You should feel proud of the long Western legacy of breaking with a past where we did as earlier empires.
We thereafter sought less suffering, more equality, more freedom and more justice for all or most, even if the situation was often difficult and complex.
But instead you hate your world and its achievements and follow the Pied Piper with no knowledge/understanding driven by unthinking and manipulated emotions in your social media echo chambers.
You deserve what you will get, but I feel sorry for my gransons.
Russia invaded Ukraine starting a war that most in the West saw as a conflict between good and evil. A war between democratic aspirations and autocratic and imperial regression.
However, it soon became clear that the Global South remained neutral and it exploited the situation as much as possible. The Russians had again succeeded in making the former colonies of Western European empires ignore that the only old European empire still there and aggressively active is Russia. The only people remembering this is China, but Beijing wanted Moscow as an ally.
Through 2023 it became ever more clear that the relatively united Western front was fragmenting, as right-wing, populist political forces in both the U.S. and Europe sought a regression from democracy and rule of law. Historically aware people may recognise that this is a replay of what had happened in the Interwar Period.
After the start of the Hamas-Israeli War on 7 October the support for Ukraine has come under serious pressure from three independent forces.
The first one were the right-wing, Ukraine hostile, Trumpist forces in the U.S. It adopted an uncritical pro-Israeli line to further undermine support for Ukraine.
The second were the large – and now clearly not politically integrated – Muslim population groups of the West that fully identified with the Palestinian (in reality Hamas) position in the new conflict. In reality they acted as a radicalised extension of the Global South‘s position of neutrality in the Ukraine War.
The third was what must be called the young and largely Anarchist left that was and is nourished by years of Woke hatred and disgust of the West and their democratic governments. The West – their own countries – had been colonialist exploiters and racist slave owners, and their elites were still considered to be “structurally” racist and supporting inequality.
And their democratic states’ politicians had clearly been ineffective in meeting the main problem of our time, climate collapse. Therefore chaos with human extinction is approaching fast and uncontained.
As their equally tunnel-visioned grand-parents uncritically marched for Vietnamese Communist Party dictatorship in all Vietnam and their parents marched for unilateral Western nuclear disarmament, the young Left activists now march for a Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. They feel good doing so, so everything will end all right. Ukraine’s future is clearly a minor issue not relevant to them.
I shall not use text here to consider how it is possible for in principle intelligent, young people that have grown-up and benefitted from the rule of law and attempted social justice in Western Europe to put these unique benefits at risk and at stake by their actions. I do not understand it now as I did not understand it meeting the many fundamentalist Marxists at University and in meetings in the 1970’ties.
However, I do understand that the insecure, but convinced, young now organise outside and in opposition to the party based parliamentary democracy. The echo rooms of social media groups of the like-minded feel much safer.
My focus here is their never aquired or lost knowledge/acceptance of how Western international behaviour has improved in a unique way over the last two and a half century. I do this even if it probably is futile to unlock and defuse the self-disgust of young activists by pointing out that they should be proud of the history of the West and embrace their inheritance.
It is true that the West, at the end mainly Anglo-Saxons and the French, build and exploited immense empires and enslaved other nations.
They behaved the same way that others had done in other periods for thousands of years and some still work hard to continue to do (such as the Russians and Han Chinese on a large scale and many others on a regional or local scale).
What they should be proud rather than ashamed of is that it was their countries of the West that past started roughly 250 years ago during the Enlightenment movement in Europa.
Gradually it became accepted by more and more of the Western elites that past behaviour was morally wrong should end. The elite and state behaviour paradigm morfed gradually into what would be familiar today. The actions necessary to expand and sustain empire became controlled in means and ways to fight until it could be completely abolished. International behaviour should be regulated by a common framework of rules.
The development towards changed behaviour and more international justice certainly did not follow a straigth line.
However, after the disastrous lapse of the extended world conflict 1931 to 1945, the complex of improvement ideas was realised at the creation of the United Nations. As this organisation was created and manned by humans, it was not perfect. However most did their best to solve the unsolvable dilemmas of the time.
One such dilemma was how to create some future for the Jewish nation after decades of intensified Russian progroms in the “Bloodlands” of the Eastern Europe followed by the German led Holocaust.
Note, dear simple-minded critics, that the intentions were the best possible, but as all other settlements and societal enginnering, the implementation brought a continuation of the conflict in the British Mandate of Palestine in the 1930’ties.
Ambitious new Arab neighbouring states actively nourished the hostilities, and the UN 1956 attempt to contain the conflict failed after ten years, bringing half a century of conflict and escalating misery.
The solution now suggested by the critics of the past well-intentioned solution will just continue the Holocaust in a more naïve clothing pretending the certain result to be just.
An indirect result of the blind support of unlimited Palestinian claims against easing the way for the return of the last European empire, the Russian, to Eastern Europe.