Walking the Fine Line between Self-Criticism and Self-Loathing
Man must be disciplined, for he is by nature raw and wild. – Immanuel Kant
The West is in a dangerous phase in its history. We are undergoing dramatic shifts within our culture in attitudes, populations, power relationships vis a vis China plus a host of other stresses [Climate Change, etc.] While being self-critical is part of the makeup of Western civilization I believe we are at risk of turning constructive self-criticism into self-loathing. What makes me thing this? Here is a concrete example of what I mean.
Gandhi statue pulled down in Ghana after controversy over ‘racist’ writings 
Manchester students want statue of ‘racist’ Gandhi rejected 
Christopher Columbus statues beheaded, toppled, burned, thrown in lake 
Two statues of Italian explorer and colonizer Christopher Columbus have been destroyed in Richmond, Va., and Boston, Mass., amid protests against police brutality and centuries of racism that led up to the death of George Floyd.
Now, I am not saying Ghandi or Columbus was perfect. But honestly, this kind of revisionist history which uses today’s standards as a reference to judge others in the past when codes of ethics were completely different is both silly and not helpful. It is part of a worldview which looks for what is wrong, rather than what is right; a point of view that seeks to find blame, rather than being self-critical, in other words, it is the descent of positive self-criticism having sliding into the abyss of destructive self-loathing. [Note: I do not include statues of Confederate generals or slave traders in the above thoughts – that is a different kettle of fish – good riddance to them.]
Now, as a culture it is in our DNA to embrace change and be self-critical, but we must be wary of self-loathing because it emphasizes the negative and creates “the other” which divides rather than unites a people. When a society goes down that road it risks self-destruction and ruin. In our current world, it risks handing more power to the Chinese as the West is distracted by its inward, self-absorbed focus and thus losing the view that looks outwards and focuses on its place in the world. History teaches us that when cultures become self-absorbed in this fashion they become weaker and eventually succumb to external forces that are more aggressive and focused. A good example is Poland, once a major power in Europe, which could not find a way to balance the power of the King with the nobility and was thus chopped up between Germany and Russia for over one hundred years and only was able to become a nation again with the help of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
What is Self-Loathing?
Self-loathing is that underlying feeling that we are just not good: not good enough, not good at this, not good at that, not good at – or for –much of anything. It can be subtle, we may habitually compare ourselves to others, for instance, constantly finding fault with ourselves and putting ourselves down, with no real awareness that there is anything amiss. However it is manifested, the self-loathing process is indicative of a divide that exists within all people between our healthy and realistic point of view toward ourselves and the internal enemy, or inner coach, that fights tooth and nail to assert its inimical ways of looking at ourselves and the lives we are living. No matter what circumstances you find yourself in, a nasty point of view toward yourself is never warranted. It is never in your self-interest. The proper viewpoint toward yourself should be one of friendship. Think about yourself and treat yourself as you would a close friend; respectfully and with affection. With understanding and empathy. And maybe most importantly, with a sense of easiness and humor. 
Now I believe that personal self-loathing can also become cultural self-loathing and is just as destructive.
[Current events] reveal a civilization that has stopped believing in itself, that hates itself, and that is therefore unwilling to defend the values of individual freedom, democracy, and scientific and scholarly skepticism that have been handed down to us since antiquity. We are all familiar with this phenomenon, and every single day brings news stories. Diverse interests are created that view each other as greater enemies than they do foreign threats. Since the common civilizational enemy has been successfully repulsed, it can no longer serve as an effective target for and outlet of people’s sense of superiority, and human psychology generally requires an adversary for the purpose of self-identification, and so a new adversary is crafted: other people in the same civilization. Since this condition of leisure and empowerment, as well as a perception of external threats as non-existential, are the results of a society’s success, success is, ironically, a prerequisite for a society’s self-hatred. 
What is at the root of the Western countries attitudes and actions that risk sliding into destructive self-loathing? Well, that is the 64 million dollar question, and since I don’t have 64 million dollars I don’t have the answer. But at least a partial answer lies in other essays that I have written from my viewpoint as a beekeeper: our failure to have a universal social glue to hold a society that seems to be overly focussed on self and sub-culture/tribe. The common good seems to have disappeared and with the self-discipline and self-sacrifice needed to unite us into one giant family. Some philosophers, Immanuel Kant  comes to mind, would call this a lack of discipline. This simple quote below captures what I am trying to say.
Lack of discipline leads to frustration and self-loathing. – Maire Chapian
What does that leave us with as we seek to understand and react to current events, and by that I mostly mean the Riots and peaceful protests in the USA to stop racism? I am suggesting here that while stopping racism is undeniably a necessary and long overdue act, we risk actually making things worse if we are not careful. We risk “throwing out the baby with the bath water” if we destroy the very culture which has allowed us even to dream of something like human rights [which most of the world still cannot imagine is anything more than a fantasy]. Here is a concrete example of what I mean:
RESEARCH SUGGESTS EXPOSURE TO MULTICULTURALISM PROMPTS PEOPLE TO INFLATE THE IMPORTANCE OF RACE A new study finds promoting the philosophy can solidify the belief there are deep-seated, unalterable differences between races. 
So, dear reader, What are you and I to do? Look before we leap into the abyss. Do not demonize the other, and right now I would include the police among those who have become “the other”. [Read ref.#8 to see what I mean] Embrace positive thoughts and actions rather than supporting those that focus on power and destruction. If you enjoy a really intellectual exploration of what I am saying read this analysis on the thoughts of Spengler . Most importantly:
If you want peace of mind do not find fault with others. Rather learn to see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; this whole world is your own. Sri Srada Devi
- Don’t Blame Police Racism for Americas Violence Epidemic https://quillette.com/2019/07/27/dont-blame-police-racism-for-americas-violence-epidemic/ by Gordon Kubanek, June 2020