America can afford to care for its poor, but not the world's poor.
[This is the addended transcript of my regular KVMR commentary broadcast on 22 February 2017.]
Our world is going through an historical upheaval - possibly the penultimate one for humankind. The salutary effects of western capitalism and colonialism have awakened peoples whose indigenous cultures gave no signs of being on the cusp of technological breakout, industrialization, or aggregation into modern nation-states, let alone exploring new forms of governance that recognize individual fulfillment based on new concepts of liberty and self-determination.
Today western civilization, after many centuries, is coming full circle as it rapidly sheds its former exceptionalism by relinquishing its culture bit by piece while elevating those it formerly taught to become its new teachers. In this progress, we of the west have come to worship the new gods of diversity and inclusivity. What we now belatedly realize is that these new gods are more jealous and demanding of sacrifices than is the God of our fathers. These sacrifices require us to abandon who we were, how we thought, what we valued, and the traditions that defined us.
The response to such multi-cultural calamities has been a widening chasm that divides globalists and culture-conserving nationalists. The bottom line is that most of us still want to live with people who are more than less like we are. That it was ever thus is again corroborated by NYU psychologists Jan Van Bavel and Tessa West. They report (here) on recent research which indicates that “implicit bias may be partly to blame, or the idea that even people with the best of intentions toward diversity can harbor attitudes and beliefs that affect their thoughts, feelings and actions outside of their awareness. … These biases stem from our preference for people who are similar to us, provide a feeling of safety, or feel familiar. Indeed, research has shown that men and women alike start to treat minorities differently within milliseconds of seeing them. Our brains automatically carve the world into in-group and out-group members and apply stereotypes within the blink of an eye.”
We have gotten around this organic trait by tolerating cultural diversity through the rise of China towns, little Koreas, Vietnam villages, and even countenanced Armenians ‘taking over’ an entire southern California city. Such tolerance seems to work if each cohort has a space of its own where they can live according to their own rules.
Meanwhile, in the west Christianity has taken a serious beating since the 1960s. Its decline in Europe and America is calamitous to the extent that today we see culturally cohesive Christian communities again forming in our land, comprised of people “longing to lead more religious lives—and wary of the wider culture—a growing number of traditional Christians are creating their own small communities”. Such gatherings are called the ‘Benedict Option’, and described by Rod Dreher in his forthcoming book of the same title, which details these growing movements by various cultural cohorts in the US (more here). Dreher goes on to say, “we’re living in a post-Christian world, (where) there needs to be some conscious separation from the mainstream to be able to hold on to the Christian faith. … Throughout American history, members of minority religious groups—Mormons, Orthodox Jews, the Amish—have at times isolated themselves to try to preserve values and traditions.”
The real question of our age may be ‘how do we weave these threads together to understand the resilient forces that separate us, and peacefully form new communities to live in harmony with other culturally coherent populations, each preserving their own values, mores, and traditions?’ The times they are a’changin’, and there will be much more to say about the Benedict Option.
My name is Rebane, and I also expand on this and related themes on Rebane’s Ruminations where the addended transcript of this commentary is posted with relevant links, and where such issues are debated extensively. However my views are not necessarily shared by KVMR. Thank you for listening.
[Addendum] Apropos to the above, prominent national commentator Bret Stephens makes the case (here) that we in the west have given up on western civilization. This broad public sentiment is picked up by our adversaries who are doing their best to make hay while that sun shines. Russia’s foreign minister “Lavrov understands something that ought to be increasingly clear to American and European audiences: The West—as a geopolitical bloc, a cultural expression, a moral ideal—is in deep trouble. However weak Russia may be economically, and however cynical its people might be about their regime, Russians continue to drink from a deep well of civilizational self-belief. The same can be said about the Chinese, and perhaps even of the Islamic world too, troubled as it is. … The West? Not so much.”
And regarding the work of Bavel and West, it is ever more clear that our political correctness has seeped into our corporate world in which the quota system, albeit camouflaged, is in full force as companies writhe to demonstrate that their multi-racial numbers add up properly. This has forced hiring managers to blindfold themselves to their own intuits and experience when adding to the workforce for whose output they are responsible. The manager’s comprehensive assessment of merit is no longer permitted. Instead s/he must now bring to bear a politically proper filtering process fashioned by the ‘human resources’ department that will present the correctly limited list of 'qualified' applicants.
The bottom line here is that such companies infuse themselves with a rot that ultimately stunts their performance, profitability, and growth. This in turn acts as another goad to fully take advantage of corrupt corporatism, and buy politicians to fashion laws and regs to limit competition from smaller more agile enterprises, and from overseas outfits not burdened by such fine points of enforced egalitarianism. These are among the benefits we derive when our elitists attempt to mold human nature according to the social theories they learned in school.