We live in times when old ideological cliches not working anymore. It’s time for reassessing ideologies we inherited from the past & construct new ones to describe XXI century phenomenae better.
Recently I re-read Huntingdon’s Clash of Civilizations where he was routinely describing The West as “Liberal & Democratic”. However in this century such description seem not fitting well: Liberal & Democratic countries invaded many countries, organized coups, genocides, killed hundreds of thousands & left millions destitutes to die, whole countries disintegrated & in ruins, all in the name of Liberty & Democracy. I even don’t count old-fashioned imperialist grab of resources of weaker countries.
Some think old ideologies as fascism and totalitarianism can be used to describe present Western regimes at least partially. They maintain democratic facade hiding oligarchic capitalism, however from century-old Lenin’s description of imperialism as highest form of capitalism they differ fundamentally adopting many of the tools & characteristics of fascist, totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany & Soviet Union.
From Nazi Germany The West inherited wars & propaganda machine. From Soviet Union The West took mass surveillance (adapted to modern age of internet) & economic means to control population via cheap credits, expensive medical insurance & subprime mortgages. Fall in line or else, express your views and lose you job. When you have to pay back education loan, medical bills, mortgage for home, raise your children, your opinion of plutocracy at the helm will be necessarily moderated.
Non-Western regimes difficult to describe in few words because Russia, China, India, Brazil etc differ not only from The West but from each other as well. Big countries outside The West constitute distinct civilizations on their own right. Nevertherless they share one important characteristic: they are not homogenous & systems of governance, nature of regimes, press & civil freedoms vary considerably even within their sovereign territories.
For example Chinese people of Heilongjian, neighboring to Russia province do not feel any big difference in freedoms and opportunities from Russians of Far East, however not aware of many restrictions in place in distant Tibet & Uyghuria.
Russia generally more free than China include regions like Chechnya or Dagestan in North Caucasus where not only blood revenge & kidnapping of brides happen regularly but also have apparently authoritarian governments.
India where I lived best part of my life is different from The West, Russia & China and cannot be compared even slightly to any other states by sheer inner diversity, from paleolithic Andaman tribes to sophisticated Mumbai urbanites aping foreign examples in lifestyle and thought.
Of course all these states have totalitarian features: elements of police state, dissidents, surveillance and state-sponsored propaganda but I think they are far cry from Western levels. Only China perhaps not tolerating dissidents questioning leading role of Communist party, however compensating political restrictions by decentralization & economic freedoms. In Russia and India political dissidents often sponsored by The West not only tolerated but have larger than they deserve media tribunes to propagate their views.
Russian radical pro-Western opposition groups enjoy support of less than 1% of population but at least half of big newspapers, TV Rain news channel & Echo of Moscow national radio broadcast their propaganda non-stop
Overall regimes in Russia, India and China I’d describe as Eurasian, Hindu & Confucian because they have different from The West systems of political coordinates & abstain from applying mechanically Western concepts of Liberalism, Socialism & Fascism. They have their own conservatives & liberals, democrats & fascists but these labels shouldn’t be distributed from Western point of view which tend to label all Western agents in these countries as “pro-democracy activists”, “liberals”, etc. More often than not in local system of coordinates these dissidents are viewed as pure fascists, racists & mentally sick trouble makers.