What are the characteristics that make up the Western world?
What does it mean to be Western?
What country do you see as Western?
This I believe would be the loosest definition of the Western world:
The Western world should have a significant Christian heritage. Now it should be either Christian or at least culturally Christian.
The Western world should have partial or significant European heritage.
The Western world should see it self in alignment with liberal democracy.
If the country has position its political rhetorical against "Western imperialism" such as Venezuela or snubs the West (like Ecuador with the Snowden scandal), then it its Western.
This was the best that I could do.
Its 2:40 AM here, will be going to sleep.
Based on the Spenglerian model, it's a civilisation that was born in the early 10th century in Western Europe, and whose influence has since spread to cover the entire globe.
The characteristics that define it compared to other civilisations include a particularly strong sense of time and history, an attraction towards vast and infinite space, a belief in a single all-governing rational force in the universe, and of humans being defined as individuals by their inner force of character. There are other traits as well, for example an extraordinary humility and willingness to learn from what is foreign in either space or time.
Of course then you can enumerate the expressions of that Western spirit, from Catholicism to the Scientific Revolution or the Age of Discovery etc, but they're just that, expressions.
They don't consider themselves Western. If recent colonialism was enough to make a country Western, India should be considered Western. You could maybe make an edge case for somewhere like South Africa given the population demographics.
>Western culture is characterized by a host of artistic, philosophic, literary, and legal themes and traditions; the heritage of Greek, Roman, Jewish, Celtic, Germanic and other ethnic and linguistic groups, as well as Christianity including the Roman Catholic Church, and the Orthodox Church, which played an important part in the shaping of Western civilization since at least the 4th century. Also contributing to Western thought, in ancient times and then in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance onwards, a tradition of rationalism in various spheres of life, developed by Hellenistic philosophy, Scholasticism, humanism, the Scientific revolution and the Enlightenment. Values of Western culture have, throughout history, been derived from political thought, widespread employment of rational argument favouring freethought, assimilation of human rights, the need for equality, and democracy.
>Historical records of Western culture in Europe begin with Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Western culture continued to develop with Christianisation during the Middle Ages, the reform and modernization triggered by the Renaissance, and with globalization by successive European empires, that spread European ways of life and European educational methods around the world between the 16th and 20th centuries. European culture developed with a complex range of philosophy, medieval scholasticism and mysticism, and Christian and secular humanism. Rational thinking developed through a long age of change and formation, with the experiments of the Enlightenment, and breakthroughs in the sciences. Tendencies that have come to define modern Western societies include the existence of political pluralism, prominent subcultures or countercultures (such as New Age movements), and increasing cultural syncretism resulting from globalization and human migration.
>The Western world should see it self in alignment with liberal democracy.
I don't see why this would define western civilization. Until 200 years ago, the heart and center of the western world - France, was a champion of absolutism.
Austria, BENELUX, France, GB, Ireland Spain, Switzerland, Andorra, San Marino, Vatican City, Monaco, Liechtenstein
Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia
Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Serbia, """Kosovo""", Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania
Belaruse, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine,
>Geographically Europe, but not of Europe
Outside of Europe
Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand
Latin America, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Israel
It seems to me that "the west" is something people made of to either brand themselves in a particular way, i.e >>617383 claiming that "rational thought" is somehow inherently Western, or something various institutions do because it suits them politically, i.e. what >>617242 does with liberal democracy and the church.
In other words, it becomes easier to perpetuate the notion that "The West" is Christian if we define Christianity as an inherent part of the West. This, in turn, makes Christianity seem far more important to "Western" history than it really was.
This in spite of the fact that non-Christians have always lived in "The West" and that "The West" has had a ton of different versions of Christianity, many of which were in direct conflict with each other.
Likewise with "liberal democracy", this is a relatively new thing in "The West" yet by claiming that it is somehow inherently tied to our culture, we both grant legitimacy to our own instituions, the EU and NATO, and at the same time make other systems seem not only institutionally different, but also culturally so, in spite of the fact that their history of systems of representations probably isn't all that different.
TLDR: "The West" is whatever you make it, so long as it suits your political purposes.
Permission to include Northern Nations?
'Coz having Belaruse and the rest as "Eastern" seems kinda retarded in light of Pakistan/India/Vietnam/...
Was specifically talking about Europe in that part, pakistan etc don't even come close to being anywhere near 'western'. At least those nations in Europe can claim some Western sentiments due to being in Europe, though geography only plays a small part.
And I totally forgot about the Nordics beyond Finland, and also Germany. I'd probably put them in the Western category. Though it historically speaking they've always been late to the party and have near western tendencies, but modern nordics would probably be western. As is Germany.
>"The West" is Christian if we define Christianity as an inherent part of the West
But it is.
If Christianity falls, religion as a whole will fall in the west, maybe only replaced by old-school philosophies like platonism.
>What are the characteristics that make up the Western world?
McDonalds and Coca Cola. I can't list every single characteristic.
SJWs like >>617232 and /pol/tards like >>617242 tie their egos to the "muh heritage" meme and want to believe their cultures are pure and unmixed or free from western cultural hegemony. To avoid this very modern bias I think it is important to note that every culture is a mix of sorts. Imagine someone with green paint ranking every other color of paint by how close to green it is, only to discover their paint was created by mixing blue and yellow.
>What does it mean to be Western?
After the industrial revolution, culture spread and mixed widely in the industrialized world comprising mainly anglos and europe, forming an amorphous cultural blob. As more countries industrialized and their cultures were exposed, the original amorphous blob was labeled "the west".
>What country do you see as Western?
In my map I try to address this issue and make more accurate definitions. The original blob (anglos and euros) is definitely western. Latin America and the asian tigers have been industrialized for a long time and mixed for a long time, but technically they are not part of the original blob and maintain significant differences. Minor details are up to debate but I think this map is about right.
Well I guess that sort of proves my point, seeing as you seem to be making two claims here:
a. Being Western means being religious
b. Being religious in the West means being Christian
I'm not sure either of these are true, and both of them certainly lives up to my previous point that "The West" is a word we only really use when it benefits us for political purposes.
> What is the Western World?
Whatever your propaganda machine says.
Calling USA "Western World" was nothing but a joke in early 19th century. Nowadays we even consider Japanese "Western".
There is no Western World. There are a few labels that evoke emotional response, the politicians like to use. Just like Christians and Europeans, white people are no longer fashionable. So we are getting Western World instead.
Central and West Europe, the Americas, anglo Oceania
Throw in Russia and maybe South Africa to the above
North America, West and Central Euro, Japan, South Korea
As an Ameripoor I'd probably move to Hong Kong/Japan/Scandinavia If I could speak the appropriate language, but living in the US is sure better than anywhere in south america/africa/middle east/ etc
"The West" usually refers to a geopolitical bloc of nations that are pretty much always allied together, no matter what. US, UK, other anglophone countries, and the richest European nations.
Other nations may be "Westernised" but they have other alliances that may complicated their alliances with the West (e.g., Eastern European countries which have stronger alliances with Russia)
It's worth noting that before "the judeo-christian roots of western civilization" became an oft-parroted meme, the meme of the day was "modernity", "modern countries", "modernization" etc, which did imply "rational" government, liberalism, capitalism and so on (back in those days, Prussian-style modernity was also a strong contender to the more liberal Anglo model, while imperialism and industrialization were the strongest signs of modernity.)
"Western" simply replaced "modern" and inherited all its implications, though since "Western" countries abandoned overt imperialism and dumped industry in favor of services, those characteristics are seen as backward.
Blue are the strictest definition of Western. First world, Christian, NATO
Red are the Eastern Bloc nations, still rooted in the same tradition, but not seen as "the West"
Green are borderline western nations, which have a longwithstandig connection with Europe and would like to be considered part of it.
Turquoise are successful Arab countries that had only recently adopted western lifestyle.
Yellow are kinda successful East Asian nations, that have been part of the 1st World, and might have been considered "West" by an ex-Soviet citizen
Gray are the countries with heavy Western influence
I understand Bolivia not being western because they embraced indian culture but both Venezuela and Ecuador should still be considered western, their political position doesn't change the fact they have a considerable western european heritage.
Blue - West
Light Blue - Influenced by West
Red - Eastern European
Blue is what I would consider true Western in culture, almost all of NATO and the EU
Green might or might not be considered Western
Countries like Poland and the Balkans are members of NATO and the EU and most are changing rapidly to the culture of Western Europe, but still, they're abit different
The East Asian countries have always had good ties with the West and you can see that in their way of handling things, but they still have their own distinct Asian cultures, which excludes them somewhat
And Israel, I don't know man, it's Western, that is certain, but I can't actually say much, religion plays a larger part in politics in Israel compared to the other countries, even more than the USA.
And secularism is a big factor in Western culture I think
I mean, even the religious folks in the US have to serve when duty calls, however the Ultra-Orthodox Jews are literally excluded from conscription in Israel
Other spic countries have too much native culture
Serious question here, how could a country fuck up so badly?
You could have been so great...
>people categorize Croatia and Slovenia as part of the "East"
I don't think people actually understand slavic countries and their diversity outside of the memes. If we have a country with a historically Catholic, Latin-rite population and european architecture, I don't see how it can be characterized as non-western.
Serbia for example is a different matter, with their Orthodox heritage and relations with Russia it's easier to categorize them as part of the east. Then there's Bosnia with a significant Muslim population and cultural influence from the Ottomans...
OP here again. I'm glad the thread took off over night.
Where did I imply "muh heritage"?
Looking back, I think that was a mistake. Look at Mexico, at their airlines. It isn't "Conquistadors" its "Azteca". It shows that in Mexico the rhetoric is to see them as "Aztec" in some form. Or course is probably will no be true in the white minority in Mexico, who will probably consider Spain to be their "parent" country.
I think its important that a country usuing rhetoric that aligns itself with "the West", aka, Europe, Christianity, etc.
Countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia and Paraguay, that appeal much to their indigenous past probably shouldn't be considered Western as they themselves don't see it that way.
the label "the West" is almost always used as a dichotomy. In modern day, the dichotomy is who is and isn't friendly with the USA.
In the Cold War, it was who were on the side of the Free capitalists. Probably where Latin America fell out of the West.
I've made another map. Light blue tags along but isn't important. Dark blue are countries that bring a fundamental value in what it means to be Western. USA brings Federal Republic, Constitutions, etc. France brings the French Revolution, etc.
Greece is probably the most objectionable member of the dark blue, but it was Greece where Western Civilization supposively started. It should be recognized that the label was used after the fact, that historians looked at Greece and determined them to be their "mother" civilization.
Maybe that is how we ought to determine who is Western or not. To be Western to ultimate stem from the Greeks. Most of Europe looks to Graeco-Roman culture as their parent culture. US, Brazil and many other countries look to Europe as their origin. While some countries such as Mexico, Bolivia,etc. may use rhetoric that puts it on the native side.
Japan and S.Korea, although close allies don't see their country stemming from the Greeks, thus are not Western.
There are literally people in this thread trying to label S. Korea and Japan as Western but are excluding the Latin American countries
In order for a country to be considered western in a modern cultural sense it must have both a majority Christian population and a primary language of European origin.
It is not restricted to a geographic location or ethnicity since regions such as Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania are mostly westernized.
Ambiguity may arise in the case of African nations and Turkey.
European nations that do not have a Christian majority or use a primary language of non European origin as in the case of Malta, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania are normally considered a part of the west due to their location within Europe.