Cultural Diversity

With this post, we are happy to welcome philosopher Professor Richard Cocks as a regular contributor to the Orthosphere. Moral philosophy has been the focus of most of his essays published by such sites agreeable to the orthosphere as Brussels Journal and People of Shambhala, and in guest posts here. As befits a thinker who can be characterized rightly as Traditionalist – or, perhaps rather, simply realistic – Dr. Cocks has been interested to understand emotion in terms of the whole, true man. As no man is an island, neither is anything of man really isolable; so that it is at our peril that we neglect or denigrate such of man as the modern age has overlooked. Professor Cocks has been concerned to notice what our commissars have bid us ignore. KL

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Culture, in the anthropological sense, is a combination of language and traditions involving values, ideas about education, cooking, family life and public life. Culture represents a certain level of agreement about what’s important, what’s respectable, success and failure and about how one ought to conduct one’s life and treat each other.

Cultures attain their distinctive character by being somewhat cut off from other cultures. There is a parochial aspect to culture. Diversity is made possible by separation. If every culture becomes cosmopolitan, then every culture becomes the same. Diversity within all cultures would mean no diversity at all. So is cultural diversity a good thing? Not if it becomes a global phenomenon, because diversity would be self-nullifying.

Diversity: intrinsically good for us, not for others

If cultural diversity is just in and of itself an intrinsic good, then every Amazonian rain forest tribe desperately trying to preserve its culture should have a random American (USA) inserted into their tribe because this would make them more “diverse.” Likewise, Swedes should be encouraged to join African tribes in the name of diversity and Christians should be encouraged to emigrate en masse to Muslim countries. Such cosmopolitanism would just undermine each culture’s distinctiveness and thrust incompatible groups together.

Diversity – decreases trust and social solidarity even within ethnic groups

Robert D. Putnam, a Harvard professor, published an article on the effects of cultural diversity in 2007 after sitting on the data from the original study since 2001. The study found that social solidarity and trust decreased as a community became more diverse. This decrease even occurred within ethnic groups.

Ethnic diversity is increasing in most advanced countries, driven mostly by sharp increases in immigration. In the long run immigration and diversity are likely to have important cultural, economic, fiscal, and developmental benefits. In the short run, however, immigration and ethnic diversity tend to reduce social solidarity and social capital. New evidence from the US suggests that in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to ‘hunker down’. Trust (even of one’s own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer. In the long run, however, successful immigrant societies have overcome such fragmentation by creating new, cross-cutting forms of social solidarity and more encompassing identities. Illustrations of becoming comfortable with diversity are drawn from the US military, religious institutions, and earlier waves of American immigration.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9477.2007.00176.x/abstract;jsessionid=29F66B1C4BB74908B8D5CC8EA0997549.f02t01?

As one can see, Putnam is worried about the implications of his own study. By including the qualifier “successful,” Putnam is implicitly admitting the possibility of failure. By talking about “overcoming” fragmentation, he is conceding that cultural diversity is something that a society is likely to have to struggle with. It will matter which cultures are trying to merge with which.

When Putnam says “successful immigrant societies have overcome such fragmentation by creating new, cross-cutting forms of social solidarity and more encompassing identities,” he is describing the establishment of a new more encompassing culture, not multiculturalism.

The long history of Islamic cultures attacking Europe

George Friedman, the author of Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, worries about Muslim immigrants entering Europe from North Africa, and we might add, from elsewhere, and sees the idea of multiculturalism as a failure. “For 1500 years the question of Christianity and Islam roiled the Mediterranean.” (Listener, August 22-28, 2015, p. 27) The Balkans and Spain were notably affected by Turkish and Moorish invasions. Friedman says that “when you go to Spain…and you speak about Ukraine, they say, “What do we care about Ukraine? Our enemy’s in Morocco.” (ibid)

The Europeans invited [Muslim immigrants] in. They needed cheap labor. But they didn’t want to make them citizens, so they invented this thing called multiculturalism. It basically meant, “You’re here, you can work, but you’re not one of us.” They did what they did with Jews in the previous century – they ghettoized them. So having ghettoized the Muslims under the flag of liberalism and multiculturalism, they left them to be radicalized.” Threats from Islam, he notes, are nothing new in Europe. “Spain has been invaded before and a Muslim army reached the gates of Vienna. This is a very ancient war.” (ibid)

Multiculturalism is to blame for Muslim’s hating Christians? How do Muslim countries treat their Christian minorities – countries which have not been subjected to multiculturalism?

Friedman is probably right that multiculturalism represents a failure. The term ‘assimilation’ may sound frighteningly Borg-like, but it just means becoming a member of the native culture indistinguishable from any other. New Zealand immigration, for instance, has tended to assimilate in this manner. New Zealanders do not hyphenate into Irish-New Zealanders, or Scottish New Zealanders or Dutch-New Zealanders. Second generation immigrants tend to become just “New Zealanders.” Ethnic origins are of no particular significance except where racial differences are noticeable. Australia, by contrast, has little Greeces, little Italies – groups of white immigrants who have not become full participants in mainstream Australian culture. It probably makes it fun for ‘regular’ Australians to visit these parts of town in say, Sydney, but something has gone wrong. Either the ethnic group has been rejected or they have rejected the native culture, i.e., multiculturalism here means either ostracism, or self-ostracism, or both.

Friedman’s position is confused. He apparently thinks that if it were not for multiculturalism, peaceful coexistence and the assimilation of Muslim minorities could be expected. The Christians are at fault for rejecting the Muslims, he thinks, but then he acknowledges the history of hostile Islamic invasion. Christians have been warding off hostile attempts to take over parts of Europe for centuries, as he himself acknowledges. On top of that, Muslim countries have a history not of “multiculturalism,” but active genocidal persecution of Christians, such as the Indonesian invasion of East Timor and the attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt. Which Christian countries have murdered their Muslim minorities in the twentieth or twenty-first centuries? Regardless of who is to blame, the ability of Muslim and Christian influenced cultures to get along or to turn into a more inclusive culture embodying both has not been demonstrated. From Friedman’s point of view, multiculturalism represents nothing good and is in fact anti-Muslim by its very nature – which would be news to liberals.

Liberal confusion: feeling friendly towards members of cultures far more “regressive” than one’s enemies in one’s own culture

The extent of liberal confusion on the topic of multiculturalism is perplexing. Liberals who want to force cake makers to cater gay weddings and are outraged by a woman who does not want to sign gay wedding certificates do not seem to have anything to say about the hatred and treatment of gays in Syria and Iraq (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syrian-and-iraqi-members-of-lgbt-community-have-found-a-haven-of-sorts-in-istanbul-10453921.html). The Syrian refugees, for instance, are likely to be far more literally violently anti-gay than people in the US.

Likewise the immigrants are likely to have strict ideas about women working outside the home, “in 2011 13.1% of Syrian women participated in the labour force, compared with 71.6% of Syrian men” (“Syrian Arab Republic”. United Nations Statistics Division. Retrieved 15 March 2014). This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is not consistent with liberal attitudes.

And women in Syria can file for divorce only with great difficulty. “Women are in fact allowed to file for divorce except it is a long drawn out process and she must get consent from her husband. There are some circumstances in which the woman can apply for a divorce through the judicial system. In order to do this, she must prove that her husband has abused her or neglected his other duties as a husband. If a man wants to divorce a woman, all he has to do is go to court and orally demand a divorce three times, then the court will order him a divorce. (“Legal rights – Syria | Kvinfo.dk”. kvinfo.org. Retrieved 2015-04-21)

The education of women lags behind that of men. “The literacy rate for women is 74.2 percent and 91 percent for men.”( “Syria – Educational System—overview”. education.stateuniversity.com. Retrieved 2015-04-21) All of which are far worse than their most hated conservative figures in the USA.

It is true that Western countries are capable of generating their own homegrown terrorists like the KKK. But, if we had the choice, we would not voluntarily welcome the KKK in as immigrants.

People who are skeptical about the wisdom of Angela Merkel welcoming eight hundred thousand Syrian refugees into Germany are seen as racist and right-wing xenophobes. In other words, are subjected to ad hominem attacks, not actual arguments. Of all the immigrant populations one could possibly welcome en masse, which one at this moment in time seems to be the most hostile to Western/Christian culture? And if one is concerned to promote a liberal agenda, friendly to gays and women, what are members of the immigrant culture likely to feel about such an agenda?

Cultural diversity in academia is just racial diversity

In an academic context, “cultural diversity” is a politically correct phrase that tends just to refer to people looking different from each other – i.e., race. Those racially diverse people tend to be culturally the same or similar; to be liberals. In other words, no cultural diversity whatsoever; just racial diversity. The ideal seems to be a committee of college professors with different skin tones. It does not involve actual diversity of opinion, such as a belief that women should dress in burqhas, which would represent an actual significant cultural difference, nor does it include even a middle-of-the-road American conservatism.

The phrase “racial diversity,” the real goal, has the wrong connotation for the liberal multi-culti. Perhaps it’s because the notion of tolerance is diminished. Tolerating different levels of melanin in skin is a lot easier than tolerating diversity of opinion. A room full of tenured college professors of whatever skin color often means a frightening level of uniformity and conformity. Job interviews for academic positions can include questions about one’s attitude to “diversity,” which weeds out the nonconformists. In response, to state what should be an obvious truth, what’s important is what’s on the inside, not on the outside. You could have a room full of middle-aged white men who represent truly distinct and divergent viewpoints, or a rainbow of different races with more or less identical views.

Better and worse cultural habits

In Conquests and Cultures: An International History, Thomas Sowell, an African-American scholar, describes certain cultural stereotypes that, as generalizations, happen to be true. These cultural stereotypes involve cultural habits that are often recognized to be true by members of those cultures. Some cultural habits turn out to encourage economic and social success, while others do not. For instance, Chinese and Germans tend to be very hard working and to emphasize saving their money, whereas Americans and New Zealanders tend to live beyond their means, while also tending to be fairly hard working.

Are cultural differences within a culture a good thing? It depends whether those cultural practices are compatible or not and whether those cultural practices are actually a good thing or not. Highland Scots in the historical period to which Sowell refers tended to be undereducated, not to value education, and to have rough manners such as dumping their untreated sewerage in the streets. Historically, they would conduct raids on the peaceful, farming Lowland Scots, who, thanks to English incursions, tended to value education and be economically successful. Wherever Highland Scots went, they tended to be unwelcome and to be economic failures. People in Boston found them to be pretty horrible neighbors. Obviously, if one lived in a culture where dumping raw sewerage in the street was the norm, such as Shakespearean England, then there would be no problem. The Appalachian hill people tended to be Highland Scots and they managed to be as economically unsuccessful there as they had been in Scotland.

Chinese people and Indians tend to be economically successful wherever they emigrate, thanks to their care with money and their strong work ethic. They also tend to value education and will invest their money in their children’s educational future.

Sowell suggests that cultures emerging from warm climates; places where food and shelter were provided largely by nature, requiring no particular effort to acquire, tend to have a lower work ethic with no particular interest in education. One could get by with minimal effort with enough to eat and minimal housing. Thus, such groups have no particular history of being thriving immigrants. It might be comparable to being the offspring of a billionaire. Why struggle when the necessities of life can be taken for granted? In fact the Indian migrants to Fiji, for instance, have been spectacularly successful, outcompeting the local population and largely making up the professional class. Several coups have been instituted by the Fijian army when Indians were elected to head the government.

Cultural habits beat discrimination

One thing Sowell points out is that with the right cultural habits, cultural minorities can out-perform and out-compete the local population even with official racist discrimination by the government; even while being officially classified as second or third-class citizens. This has historically been the situation of Chinese immigrants in Indonesia. Thus, a failure to thrive economically or educationally cannot simply be attributed to racism on the part of the host culture.

Alternatively, with the wrong cultural habits, laws against discrimination, government assistance and affirmative action will not be enough to help a minority population succeed. Conversely, Chinese workers on rubber plantations in Malaysia get paid more than ethnic Malaysians because on average the Chinese are twice as productive and therefore there is a greater demand for their services. Local Malaysian employers will pay more for the Chinese workers because they are more valuable as workers.

Islands of development

A Star Trek future where everyone is rational, educated and reasonable is unlikely. We are born egocentric and ignorant, even ‘racist’ – babies react negatively to members of races to which they have not been exposed. Moral and intellectual progress in individuals is a tricky and delicate affair. Lots of things can go wrong. Even in the most advanced societies only between ten and twenty percent make it to formal operational cognitively and worldcentric morally. America’s founding fathers were formal operational (rational) and educated. With the help of cultural inertia and traditions we still struggle to preserve institutions embodying these constitutional ideals. Most Americans would be incapable of generating these ideas and institutions in the first place. I would not like to have to try myself. The best we can do is to try to preserve what we have already. Free speech, for instance, originally recommended for rational reasons, then becomes traditional and institutionalized. However, college campuses are curtailing this rational and traditional right a great deal. If public education, the main route to development, gets seriously compromised, the whole thing can unravel.

We often struggle with what to do with undereducated and underemployed groups born and raised here. Much more difficult would be large influxes of second or third world immigrants to a first-world country; likely to be destructive just as colonial interference was destructive of aboriginal and local societies in the Third World during the age of empires. If the immigrant group cannot succeed educationally or in getting employment and/or embraces an ideology fundamentally opposed to Western culture and democracy, the group will remain unassimilated and be a problem. In such a situation resentment is likely to accrue towards the host culture and one is likely to encounter things like the riots in France some years ago or terrorist murders.

If the culture of origin is tribal or illiterate or at a stage of cultural and political development which the host culture surpassed several hundred years ago or more, incompatibilities are highly likely. Comparing modern religiously driven conflicts with religious wars in Europe hundreds of years ago glosses over the temporal separation. By analogy, all our ancestors engaged in human sacrifice at some point in the past, but that does not mean we are currently morally the same as a modern practitioner.

The UK has major problems with immigrant populations with poor educational levels and job skills due to liberal immigration policies. Countries like New Zealand have been conducting their own cultural experiments with Chinese immigrants with unknowable consequences. No effort was made to prepare either indigenous New Zealanders for the cultural change nor even the Chinese immigrants.

However, New Zealand is likely to be in much better shape than the UK because it tends to carefully restrict immigration to well-educated and wealthy people with needed skills. Since the Chinese are doing well economically in New Zealand, I can’t imagine anything like the French riots of 2005 taking place. So far, difficulties have tended to be in areas where Chinese differ from New Zealanders in terms of their tolerance for corruption. It is well known that Chinese expect reciprocity with regard to financial contributions to political campaigns. Quid pro quos of this kind are not tolerated in New Zealand, while its absence in the USA would mark a major cultural and political revolution where ‘lobbying’ and rewards for donations to political campaigns are standard practice..

New Zealand has been voted the least corrupt country on Earth several times. How a country develops an ethos of general law-abidingness and anti-bribery is not really known. Clearly, it is rare. Mass migrations from countries where corruption is expected is thus a threat. So long as New Zealand manages to hang on to the cultural habits and institutions it got from the U.K., corruption will probably be held in check. “Cultural diversity” is likely to undermine this.

Cultural diversity can indeed be interesting

In a book about immigrants living in Queens, New York, that was turned into a stage show, the emphasis was definitely on exoticism; a little zoo-like actually. Notably omitted were Serbs because Americans and Europeans have decided that being Serbian is politically incorrect. Also absent from both the book about Queens and show were nationalities like Australians and New Zealanders because they would not be exotic enough. One is reminded of the career of Josephine Baker who wore leopard print costumes to play up her interestingness. This kind of cultural diversity has a definite element of “Oo, look at them. Aren’t they weird?”

Eating another culture’s cuisine is often delightful and adds variety. Likewise, one can see the exotic looking people in Adams Morgan in Washington D.C. in sometimes especially colorful clothing. But surely this last is irrelevant. The question is whether immigration is good for the immigrants and the local culture, and that can differ from one immigrant to the next and one immigrant group to the next.

Falsely attributing similar levels of development to all cultures has led to war

Arguably, many of America’s recent wars of invasion could have been avoided if cultural and developmental differences had been recognized. Afghanistan or Iraq have not turned into modern democracies simply by removing oppressive dictators and the like. Being blind to such things has been seen as a mark of political correctness but the consequences have been most unfortunate.

Immigration would not take place, or make sense, if all cultures were equal

If all people shared exactly the same cultures and cultural habits then each culture would be compatible with the next. Thus mass emigration would not be a problem. However, the desire to emigrate would also not exist. There would be no point. The new country would be identical to the old. The new country could be expected to have similar levels of economic opportunity as the previous one. The same cultural habits and cultural context will lead to the same results. As Thomas Sowell argues, we know from countries like Japan, that access to natural resources for instance, of which they have almost none, are irrelevant to economic success. Additionally, if we are imagining a world where people are culturally identical, then people aren’t going to be very similar if economic conditions are radically different. You can’t be a college professor in a culture without colleges or a hunter gatherer in modern America.

Thomas Sowell points out the many geographical accidents that have conspired to prevent sub-Saharan Africa from developing very far economically and culturally. There have been oppressive attempts to colonize countries there, but it is things like the lack of natural harbors around the whole coast of sub-Saharan Africa, the lack of navigable rivers, the tsetse fly killing large animals that could be used to transport goods, the cultural isolation caused by the lack of sea and river access, and the like that have limited Africa’s advancement. We have no reason to think that all those countries would be rivaling Japan if it were not for European aggressive interventions.

Since cultures differ, as do the people coming from those cultures, it will remain an open question as to whether emigration from one culture to another will turn out to be a good idea for the individuals and cultures involved.

79 thoughts on “Cultural Diversity

  1. Pingback: Cultural Diversity | Neoreactive

  2. Thank you for that wonderful essay. It’s a pointless aside but I’ll mention it anyway: it is indeed possible to be a hunter gatherer in the US; I know two men who rely entirely on hunting for their supply of meat although, sad to say, they are cultural relics. As to college professors, one could argue that, if you define ‘college’ by a high standard, then you might say that ‘college professors’ do exist in a society without real colleges or at least without many of them. And as to what a real college professor is, that poses yet another open question — you could say that a college exists wherever a real professor professes. However, your point is well taken.

    Ethnic Chinese in Thailand have a history similar to those in Malaysia and elsewhere in that, as a group, they excel whenever they compete with ethnic Thais. The ingenious Thais dealt with the obvious problems with a grand bargain: unassimilated Chinese would be left to prosper — even to dominate the economic sphere — but would be excluded from civil service, the military and politics and this bargain has worked well. I’ll add that ethnic Chinese who have assimilated to the Thai culture consider themselves as much Thai as your average Italian or German in America considers himself fully American and and that sense of belonging is enthusiastically reciprocated by their ethnic Thai neighbors. By and large, the Thai story is a happy story.

    Your essay is really composed of self-evident truths or perhaps better to say it is grounded in common sense. So why isn’t it accepted as such by the larger community? Fifty years ago, the larger community did indeed endorse all of it but — tragically — could not comprehend how common sense could be thrown out, the scale of such a project being unimaginable. And yet we live today in a world that is not only divorced from common sense but which has made an almost total investment in illusions. I read your fine article and others like it partly for the psychic benefits that come simply from hearing truth — truth is a balm to one’s soul but I’m not sure that the man on the street gets it anymore.

    • Thanks for reading Stephen. Your comments are most appreciated. Yes, it’s my understanding that the Chinese have thrived in Thailand. I like their contribution to Thai cuisine and so do Thais as far as I know. I would also like to think that most of what I’m saying is self-evidently true and common sense. But as someone writing under my own name and tenuously employed in academia I say them with some degree of foreboding.

      • Richard, take heart, God is always near. I can’t find the exact quote but Orwell wrote that when truth is driven out, the sane man’s best resort is to keep repeating the truth over and over and never stop.

  3. Pingback: Cultural Diversity | Reaction Times

  4. This article is ok as far as it goes, but most of it, like Stephen said, is really just self-evident, or, I would argue, wrong.

    Also, it isn’t really intellectually daring enough to convince those pushing a multi-cultural agenda: their goal isn’t for multi-culturalism to “work,” it’s to fundamentally change and destroy traditional European society. It was never meant to be a good thing for anybody, except in the minds of elites holding vague ideals of a vulgar and Satanic sort of Marxism. Just saying “hey this might not be such a good idea” is naive at best.

    And your assertion (Sowell’s? It’s a little ambiguous) about Africa is ridiculous. If not for Europe and the rest of the West, sub-Saharan Africa would still have a hunter-gathering tribal society and a population of about 4 million instead of 800 million. And it’s flatly contradicted by your analysis of Japan immediately above it.

    And I know I’m opening up a can of worms here, but we really can’t discount biological factors. Not necessarily intelligence, but I find that different races simply have different temperaments and that this is reflected in what types of societies they build. In this vein, it is actually surprising that blacks and whites might actually be more similar than either group is with Amerindians or North Asians.

    See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAAbDzJhoD8

    • I welcome Prof. Cocks’ first contribution to The Orthosphere and look forward to his future contributions. Self-evident truths need restating because for most people, most of the time, they are not self-evident. Almost no self-evident truths are self-evident in the academy, where people wander around in the happy fog of their own second reality.

      Even dissenters, like the readers of and contributors to The Orthosphere, need to be called back occasionally to the basics of their dissent. It strikes me that this is a logical gesture for a first-timer to make.

      Of interest in Prof. Cocks’ essay is his remark that even in the most advanced societies, only a minority is capable of the highest level of thought. When a regime of political correctness takes over the institutions, one of the first things that it does is to muddy the clarity of intellectual measurements as much as possible, with claims such as the one that a certain refinement of mentality is not a degree of achievement, to which it would be rational to defer, but rather some kind of unearned privilege. This has happened. The New York Times regularly extols the “thinking” of people whose sole accomplishment is to stutter out political shibboleths and sloganeering cliches. The issue is an important one. We should address it as much as possible on this website. I thank Richard for bringing it up.

    • I didn’t intend my comment about self-evident truths as a criticism at all. I was trying to contrast Cocks’ solid reasoning with a society that is alienated from common sense. I might add that I’ve lived with an inarticulate sense of the self-nullifying nature of diversity for some time — a mental Rubik’s Cube of sorts — and I am grateful that I now have the language with which to express it.

      • Ah – then I misread you. Richard and I both have the experience of being isolated non-liberals in a totally liberal institution. So, it seems, have you. We all live with an expectation, I guess, of not being understood. And we are misunderstood by most people.

      • My problem is I’m a slow thinker who is short of patience and I sometimes click the ‘Comment’ button before the post is really ready and so it gets misunderstood because things aren’t clear.

    • Hi, Jim. Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m happy to go with self-evident. Iris Murdoch commented that sometimes philosophy is just knowing when to state the obvious. The distance between self-evident and wrong literally couldn’t be larger – it suggests that you are torn between absolute agreement and complete rejection.

      I don’t actually have any idea what intellectually daring arguments would convince those trying to destroy European culture. They probably have their minds made up. Perhaps I’m reacting to the cascade of approval going up by the Western media and a large number of copycat citizens saying the enthusiastic acceptance of millions of Syrian refugees is the morally correct position. I may be being rather mild mannered about it and relying on reason, my only tool, but I doubt I am behaving naively. When irrationally accused of, say, an outrageous crime, what can one do but protest in the language of reason? And to question the enthusiasm of the welcomers of huge numbers of immigrants is to be cast as a racist xenophobe who instinctively despises all things foreign. As a foreigner myself, that would be most odd indeed.

      Are you sure you have understood what Sowell said about sub-Saharan Africa? It’s under-performance culturally and economically would seem to be over-determined. Sowell points out that natural resources are not necessary to succeed and uses Japan as evidence. His arguments concerning Africa have nothing to do with the lack of natural resources. He mentions cultural and economic isolation, along with a host of geographic problems. A huge number of black Africa’s problems are cultural with a geographic origin. What I say and your claim that a large amount of whatever progress has been made is the result of contributions from Europe and the rest of the West are entirely consistent. I’m inclined to think that differences in temperament are cultural and environmental rather than having a biological basis.

      • But why don’t these geographic, economic, and cultural reasons apply to places like Japan? It was certainly more isolated than Africa ever was. And why are blacks from the U.S., South America, and Haiti so similar? Why are Germans in Wisconsin pretty much the same as the ones in Germany? My point is that Africans will produce African societies, Europeans European societies and so on across all cultural levels. Read the Eddas or Medieval Scandinavian Sagas. The Swedes were the same taciturn, stoic, sensible people a thousand years ago that they are now, despite being at a lower level of culture and pagan.

        One thing you missed, and one thing that is always absent in analyses like these are that not all immigrants are created equal. The assimilable Irish and Italian immigrants of yesteryear, to take the U.S. as an example, are qualitatively different from the Middle Eastern and Chinese immigrants of today. You say that the Chinese in New Zealand may be less of a problem because they are successful and educated. This is completely beside the point. An alien over-class can be just as harmful as an under-class, especially when it shares non of the host country’s core values. More political corruption is just the tip of the ice berg.

        I think the tendency to dismiss blood when it comes to the types of civilizations different peoples produce is a big mistake. It flatly contradicts simple observation. But like I said, discussing race around here often gets heated.

        As for nothing ever convincing multi-culturalists of their evil ways, that was just my point. My main problem is that you state it’s an “open question.” It’s nothing of the sort. Multi-Culturalism is meant to advance a global agenda, destroy kinship groups, and vilify tradition. You can see this in its intellectual origins in Marxism and later the post-WWII neo-conservatism of the Fukuyama variety. The nation, church, and ultimately the family must go in many people’s minds, more specifically the European version of these institutions, and more precisely and most especially the Catholic version. The problem is that it’s not a coherent ideology but a vague ethos that has been absorbed by Western elites to such an extent that its suppositions are rarely even questioned.

        I think we’re largely in agreement. Sorry if I came off as abrasive. I meant that some of it is self-evident and some of it is arguably wrong. Welcome to the Orthosphere.

      • Jim – my understanding is that Japan was influenced by China, in fact getting writing from them – and China has been a cultural heavyweight. Blacks in the countries you mention were stripped of their native cultures when they were enslaved and were offered very low quality replacements. For instance, field slaves were not permitted to learn to read and their white foremen would represent crude levels of educational and cultural development. Thomas Sowell argues that the lighter skinned ‘house’ slaves had access to books, though illicitly, and more refined role models. Cultural habits often persist within families which would account for the Germans in Wisconsin and Germany. I would be interested in just how similar they viewed each other though.

        I believe that I was very much trying to say that not all immigrants are created equal. I was saying potential immigrants should be assessed as to how compatible their cultural habits are likely to be with regard to the host culture. The Irish and Italians were reasonably compatible, but we struggled like heck with them in the beginning, unless I’m being too influenced by ‘Gangs of New York’ which I can’t even get myself to watch. Since I was only discussing the problems of an under-class, my comments about Chinese immigrants were not beside MY point. But the issue of an alien over-class is certainly interesting and could indeed by problematic as you say. It’s not going to happen in New Zealand because, I suspect, our work ethic and cultural habits are a match for the Chinese, unlike Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Feel free to say ‘I told you so’ if I’m wrong. Individual cases might be an open question – for instance, Dutch immigrants to NZ have been very successful and well-assimilated, though not to the point of becoming an over-class.

        I agree with everything you say about multi-culturalism and its global agenda and I’m very worried about it – hence my piece. That we are indeed largely in agreement about.

      • Jim, my theory on why the resourceless Japanese and the resourceful Africans are so different is because a cold, bleak environment is a huge selection force and you have to worry about a lot more since things are harder and more difficult such as finding food in the cold, figuring out ways to keep food preserved, figuring out how to build and keep shelters warm, and figuring out how to keep women and children from dying on you. These challenges are much easier in warm, fertile and resourceful places like Africa so change occurs at a much slower pace and it’s easy for stagnation to set it. In the bleak cold, you either adapt or die and highly planned and highly organized cooperation is absolutely imperative for survival.

        Richard Cocks, culture (at it’s basic level, not high culture) is a product of biology and the environment is a sort of reciprocal triangle/feedback loop. The environment controls biology via which genes are selected, the biological response of a group to the environment forms a particular culture, this culture emphasizes certain traits which is the cultural control of biology and culture, when it reaches a certain high development, can advance to the point of controlling the environment.

      • Hi, Svar. Thanks for commenting. Your account of culture doesn’t seem to have any room for minds and creativity. I’m attracted to Ken Wilber’s notion that humans have what he calls ‘nature’s programming’ – a drive for sex, warmth, shelter, food and survival – but that after that, we start to make up the rules ourselves, although these new rules are constrained by the continuing need for those animalistic items. We need to eat. We could eat out of a dumpster, or the primitive equivalent, but instead we invent marvelous cuisines. The cuisine will be influenced by what is available in the environment, but also by aesthetic considerations. In the four quadrant model, to which I am not wedded, but it is sometimes useful, something like food/cuisine will be influenced by biology (of people and plants and animals), climate and other objective factors, but also of shared cultural ideas and tastes as well as personal likes and dislikes, with each quadrant influencing the others.

        It does seem, as you say, that cold climates have produced particularly hard working determined people and very accommodating environments the opposite; the latter being the equivalent of the children of billionaires. I’d be interested to see studies involving taking a Polynesian child and raising it in Sweden with white Swedish parents and a Swedish child raised in Polynesia by Polynesian parents. It would still be hard to rule out the influence of the expectations of the people around them based on their looks. I will concede that I’ve heard some stories about adopted children that suggest a strong genetic component to temperament. Bruce might be interested in that concession.

      • This may be, but I’ve never been entirely convinced by “cold equals increased k-selection” type arguments (or is it r-selection? I’m too lazy to look it up right now). It just hasn’t been studied enough in humans (for obvious reasons). And race in the United States inevitably gets framed in Black vs. White, but it’s much more complex than that, even if we only look at different European peoples.

        Whatever the case, importing huge numbers of people into European countries (since these are the only countries where this is happening) who don’t look like the natives, and then telling the natives that the country is no longer theirs, and indeed never was, is an awful idea. Large numbers of whites are simply going to take this to heart and no longer participate. This has already happened to a certain extent, just look at the decrease in public civility over the years, or, if you’re younger like me and don’t remember anything different, ask a like-minded elder about it. This is why so many people like Trump: it’s because he’s a joke candidate that he is so popular; he’s a walking middle-finger to the establishment that’s done nothing to stem the tide of nihilism.

        A spiritual revival in the Church that fosters organic, local communities and strong, selective international educational institutions is the only way to begin to solve the menace of globalism, but I don’t know how this will come about in our life times. It would also be cool to have a Crusader army while we’re at it, but I’ll take it one impossibility at a time.

      • Richard Cocks, what you are describing is best described as High Culture which is best defined as a refined leisure. What I was referring to is culture more in terms of norms and social views and mentality.

        “It does seem, as you say, that cold climates have produced particularly hard working determined people and very accommodating environments the opposite; the latter being the equivalent of the children of billionaires. I’d be interested to see studies involving taking a Polynesian child and raising it in Sweden with white Swedish parents and a Swedish child raised in Polynesia by Polynesian parents. It would still be hard to rule out the influence of the expectations of the people around them based on their looks. I will concede that I’ve heard some stories about adopted children that suggest a strong genetic component to temperament. Bruce might be interested in that concession.”

        What is interesting is that Polynesians who live in warm, lush areas like the Tahitians, Samoans, and the Hawaiians were generally decadent, passive and lazy while the ones who settled in the European-like climate of New Zealand were more warlike.

        That being said, my views on race are neither materially reductionist (in the form of genetic determinism) nor multiculti/liberal/extremely open. I believe in the views of Spengler and Yockey, genetics is the base, but it isn’t everything.

        Jim, regarding this: “This may be, but I’ve never been entirely convinced by “cold equals increased k-selection” type arguments (or is it r-selection? I’m too lazy to look it up right now). It just hasn’t been studied enough in humans (for obvious reasons). And race in the United States inevitably gets framed in Black vs. White, but it’s much more complex than that, even if we only look at different European peoples.”

        Technically it is still a theory but to me it’s the best explanation for the observable phenomenon that we’re talking about. That being said, I am curious as to what your theory is.

      • Equatorial peoples may be less enterprising and foresightful and intelligent than those from the temperate zone, but they are not less warlike. The Polynesians and Melanesians were tremendous warriors, violent to a degree appalling to the Europeans who encountered them.

        We should also recall the amazing navigational feats of the Polynesians. People respond to the peculiar challenges posed by their environments, and not all in the same way. The Eskimo have many different names for snow, e.g. That the navigational and astronomical achievements of the Polynesians did not fit them for rocketry does not empty those achievements of significance.

        The technics of the West have conquered the globe, it is true; and so it makes some sense to evaluate all other cultures by their capacity to perform the intellectual jobs called for by Western technics. But, while I hate to sound like Margaret Mead, we must remember that it might make little sense to evaluate people of another culture on the basis of their capacity to perform tasks *that their culture considers unimportant.* Do Polynesians perhaps have a slightly harder time learning calculus than Northerners? Maybe so; I don’t know; the question is rhetorical only. But I know that Northerners are going to have a harder time than Polynesians navigating by the taste and smell of the water.

      • Melanesians are still pretty appalling (are Papua New Guineans Melanesian?) mainly due to their cannibalism and horrifying genital mutilation.

        As for Polynesians, their navigation skills via sea is definitely nothing to scoff at and Hawaii had a pretty dramatic rise (not as dramatic as Japan’s of course, no group in history has ever had a dramatic rise before or ever since) from a sleepy island chain full of random clans with grass wearing chieftains into a Europeanesque Royalty (I know that there is some famous Hawaiian queen who was good friends with that great writer, Robert Louise Stevenson).

        “The technics of the West have conquered the globe, it is true; and so it makes some sense to evaluate all other cultures by their capacity to perform the intellectual jobs called for by Western technics. But, while I hate to sound like Margaret Mead, we must remember that it might make little sense to evaluate people of another culture on the basis of their capacity to perform tasks *that their culture considers unimportant.* Do Polynesians perhaps have a slightly harder time learning calculus than Northerners? Maybe so; I don’t know; the question is rhetorical only. But I know that Northerners are going to have a harder time than Polynesians navigating by the taste and smell of the water.”

        Well, I can’t speak for the others on this thread, but I don’t judge people or groups of people regarding things like calculus abilities. But by the rubric that I do use, Polynesians come out just fine. I’m not an IQ-obsessed HBD tool and all I need to know is A) Are you/your group pleasant to deal with and be around and B) Do you/your group have a strong sense of honor/loyalty/dignity. The few Polys I’ve met here in Texas seemed a-okay by me.

      • “I will concede that I’ve heard some stories about adopted children that suggest a strong genetic component to temperament. Bruce might be interested in that concession.”

        Prof Cocks, there are more than just stories. There are very detailed studies e.g. Thomas Bouchard’s (sp?), University of Minnesota twin adoption studies. Common sense observation suggests there is a strong component to temperament that is innate (genetic, womb environment?) – I have six sons –it’s interesting to observe a decent sample size first hand.
        There’s a great deal of literature (some quite good some quite amateur) in what’s casually called the human biodiversity web. It’s a useful, if incomplete, resource for traditional conservatives – I wish I could recommend a single resource.
        In the r/K selection theory, r-selection is associated with the tropics, K-selection with temperate and cold regions. It should be noted that it’s a relative thing – people aren’t fruitflies. As I mentioned, there’s also the idea of gene-culture coevolution that has occurred since the advent of civilization. Greg Cochran, Henry Harpending and others have collected evidence that human evolution has accelerated since the dawn of civilization. Anthropologist Peter Frost is a good resource for this topic.

      • Bruce – I’m familiar with the twin studies. They are very interesting. BTW I found it fascinating that the one thing there was no consistency about was the selection of spouses and the like. One twin would like diminutive quiet brunettes. The other tall brassy blonds for instance.

        One genetic change that is interesting is the ability of adults to digest milk in Northern Europeans; though that’s not on the level that we are considering. I’ll take a look at Peter Frost.

      • If culture matters, then race (ancestral identity) matters. Race tends to parallel and carry (if not wholly determine) culture. It’s hard to know for sure what mechanisms this involves. One could be genetic as Sam Francis suggested (paraphrase – “only those with European genes could have created European culture”). It could simply be a matter of peoples’ tendency to identify with the culture their ancestors built and to not identify with cultures their ancestors didn’t build. Of course we could list all sorts of exceptions but I don’t know why this wouldn’t be the general tendency and the general trajectory of things.

      • Svar, I don’t really have a theory, but I do take the view that I think is the most in line with common sense and simple observation: different groups of people are intrinsically different and, as a corollary, you can’t just replace or mix one group with another and get the same results. The more alien the blood, the worse the results, and the newcomers themselves will never really be part of their adopted nation, and probably it will take their descendants several generations to feel at home, that is if they marry within the native population and not with people who look more like them. Mass immigration changes the character of a nation to such an extent that it basically destroys it. Does anyone seriously think an African living in Iceland will ever really be Icelandic? Just to take an example off the top of my head.

        It’s not impossible, even with blacks and whites, who seem to be the most dissimilar macro-groups, at least as far as looks go. Both Pushkin and Alexander Dumas had African ancestry, though both looked largely European, especially Pushkin whose ancestry was very remote and not west African but Ethiopian. But none of this means that multi-culturalism as it is practiced and commonly defined is a remotely good idea. And every man ought to have a right to his own organic community, which is tied together by creed, land, and yes, blood. This is all being denied to the current generation of Europeans, and to a lesser extent many other peoples, by a global elite infected by Hegelian/Marxist ideals backed by technological and economic inertia with a dash of old fashioned greed.

      • “Svar, I don’t really have a theory, but I do take the view that I think is the most in line with common sense and simple observation: different groups of people are intrinsically different and, as a corollary, you can’t just replace or mix one group with another and get the same results. The more alien the blood, the worse the results, and the newcomers themselves will never really be part of their adopted nation, and probably it will take their descendants several generations to feel at home, that is if they marry within the native population and not with people who look more like them. Mass immigration changes the character of a nation to such an extent that it basically destroys it. Does anyone seriously think an African living in Iceland will ever really be Icelandic? Just to take an example off the top of my head.?

        Jim, you have no disagreement with me regarding any of that. On the practical level, we both agree.

        But on the theoretical level, I don’t think so. I believe these intrinsic differences are caused via evolutionary changes over a long period of time, they weren’t always there since all of humanity stems from one root but it is from that root from which humanity proliferated and diversified.

        I guess my argument is that if we took 1,000,000 blacks and dumped them in a cold, harsh environment and left them there, untouched and unmolested for 10,000-20,000 years, there would be a significant change in the resulting population maybe good, maybe bad (bad if the death rate causes an extreme genetic bottleneck). All theoretical of course, no way to prove this.

        “It’s not impossible, even with blacks and whites, who seem to be the most dissimilar macro-groups, at least as far as looks go. Both Pushkin and Alexander Dumas had African ancestry, though both looked largely European, especially Pushkin whose ancestry was very remote and not west African but Ethiopian. ”

        I can’t believe you’ve neglected to mention Oklahoma’s favorite cowboy Will Rogers, America’s premier intellectual fascist Lawrence Dennis and Caleb V Haynes 😛

        Jokes aside, there is spiritual component involved that determines if a certain member of an out-group can fit into an in-group. A small, small minority can.

      • Basically Jim, we agree on the “What?”. I don’t think many people here would disagree on “What?”. The big question is “Why?” and yeah, we could say screw “Why?”, “What?” is all that matters but all I know is my curiosity gets the best of me. You could say it’s a product of the Faustian Soul.

        Btw, small correction: Will Rogers was Oklahoma’s favorite son not Oklahoma’s favorite cowboy.

    • I don’t want to challenge your statement that multiculturalists have the goal of destroying European traditions — in fact I agree — but I want to add an observation to it. I don’t think most of the agenda pushers have thought about their ideology and it’s goals very much if you insist that a cliche cannot be an actual thought. They do indeed hate those traditions and will get up early in the morning to demonstrate or picket to put some business they don’t like out of business or destroy someone’s reputation but they can’t explain their hatred or their rationale or their goals other than to repeat a powerful cliche. And I do not believe that they even ask very many questions of themselves. If you want to destroy something, thinking too much is a bad thing, what you need is intensity. This is bad news for us because you cannot discredit intensity.

  5. A great essay by Mr Cocks and a fine comment by Mr Prescott.

    I have little to add, but it struck me while reading of the racial diversity which passes as cultural diversity within much of the academic community that these people are truly the racists in that their entire view of the wider world is predicated upon skin colour. They seemingly look at their peers and notice nothing else. Everyone is defined and differentiated by their colour alone.

      • I was brought up by liberal inner city minorities in the 80s and 90s to believe that you should not see skin color. I incorporated that in my life and then as an adult I found out that those inner city liberal non-whites were totally wrong. It is currently racist to NOT see skin color. Now, “color blindness” is considered racism.

      • To Bruce B. – I would define racism as the notion that one race is inherently superior to another. That one’s race, on that basis alone, makes one either better or worse than someone else. Since different cultures and races have been at the forefront of human cultural evolution at different times, no one race can claim to be inherently superior to the others. Egyptians, Chinese, Babylonians, Indians, Greeks, Romans, Europeans (modern), among others, can claim to have been ‘cutting edge’ at one time or another.

      • “That one’s race, on that basis alone, makes one either better or worse.”

        Glad you added the “or worse” part, because there is a kind of racism, I believe, that derives from an inferiority complex; a kind of “we’re better because we’re worse” idea.

      • Richard — if, as you say, the definition of racism is based solely on claims of inherent superiority, of one race being ‘better’ than others, then use of the term is quite muddled as far as current discourse goes because it is not understood and used as you define it by the liberal side. But it’s a good illustration of how the second reality works: your term describes things as they are in the first reality and theirs — in a sense that is just as meaningful in its own twisted way — describes things as they are in the second. ‘Dialog’ anyone?

      • Stephen – you are quite right about the redefinition of racism. Misogyny too gets redefined by the liberal in nonsensical ways. In certain contexts, a compliment concerning looks gets cited as evidence that a man hates women.

      • Well, we can use the term amongst ourselves and I suppose that’s really all that is required since dialog with the Left is really impossible. They can use their terms and we ours even if the words are spelled the same.

      • Dr. Cocks,

        There’s a tendency to assume the human evolution only occurred in prehistoric times. There’s evidence that it actually accelerated with civilization and has continued until today. Without advocating this position, it is possible that e.g. ancient northern Europeans were “inferior” in ancient times and “superior” by, say, early modern times or that the opposite is true of ancient middle easterners vs modern middle easterners. In other words, distribution of genes could have changed over history.

        FWIW, I think John Derbyshire goes too far in poo-poo-ing culture although I understand his point that culture isn’t some magic things that arises out of the ether independent of the qualities of the people who create it.

      • To Bruce B. – It seems historically and factually accurate to say that the same groups were inferior or superior at different times. For instance, it took the British 1500 years to catch up to many of the cultural innovations introduced by the Romans, such as money and central heating, but by the time of the Industrial Revolution, Rome lagged behind England. However, such facts don’t seem compatible with attributing the changes to genes.

      • “However, such facts don’t seem compatible with attributing the changes to genes.”

        Could you elaborate?

        There could not, for example have been dysgenic trends among middle easterners or eugenic trends among the English? Any such long term interaction of genes and culture (gene culture coevolution) would be complicated and I don’t know how we could easily say such a theory is plainly correct or plainly wrong. I’m open to both ideas.

      • Terry, what you are referring to sounds like the Nietszchean transvaluation of values applied to identity politics. The Nietszchean transvaluation of values is basically a sort of thing that people do when they try to delude themselves and others into thinking that their weakness is some sort of strength (like many who hide their cowardice with “compassion”) or when certain groups will take their bad aspects and try to make it into some sort of moral strength. Like for instance, how the deviance of some groups is painted as “acceptance” or “open-mindedness” or how fruity histrionic behavior is painted as “righteousness”.

        All I know for a fact, is that I am not playing that game anymore. Strength is strength and virtue is virtue.

    • I have little to add, but it struck me while reading of the racial diversity which passes as cultural diversity within much of the academic community that these people are truly the racists in that their entire view of the wider world is predicated upon skin colour. They seemingly look at their peers and notice nothing else. Everyone is defined and differentiated by their colour alone.

      You might even say Liberals are the real racists.

      • Thank you Dr. Cocks. I thought a definition would be useful just to see where you’re coming from. There are commenters and contributors here who identify as racists albeit to some extent in an anti-leftist “own the insult” fashion.

      • Dr. Cocks,
        There’s an argument used by mainstream conservatives that liberals are racist because they support abortion and abortion is used disproportionately by blacks. It is implied, though usually left unsaid, that liberals want to commit genocide against blacks.

      • Also, I think I owe you the basic courtesy of pointing out that Dr. Bill was being facetious and I was following his lead.

      • Re: Racism and abortion: Oh. Thanks for that. I guess I actually think that, for instance, affirmative action and the like is racist and therefore liberals are actually racist in some ways, which means I’m going to end up taking what might have been facetious as a serious proposition.

      • Look up the term “cuckservative.” It’s basically a conservative who shares all the assumptions of the left-wing establishment. Saying things like “we need to stop black on black crime” and “America is a nation of immigrants” or “Dr. King was a Republican” are typical examples of cuckservative cliches.

        Not everything is about race, but the right really needs to get over being called racists, and flipping the term onto the left is risible in its futility.

      • Yes, it was facetious. I am one of the contributors who identifies as racist. It’s not about owning the insult, exactly. It’s about the utter pointlessness of trying to devise a definition of “racist” under which one can say “I’m not racist.” The guys pictured here are engaged in a pointless activity. Somehow, the pathos and pointlessness is easier to see when you’re looking at what are, doubtless, two long-suffering, decent, middle-aged white guys: guys you would like to have as neighbors. Nevertheless, they are pathetic doofi.

        The mistake is on two levels. First, “racism” doesn’t mean anything. Or, at least, it doesn’t mean anything more or less than an upraised fist means. It is just a prelude to violence. It is just a demand for submission. It’s like “wrecker” or “counterrevolutionary” or “fascist.” Engaging substantively with what you take to be the denotative meaning of the word is confused. Saying “what are fists, really” when someone is about to relieve you of your teeth is point-missing.

        Second (really, first again), there is no way to define “racism” which both makes it wrong and makes it mean anything like its common use. When a serious Christian tries to make racism mean something sinful, he has to reach for something like “racism is the doctrine that some races of apparent humans are not humans” or “racism is the doctrine that there is an ontological ranking among the races of man.” To be honest, I’m not sure even these are sinful. If you really want to be sure to get sin in there, you can go all the way to “racism is hatred (in the technical not emotional sense) of another human being because of his race.”

        But I need not believe anything like that when I say “blacks are too dumb to be permitted to vote, and there is no way to fix them” or “blacks, because they have sucky genes, are stupid, loud, disorderly, and violence prone; therefore, your moral obligations to your family require that you not live with them and your moral obligations to other white families require that you work for a system under which this is a licit and widely available option.” Yet, those views are clearly racist, as the word is used commonly (here and henceforth, I am going to pretend the word actually has a definition).

        The serious Christian deals with this by equivocating. When an interlocutor appears asking why racism is sinful, we get the stuff about subhumans, ontological rankings, and hatred. When it comes time to condemn the bad, evil racists we get the common-use definition. That definition, as we pretend, is something like “racism is the doctrine that there are significant but non-malleable differences among the races and it is permissible to behave as if this is so.”

        You do this, Richard. One can want to kill blacks without believing in ontological rankings (your preferred definition). Most murderers don’t really believe their victims are subhuman or ontologically inferior to them. Mickvet is quite explicitly using the common use definition, to your approval.

        I understand where the Tea Party guys, micvet, and Richard are coming from. We are all cowards on this issue in our own way. I am pseudonymous precisely because I fear retribution for my heresy against the multicult. I know many highly intelligent, honest people who think racism, the common use definition, is a false doctrine, well-established to be a false doctrine, and that, therefore, people who hold it must be motivated by some kind of psychologically deforming condition, like intense visceral fully-internalized and intellectualized hatred.

        The thing is, none of these people know anything about the subject, and they carefully keep their ignorance intact. They sound exactly like gun-grabbing lunatics. You only like guns because you have a small penis. Errr, you know there is research on that exact subject which comes to the opposite conclusion? Why would anyone learn about *that*?!!

        Another less common tact is to hold racist claims to utterly absurd standards of proof—I guess the idea is that believing racism is false is so hotly desired that one may disbelieve it as long as there is not epistemic certainty. This appears to be all about balancing the well-founded fear of the consequences of being found out a racist against the desire to know oneself as honest.

      • “You might even say Liberals are the real racists.”

        I openly lol’d when I read this. It’s such a funny cliche.

  6. Very well-researched and sourced essay which outlines the hypocrisy of Liberals who wish to import Muslims, as well as the idiocy of the ‘institutional racism’ excuse for the failure of minorities. I think we’d generally agree on the prescription: ‘multiculturalism is unsustainable, and importing foreigners en masse is a bad move for any population who will either be dragged down by them or fall prey to their success and exploitation’. Having a foreign ghetto population that requires welfare to quell riots is as bad as having a foreign population which skillfully becomes the elite while remaining a different culture.

    However, I take issue with this idea of moral progress with regards to Muslims especially. Christians are not thinking clearly when they say for example that Saudi Arabia is not as morally advanced as the UK because it cuts off hands for theft. When deciding between the moral practices of amputative corporal punishment, and the mass slaughter of innocent unborn children whose parts are then used to heat hospital furnaces, I’d choose the former.

    Part of the reason that Liberals think we can afford to import third-world populations that many see as barbaric is because Liberal values are so strong, and we are such a moral people that over time the immigrants will want to embrace our values without needing to be forced via ‘xenophobic’ measures like banning burqas. The problem is, it doesn’t work like that.

    Morality is not the prime predictor of the outcome in a cultural struggle (and as I said, I don’t think the West would win if it was), morality is only tangentially linked via the true arbiter, culturally adaptive traits. When two cultures come into conflict (i.e – are put together in the same geographic area), their culturally adaptive traits are weighed against each other. In some cases, this determines wealth (industriousness vs. laziness) in other cases, it determines survival (low birth rate vs. high birth rate).

    Liberalism for any culture is a maladaptive trait, Any state that exists at Francis Fukuyama’s ‘end of history’, that is at the supposed apex of moral and political reasoning and organization, is a state that is on the verge of its own death. The suicide of the West with its importation of foreign cultures, races, demographics, is the final act of Modernism’s grand tail. Enlightened democracy leads to suffrage leads to high time-preference voting leads to degeneracy leads to irreligiosity leads to low birth-rates leads to labor shortage leads to invited invasion. Or something following similar lines. The West dooms itself. The question for the Christian who has defiantly extricated himself from the swamp of a culture that hates his guts is, how do we survive as Rome burns, and how do we ensure the next Rome is ours and not Caliph Ibrahim’s?

    • Mark – thank you for reading and your comments. I’ll let Tom B. weigh in concerning the UK and Saudi Arabia if he feels like it. I think what you’ve written is a very nice addition to the discussion and makes sense to me.

  7. It seems that the academy has to keep inventing new “god terms” (as Richard Weaver would call them) to keep ahead of the eventual hollowing out of the old ones. When I was in graduate school, “multiculturalism” was the trendy god term. As a student of traditional East Asian cultures, I was initially welcoming of the idea, assuming that it would mean that the Confucian Analects, the Tale of Genji, The Dream of the Red Chamber, and other deserving Asian classics might have a more conspicuous place in the curriculum. But I quickly found that “multiculturalism” meant no such thing. In fact, it had very little at all to do with “culture” in any meaningful sense of that word. Not long after I was hired, I recall a conversation with an African-American student in which I challenged the idea that multiculturalism really meant what it was claimed to mean. Her response was interesting: “Well, I come from a multicultural family, so I ought to know. How could you know?” Now, my wife is Japanese, my daughter biracial, and I have dedicated my life to the study of a non-Western civilization. So that should make me the poster boy for multiculturalism. But apparently not. It became blindingly obvious to me that multiculturalism was not about culture, but about race.

    The same is essentially true for “diversity,” the new god term that has for the most part replaced multiculturalism. It strikes me as more than a little ironic that every diversity officer on every campus in the nation is spouting the identical paeans to diversity. How’s that for diversity?

    • How did the rest of the conversation go? What was her definition of multi-culturalism? Because I often find that its practical definition is simply “fewer white people.” Seems silly, but it is what it is.

  8. Richard @ Welcome to the Orthosphere, and thanks for your interesting essay. As you know, multicultural has become a cant phrase that has little real significance but generates warm feelings. Unfortunately, people intoxicated by these warm feelings do dangerous things.

    Multiculturalism in the modern sense is cultural miscegenation, which leads, as you say, to homogenization. This is why I have to disagree when you write that multiculturalism (cultural miscegenation) will bring benefits in the “long run.” In the long run multiculturalism almost always annihilates itself, either peacefully through assimilation or violently through genocide. There is no reason to suppose that what emerges from the cultural blender (or meat grinder) will be superior to what went into it. In fact, centers of empire normally attract diverse peoples, become multicultural, and then devolve into cultural sinks (e.g. Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indo-Gangetic Plain). Truly creative cultures are normally insulated, but not isolated. They are aware of exotic ideas, but insulation means they are in a position to “pick and choose.”

    I think we need to be careful with the idea that the Jews of Medieval Europe were “ghettoized.” The Jews probably would have liked larger ghettos, and they certainly resented some of the restrictions on their free movement, but they would have remained spatially concentrated without any regulation by Christian authorities. A minority population that aims to preserve its culture always clusters because this is a defensive position that resists assimilation. Jews were always free to leave the ghetto by way of the baptismal font, and many of them did so. When it is said that they were not allowed to leave the ghetto, what is really meant is that they were not allowed to leave the ghetto on their own terms.

    • Dear JMSmith thanks for reading and commenting. The “in the long run” comment was something Robert D. Putnam said. I didn’t cite it to endorse it, just to point out that even Putnam acknowledges cultural diversity is a problem to be overcome and that by talking about “successful” immigrant societies he implicitly recognizes the possibility of failure. Common agreements about how to live are necessary for society to function well at all. I like your insulation/isolation distinction and agree that being in a position to pick and choose is ideal. Likewise I think George Friedman is confused. I quote his comments about the ghettoization just to identify his contradictions or factual inaccuracies. I wouldn’t be surprised if many Jews adopted the defensive position you describe with some self-segregation going on.

  9. Re: Bruce concerning genes – we couldn’t a priori rule out genes – but the genetic theory would need some evidence in order to have a reason for believing it. I’m personally skeptical that genes have all the powers attributed to them, such as whether they are responsible for morphology and behaviors, in line with Rupert Sheldrake’s criticisms in “Science Set Free,” while not necessarily embracing morphic resonance as an alternative.

    • Dr. Cocks,
      I do not think the burden of proof should automatically be placed on the genetic theory and placing it there seems ideologically driven.
      There is nothing (that I am aware of) in evolutionary science, the Bible, the Church fathers, etc. that suggests that the burden of proof should be placed on the genetic model or that we shouldn’t start with, say, a 50/50 genes/culture model.

      • Bruce – the burden of proof is on the person making the controversial claim. The notion that cultures rise and fall because of genetic changes within a very short space of time biologically speaking – I know of no evidence supporting that thesis. How would you prove it? You would need actual biological evidence for any such claim. Biological evolution is far far slower than cultural evolution. I’ve given examples of rapid changes in who is currently ‘on top’ culturally with many different races and cultures taking the lead at different times. To attribute this to genetic changes doesn’t seem to make sense and is certainly controversial. For instance, I find it hard to believe that the Greeks lost out to the Romans because their genes had gone into sudden decline. It seems more likely that their culture had pretty much exhausted itself and they never really recovered from the Peloponnesian War i.e., were demoralized, without even getting started on Roman military superiority at the time.

      • I hate to nitpick (ok, I love it), but your assertion about Greece just isn’t true. Even though it was defeated militarily, Greece, particularly Athens, was the cultural center of the Empire, and Greeks were associated with learning by nearly all peoples around the Mediterranean (you couldn’t do philosophy without knowing Greek) until the end of Byzantium and even beyond. I know that there are certainly a lot of Greek-Americans in academia even today.

        They also weren’t defeated because of the Peloponnesian War, since the war was centuries before Rome had any real contact with mainland Greece. The Roman military system was more flexible and worked on different sorts of terrain, making it easier for individual Roman units to flank the Macedonian style phalanx.

      • Jim – you’re right that Greek cultural influence continued even while their military power diminished. In fact, as we know, the Romans continued to admire and imitate the Greeks even while subjugating them militarily.

        I agree that the Greeks were not defeated by the Romans due to the Peloponnesian War – but they were culturally demoralized. Mid-Fith century BC is generally considered the height of Greek confidence and triumphalism. From what I’ve read, Athenian and Spartan confidence in themselves and their way of life never recovered from the war, though it was in the post-war period that we get Plato’s writings and later Aristotle.

      • Professor Cocks,

        I do not agree that the burden of proof is on the person making the controversial claim – particularly in a world ruled by the left-liberal view. Actually, this view should be anathema to a traditionalist conservative since every claim we make is controversial.

        I gave the example of biological change occurring during historic times as a suggestion that culture (insofar as it arises independent of the innate qualities of the people who created it), geography, etc. may not be the only explanation of civilizational differences. I acknowledge the complexity of human history where outcomes are probably a complex web of historical contingencies, culture, geography, intangibles (civilizational “mojo”), luck and the innate qualities of peoples.

        I did not intend to suggest that every victor evolved into something biologically superior to those they conquered, whether short term or long term. I think a reasonable a-priori assumption (a SWAG) is that innate qualities are 50% and environment is 50%. That’s the model my intuition says we should start from – then work from there. Environmentalists start with 100% or near 100% – I don’t think any hereditarian starts with a 100% model –who is more likely to be ideologically driven?

      • Bruce – It’s certainly true that ‘controversial’ is context dependent. Assuming God exists is noncontroversial in church, controversial in a philosophy class. Even true mathematical formulas are controversial when presented to a group of non-mathematicians. The burden of proof in the end just means we need reasons for our claims which I’m sure traditional conservatives won’t have a problem with. But you are quite correct that stupid, intellectually confused and even contradictory views are presented by the left-liberals as the accepted fact for which no argument need be provided which gets frustrating when one is staring at a contradiction that one knows MUST be false. Maybe I should say that the notion that the rise and fall of civilizations is the result of rapid genetic changes is controversial to me. It’s not an accepted truth that I’m familiar with – which is not to say that it is false. Perhaps your Peter Frost reference can help me out in that regard.

        I’m OK with the 50/50 notion. It’s just the notion super rapid genetic changes being correlated with cultural break throughs that I am unfamiliar with and would like some reason to believe.

        “I gave the example of biological change occurring during historic times as a suggestion that culture (insofar as it arises independent of the innate qualities of the people who created it), geography, etc. may not be the only explanation of civilizational differences. I acknowledge the complexity of human history where outcomes are probably a complex web of historical contingencies, culture, geography, intangibles (civilizational “mojo”), luck and the innate qualities of peoples.”

        It’s an interesting possibility – especially taken together with all the other possibly factors that you mention. In fact, for me, as one of many it gains in plausibility.

        I do like the notion that genetic makeup can alternate between strengths and weaknesses depending on cultural/environmental context. For instance, some of us require glasses as the result of doing a lot of childhood reading and some of us don’t. I was lucky enough not to need them despite doing a ton of reading. On the other hand, I get motion sickness; something that would never be an issue before the advent of boats and cars. This weakness turns back into a strength in the context of space travel – those immune to motion sickness can’t adjust well to weightlessness and get sick in that context.

      • The mid-fifth century is certainly the height of independent Athenian triumphalism, but definitely not pan-Hellenic triumphalism. The Classical period just seems to be the favorite of modern scholars since early modern times (though the Greeks living centuries later than that period had a very similar Classical canon to the one we have now), and it’s the time from which most of the surviving literature comes, but the Greeks continued to produce their most interesting philosophy during the later Roman Empire, not to mention the Church Fathers. The Byzantines considered themselves just as much the center of the Universe as the Athenians. I sometimes think that the Great Schism basically just came down to The Orthodox refusing to read any arguments offered in Latin.

  10. I think that European-European-derived people (EEDs — flies farther than “whites” these days!) need to stop getting bent out of shape and resorting to grovelling apologies when called “racist,” The typical response to that slur is to defend oneself, to go on about how one can’t be a racist because one has black friends, or a Mexican family member, or what have you. A better response is to simply say, “Ouch! But let’s say you’re right. Let’s say that I’m the biggest racist who’s ever lived. What do you have to say about my arguments?”

    The knee-shaking fear of being name-called has paralyzed EED defense of their own cultures. Until — and unless — this stops, it’s game over. Name-calling is the most powerful weapon in the progs’ arsenal; it can be made totally useless by simply not playing that game — a game in which they set the rules and change them as they go along.

    It really is astounding how it’s seen as “game over; Leftists win!” when all they have are slurs. It’s all so very — high school.

    • Tracy – Absolutely. When I came to the US in 1990 I found much to my surprise that one was considered a misogynist if one had any hesitation about the wonderful virtues of abortion. As you say, name-calling is not an argument.

    • Tracy, I’m not sure that engaging a name-calling liberal in a discussion is going to be productive; for one thing it’ll be impossible to define terms. But allow me to share a canned rejoinder which I have never actually used but have prepared for the right occasion should it ever come along: ‘I’m sorry sir but I do not discuss politics with liberals and children’.

      I don’t think of the PC regime as being unusually vulnerable. It’s an instance of totalitarianism and, contrary to popular mythology, those regimes are quite durable. Run up the Confederate flag in your front yard and you’ll be crushed by the PC regime.

      • Checking myself on the statement about durability. Some totalitarian regimes have proven durable and some have not. And they all offend Mother Nature, someone who always has the last say. Let me just say that the power and durability of the PC regime is greatly underestimated.

    • “A better response is to simply say, “Ouch! But let’s say you’re right. Let’s say that I’m the biggest racist who’s ever lived. What do you have to say about my arguments?””

      Too wordy, lessens the impact.

      I highly recommend either “So?” or “And?”. Drives the poofs crazy because it’s flippant and unapologetic?

  11. Pingback: Rejecting State-Coerced Cultural Diversity | The Anarchist Notebook

  12. Pingback: Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Chaos Patch (#88)

  13. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/11/15) | The Reactivity Place

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