US critics of white supremacy following the New Zealand massacre are obviously Democrats and anti-Trump media outlets. US President Donald Trump condemned the slaughter but denied that white supremacy is a rising threat. It seems that US reflection on the Christchurch attack is likely to turn into an ordinary political in-fight and end up with nothing definite.
To a large extent, the attack took place not only in New Zealand, but in the West. The gunman is an Australian citizen. His white supremacist remarks clearly reflected unfolding ultra-right populism in the West. Without universal reflection in the US and Europe, New Zealand’s remedial work will be limited in any case.
The West currently lacks the conditions to duly reflect on this issue. There are numerous problems in Western society, but only a few can be pointed out and resolved. Neither political forces nor strong leaders have appeared to encourage institutional reflection. The West’s fierce criticisms are political attacks between different factions. In the West, it is commonly and solidly believed that the West is generally perfect and superior.
The living standards of Western lower-class white people have declined in recent years. Should inappropriate policies or globalization be blamed?
Immigrants, especially Muslims, cannot integrate into Western society. How to solve this problem? The Western political system discourages overall planning and long-term solutions. Poor political and social governance is common.
In the absence of institutional reform, Western society relies on its established advantages of the past few centuries, but distorts emerging countries’ achievements. The West’s lack of development vigor compared with emerging nations has been ascribed to the latter’s so-called unfair competition and even conspiracy. Double standards are widely applied by the West. Western countries are increasingly pressuring emerging economies and controlling their political discourse. However, the diversity of today’s reality is unstoppable. It is increasingly tough for Western public opinion to be self-explanatory as problems grow.
The New Zealand terrorist attack is bound to have a serious impact on the internal unity of Western society and the feelings of both the West and the Islamic world. Current reflections are far from enough to exert an influence in the West. Unless these reflections can have an effect on elections, they are only formalism.
It is shocking that such a serious attack happened even in a usually peaceful nation. But given the country’s size, New Zealand’s measures are of little importance to the West. The West needs the US to move whether to address gun control or white supremacy.
It is painful to conduct institutional adjustments of social governance, but this ability determines a society’s competitiveness in the long run. The Western established advantages are indeed tremendous, but its self-adjustment ability is weakening, and some so-called adjustments often surrender to populism. The West is entering a problematic period that strikes at its very foundation.