah, I forgot about the Scandihoovians. Portugal is like New Zealand - an afterthought attached to a Western nation. They can consider themselves Wester if they want I guess.

I think the old East Bloc countries are becoming more Western, and I suspect will be fully Westernized within the next generation.

Just as a quick, off the cuff: to me "Western" means being a successful capitalist nation that values individual freedom and creativity.

-dale

scotsboyuk
19 Aug 05,, 00:00
@dale

It is perhaps interesting to find out whether people from certain countries actually consider themselves 'Westerners'. Many, probably most actually, Japanese don't consider themselves Western, but rather Japanese. I saw a debate on a Japanese forum and almost all the Japanese posting didn't consider Japan to be part of 'the West'.

dalem
19 Aug 05,, 00:01
@dale

It is perhaps interesting to find out whether people from certain countries actually consider themselves 'Westerners'. Many, probably most actually, Japanese don't consider themselves Western, but rather Japanese. I saw a debate on a Japanese forum and almost all the Japanese posting didn't consider Japan to be part of 'the West'.

Sure, that's why I put them in the "quasi-Western" category. They have many of the values and qualities that I consider Western but retain a lot of ones that I don't.

-dale

THL
19 Aug 05,, 00:08
Just as a quick, off the cuff: to me "Western" means being a successful capitalist nation that values individual freedom and creativity.

That is close to how I always assumed it to be. I had always thought of the West as the more prominent or wealthier countries. Here is all I could find which covers way more countries that I ever considered the "West".

http://www.fact-index.com/w/we/western_countries.html

The term Western countries (sometimes the West or the Occident) is somewhat imprecisely defined - derived from the old dualism of East (Asia) and West (Europe) - now used to refer to wealthy and industrialised countries, as the inheritants of European societies, and their colonial legacies. The term is sometimes used as a synonym for the Western societies.

Depending on context, the Western countries may be restricted to the founding members of NATO in addition to Germany, Spain, and the non-aligned Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. A broader definition might extend to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Israel and some of the more prosperous Warsaw Pact states.

Latin America is sometimes considered part of the West and sometimes not. Mainland China, the remainder of the Middle East, India, and Russia are generally not considered part of the West.

Western countries have in common a high (relative) standard of living for most citizens - compared to the rest of the world. They may also have democratic, (mostly secular) governments, and developed bodies of laws that have some expression of rights (for its own citizens) in law. Also, high levels of education, and a similar, "modern" popular culture may reflect the Western or Westernized society. Militarily and diplomatically, these "Western" societies have generally been allied with each other to one degree or another since World War Two. In fact, some would argue that this is the definition of the West and explains why Japan is usually considered Western while Ecuador is not.

More typically, the term "The West" contains a pejorative meaning - simply to describe and deliniate the wealthy and dominant societies from the poorer societies - those who are subjugated economically, miltarily, and otherwise, by deliberate restraints placed on them by the wealthier ones. "The West" then becomes simply a term to mean: "Wealthy, Colonial (slave-holding), Europe-descended (or allied) societies." The derived meaning of the above, in current use, tends to translate as: "Those who control the world" or "Those who seek to continue in domination of others and their lands."

scotsboyuk
19 Aug 05,, 00:13
Is Mexico part of the West?

THL
19 Aug 05,, 00:15
Is Mexico part of the West?


I never really considered it part of the West since it is not typically considered a "richer" more industrialized country.

ZFBoxcar
19 Aug 05,, 00:21
A broader definition might extend to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Israel and some of the more prosperous Warsaw Pact states.

I agree with this definition. The West is an ever changing entity, when a nation becomes free and prosperous it joins the West.

scotsboyuk
19 Aug 05,, 00:27
I agree with this definition. The West is an ever changing entity, when a nation becomes free and prosperous it joins the West.

By who's definition though? As mentioned earlier, some countries either don't consider themselves Western or are at best quasi-Western.

Switzerland is an interesting one, whilst it does have the cultural aspects of the West is it really part of 'the West'?

dalem
19 Aug 05,, 00:33
Is Mexico part of the West?

Not a chance. It's barely part of the planet.

-dale

ZFBoxcar
19 Aug 05,, 00:38
By who's definition though? As mentioned earlier, some countries either don't consider themselves Western or are at best quasi-Western.

Switzerland is an interesting one, whilst it does have the cultural aspects of the West is it really part of 'the West'?

I don't know who made the term, I am just saying what it means to me. I would consider Switzerland to be part of the West, you don't have to be in NATO or any other military alliance to be Western (although again, this is just me talking, I have no dictionary definition to back me up). I think the West started off as "Judeo-Christian/Western Roman" and then became anti-absolute monarchy, then anti-fascist, and then anti-Communist, but has since been expanded into liberal democratic capitalism (which is what it really was about all along). And with each expansion more and more people and territory becomes Western and the world becomes more free. It's idealistic, but isn't the West about idealism?

THL
19 Aug 05,, 04:10
Not a chance. It's barely part of the planet.

-dale

Hey, Now, Children.....Let's Play Nice.
:frown:

dalem
19 Aug 05,, 10:07
Hey, Now, Children.....Let's Play Nice.
:frown:

I calls 'em like I sees 'em.

-dale

THL
19 Aug 05,, 13:54
I calls 'em like I sees 'em.

-dale


How unfortunate for you.

Ray
19 Aug 05,, 14:02
"The West" means the colonial powers, the white man and affluent countries west and north of Suez (the rubicon that differentiated the civilised and uncivilised as per the the British on whose Empire the sun never set!).

Japan and others are never counted as the West. It is cultural spinoff and not an economic one.

Trinidad, Tobago, Haiti etc though in the West is not taken to be a part of "the West".

Officer of Engineers
19 Aug 05,, 14:28
It was a term describing those West of the Iron Curtain and those East of the Iron Curtain. How quickly people forgot their history. The Iron Curtain, people, and all that it implies.

TopHatter
19 Aug 05,, 14:48
It was a term describing those West of the Iron Curtain and those East of the Iron Curtain. How quickly people forgot their history. The Iron Curtain, people, and all that it implies.

Thank you Winston Churchill :biggrin:

Neo
19 Aug 05,, 15:45
I assume that West or Western often refers to more developed countries or modern societies.
For example, Cuba, Haiti or Bolivia lie in Western Hemisphere but they are far from developed.
Japan, Singapore and Australia in the Eastern Hemisphere have a developped and very 'western' society.

dalem
19 Aug 05,, 17:00
How unfortunate for you.

It's a nation riddled with corruption that cannot keep its hard-working people employed, and now even subsidizes their illegal migrations north. I used to have some sympathy but now I have little but contempt.

-dale

Ray
19 Aug 05,, 19:40
To add another view.

Read on for what it is worth.


Why the West?

by Roger Kimball




Toleration is of all ideas the most modern.
—Walter Bagehot, 1872

In my eyes the west is a perpetual aggressor.
—Arnold Toynbee, 1961

If one allows the infidels to continue playing their role of corrupters on Earth, their eventual moral punishment will be all the stronger. Thus, if we kill the infidels in order to put a stop to their [corrupting] activities, we have indeed done them a service. For their eventual punishment will be less.
—Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, 1984

Beauty contests are not usually occasions fraught with political significance. But the 2002 Miss World contest, scheduled to be held in Nigeria, was an exception. The Muslim population in Nigeria was unhappy about the contest to begin with: imagine allowing women to parade around in public clad in evening gowns instead of burkas! When the Nigerian journalist Isioma Daniel suggested that the Prophet Muhammad might have liked to marry one of the contestants, the grumbling unhappiness erupted into a murderous fury. Enraged Muslims (why does that seem like a pleonasm?) rioted in the city of Kaduna. They destroyed the offices of ThisDay, the paper that published Daniel’s speculation, and proceeded to kill some five hundred people, ripping Christian women and children from cars and burning them. When the rampage was over, another thousand-odd were left injured and twelve thousand homeless. Some cleric duly pronounced a fatwa against the hapless Daniel, who managed to flee. Meanwhile the Miss World pageant was transferred to London.

Of course, this seems like—indeed, it is—business as usual these days. Rampaging Muslims, fatwas, and denunciations of the West as “the Great Satan” are a familiar fact of life. They have been at least since the late 1980s when the Ayatollah Khomeini ventured into literary criticism and pronounced a death sentence on Salman Rushdie because someone told him that The Satanic Verses was blasphemous. What is odd, what is significant, is how normal this deeply abnormal state of affairs seems to us now. Where, as Bob Dole famously asked, is the outrage?

Reflecting on the massacre in Nigeria, Mark Steyn touched on the crucial issue:

When was the last time a mob of Jews or Christians or Buddhists tore children from cars and burned them to death? A while back, I saw Terrence McNally’s ghastly Broadway jerk-off, Corpus Christi, in which a gay Jesus rhapsodizes about the joys of anal intercourse with Judas. The play was an abomination, and deserves all the abuse discriminating theater-goers can heap upon it. But oddly enough, I didn’t feel an urge to slaughter perfect strangers, to ram a schoolbus, drag the little moppets from it, douse them in gasoline, and get my matchbook out.

No, indeed. But why? Is it just that we do things differently in New York and London?

In 1996, the political scientist Samuel Huntington published The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. A much expanded version of an article that appeared in Foreign Affairs in 1993, The Clash of Civilizations was and continues to be hugely influential. Huntington’s thesis that, in the post-Cold-War world, the bi-polar conflict between America and the Soviet Union had given way to conflicts among some eight civilizations was catnip to the many observers who predicted the eclipse of the nation state. Huntington had something for everyone. His argument is supported by dazzling erudition. But I suspect that much of the book’s popularity derived from its autumnal mood, its Toynbee-esque contention that the West was a “fading” civilization whose power—economic, social, military—had peaked and was now on the long, circuitous road to decline. Many observers swelled to his oft-repeated warnings about “the West’s universalist pretensions,” the idea that “peoples in all societies want to adopt Western values, institutions, and practices.” At the same time, conservatives applauded Huntington’s attack on “the divisive siren call of multiculturalism” and his insistence that “The futures of the United States and of the West depend upon Americans reaffirming their commitment to Western civilization.” The prominence Huntington gave to the resurgence of Islamic extremism assured that The Clash of Civilizations enjoyed a new lease on life in the aftermath of 9/11.

The reprise was justified. If nothing else, the atrocities of 9/11 dramatized a clash of civilizations. Whatever the limitations of Huntington’s argument, his call for a renewed commitment to the values of Western civilization has a special resonance at a time when those values are being assaulted not merely with words but with the engines of terrorist hatred. Huntington has a fair amount to say in passing about the core values of the West. What he does not present is the explicit contrast between the vision of world as embodied in Western civilization and its noisiest rival, the world according to Islam. One of the most thoughtful attempts to do this is contained in The West and the Rest, the brief, eloquent new book by the English philosopher Roger Scruton.[1]

The West and the Rest is in many ways a deeply Huntingtonian book. Scruton takes his title from a map in The Clash of Civilizations, and his discussion is animated both by a profound sensitivity to the spiritual ambitions of the West and by a conviction that the effort “to transfer those values to places that have been deeply inoculated against them by culture and custom is to invite the very confrontation that we seek to avoid.” Scruton’s aim is not to expound a theory of international relations. It is rather to show how the West must rescue itself from its own excesses if it is to reassert its distinctive identity and preserve itself from the excesses of the Islamist onslaught.

If books, like whiskey, were rated according to strength, The West and the Rest would weigh in above 100 proof. It is a brief book, but concentrated. I do not mean that it is abstruse or hard to understand: on the contrary, Scruton writes with seductive clarity. But he has a lot going on in his 161 pages of text. He neatly summarizes huge tracts of Western political theory, Islamic theology, and the history of terrorism. The result is a book with two themes and one warning. The themes concern the relation between religion and politics, on the one hand, and the fortunes of Enlightenment thinking, on the other. The warning revolves around what we might call the perils of rootlessness, which turn out, in Scruton’s reading, to be less a function of poverty and deprivation (as is often claimed) than a natural coefficient of rampant affluence.

Scruton begins by describing the distinctive political history that has made the West a refuge for individual freedom, economic dynamism, and the pursuit of scientific understanding. It is a familiar story, beginning with the Greeks and the invention of democracy, proceeding through the Roman Empire and its ideals of law and citizenship, and refracted through Christianity, with its domestication of the transcendent, its union of an otherworldly vocation with the acknowledgment of legitimate temporal authority (“Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s …”).

It is one of the great virtues of The West and the Rest that it both affirms and complicates our conventional understanding of the issues at hand. It is often said, and rightly, that the West is the cradle of political freedom. When asked what we are fighting for in the war against terrorism, we say we are fighting to preserve freedom. This is true, but it is not wholly true, for, as Scruton points out, freedom unchecked is ultimately a self-consuming passion. Freedom animates civilization. But understood as the emancipation from restraint, freedom can also appear as the enemy of civilization, for civilization requires restraints. Hence the familiar paradox that freedom, if it is to flourish, requires definition, which means limitation and direction—unfreedom, if you will. This is not to deny the great, the inestimable value of freedom. It is simply to say that freedom cannot be rightly pursued in isolation from the ends that ennoble it. As Scruton puts it, “If all that Western civilization offers is freedom, then it is a civilization bent on its own destruction.” (“The effect of liberty to individuals,” Edmund Burke famously observed, “is that they may do what they please: We ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risque congratulations, which may be soon turned into complaints.”)

One of Scruton’s central themes, in this book as elsewhere, is what we might call the human requirements of freedom—those appurtenances of humanity without which freedom degenerates. One requirement is summed up in the word “religion.” As Scruton notes, “religion” seems to derive from the Latin word meaning “to bind.” Religion is not only a doctrine, a creed, it is also a practice that joins its adherents into a community. The gift of religion is the gift of membership, a word that figures prominently in Scruton’s discussion in this book. It is part of the genius of the West—part of what distinguishes the West from the rest—that it has, almost from the beginning, tempered the binding claims of religion by acknowledging the legitimacy of secular institutions. In this sense, Scruton observes, “The separation of church and state was from the beginning an accepted doctrine of the church. Indeed, this separation created the church, which emerged from the Dark Ages as a legal subject, with rights, privileges, and a domestic jurisdiction of its own.”

The contrast with Islam is striking. Following the atrocities of September 11, certain well-meaning persons attempted to console us with the assurance that “Islam” means “peace.” In fact, as Scruton reminds us, Islam means “submission,” specifically submission to the will of Allah. “The muslim,” consequently, “is the one who has surrendered, submitted, and so obtained security.” Of course, plenty of Muslims denounced the terrorist acts of al Qaeda. Still Scruton is right that “Islamism”—Islam embraced as an all-encompassing ideology—is “not an accidental product of the crisis that Islam is currently undergoing, and the fundamental tenets of the faith must be borne in mind by those who wish to understand the terrorist movements.” Wherever Islamists have gained power—Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan—the result is “not the reign of peace and prosperity promised by the Prophet, but murder and persecution on a scale matched in our time only by the Nazis and the Communists.”

In the West, the church took its place as a secular institution, subordinated, in temporal matters, to temporal authorities. Islam lacks that institutional elasticity. The ulama (“those with knowledge”) have their authority directly from God: no church or holy orders, no official compact with the state mediate their supposed revelation. Islam is in this sense a totalitarian ideology: it seeks to embrace and subordinate to its dictates the totality of life. “Like the Communist Party in its Leninist construction,” Scruton writes, “Islam aims to control the state without being a subject of the state.”

It is curious that security, like freedom, cannot be successfully pursued in isolation from other, complicating ends. Although the West developed out of a common religious tradition, it has long since subordinated religious belief to secular ends, placing its trust, as Scruton summarizes it, “not in religious certainties but in open discussion, trial and error, and the ubiquitousness of doubt.” The burden of freedom, the corrosive uncertainty of doubt, has issued in any number of intellectual and moral crises in the West. Nevertheless, the relative political stability of Western civilization, its prosperity, and the value that Western civilization has tended to place on the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake have all provided important compensations for those crises. Islam, by contrast, promises its adherents security. Yet 70 percent of the world’s refugees are Muslims fleeing from Muslim states. Where are they going? To the West, of course. The alarming irony, Scruton points out, is that “having arrived in the West, many of these Muslim refugees begin to conceive a hatred of the society by which they find themselves surrounded, and aspire to take revenge against it for some fault so heinous that they can conceive nothing less than final destruction as the fitting punishment.” A further and no less alarming irony: by providing welfare benefits without social membership for Muslim refugees, European states have conspired to create within their borders “a breeding ground for Islamic terrorists.”

In one sense, The West and the Rest is a homily in praise of politics. This might seem odd. After all, the problem of radical Islam might seem to be a problem of excessive politics: the politicization of, well, everything. In a sense this is true. But it is only because politics has developed an independent institutional life in the West that Western societies can be governed by the political process without surrendering to it. As Scruton puts it, “The difference between the West and the rest is that Western societies are governed by politics; the rest are ruled by power.”

Western civilization is composed of communities held together by a political process, and by the rights and duties of the citizen as defined by that process. Paradoxically, it is the existence of this political process that enables us to live without politics. Having consigned the business of government to defined offices, occupied successively by people who are the servants and not the masters of those who elected them, we can devote ourselves to what really matters—to the private interests, personal loves, and social customs in which we find our satisfaction. Politics, in other words, makes it possible to separate society from the state, so removing politics from our private lives. Where there is no political process, this separation does not occur. In the totalitarian state or the military dictatorship everything is political precisely because nothing is. Where there is no political process everything that happens is of interest to those in power, since it poses a potential threat to them… . The political process is an achievement—one that might not have occurred and has not occurred in those parts of the world where Roman law and Christian doctrine have left no mark.

Scruton has two points to make about the political process. One concerns the essentially local roots that the political process depends upon for its animating spirit. The corollary point is that the ideals enshrined in that process cannot be successfully transplanted everywhere. The secular idea of citizenship that is the special achievement of the West coincides with “the emergence of a special kind of pre-political loyalty, which is that of the nation, conceived as a community of neighbors sharing language, customs, territory, and a common interest in defense.” The nation state, which, to some observers, has seemed to be an impediment to democracy, turns out to be something closer to its precondition. A recurrent theme of The West and the Rest is that Western civilization depends upon an idea of citizenship that is “not global at all, but rooted in territorial jurisdiction and national loyalty.” Islam, by contrast, is a global ideology in the sense that it regards secular authority by definition as without legitimacy. The sharia, the revealed will of God, is the only sanction for law. There is no space left over for politics, for dissent; all dissent is a form of heresy. Thus it is no surprise that a spokesman for al-Muhajiroun, a group of British Muslims with links to Osama bin Laden, publicly contended that no British Muslim has any obligation to British law when it conflicts with the law of Allah.

Since September 11, it has been tempting to locate the source of Islamic fanaticism in al Qaeda, the loose-knit group of radicals who have congregated around bin Laden. Scruton shows that the problem is both broader and older. Wahhabism, the radical sect named for an eighteenth-century zealot, is one important precursor. Another precursor, as Scruton shows, is the formation in Egypt in the late 1920s of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose announced goal was to rid Egypt of foreign powers. The Muslim Brotherhood established a pattern of violence and insurrection that has been followed and perfected. But perhaps the most important figure in this story is the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran. I quote as an epigraph from a speech in which Khomeini advises his followers to kill infidels. “To allow the infidels to stay alive,” Khomeini continues after the passage I quoted above,

means to let them do more corrupting. [To kill them] is a surgical operation commanded by Allah the Creator… . Those who follow the rules of the Koran are aware that we have to apply the laws of qissas [retribution] and that we have to kill… . War is a blessing for the world and for every nation. It is Allah himself who commands men to wage war and to kill.

Scruton is right that the element of insanity in Khomeini’s expostulation should not blind us to the fact that it conveys a mood that inspires young men all over the Islamic world. He is also correct that Khomeini brought Islamism up to date: he showed that a radical, violent Islam was possible in the modern world; he showed that it was exportable to the West; and he made martyrdom a central feature of teaching.

Like Huntington, Scruton cautions against the effort to universalize the Western ideals of freedom and citizenship. Not only does that ideal “lack credibility” in most Islamic societies, but, even more troubling, the attempt to inculcate it breeds resentment, which breeds hatred, which ultimately breeds terrorism: precisely the evils that exporting “the West” was meant to cure. Perhaps. It is here, I believe, that Scruton’s analysis becomes like the curate’s egg: good in part. Globalization is the West’s primary economic and cultural ambassador; it is the motor of modernization. Is it therefore, as Scruton suggests, the unwitting ally of terrorism? He is right that Western nations need to reexamine their immigration policies and their pusillanimous commitment to so-called “multiculturalism” (really reflexive anti-Westernism). But to conclude that we need to repudiate our commitment to free trade and dispense with our “devotion to prosperity and habits of consumption” seems to me less a response than a capitulation to the forces that nourish terrorism. Western ideals of freedom and citizenship were born out of a particular social-political tradition. They are, as Scruton says, “an achievement.” But to deny that this achievement is sharable is to consign portions of humanity to the status of permanent barbarism. Which would mean that terrorism could never be defeated, only quarantined.

http://www.newcriterion.com/archive/21/jan03/west.htm

dave angel
19 Aug 05,, 19:56
i would consider the 'west' to be any secular, liberal democratic country that has significant wealth. its a reasonably fluid definition based mainly in culture and the rule of law and the rights of individuals, not on geography or membership of particular organisations.

switzerland is immensly rich, democratic, liberal and well-armed. it plays a signicant part in the international community in pursuit of 'western' aims. it is obviously a western country despite not being a member of the EU or NATO.

Parihaka
20 Aug 05,, 11:37
Hmm, we tend to fit most of the criteria for a western nation posted here but we certainly aren't, despite our european heritage, political system, economy & language etc. If anything we'd have to be Asian, not in cultural heritage although many Asians live here, but simply because of geography and more especially our trade partners. Even 20 years ago our major trading partners were in bulk Europe/America, now the vast bulk are Asian. Our current and negotiating FTO's are Asian. Our actual workable military alliances are predominantly Asian. We've tried to set up FTO's and military alliances with 'the west' but there are far too many political preconditions attached to make them worthwhile. We try to improve our relations with Australia (who certainly regard themselves as 'west') but find we are constantly criticised and more often than not shafted economically. So despite being predominantly christian/white/first world economy/westminster political/etc etc and covering most of what has been posted here as definitions of the west, we just aren't.

sparten
20 Aug 05,, 12:14
THe powerful can call themselves whatever they want. The 'West' is a term denoting the club of the most influential counties in the world.

Lets say that 500 years from now, African countries are the most powerful. And lets say Spain shares African Values and influence, while say Egypt does not. So they may well say that "Spain is an African Country", while Egypt may not be counted as such.

Parihaka
20 Aug 05,, 12:41
I've seen the light. The west is those who love butter cookies.

Ray
20 Aug 05,, 13:25
:)

It is a colonial term to indicate the cultural and economic divide between the countries ruling the colonies and the colonies themselves.

It is pure an simple a fact that the economically developed and rich nation which were in the West then, indicated this to signify the cultural divide.

To state that it is a derivative that includes nations georgraphically not in the West but having economic wealth would not make sense. Japan, to be called West, would be rather ludicrous.

To differentiate her (Japan) because of her wealth, she is a part of the G8 which includes developed and affluent nations that discusses and organises the world issues and economic thrusts annually or when required.

If Japan were to have been included in "the West", then there would have been no reason to call the G8 Club as the G8 and it would have been "The West"!

THL
20 Aug 05,, 16:07
I've seen the light. The west is those who love butter cookies.


Oh, No. Bluesman has gotten to Parihaka.
:tongue:



now even subsidizes their illegal migrations north.

Honestly, I don't know anything about Mexico giving assistance to it's people to move them north. I do know, however, that there are a lot of jobs that immigrants (not just Mexican immigrants) do that your typical spoiled American would not. How many younger generation Americans entering the adult workforce this year are going to work in the back of restaurants, landscaping, maintenance, etc? Honestly, how many could afford to? Truth is, Americans are used to a "cushier" way of life and hard hands on work does usually fit the bill.

While I don't at all think that every non-citizen that asks should be allowed to enter the US (since this has not worked out so well for us in recent years), I do think that after screening, non-US Citizens that can offer something positive to our country and live as a law abiding citizen, should be allowed, and why not at some cost to their home country?

After all, if there were no immigrants, most of us reading this post, would not be here reading this.
:)

dalem
20 Aug 05,, 18:27
Honestly, I don't know anything about Mexico giving assistance to it's people to move them north.

They have published and distributed pamphlets that show the best ways, times, and places to cross the border.

They have set up "way stations" in some towns where the incipient wetbacks can obtain food and water in preparation for their crossing.

And I don't want zero immigration, I just want zero illegal immigration.

-dale

TopHatter
20 Aug 05,, 18:27
Honestly, I don't know anything about Mexico giving assistance to it's people to move them north.
I read something about a government-sponsored or written pamphlet that was basically a "how to get across the border and work the system once you're there" kind of thing. Moreover, the Mexican Border Guards are worse than a joke. They are either in the employ of narco-trafficking gangs, or they flat-out ARE a narco-trafficking gang. I've read reports of US Border Patrols being taken under fire by their opposite numbers on the Mexico side of the border.
I've said it before on this board: The massive immigration problem faced by the US is a direct result of actions and inactions by the Mexican Government.
If I was living in Mexico, I'd sure as hell want to get out there too.



I do know, however, that there are a lot of jobs that immigrants (not just Mexican immigrants) do that your typical spoiled American would not. How many younger generation Americans entering the adult workforce this year are going to work in the back of restaurants, landscaping, maintenance, etc? Honestly, how many could afford to? Truth is, Americans are used to a "cushier" way of life and hard hands on work does usually fit the bill.


No question about that. Vincente Fox hit the nail on the head. Even in the building trades, the really grunt jobs are performed by Latin American immigrants.
Unfortunately, that doesnt give the right to "export" his citizens into virtual slavery here in the United States because his goverment is too corrupt to provide for them in Mexico.

scotsboyuk
20 Aug 05,, 22:47
'The West' can mean many things it seems. It can be taken to mean a club of culturally connected nations e.g. European or off-shoots of European culture; it can be taken to mean rich industrialised nations, which don't necessarily share cultural values and it can be taken to mean the richer democratic nations.

Does the West define itself against anything though?

dalem
20 Aug 05,, 23:49
'The West' can mean many things it seems. It can be taken to mean a club of culturally connected nations e.g. European or off-shoots of European culture; it can be taken to mean rich industrialised nations, which don't necessarily share cultural values and it can be taken to mean the richer democratic nations.

Does the West define itself against anything though?

It used to define itself as the opposition to Communism. Nowadays the various bits of the West are growing apart.

-dale

Praxus
20 Aug 05,, 23:57
"The West" is a cultural identity that stretches back to the Ancient Hellenes. Any culture that accepts the ideas of the Greeks and the Romans are considered western (i.e. freedom, liberty, representitive government (democracy and republicanism), et al).

THL
21 Aug 05,, 05:14
...the incipient wetbacks...


Now why on earth are you going there with that?

sparten
21 Aug 05,, 07:39
"The West" is a cultural identity that stretches back to the Ancient Hellenes. Any culture that accepts the ideas of the Greeks and the Romans are considered western (i.e. freedom, liberty, representitive government (democracy and republicanism), et al).

Than the Arabs from the 7th to 14th century onwards would have to be considered 'Western' by that standard. They thought of themselves as heirs to the Greek and Roman tradition, which they in
fact were.

Democracy ment very different things to the Greeks than it does to us. Plato, Socrates and co would be horrified with what we have. They would term it as 'mob government', which was IIRC, the Greeks greatest fear..

Praxus
21 Aug 05,, 08:06
Than the Arabs from the 7th to 14th century onwards would have to be considered 'Western' by that standard. They thought of themselves as heirs to the Greek and Roman tradition, which they in
fact were.

They were certainly more Western then Europe at the time, but I don't know if I would call them heirs to the Greek and Roman tradition. They certainly preserved the great works of the Greeks and Romans, and deserve the credit for that. I don't know their form of Government or understand their culture to a great extent so I can't really comment on the Arabs.



Democracy ment very different things to the Greeks than it does to us. Plato, Socrates and co would be horrified with what we have. They would term it as 'mob government', which was IIRC, the Greeks greatest fear..

I am well aware of what Demokratia was to the Greeks, and they certainly did not all agree. Some believe it to be mob rule ( mostly the aristocrats in Macedon, et al), while others believed it be the best system in the world. I tend to agree that it is mob rule but certainly preferable to a tyrant (which is what the Greeks of the Greek Cities feared above all else). The Romans however solved this problem by creating the Republic, which balanced the power of the masses with the senate and the Consuls.

Socrates was not opposed to Democracy as far as I know. Plato certainly was.

scotsboyuk
21 Aug 05,, 20:03
'The West' seems best used to describe a certain cultural tradition, namely European or European derived as the countries who make up the West are overwhelmingly European or former European colonies or territories. The only ones. which aren't Japan and South Korea are not really considered truly Western by many people, but I suppose they do have certain characteristics of being Western.

dalem
21 Aug 05,, 21:48
Now why on earth are you going there with that?

Why not? I'm supposed to not use perjoritives for non-citizens who spit on my nation's laws?

-dale

Parihaka
21 Aug 05,, 23:08
It was a term describing those West of the Iron Curtain and those East of the Iron Curtain. How quickly people forgot their history. The Iron Curtain, people, and all that it implies.
I think this pretty much nails it, the rest of the definitions have too many holes.

THL
22 Aug 05,, 04:57
Why not? I'm supposed to not use perjoritives for non-citizens who spit on my nation's laws?

-dale


Sure, for those that degrade our laws, call them what you will. Not all Mexicans (illegal or not) fall into this category, however, that you are generalizing them into. To say that this generalization is offensive to me would be a dire understatement.

May whatever god a person finds holy and all the angels that follow him help whoever is to call my grandfather a wetback. He came here illegally to the US from Monterrey, Mexico, fought in our war, was a POW, and lost part of his leg as a result of injuries sustained. Illegal immigrant - Yes, but hardly spitting on US laws. In fact, quite the opposite. That non-citizen wetback gave a hell of a lot more to defend our laws than a lot of citizens did. Afterwards, he took a job in a steel factory in Indiana. Once again, work that a lot of citizens won't do.

There is no way I am going to accept anyone referring to that man as a wetback.

dalem
22 Aug 05,, 06:29
Sure, for those that degrade our laws, call them what you will. Not all Mexicans (illegal or not) fall into this category, however, that you are generalizing them into. To say that this generalization is offensive to me would be a dire understatement.

May whatever god a person finds holy and all the angels that follow him help whoever is to call my grandfather a wetback. He came here illegally to the US from Monterrey, Mexico, fought in our war, was a POW, and lost part of his leg as a result of injuries sustained. Illegal immigrant - Yes, but hardly spitting on US laws. In fact, quite the opposite. That non-citizen wetback gave a hell of a lot more to defend our laws than a lot of citizens did. Afterwards, he took a job in a steel factory in Indiana. Once again, work that a lot of citizens won't do.

There is no way I am going to accept anyone referring to that man as a wetback.

Accept or not-accept away, it doesn't really bother me. What someone does after the fact to address their previous wrongs doesn't change my opinion of those previous wrongs. Actions are supposed to have consequences, and busting the border into this country carries the consequence of my initial disdain. Take a number and wait in line like one is supposed to.

-dale

THL
22 Aug 05,, 06:49
What someone does after the fact to address their previous wrongs doesn't change my opinion of those previous wrongs.

He left his country and came here to fight with our Army, he did not fight with our Army because he came here. If someone is willing to fight for the US without 1st being a citizen, we need to take advantage of that. There are too many citizens that are not willing to fight to protect our country for us to turn down non-citizens that are willing. I don't care what color someone is, what country they are from, or even what planet they are from; if someone is willing to fight to protect me and my daughter and our rights, they are a hero in my eyes and deserve to live wherever they want. There is no way I would tell them that they cannot fight for the US and if they really want to, to go stand in line somewhere and hope their number is called. We should be exchanging and stripping citizenship from our birth citizens that are bad-mouthing our country and our miitary that protects them for non-citizens that are willing to protect those rights.

sparten
22 Aug 05,, 07:42
They were certainly more Western then Europe at the time, but I don't know if I would call them heirs to the Greek and Roman tradition. They certainly preserved the great works of the Greeks and Romans, and deserve the credit for that. I don't know their form of Government or understand their culture to a great extent so I can't really comment on the Arabs.


Depsnds on where you go. N Africa and places such as Syria and Lebanon which has been part of the Roman Empire, and who only made the transition language wise would relate a lot more to the Greek tradition, than say the Arabia itself. The exception would be in Mesopatamia, modern day Iraq. Baghdad, as a place for all sorts of ideas.

dalem
22 Aug 05,, 07:50
He left his country and came here to fight with our Army, he did not fight with our Army because he came here.

Ah. That does make a big difference, you are correct.

-dale

THL
22 Aug 05,, 12:05
Ah. That does make a big difference, you are correct.

-dale


I am with you, in that, the amount of illegal immigrants in this country (and I will also agree that the majority are from Mexico) is out of control and should be monitored better than it is. But, I have been fortunate enough to meet countless, law abiding, respectable immigrants that I am thankful are here. This, I think, tends to bias my opinion in that it is more difficult for me to see that my experiences with immigrants is not the normal or usual experience that most people have.

My apologies, however, for my phrasing, that darn estrogen starts to kick in and those girl emotions take over my words! ;) I am sure you can relate as men experience the same type of thing - only it is not estrogen and not their words that get taken over... :tongue:

TopHatter
22 Aug 05,, 15:05
My apologies, however, for my phrasing, that darn estrogen starts to kick in and those girl emotions take over my words!


*Mumbling* I can vouch for that.... :redface:

Julie
23 Aug 05,, 21:09
Hey, now yall watch it! ....because I resemble that remark. :biggrin:

Parihaka
24 Aug 05,, 00:16
Hey, now yall watch it! ....because I resemble that remark. :biggrin:
Hey, welcome back Julie!

Julie
24 Aug 05,, 01:53
Hey, welcome back Julie!Man, I have really missed you guys! :)

dalem
24 Aug 05,, 02:47
Man, I have really missed you guys! :)

And we, you.

-dale

Ironduke
07 Dec 06,, 10:36
bump

-{SpoonmaN}-
07 Dec 06,, 12:29
Well once upon a time the West was a very real political grouping of nations, but that boat has since sailed. Now, its more of a relic term, since the nations that composed it are no longer really a 'bloc'. In addition, they are no longer singular as an example of stable, democratic and prosperous societies, and this will only become more evident as time goes on.
However you could use it loosely as a term to describe a set of trends that numerous countries have, nothing more.

gilgamesh
07 Dec 06,, 13:13
Well once upon a time the West was a very real political grouping of nations, but that boat has since sailed. Now, its more of a relic term, since the nations that composed it are no longer really a 'bloc'. In addition, they are no longer singular as an example of stable, democratic and prosperous societies, and this will only become more evident as time goes on.
However you could use it loosely as a term to describe a set of trends that numerous countries have, nothing more.

In the oft-reffered-to book 'The Clash of Civilizatns', All of Western Europe, US, Canada, Aus, NZL, parts of Eastern Europe excluding Serbia, Russia, 50% of Ukraine, Bulgaria etc.

And, IIRC, Chile and Argentina are included as well.

gunnut
07 Dec 06,, 19:40
The developed world or 1st world is probably a more proper term to describe these nations.