Do you believe that there is such a thing as "western culture" and "eastern culture" (alternatively, "west/east-ern values")? I find that most Malaysians use the terms with such currency, it seems we take for granted that there are such things.
What does Western culture promote? Many would say "liberalism", "human rights". In the West you can demand anything. Sue everyone for anything. Buy designer clothes for your dog, elope with the same sex, marry your mother, etc.
Do you truly believe that this is so? I also find that a handful of those who nurture these views often spit out the words "human rights" or "liberal/western democracy". Yes, I mean SPIT. They don't just say, they eject the words. It seems that the terms cannot be mentioned without the emotional baggage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict burning in their hearts.
Anyway, back to the terms "western/eastern culture".
If you believe in such a thing, have you ever noticed that in the West there are groups that are strongly religious and conservative? None of these groups would consider themselves as living the "eastern culture" though. No, they see themselves as Westerners.
So who are they?
You could speak of the Christian right (conservatives). They want all marriages to stay heterosexual, families to respect their elders and believe in God, discourage condom distribution (esp Vatican and supporters), "curing" of gay teenagers, girls to dress decently (depending on how much materialism/prosperity Gospel is practised), no premarital or extramarital sex, anti-abortion, absolutely despise the Theory of Evolution, etc.
Then there are political conservatives who want less rights for refugees, immigrants (esp illegal), more jobs for locals, pressure gov for less dependence on foreign labour, less political interference in foreign affairs, harsher penalties to discourage crime (often blamed on minorities) etc .
In light of the large spectrum of views in the West, don't you think it is misleading to speak of Western culture as if it is all homogenous?
I am quite convinced that this concept of East vs West "culture"/"values"was first thought up by Asian political leaders to stir up some nationalistic pride, to create an imaginary divide between "us" and "them", to blunt or dismiss altogether criticism from human rights commentators that naturally thrive in liberal democratic countries (not a "democracy" that employs force to arbitrarily remove critics).
Don't you think the real dichotomy (division) in opinions is more accurately "conservative" vs "liberal", and not "east" vs "west"?
Don't you think that the people normally accused of poisoned with "Western" ideas are really people with liberal motivations and that those normally praised to be a true "Oriental" are really conservatives (albeit often a very misinformed and couldn't-be-bothered-to-challenge-their-own-notions-of-right-and-wrong kinda conservative? yes, not a very good kinda conservative).
Do you agree?