“Create ships and sails capable of navigating the
cœlestial atmosphere and you will find men to man
them, men not afraid of the vast emptiness of space.”
— Johannes Kepler, 1610
Culture and its Effects
by Sarah A. Hoyt
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Yes, I know, you guys are wondering why I’m writing about culture, when it’s obvious I ain’t got no culture.
Look, I like museums, and historical lectures (if I can find them with minimal or separatable (totally a word) politics, and if we ever get the money we’ll get season tickets to one of the music thingies (look, not enough caffeine, and all I can think of is the Colorado Springs Symphony.)
I’m just fond of that stuff enough to make normal human beings uncomfortable around me (coupled with the fact most TV series bore me to death) while refusing to be high culture, because high culture these days is defined by “does it support the revolution.” Even our d*mn art museum is all about exhibits that high light the plight of illegal immigrants, or whatever. And I dislike those not even because I disagree with them.
I mean,I do. I mean, that plight is easily solvable by not breaking into my d*mn country. Don’t like your country? Change it. We — quite literally can’t take everyone from a dysfuntional country. There isn’t enough room, but worse, you’ll change us by coming here. You’re already changing us by coming here. And I don’t like it. Hold on to this thought, it will be coming back around, okay?
For now, I’ll say what pisses me off about “high culture” is that it’s boring. It’s mind-bogglingly, bizarrely boring. Particularly since it seems to be coordinated from some central location (might be. Might not be. It might just be highly mimetic people who want to be loved all jumping on the band wagon. It’s probably a combination of the two.) Once you see the bursts of their causes hit the media/art/entertainment/news industrial complex all at once, you can’t stop seeing it. And if the topic is either crazy cakes or just stupid — like the plight of poor law breakers coming into the country to stress all our social welfare services, because they don’t get them in their land — from the beginning, I might find the first one amusing, but by the third, I’m going “Oh, that sh*t again.”
BTW they always did this to an extent. If you go back, you’ll see themes propagate through media/news/art every few years. It’s just the current ones, in the year three of the Great Unmasking, are generally speaking even more eye-roll worthy and insane than the 80s push to “Make single motherhood respectable and worthy of sainthood.”
But at any rate, that’s NOT the type of culture I’m talking about.
I’m talking about national culture.
One of the comments caught in my spam filter, which I decided not to let through though you guys would have found it AMAZING is the one about how the future belongs to a white culture, with women being subjugated and subjected to the power of men. Or something.
Yes, I know that is a dream on a certain side of the internet (not sure they even register in the political map, but they’re really loud online.) It’s also one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard. It’s the “left turned on its head” attempt to be “right”. Except it’s not. It’s also stupid, a-historical and like most things that come from the left, right side up or wrong side up, it doesn’t work with real human beings.
Because, you know, culture isn’t race. It just isn’t. We can get confused by this because certain, broad racial groups got integrated into a global marketplace/visibility while at certain points of social development. So, most of Africa is tribal and has the issues of tribal culture. Africa is also, largely, one race as seen from other continents (not as seen from inside Africa, because, see tribal.)
But to believe that representative government works all the same for the “white” race requires you to think that the only white people are English. No, seriously. And even the English not so much, depending on the time at which you study them, because they’ve gone through some amazingly wobbly periods, at different times in their history (like the current. And yes, it has to do with immigrants, kind of, but not really. It has more to do with Soviet infiltration.) But the French? The Scandinavians? The GERMANS? none of those act like a race that will be great with representative government. And btw, NONE of them have a tradition of making women chattel, even after women have caused wars or worse. THAT tradition is from a completely different culture, which while also white (guys, the Mediterranean subrace that most Arabs belong to is a subrace of caucasians, okay?)
Explaining things like why the Portuguese used to dominate the world and are now at best a 2 1/2 world country for governance leads to some amazingly bizarre assumptions about the “race” of Portuguese changing between say the 16th and 17th centuries, which is sort of the equivalent of “the parties switched sides.” Almost wet myself when seeing a “racial supremacy” site support the “race change” of the Portuguese on the basis of… the portraits of kings. No, seriously. This requires ignoring that the kings of Europe were mostly related to other kings of Europe, and in Portugal in the 19th century they were all related to Queen Victoria. Etc.
Look, to an extent, I understand the left’s confusion of race and culture. Particularly because of US subcultures that have been propagandized for generations into behaving a certain way and that has penetrated all of education, often in an upside-down attempt at propagandizing (let’s say considering yourself historically wronged does not promote good behavior.)
Also, culture is largely invisible. Particularly when you’re inside it. But you do see it in other groups, and if it coincides with skin color/body characteristics, it’s easy to attribute the behavior to that. Humans have been doing it since their tribal phase.
But here’s the thing, for all it’s invisible: culture exists. It makes a difference. And it definitely affects how humans govern themselves (and everything they do together.) Culture, not some mythical race change is responsible for both the Portuguese empire and the fact it couldn’t hold.
Culture is not individual. By this I mean, as an individual you have no specific to YOU culture. Sure, you will have individual ways of acting. But what you have is part of a culture IN YOU. Some of it you absorbed before you could even talk. And it affects how you act.
It CAN be changed, but it requires several things, including isolation, introspection and will power. Acculturation hurts and is difficult as hell.
All of this is very important, and all of this is getting f*cked up right now by the view of the culture as indistinguishable from race. It is this view that causes the left to scream we’re “racist” for not wanting to invite the destitute of the world on over an open border, or for wanting to do rudimentary screening and keeping undesirables out. Because the left is racist they see only race. And they view doing that as the same thing as keeping people out/down because inferior races. (Thing is, if you talk to a leftist you also find they do believe people who tan are in some measure inferior. They just should be helped and accommodated, and must never ever be made to acculturate or come up to scratch. Because that is somehow “racist.” Never mind.)
It is this view that causes the upside-down left to scream only whites can govern themselves.
And it is all so f*cked up it makes one want to giggle through the tears.
Look– I have a 23 and me test in hand. What is more, so does my husband. So do a lot of friends.
If race and culture were equivalent, then I’d have come back with 100% Portuguese ancestry. There would be Spanish ancestry. German ancestry. These different cultures would have isolated, radically different DNA. Okay, I do have a couple of friends who are MOSTLY German. But even that is ignoring all the Romans who left their genes all over the place way further back than we can even test for, and who are now part of “German Ancestry.” Or how little you actually get from anyone past your great grands (in genetic terms.) Look, as I stand here, I’m apparently descended, in a direct line of mothers, from a woman in 10th century Norway. My Scandinavian DNA, while more than Fauxahontas Amerindian DNA is something like 2%. (And yet the facial structure and pale eyes and hair surface again and again on mom’s side.)
Instead Europe is mostly made of Europe. It would be easier for Americans to visualize this, if they see 18th century US stretching into the future a thousand years, then people being tested. (18th century because travel was more limited. NOTE not nonexistent.) Some people in those conditions, 1k years from now, might have “pure Ohio DNA” or “Pure Colorado DNA” but they would be rare. And in the port cities, with lots of commerce? Or the seaboard states? Katie bar the door. People would be mutts, sons of mutts.
Which is what Europe is, by and large. Racially, Europe is “potato.” And yes, that goes double for the vaunted Anglo-Saxons. For one, there was more trade — of everything including genes — between the peninsula and the British isles than you can shake a big stick at (and judging by DNA reports, several very big sticks were shaken… metaphorically speaking.)
However it is true that different parts of Europe behave radically differently in relation to representative government, hiring for jobs, how companies are run, etc.
For instance, all countries that come from Rome are governed by a combination of oligarchy and nepotism (and yes, do business that way too.) In the Roman Empire this was open, now it’s swept under a prettyfying pretense of “representative government.” But it is no more that than it is pure market capitalism. Or socialism, for that matter. All those are modules plugged in mostly for appearances sake.
And btw, again, not race, but culture. Rome wasn’t race. And the original Roman stock was replaced by adoption/invasion/etc. What they were really good at though was transmitting “the way things are done” which is CULTURE.
So while I’m willing to entertain the idea that some aspects of culture might be genetic, it still makes no sense when you consider the persistence through near-complete genetic replacement.
Culture is a bizarre, stubborn beast. I bet if you dig really far back, you’ll find that each part of the Roman empire has slight twists on how business is done based on the culture of the tribes that were there and the culture of where legions were recruited when Rome invaded, and the unique cross section of that.
I know there are differences in things like public presentation between the North and the South of Portugal that are cultural and very very old. (People still intermarried. I mean, 23 and me assures me I have ancestors from — the horror — Lisbon. The cultures remained different.)
And despite the native cultures, you can still see the imprint of the Roman Empire in most South American countries.
Honestly, because most cultural assumptions are invisible to those who make them, they’re almost impossible to shake.
I was talking to friends from Africa and the idea of any government being representative in Africa is laughable. The idea of representative government (outside of a few “good” families) in Latin countries is similarly laughable. Even France has a part of this if you dig (I recommend using gloves.) And this regardless of the level of tan people have achieved. It has nothing to do with race. Culture is more persistent than race.
Part of the blithering idiocy that was the 20th century was thinking humans could be “remade” into new things. We’ll forget the biological part (it can’t be done) even at the cultural level, this is impossible. No, trust me, China has tried it several times along its history. Culture remains, now with an added layer of trauma from people trying to re-make it. Wrong lessons are learned and applied, and the culture is the same, but now even more irrational.
Even Heinlein thought Americans could make over other cultures in the image of theirs. It was a widespread madness.
And this madness will kill us if we persist.
It is possible for America to take untold numbers of immigrants and remain the same. Of course it is. No, seriously, it is. We have.
But it needs to be done in a way that allows for acculturation. That means not only that integration and assimilation is REQUIRED but that we can’t import vast masses of people all at once, all from the same culture. We did this before with Italians, sure, but we were getting other people too. And particularly not from LATIN cultures, because what remains of Roman culture is like some sort of mind-virus and will take over given half a chance. It might be breakable, but I don’t know how for groups. I know how for individuals. Short version, again “hurts like hell, and you have to really want it.”
Letting people just walk in, who aren’t self-aware enough to know there are even other ways to think or act? bad, bad idea.
The other part of this? We need to teach our kids American culture. They too are immigrants, in a way. And they won’t be like you, just because they were born from you. NONE OF THIS IS GENETIC.
Kids need to be taught about America and our system of government and not “America bad.” America isn’t. Or to put it another way “Compared to what?”
Selling them “America bad”requires teaching them ONLY lies about the rest of the world, too. And it prepares them very badly for what promises to be a very difficult century.
So, build the culture to support our culture. And stop importing people from other cultures, who don’t even know they have a culture in ways that allow them to hold onto their culture and change our mass culture to be closer to theirs.
Because representative government and free trade and meritocracy? None of that is plug and play, and doesn’t work with every culture. And with all its flaws, it’s the best way of living we’ve found.
Sure took me a long time to say just that. And yet, it is true.
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