A turn on humanism
With disbelieve, we witnessed how tens of thousands of young European Muslim men and women joined the barbaric world of ISIS. How could it be that those who were born and raised in western Europe, and benefitted enormously from European humanism, exchanged those benefits so easily for one where only Allah’s pleasures stood central, no matter how black and ruthless? How could they go so easily from humanism to a totalitarian, brutal theocracy?
Most people in the West brought up with humanism as the only ideal, were clueless about what was happening and why. Again many are clueless today, when the USA, the world’s most prosperous country, moved away from humanism as its central value system, to opportunistic liberalism.
How could it be that those Bible belt Americans, who preach "all is vanity; riches, lust and honor are dangerous temptations," go for just selfish, arrogant and egocentric objectives? Many in the rest of the world are in shock and witness the shift in total disbelieve?
Humanism became western’s new religion over the last hundred years. We in the West live and work not just for the pleasures and glory of God, but, first of all, for the benefits of man and mankind. We believe that all human beings are people with equal rights no matter where they are born, what nationality or papers they may posses. “The unalienable right to pursue happiness,” applies to all people of the world.
Particularly in the USA, human rights and values were put central since its formation in 1776. No nation in the world cared more about "Human Rights," contributed more to Foreign Aid, or devoted more energy with its Peace Corps to the welfare and wellbeing of other people in the world.
After the recent elections, that may change.
Humanism under the Obama regime translated into 'Obama Care.' No matter one’s economic status, every American had the unalienable right to health care, expressed in the Affordable Health Care Act, which 20 million people joined. The new regime will repeal the Act immediately, irrespectively the suffering and injustice they could impose; it does not care about the health rights of poor Americans.
Humanism under Obama also prevailed when it came to the well-being of 15 million so-called, undocumented immigrants. The new regime will start massive razzias, to round up millions for deportations, since documents are more important than humanity, in their view. The magnitude of the enterprise is even larger than the Nazi deportation of Jews.
Obama's humanism also reflected in global fair trade agreements, which are being annulled by one-sided opportunistic and monopolistic trade deals, to benefit just USA.
Environmental concerns of global warming and pollution, and commitments already made by the USA world’s largest polluter, are being wiped of the table with utter disdain and arrogance.
So humanism, as the new religion in Western civilization, is taking a step back.
There never was proof that human well-being improves as history rolls along. Adolf Hitler exterminated tens of million over his concern that the genetic quality of the human race, and in particular his ubermensch, would be infected with deterioration. Joseph Stalin, who adhered to the blessings of humanism only if they were collectively applied, sent tens of million individuals, "enemies of the State," to a certain death with deportations to Siberia. And most recently, Mao Zedong killed 50 million ‘intellectuals,’ afraid that their free thinking would negatively influence the collective of China.
The big question with the new regime in the USA is, whether it will be just a bump in the road to a nicer, kinder and more equal global community, or a highly destructive reactionary move, leading us back to the havoc of 1960’s.
By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Opinion columnist for Curaçao Chronicle