book review: occidentalism

Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of its Enemies was the kind of book I had to read with a constant worried frown. It comes from talking about such broad notions as The West I guess. And Its Enemies.

It seemed very big-brush painting in how it seemed to be saying that anyone who’s ever thought that The Onward March of Science isn’t the only goal for a society to serve is an enemy of liberalism. And the economic arguments about how the West’s enemies hate the idea of money as a social equalizer were like glass in my spine. In the end though the authors, Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit did acknowledge that not everyone who’s a critic of the West is a horrible Occidentalist, just those who use the idea of the depraved West to dehumanize its people to make them easier to kill. And fair enough. I’m not a huge fan of dehumanizing people.

The book also talked very little about how the West is doing this itself, by abandoning the ideas of Reason and Rationality for Demagoguery, but I guess that’s just my liberal bias.

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