|Can I interest you in a civilisation? One not so careful owner.|
On Salon.com, Jewish writer Gary Legum draws parallels between the Trump movement in the US and European nationalist movements, noting that European "far right" figures such as Nigel Farage (chortle) or Geert Wilders have turned up at the Republican Party convention and been received sympathetically.
This alliance comes against the backdrop of a Republican Party that has spent the last few years degenerating into a revanchist white nationalism that excuses its own racism by blaming the nation’s first African-American president for inciting it. A party with little room for or appeal to minorities. A party that has nominated as its candidate a man who tried to make “America First” his campaign slogan and who has promised to build a wall on the southern border to keep out undocumented immigrants. A party whose base in the primaries revolted against anyone who even hinted at supporting immigration reform, causing one presidential candidate to renounce a reform bill he helped write two years ago. It is a party in the full-blown grip of panic as its Caucasian base sees its place at the top of the heap of Western civilization slipping, and it does not know what to do except lash out, embracing ever-crazier characters from the fringes of society.
The problem for the GOP is that the isolationism called for within British or Dutch society – or any other European country, for that matter – is not replicable in the United States, which does not have the homogenized, centuries-old culture of those nations. And it is a violation of our national character, or at least the character we aspire to present to ourselves and to the world, to so virulently deny agency to immigrants. Even undocumented ones.Source
The text I have highlighted in bold expresses what I find a very curious notion: that "western civilisation" doesn't belong to Europeans. The term "western civilisation" really just means European civilisation but the word "western" is deemed to include the elements of European civilisation that lie outside of Europe, in other words European diaspora societies like the USA or Australia.
It strikes me as very odd to claim, as this Jewish author implicitly does, that the people who have created a civilisation over thousands of years have no special entitlement to it, no ownership rights so to speak; as if their civilisation was just some abstraction, separate from the people who built it, fought for it and upheld it for millenia; and as if it could be passed on, fully intact, to other people as if through some deed of transfer.