1. The modern West has been the first civilisation ever that got rid of slavery.
Some sort of forced work has existed throughout the ages, all over the globe. Ancient Greeks and Romans built their civilisation on slave labour. Mediaeval Europe used serf labour, which existed in Russia until 1861, much longer than in other European countries. Outside Europe, it was again European powers, which banned slavery first. Britain declared the slave trade illegal in 1807, and finally banned slavery in all territories of the Empire in 1833.
In some non-Western countries, slavery exists to-date. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) 20.9 million men, women and children around the world are in slavery. In the 21st century people are still sold like objects, forced to work for little or no pay and at the complete mercy of their 'employers .' In India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Niger, Senegal and many other countries, slavery exists in different forms, including bonded labour, forced marriages and slavery by descent within the caste system.
We, happy Westerners, often complain about our jobs as “slavery”, but we haven't experienced the real thing.
2. The West has achieved an unprecedented level of tolerance.
Most civilisations considered themselves the highest form of human community ever achieved. The modern Western civilisation widely tolerates even those opinions and beliefs that are openly hostile to it. This tolerance, however, is mostly unrequited by the rest of the world. While Muslims that reside in the West are free to profess their religion, the same cannot be said about Christians, Jews, Hinduists and other religious minorities in Muslim countries.
An example. “Between 1920 and 1970, 900,000 Jews were expelled from Arab and other Muslim countries: from Morocco to Iran, from Turkey to Yemen, including places where they had lived for twenty centuries,” says Professor Shmuel Trigano. The Jewish expulsion from Muslim countries included a large scale confiscation of property.
Do the Muslims living in the West feel an adequate gratitude to their host countries? I'm not so sure. Are the Muslim countries going to indemnify the expulsed Jews—now mostly Israeli citizens—for the stolen property? I'm sure they never will.
3. Yet our civilisation does not consider itself supreme.
Quite on the contrary: supremacy is banned and considered barbaric, obsolete and indecent. There are Americans and Europeans who feel shame for their civilisation. That's nonsense. We should be thankful our ancestors for having built the system we live in. Should we feel guilty for the horrors of slavery in the American South prior to abolition? No. Not even the Southerners should. It was a nasty period of the history, but it was our civilisation, which deliberately abolished slavery on the grounds of morality and universal human rights.
We, Americans and Europeans, should love our civilisation. We should be proud of its achievements and defend it by all available means that are compatible with our values and creeds. We will never have a better one.
Now call me Western supremacist. I will gladly carry that badge. I live in a civilisation, where I have the freedom of speech.