...[A]s places that once lay outside the scope of Tocqueville's thought come increasingly to resemble the West, his analysis of the moral psychology of modern democracy only becomes more broadly relevant. As they modernize, developing nations will see more of themselves, for better or for worse, or for both, in Tocqueville's portrait.These sentences appeared in an article published in November 2014, but they could as easily have been written a half-century earlier.
Alongside this narrative of Westernization, another narrative is also part of the semi-conscious assumptions of many educated Westerners; one might call this one the clash-of-civilizations, or more colloquially, the they-hate-us narrative. One recalls the sometimes plaintive, sometimes bewildered "why do 'they' hate 'us'?" question voiced after 9/11. In this narrative, modernization-as-Westernization produces a severe reaction, portrayed most obviously (though not only) as religiosity vs. secularism.
Both these narratives are quarter-truths (a notch down from half-truths) at best, but their presence in the discursive air suggests that quarter-truths can be durable.
Added later: Not posting on the Israeli elections because one can find plenty of discussion of that elsewhere. This blog does not have the capacity or (always) the inclination to chase the headlines. (If you want that, go to LGM.)