I Am Ashamed To Be A Westerner

Someone had to write this article I share below. It just happened to be Andre Vitchek, perhaps none more appropriate to the task – although a great many would qualify for it. I am not among them. I have spent my whole life a privileged Westerner.

Can China and Russia Survive in this Unharmonious World?” – Andre Vitchek for NEO

Growing up in the heart of what was the 19th century imperial beast on an overcrowded little island offset from and considered, by itself, to be above its European neighbours.  My life was not one of suffering from bullying or, for the most part, from want or lack of basic necessities – even though the empire’s heart had been ravaged and impoverished by a costly conflict conducted mostly ‘somewhere else’ and the fact that the world itself was a vastly different place to what we know today. The beast of empire that was my home, collapsed and was laid to rest in the middle of the 20th century, just after I arrived on the scene, having had its fitness to wear the mantle of empire ripped away in the conflict just ended. Though it still from time to time lets out a bellow or whimper of frustration over its dismissal from the corridors of power.  

I arrived in time to greet the growth of the new 20th century beast of empire. An even more rapacious, vicious and beastly one than any of its predecessors. A beast that has no ‘friends’, only either ‘vassals’ or ‘enemies’, depending on the beast’s own classification of them.

It took me a while, in life, to realise what was driving the state of the world I grew up in. But I knew intrinsically there was something amiss. Things didn’t add up. The picture being presented was not the image formed in my mind. And so I vacated my still cosy island home among the dying remnants of empire past, and centred my life on a much bigger island, Australia, a sleepy backwater located far from the turmoil of global struggles.

The nature of things has changed of course, as they do, and I now find myself living in a ‘vassal’ state of the empire. Being a vassal state, my home country is obliged to vociferously proclaim the ‘greatness’ of its master in order, as Vitchek says, to gain favours. Empty favours of course, because the beast never does anything to knowingly weaken its own position but to further impose that position on its vassals.

My only consolation, because I am at a time of life where it is impractical to uproot my life one more time in order to escape a looming fate, is that it is now plain to see that the beast of empire is again growing sick and weary. Its empire, even now shrinking, will surely collapse along with itself in due, but not so far off, time. This must surely be classified as the shortest lived empire in history. Less than one century it has reigned since coming to prominence, although slightly longer than that in its formative years. One century too long, as a world suffering from but enduring and surviving the excesses of empire would say.

If the beast of empire has to go down with a fight, then let it soon begin. If my new country has to go down with it (that would now actually be a form of liberation) then so be it. Because those parts of the world so bullied and downtrodden for so long, are raising themselves with more than the full capability to fight back and take down the beast, if that has to be done, in order to restore harmony to this world.

If it has to be, then the sooner the better.

Of course the beast could simply slink quietly back into its lair and live peaceably (and the world eventually be willing to forgive and forget) but, once the power of empire has been tasted, history tells us that it is not in the nature of such beasts to do that.

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