Western Civilization: Crisis of Confidence

We’re caught in an awful contradiction when we welcome into our midst members of a culture that accepts chattel slavery, the brutal subjugation of women, the murder of apostates, honor killings, murdering homosexuals, and killing those who insult their religion. Try to put yourself into the mind of a man who would murder his own daughter for being raped, daring to choose her own husband, or just getting uppity in public. Honor killings have come to Europe with Muslim immigrants, and lately to America.

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By Stephen W. Browne | June 7, 2016

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One day in 1998, while I was working at an Industrial Training Center in Saudi Arabia, I heard that sound which once heard is never forgotten. It was the sound of hundreds of voices screaming mindlessly, the sound of a mob.

What had happened was a delegation of American executives, including one woman, was touring the facility. Somehow the American woman became separated from the group and was wandering through the hallway when a break between classes occurred.

I heard the roar of the mob, grabbed a student and shouted, “What the hell is going on? Is there a fight?”

“It’s a woman, Teacher,” he said. “An American woman.”

Imagine if you will what this woman must have felt walking by hundreds of young men screaming things like, “Can I F*** you?” at the top of their lungs.

Well, more than a hundred German women in Cologne, and on a smaller scale in Hamburg and perhaps Sweden didn’t have to wonder. They experienced it, and worse, first hand over New Years.

Reports have it thousands of North African Muslim refugees mobbed young women, groped them, tore their clothes, and robbed them.

Police were overwhelmed – and perhaps reluctant to act.

Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker advised young women to “stay at arms length” from “unknown men” and dress modestly.

Worse, many German newspapers attempted to kill the story, as did Swedish newspapers in 2015 when something similar happened at a concert.

The Germans are caught on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, there are living men and women who recall the mass rape orgy of the Red Army at the fall of the Third Reich. On the other hand, they’ve long felt the need to be conspicuously humanitarian for two generations after Nazism. So, when asked to take in refugees they’re like the gal who can’t say no.

So what explains the Swedes?

The East Europeans who endured two generations of unwanted guests under the Soviet occupation have no such qualms. Poland has seen mass demonstrations against taking in Muslim refugees and Hungary has re-built border fences dismantled after the fall of communism.

For more than a generation Western students have been taught the doctrine of cultural relativism, the notion that each culture should be judged by its own standards and no culture is in any objective sense better than any other.

When I was getting my masters in anthropology this was holy writ. Which is one reason I didn’t go further than an MA. I have a problem keeping my opinions to myself, you see.

So here’s mine. Western Civilization is suffering a crisis of confidence. On the one hand we hold to the values of equality, tolerance and inclusiveness. After much bloody history we have at last arrived at a place where we consider the in-group, those people we are obligated to act ethically towards, as all of humanity regardless of race, creed, gender, or sexual preference.

We’re caught in an awful contradiction when we welcome into our midst members of a culture that accepts chattel slavery, the brutal subjugation of women, the murder of apostates, honor killings, murdering homosexuals, and killing those who insult their religion.

Try to put yourself into the mind of a man who would murder his own daughter for being raped, daring to choose her own husband, or just getting uppity in public.

In Jordan, one of the more progressive and Westernized Arab Muslim countries, in spite of the efforts of Queen Rania and Dowager Queen Noor, men convicted of honor killings typically get sentences less than you could expect for a DUI.

Honor killings have come to Europe with Muslim immigrants, and lately to America.

There are those who say our wars in the Middle East have created this refugee crisis. Perhaps so, but we did not create that culture.

If we should not be over there, perhaps they should not be over here. And if they wish to come, can we make it plain that in our countries we make the laws and customs?


Stephen Browne has been a sewage treatment plant worker, a truck driver, an English teacher and a journalist. In 1991 he received his MA in anthropology and set out for Eastern Europe, which was to become his home for the next 13 years. While teaching English and working with local dissidents abroad he began to write professionally about the tremendous changes happening after the collapse of the Soviet empire. In 1997, he was elected Honorary Member of the Yugoslav Movement for the Protection of Human Rights. In 1998, he co-founded the Liberty English Camps in Lithuania, which teach the principles of free markets and political liberty through English-language instruction, and eventually became the Language of Liberty Institute. He returned to the U.S. to study journalism on a graduate fellowship and pay some dues in rural newspapers in the Midwest. At present he lives in his native Midwest with his two children Jerzy Waszyngton and Judyta Ilona. Mr. Browne is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.