The West by the Rest

1. Characterisation

Occidentalism is an ugly word. It is a picture of the West in the eyes of its enemies. Geographically speaking, the enemies are everywhere. Indeed the most important propagators of the Occidentalist picture come from within the West. Some elements of this picture seem to be right. There is a great deal of the West which is ugly. Western colonialism and western imperialism are but two prominent nasty features of the West. Yet Occidentalism is not a picture of an ugly reality but an ugly picture—morally ugly, that is. It contains dehumanising features of the westerners as machine-like creatures, as creatures without a soul.

2. Stereotypes

A Stereotype of one group of people by another is with us from the time herds of naked apes were roaming planet earth. Stereotyping is so banal that we tend to view it as a harmless vice, merely because it is so familiar.

The ...

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