What is the bigger story? The West Against the Rest or The West Against Itself?
The Illiberal Quartet of Xi, Putin, Rouhani and Erdogan is in the line of fire of haughty homilies about Western “values.”
Illiberalism is arrogantly and provocatively depicted in the West repeatedly as a Tartar Invasion 2.0. But closer to home Illiberalism is responsible for the social, civil war in the U.S. as Trump’s America has long ago forgotten what the European Enlightenment was all about.
The Western view is a maelstrom of a Judaeo-Greco-Roman, pseudo-philosophy steeped in Hegel, Toynbee, Spengler and obscure biblical references decrying an Asian attack on the “enlightened” West’s mission civilisatrice.
The maelstrom stunts critical thinking to evaluate Xi’s Confucianism, Putin’s Eurasianism, Rouhani’s realpolitik and “non-Westoxified” Shi’ite Islam, as well as Erdogan’s quest to guide the global Muslim Brotherhood.
Targets of the West.
Instead the West give us phony “analyses” of how NATO should be praised for not allowing Libya to become a Syria, which it indeed has.
Meanwhile a golden rule prevails about one Asian power: never criticize the House of Saud, which happens to be the ultimate manifestation of Illiberalism.
They get a free pass because after all they are “our bastards.”
What the illiberal-bashing frenzy does accomplish is to reduce what should be a crucial debate about a fearful West Against the Rest, to the more pressing issue of The West Against Itself.
This intra-West battle is being manifested in several ways: Viktor Orban in Hungary, eurosceptic coalitions in Austria and Italy, the advance of the ultra right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and the Sweden Democrats. In short it’s The Revenge of the European Deplorables.
Bannon’s ‘Paradise’ Regained
Into this European fray steps Steve Bannon, the master strategist who elected Donald Trump and is now taking the continent by storm. He is about to launch his own think tank, The Movement, in Brussels, to foment no less than a right-wing populist revolution.
It comes replete with Bannon spooking assorted EU lands by paraphrasing Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost: “I prefer to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.”
Bannon’s growing influence in Europe has reached the Venice Biennale,