Last modified on 7 September 2019, at 00:35

Westernization

Westernization is the process by which non-Western nations are converted to vibrant liberal democracies (members of the West). This happened to the Ottoman Empire after the First World War (the rest of the Central Powers were simply democratized) and this happened to all of the Axis Powers after World War II (the Axis Powers in Europe were re-Westernized, and Imperial Japan and its allies in Asia were Westernized for the first time. Westernization occurred for the first time when Alexander the Great founded the West in the 5th century BC.

Examples

India

When the British first discovered India, they encountered the Islamic practice of widow-burning. Horrified, the British colonial authorities made efforts to ban the practice. When the Indians complained that Britain was violating an important cultural tradition, Charles James Napier famously responded,

Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.[1]

Even after India gained independence from Britain, it continued to be an overtly Western nation which preserved Western values, which was encouraged by Mohandas K. Gandhi. However, after India was partitioned, its Muslim eastern neighbor was, and continues to be, quite the opposite. Thanks to conservative Indian President Narendra Modi, India remains Western to this day.

Japan

The Empire of Japan, especially during the period of Emperor Hirohito, was virulently anti-Western. However, after the use of two nuclear weapons on military/industrial sites and the declaration of war by the USSR, its last remaining fellow major anti-capitalist dictatorship, required due to the fanaticism of the Japanese dictators, the empire surrendered. Subsequently, the American occupation forces Westernized the nations, and U.S. troops continue to have a presence in Japan to this day. Japan, along with the Western, capitalist, East Asian democracies of Taiwan and South Korea, continues to actively oppose the communist nations in the region.

References