Cultural arrogance?

Michael Mandelbaum, the Christian A. Herter Professor and Director of the American Foreign Policy Program at Johns Hopkins University, writes in his book The Ideas that Conquered the World from 2002: "As such, the Cold War was the setting for a human practice even older, more pervasive, and ultimately more powerful than warfare; and it was this practice, the transmission of culture, that created the world of the 21st century".

What does it mean that the Muslim culture emits suicide bombers? Non-violent persons that walk around until they strike for the transmission of their culture. In the Cold War the cultural transmission of the West--Peace, Democracy, and Free Markets--conquered the world, according to Mandelbaum. In 2002, before September 15, 2008, there was a tug of war between the transmissions between the West and the Middle East. In 2010 this competition is more complicated since the rise of authoritarian state capitalism from China which probably has at least an equal allure to the Middle East.

It is possible that Muslims in Europe has lost some of the respect of the Western culture because of this which will exacerbate problems with terrorism and make proper integration into what we believe is a higher cultural reality. Because of the financial crisis there has been a seemingly diminished self confidence for Western values. The financial crisis has also meant that the US and Europe now have quite different outlooks for how the economy should be conducted.

It is unfortunate that a more detailed discussion of what multiculturalism actually means has not surfaced in Sweden. It is one thing to have immigration with proper integration and another to lose confidence in one own values and dilute them to much with Middle Eastern values. We are involved in a clash of cultures and will eventually have to accept some kind of compromise. This is a battle of ideas and values. This debate is currently acting as a force that splits Europe and works against a fiscal union situation that some people mean is a prerequisite for the survival of the EU.

Therefore there is also a confusion as to what constitute Swedish, European or Western values. Sweden will get a worse deal being only Swedish rather than Western. It would be very unfortunate if Sweden attracted for example preferentially anti-American Middle Easterners.

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