President Obama’s Legacy of Cultural Imperialism

Multiculturalism, pluralism, diversity, and tolerance: these were once the watchwords of liberalism. When it comes to issues like abortion and sexuality, however, modern liberalism has no room for such things. Particularly in the realm of international affairs, wealthy elites in developed countries are intent on imposing socially liberal policies on economically developing nations, without considering those countries’ traditional cultures and religious beliefs. In other words, today’s social liberals want to colonize foreign souls rather than foreign soil. Instead of stripping the developing world of its labor and resources, social liberals seek to strip cultures of their traditional religion and morality. I have called this impulse “the new cultural imperialism,”[1] and it has become a defining characteristic of the Obama administration’s relationship with the developing world, especially Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Over the past eight years, this attitude and course of conduct have become especially pronounced, infiltrating all aspects of U.S. foreign policy. The Liberal Contradiction Liberals once staunchly opposed colonialism, politically as well as economically and culturally. Denis Diderot, Immanuel  Kant, and other Enlightenment thinkers—building on the work of Christian social reformers like Bartolomé de Las Casas—condemned coercive and exploitative colonization practices.[2] These writers recognized both the individual rights of non-European peoples as well as the tendency of different peoples to develop divergent customs and institutions.[3] Shortly after the scramble for Africa at the turn of the twentieth century, Marxist-Leninists condemned imperial colonization as a natural outgrowth of degenerate global capitalism.[4] The New Left fused liberal progressive ideals with these Marxist critiques of economic imperialism to form the critical theory of postcolonialism, which attempted to deconstruct modes of Western
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