There are many ideas espoused by the intellectual elites that are fraudulent. Things that not only fail to stand up even to the slightest scrutiny, but have piles of evidence to the contrary. Despite this, their godlike status among gullible students, and leftest, allows them to get away with stating the absurd to applause from their adoring echo chamber denizens. This is true even if it is hurtful and counter productive.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the “science” of eugenics, an offshoot of Darwinism, was marked by the worship of the educated. The idea that those with PhDs (Particularity Whites) were somehow genetically superior stoked their egos. Regurgitating the earlier belief that rulers were born superior to their subjects, and the two should not mix for fear of contaminating aristocratic bloodlines, the new belief was racial purity was necessary for future advancement of the species.
Today’s push for cultural purity, and separate but equal cultures, has many disturbing parallels to both eugenics, and Jim Crow laws of the old south. Just add race in place of culture, and substitute appropriation for mixing, and the similarities become all too clear. Like previous claims against mixing classes, and races, this newest form of segregation is absurd. In fact, intercultural exchanges are both necessary and unavoidable.
In Africa, a man was asked if he knew the language of his tribe said no, and added most Africans do not respect or honor the old ways of our tribes. When asked why, he basically said nobody wants to live in a hut. In another exchange, Anthony Bourdain was filmed talking to a Amazon tribesman. The man was complaining that the government, by restricting things they could trade for, was treating his people as zoo specimens. Each of these men understood that not all cultures are equal, and if they wanted to get ahead they had to choose whose to emulate, or borrow from. In so doing, these men showed more wisdom than the whole of liberal Western academia combined. This situation is not unique, as many people have had to make that choice. For those that have chosen cultural isolation, or had it forced upon them, the results have measured in stagnation, misery, and occasionally extinction.
Ancient China and Medieval Islamic countries were once leaders in science and knowledge. China barricaded itself off from “corrupting” influences of outsiders. Islamic empires, bent on world domination and religious intolerance, walled off the west and turned the once mighty Islamic centers of learning into backwaters of ignorance. Isolation turned each into time capsules of arrested development. For other places, topography created natural barriers to trade and the exchange in ideas. For Stone Age Amazon tribes, Pacific Islanders, and almost all of Africa, cultural isolation meant thousands of years of stagnation. In contrast, societies that were both willing and able to embrace new ideas advanced tremendously.
The question is often asked, why are those people, or that nation poor? Rarely is it contemplated what makes some groups and countries richer. Poverty is a natural state of mankind, and has been for millennia. It is success that has been rare, and those that obtain it that have stuck out. This makes the remarkable reduction of poverty across the globe, over the last half century, all the more so. It was not leveling schemes, or mass wealth redistribution, that has made this possible, but the acceptance by ever greater parts of the population of Western concepts of markets, property rights, and rule of law. Ideas that have pushed aside much older systems deeply linked to the cultures in which they resided. Inevitably, those that embrace the ideas of successful cultures become successful themselves. Given this undeniable fact, the continued insistence that people stay in their boxes, even when their boxes are likely keeping them back, is unconscionable.
The truth is, the economic differences between areas can most often be explained by the cultures inhabiting them. In many cases, two peoples inhabiting the same places with the same opportunities end up with totally different outcomes. While poor native born American blacks lament the lack of opportunity, and complain of systemic racism, Nigerian immigrants excel. The difference is obvious not color, or racism, but the culture of the two communities.
Beyond the obvious necessity of cultural exchange to advance economically, there is the social aspect of sharing cultures. While a white man wearing a traditional African shirt at Berkley would be attacked, he would be greeted with smiles in the land of its origin. Sharing cultures is one of the best ways of bring people together. This is true whether eating with chop sticks in China, saying gracious instead of thank you in Spain, or wearing a traditional shirt in Ghana. In contrast, refusing to culturally appropriate is seen as a sign of rejection and even divisive. It is only in the troubled mind of liberals that such a thing as sharing a culture becomes bad, while walling people off from each other is considered good.
Lastly, the concept of a pure culture is itself absurd. Except for extreme remote tribes, nobodies’ culture is truly unique. They are compilations of cultural interactions and sharing over centuries. Blends of various influences; a natural mixing that has been occurring as long as mankind has walked the earth. Not only is it immoral to box people int cultural cages, and divisive to prohibit cross cultural exchanges, it is lunacy to suggest it can be stopped.
TCM, I would mention this quote of Marx to add the argument that the left has its marching orders as it continues down the path of communization. The communist journey, as Marx instructed his followers is to be filled with “the ruthless criticism of everything”. The communist is filled with their mission and constant anger and just picks a topic of the year and runs with it until there is change or until the steam has run out of it. “Cultural appropriation”, is ok if it has the capacity to harm capitalist civilization, so it is used. Does the communist party (CPUSA and others) pick a topics list, scatter them on a dart board and blindly fires a few darts—the winning darts are the hot buttons of the year?
his full quote from a letter written in 1843
“If we have no business with the construction of the future or with organizing it for all time, there can still be no doubt about the task confronting us at present: the ruthless criticism of the existing order, ruthless in that it will shrink neither from its own discoveries, nor from conflict with the powers that be.
A Conservative Mind said:
I think what you inferring to is the dogmatic left’s insistence on tearing down anything that supports the present order, while supporting anything that creates division and disillusionment. Tilling the soil of discontent so they might plant the seeds of revolution. A tool of revolutionaries long before Marx, but championed by him. Hopper would of said they are making the present seem so intolerable that, when presented with the right leader, a movement can be created. Both ideas are most likely correct, and complimentary to each other. I am not sure all on this path agree on what the desired outcome is/Utopia looks like. Obama preferred fascist like control over complete state ownership, and many others as well. One of the reasons, I fear, that the left is so insistent on associating fascism with nationalism and racism, both of which are not its defining characteristics, is to fool the public when they institute it themselves. If they were ever successful (God Forbid) at overthrowing the present order, they would likely fight each other for the right to form the future, with the winner dictator over the rest.
TCM, I am reading Dinesh D’Souza’s new book The Big Lie. He spends a lot of time wading through the muck of fascism and socialism’s lies. Such a smart and insightful guy. Its a tough slow read but worth some of the historical insights he mentions regarding Democrats and how they wound up believing a whole series of lies about their own party.