President Obama and Cultural Relativism

President Obama in a recent interview with the BBC says America cannot impose our values on others.

Yet I am not quite sure which “values” Obama thinks we cannot impose upon other nations or if he really means this.  Obama says in one paragraph that democracy and rule of law are universal but then in the next sentence that we can’t impose.  The vagueness is enough to cause inertia.

So basically what Obama is doing here is trying to refute Bush’s previous statements of spreading democracy, while still saying democracy should be universal…confused?

Well it gets even more puzzling.

“The danger I think is when the United States or any country thinks that we can simply impose these values on another country with a different history and a different culture,”

Yet is this really the danger?  Is the danger in telling Sudan that they should not commit genocide?  Is the danger in teaching the Afghan’s they should let their daughters learn to read and not stone them when they are raped?  Is the danger in telling China that it is wrong to imprison people for years with no due process?

This is really the quandary of liberal cultural relativism.  It is moralistic to the core but selective in which morals to tout.  It really does not believe that since all cultures are different they are equal.  This is more doublespeak and leads only to feel good ambiguity.

ryan

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  1. […] Matt and Ryan’s Blog: President Obama and Cultural Relativism […]

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