Opinion (Steven Erlanger, NY Times): “The West is suddenly suffused with self-doubt.
“Centuries of superiority and global influence appeared to reach a new summit with the collapse of the Soviet Union, as the countries, values and civilization of the West appeared to have won the dark, difficult battle with Communism.
That victory seemed especially sweet after the turn of China toward capitalism, which many thought presaged a slow evolution to middle-class demands for individual rights and transparent justice — toward a form of democracy. But is the embrace of Western values inevitable? Are Western values, essentially Judeo-Christian ones, truly universal?
“The history of the last decade is a bracing antidote to such easy thinking. The rise of authoritarian capitalism has been a blow to assumptions, made popular by Francis Fukuyama, that liberal democracy has proved to be the most reliable and lasting political system.
“With the collapse of Communism, ‘what we may be witnessing,’ Mr. Fukuyama wrote hopefully in 1989, ‘is the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.’
“But couple the tightening of Chinese authoritarianism with Russia’s turn toward revanchism and dictatorship, and then add the rise of radical Islam, and the grand victory of Western liberalism can seem hollow, its values under threat even within its own societies.
“The recent flood of migrants and Syrian asylum seekers were welcomed in much of Europe, especially Germany and Austria. But it also prompted criticism from a number of less prosperous European countries, a backlash from the far right and new anxieties about the growing influence of Islam, and radical Islamists, in Europe. …
“’Nineteen-eighty-nine was perceived as the victory of universalism, the end of history, but for all the others in the world it wasn’t a post-Cold War world but a post-colonial one,’ said Ivan Krastev, director of the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria, and a contributing opinion writer for The Times.
“It seemed to many in Asia and Africa to be the end of Western ideological supremacy, given that liberalism and Communism are both Western creations with universal ambitions.”
My Comment: It is now impossible to stop the flow of immigrants to the EU. The new values are neither European nor American, but above this world, and they will be born to a new world.