The Innate white supremacy of the Western world order

When watching the news it is not uncommon to hear the term “the west” or “western countries”. What is the “west” exactly and what is it west of? Europe is the considered part of the west but for some reason it does not include Russia. The United States is considered part of the West along with Canada but not Mexico. Then Australia is also referred to as a Western government and that just throws away the geographic reasoning. They are Christian majority countries with European language and culture. Latin America despite being Christian and having a European language is not considered part of the west but is viewed as closely aligned with the West. Despite Africa being South of Europe it is not considered part of the West. So are we referring to the North West when we say west? Defining the west in geographic term in difficult because that is not what defines them. The countries considered part of the Western world are all Christian majority white nations.

Then there is the grouping of five eyes, an alliance for sharing intelligence and composed of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. This alliance like the West is composed of Christian and White majority countries but it is more exclusive. All the members are English speaking countries. It is important to discern here that not all English speaking countries are members of this alliance. To understand what defines we must not only look at those included but also those excluded by the group. South Africa while English speaking is not White majority country. While Ireland is a white majority country, it is not an Anglo civilization or a protestant majority country. A notable country excluded from five eyes is Germany whose Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was spied on by the Special Collection Service, a part of the five eyes spy program called Stateroom.

The West is a modern version of the term Christendom which was created in the middles ages to emphasis the separateness of Christian world from the Islamic world. Trump in a rather famous speech in Poland said, “West will never, ever be broken, our values will prevail, our people will thrive and our civilization will triumph.” That was a dog whistle and it was heard by white ethno nationalists. When white nationalist terrorists carrying out attacks against minorities in New Zealand or Norway, they claim they are fighting for Christian/western civilization. They view the west as a uniquely white Christian civilization and considering its use in the international arena; they are not entirely wrong.

There are attempts by writers to say that the West started with the ancient Greek civilization and that is not accurate. The Greeks did not view their relationship with Persians through the lens of East-West relationship. This was a concept that was erroneously explored in the movie 300. This movie talked about freedoms in Sparta while ignoring the reality of an economy built on slavery. The movie was pivotal in how it show Persians as dark and primitive while the Spartans are the freedom loving civilized people fighting to defend “Western civilization”. This was a retrospective retelling of the story and a legacy of which can be found in many media since including in the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey video game. These narrative ignores the fact that the Persians are an ancient civilization with a tolerant culture where art and literature thrived. It makes them into a one dimensional bad guy.

The West views itself as special, it views itself inherently more civilized and cultured than the East. It creates a false dichotomy between the East and the West, between the Oxidant and the Orient. Christian authors and historians defined the distinctiveness between the East and West during the crusades. The west justified colonization as a way to civilize the savage. It justified slavery as a way to save the souls of heathens. It feeds into the narrative that the war on terror is a clash of civilizations. White supremacists carry out attacks against minorities and claim they are defending the west and western civilization. They view the West as inherently a White-Christian civilization and there are not wrong considering contemporary usage. It lead to West vs. Islam and West vs. East narrative and will contribute to the future West vs. China narrative.

The star of 300, Gerald Butler made another movie called London has fallen in which his character says, “You know what you a******s don’t get? We’re not a f***ing building! We’re not a f***ing flag! We’re not just one man! a****** like you have been trying to kill us for a long fucking time. But you know what? A thousand years from now, we’ll still f***ing be here!”. That’s what the new narrative is about; it reframes the East-West relationship. According to the new narrative the West is just defending itself against aggressive Eastern barbarians. This narrative ignores the legacy of colonialism, slavery, genocide, and the wholesale destruction of civilizations. This view is expressed in Western movies and TV shows, it is expressed in the words of TV personalities like Tucker Carlson and politicians like Trump. When you hear a politician talk about defending the West, try to hear the dog whistle.

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Mahir Abrar

I am an academic and a consultant on International relations and foreign police. My views are my own and do not represent my employer. More at mahirabrar.com