Liberty as a Western value

Sage of None the Wiser has a great post on Tony Blair's recent speech in which his cultural relativist side came through, largely to the applause of most observers. The failure to make moral distinctions and human judgments necessary for liberty to come to fruition are the very hallmarks of its deterioration.

This refusal to credit Western Civilization with the most comprehensive and sweeping conception of political freedom and personal liberty--and make no mistake, these are Western values--is symptomatic of a mushy kind of multi-culti cultural relativism. Tony's--and the Left's generally--is a worldview that rejects the uniqueness and, ultimately, the very legitimacy, of Western individualism. There is no Near Eastern Adam Smith. There is no Far Eastern Thomas Jefferson. There is no South American Rene Descartes.

It's true that everyone, at bottom, is built with a love of freedom. But it is decidedly not the case that all peoples, plural, and all civilizations value freedom in the way that we do. I am simply astonished that anyone could say with a straight face that our attachment to freedom is not a product of our culture. This is obviously absurd, and it evinces a distinctly socialist view of Western Civilization as unspectacular, and of our liberty as either a sham or the mere product of good fortune.

The entire post is well-worth reading.

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I think Tony Blair's

I think Tony Blair's comments are being over analyzed. I hardly think he wanted to discredit the West for the freedoms we have made popular and attainable. By saying liberty is a universal value, I believe he meant exactly what he said.

Just because Eastern philosophy made non-violence popular doesn't mean folks in the West don't value it and is universally accepted as a good thing.