In Defence of Western Values

With the rise of post-modernism, Western liberal values have often come under harsh attacks. The essence of the criticism is that they are subjective, Eurocentric and endanger different cultural identities. However, even a brief survey of the key principles of Western liberal values and of their history provides a compelling argument that they are universal and are beneficial to all of humanity.
 
Personal liberty, limits to government authority, free markets, human rights, property rights, freedom of association, respect for humans as individuals: all these principles and more benefit humanity and individual human beings wherever they live on the globe.
 
The ideas of John Locke, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Puffendorf, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant and many other Western philosophers were essential to helping establish a peaceful and prosperous society we live in today.

“Is ‘Human Rights’ a Western Concept?” by Ahmed Shaheed and Rose Parris Richter, IPI Global Observatory, October 17, 2018
https://theglobalobservatory.org/2018/10/are-human-rights-a-western-concept/

“Western civilisation is an idea worth defending—and reapplying” by Joe Lonsdale, The Economist, August 3, 2018
https://www.economist.com/open-future/2018/08/03/western-civilisation-is-an-idea-worth-defending-and-reapplying

“Culture Matters: Ibn Warraq’s eloquent defense of Western civilization” by Bruce S. Thornton, City Journal, February 3, 2012
https://www.city-journal.org/html/culture-matters-9696.html

“Political Values, Here and There” by Jay Nordlinger, National Review, July 8, 2017
https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/question-western-values-universal-values-other-values/

“Celebrating the values of the West is right because they’re the best” by Clifford D. May, The Washington Times, July 11, 2017
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jul/11/western-values-are-the-best/

“Democracy is not a mystifying western plot – it is a universal value” by Anthony Smith, The Guardian, July 3, 2015
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jul/03/democracy-not-mystifying-western-plot-universal-value-sustainable-development-goals

“Mill’s Moral and Political Philosophy”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mill-moral-political/

“Kant’s Moral Philosophy”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-moral/

“Locke’s Political Philosophy”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/locke-political/

“Hugo Grotius”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/grotius/


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Sabrina Zuniga & Denis Tsarev