Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tony Blair, western values, and Judeo-Christian influence

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The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair deeply believes in the superiority of western values. For that, he thinks that the west should continue to strive to lead the world as has always been. 

Since his stepping down, Blair actively travels the world to develop religious peace through his foundation. He continues to exercise leadership grounded in western principles. His confidence in western values shapes his view on geopolitics and hope for the future of the world.

His position seems triumphalist, glorifying the western civilization over the rest of the world. Perhaps, bordering cultural imperialism. Yet, it is not as simple as that. 

Although Blair sees these values as western, yet he also believes that they are potentially universally appreciated as values that all of humanity can embrace:
"The world needs our [west-oriented] leadership for a very simple reason: while our values may have been nurtured in the West, their appeal and their ownership is vested in humanity. Liberty, justice, the people above the government not the government above the people: these are the values we forged over centuries and they represent the steadfast evolution of human progress"
(Tony Blair, A Journey [London, UK: Arrow Books, paperback edition 2011], xviii.)
To Blair, those western values are not rootless. They are the fruit from the Judeo-Christian backyard that has so shaped some of the most important egalitarian principles that we cherish today.
"Europe has many faults, but it has progressive values, a decent base adherence to the Judeo-Christian heritage that precisely because of its tumultuous and often terrible history has achieved a considerable measure of human civilization today." (Ibid, xxxvi.) 
In other words, to Blair, the reason why the west should continue to lead the world is because these values, negotiated rightly as well as wrongly with Christian theology through the ages, are the right set of universal principles that make us who we are meant to be as human beings.

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