Western divisions lead to biased mentality

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/24 21:14:54

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ends a vote by the US House of Representatives on a resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump on October 31, 2019 in Washington DC. Congress formally opened a new, public phase of its presidential investigation as US lawmakers voted for the first time to advance the impeachment process against Trump. Photo: AFP

It is important that a society maintains an objective understanding of things. But both history and reality have proved that it is not always easy to maintain an objective and rational collective understanding. For example, once religion is radicalized, it may harm a society's rationality and lead to widespread misunderstandings on some issues.

Political polarization is currently becoming a worldwide problem and causing increasingly severe divisions in many countries and societies. Political parties are no longer carriers of different policies for the society. They are more like forces that divide society.

Once a society is divided into different camps and the camps continue to strengthen, there will be a strong impact on normal values and judgments. Thus people will take a stand without caring about right or wrong. For example, in the US today, people who support and oppose President Donald Trump are sharply against each other. Those who support Trump support whatever Trump does, and likewise, the other group oppose him no matter under what condition.

Party division is a tradition in the West, but its polarization has reached a new peak in recent years. In the past, politics was generally a game in small circles. But now with the development of media and the internet, politics has been popularized. Political mobilization has become ubiquitous and society is losing its political perception. Thus, party divisions have penetrated from the political arena into the entire society.

Even during the American Civil War (1861-65), not all Americans knew what the war was for. When the media was underdeveloped, the society division caused by struggles between parties was easy to heal. Today, political parties are abducted by escalating paranoia in their camps. Different camps are all pushed to a more extreme position in the struggle. There is less and less room for maneuver. 

Along with such division, there is ideological polarization. Western media are deeply involved in party struggles. Their selective reports and comments serve viewpoints. Western society's perception and judgment of right and wrong has been chaotic.

Internationally some American elites are also taking the lead in building camps, trying to divide the world into a US and West camp versus a China camp. Western society has long held ideological prejudices against China. The latest round of attacks on China by some political and public opinion elites has deepened the value gap between the Western public and Chinese society. Sinophobia is being encouraged in the West. 

An ideological tendency against the West was also prevailing in the early years of the People's Republic of China. At that time, we regarded everything in the West as wrong and even Western high living standards were considered corrupt capitalist lifestyles. After China's reform and opening-up, seeking truth from facts returned to the country's ideology, which has enabled the Chinese people to view the Western world in an objective and rational manner, to learn their achievements as well as review their problems. Even today as China-US relations have undergone profound changes, our understanding of the US hasn't become one-sided. 

But China is being increasingly demonized in Western public opinion. China's crackdown on terrorism is taken as violations of human rights, foreign investments as a debt trap, 5G technology as threats and even high-speed rail a tool used for monitoring. They have racked their brains to find fault with China. Western public opinion has been filled with lies about China.  

The world of the 21st century shouldn't have been so politically divided. In a world in which economics, science and technology are highly globalized, countries and societies need objective mutual cognition, which could provide the basis for interconnectivity of the world and the realization of common interests of people through more cooperation.  

The US and Western political and public opinion elites should realize that the Western political system is unleashing negative energy that is splitting society. They should try to prevent such Western political logic extending to the outside world. This is the moral responsibility that they should assume facing human society in the 21st century.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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