Can Western critics of Russia’s law against gay propaganda be called ‘an arrogant mob’ seeking to ‘destroy global cultural diversity’? According to this editorial from China’s state-run Huanqiu, not any concern for equality, but the West’s dislike for ‘Russian conservatism,’ is behind calls to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. The once and future Beijing imperialists warn Westerners to be more humble, since, ‘the glory of the West over the last century comprises a brief moment in the evolution of human civilization.’
Perhaps timed with Vladimir Putin’s state of Russia speech in which the Russian president used almost identical language, the Huanqiu editorial says in part:
In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation against “gay propaganda” which has reportedly resulted in public protests. This is said to be the main trigger for Westerners calling for a boycott of the Sochi Winter Games. However, there is a more deeply seated reason: at the bottom of their hearts, Westerners dislike conservative forces in Russia, and is always looking for a point of attack against it.
The world is a very diverse place, and each country may have aspects to it that the outside world finds unpleasant. Some countries proposed boycotting the 2008 Games in China. Now Russia is hosting the Games and some Western people are again shouting “boycott.” Last year, however, the Games in London went off swimmingly. This is a global political pattern. Despite its overall decline, the West retains more overall influence seeks to use it to change the world culturally.
The forced politicization of social issues among countries may easily lead to friction and even confrontation. The West is chock full of people who always have a sense of moral superiority. In the eyes of non-Western countries, however, they seem more like an arrogant mob, using brutality to promote their values and destroy global cultural diversity.
Accumulating knowledge of political culture is a slow process, as is our understanding of what progress looks like and what should be considered “universal.” This is precisely why the long-term maintenance of cultural diversity is so important. From the perspective of history, the glory of the West over the last century comprises a brief moment in the evolution of human civilization. The West should maintain the necessary humility.
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