Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Respecting the Other

One of my old friends' father was at one time something of a Cold Warrior: he did something or other for the US defense establishment—nuclear submarine-related, if I recall correctly. This work activity apparently led him to develop a particularly virulent form of Russophobia; not so much a phobia as a pronounced loathing of all things Russian. According to my friend, her father would compulsively talk about Russia in overly negative terms. He would also sneeze a lot (allergies, perhaps), and she said that it was often difficult for her to distinguish his sneezes from his use of the word "Russia" as an expletive. But perhaps she was trying to draw a distinction without a difference: her father was allergic to Russia, his allergy caused him to sneeze a lot and also to develop a touch of Tourette's, thus his sneezes came out sounding like "Russia!"

What had caused him to develop such a jaundiced view of Russia? The reason is easy to guess: his work activity on behalf of the government forced him to focus closely on what his superiors labeled as "the Russian threat." Unfolded a bit, it would no doubt turn out that what Russia threatened was Americans' self-generated fiction of overwhelming military superiority. Unlike the United States, which had developed any number of plans to destroy the Soviet Union (of which nothing ever came due to said lack of overwhelming military superiority) the Soviet Union had never developed any such plans. And this was utterly infuriating to certain people in the US. Was this truly necessary, or was this an accident?

We could take into account geopolitical, military or economic considerations, consider the (no longer relevant) clash of socialist vs. capitalist ideologies or any number of other irrelevancies. Or we could find hints of what's really behind this syndrome from certain efforts to combat it. Consider this lyrics from Sting's 1985 debut solo album "The Dream of Blue Turtles." Sting sang soulfully: "I hope the Russians love their children too." From what mystical source sprang Sting's forlorn hope? That the Russians may be a race of soulless automatons hell-bent on wanton destruction of all life on Earth, but that perhaps there is just a tiny streak of humanity running through their character—they love their children too—and that it will hold them back? Sting's Russia is almost pure evil, but not quite, and a tiny speck of goodness is what keeps the world balanced on the edge of destruction.

Looking at history, a different vista presents itself. Since it first came together as a superethnos (Great Rus) around ten centuries ago, Russia has been consistently attacked and invaded from the west. It has been invaded by the Swedes, the Germans, the Poles/Lithuanians, the French and the Germans again. Note that these are all Northern European ethnic groups; this turns out to be important. All of these incursions the Russians managed to repulse. Russia was also invaded from the east, by a large and diverse group of nomadic peoples collectively known as the Mongols (even though actual ethnic Mongols among them numbered no more than a thousand) and this eventually led to integration and either assimilation or peaceful coexistence.

Why such a difference? Why are the Russians and the Poles like oil and water in spite of both being Christian, neighbors and speaking a Slavic language. Why did the Russians and the Tatars and other Turkic groups fuse together through intermarriage in spite of vast differences in language, custom, religion and geographic origin? Let us propose a daring hypothesis: the reason is organic. Ethnic compatibilities and incompatibilities are not accounted for by any historical, cultural, religious or economic factors. They may be genetic, but they do not necessarily have anything to do with genealogy (relatedness) but could just as easily result from random mutations. They could be part of an innate friend-or-foe identification system—a rather coarse-grained one, that may have evolved at a time when hominids first progressed beyond bands and tribes and started forming the first ethnic groups.

This hypothesis may seem outlandish at first, but upon consideration it explains enduring conflicts much better than do any of the other factors—ideological, cultural, religious or economic. Consider the Thirty Years' War which ravaged Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. Reading historical accounts of it makes it sound as if a set of obtuse theological arguments (far too obtuse for most of the participants to grasp) was resolved largely by slaughtering innocent civilians—an odd way to hold a scholastic disputation. But looking at the result an altogether different purpose becomes clear: that of delineating and separating incompatible ethnicities.

This incompatibility became clear in the New World. On the one side we have the Catholic Europeans (the Spanish, the Portuguese and, to a lesser extent, the French) who happily went native, intermarrying with native tribes and forming new, racially and ethnically fused nations such as the Mexicans, the Brazilians, the Cubans and so on. On the other side we have Northern European, Protestant Europeans (the English, the Germans, the Scandinavians, the Dutch and the Belgians) who refused to intermarry and insisted on forming highly segregated societies that persist to this day.

Acceptance of exogamy by the Catholics and insistence on endogamy by the Protestants (even unto the promulgation of racist laws against "miscegenation" in the US which were highly regarded and emulated by the German Nazis) cannot be accounted for by differences between Catholic and Protestant religious dogma, since these tendencies persist among the religious and the nonreligious alike. A far simpler explanation is that the Northern Europeans are internally compatible but largely incompatible with other groups while the Southern and Eastern Europeans are compatible with a much larger group. The superficial coincidence between ethnic compatibility and Protestantism/Catholicism is an artifact of the Thirty Years' War and similar historical accidents.

What makes the understanding of ethnic compatibilities and incompatibilities important is that if they are ignored the result is a phenomenal amount of mayhem, murder and strife. Incompatible ethnic groups can thrive side by side provided they stay separate and cultivate a healthy respect for The Other. (The plantation economy of the US antebellum South, where a large number of Africans toiled on behalf of a tiny group of Europeans, is hardly such an example). Compatible ethnic groups fuse together through intermarriage and form new nations with no special effort required.

But history attests that mashing incompatible ethnic groups together through an enforced ideology, be it religious or secular in nature, produces very poor results. Yes, it is possible to boost the rate of intermarriage by shaming those who exhibit racist tendencies while rewarding those who intermarry as a way of signaling their virtuousness, and on the surface the resulting society does not appear broken. What breaks is its sense of itself. Being among compatible people, who accept you and whom you accept unconsciously and unconditionally, creates a sense of harmony and well-being, convincing you that the world is a good place and is to be nurtured and celebrated.

But being forced to live among incompatible people, whose acceptance of you, and yours of them, is based on an enforced ideology of sameness contradicted at every turn by your innate sense, creates a sense of disharmony and malaise, leading you to believe that the world is an evil place to be cleansed and purged of all that is offensive, be it your government, your neighbors or ancient statues. The resulting ethnos is a chimera—a nonviable composite entity that is ever in search of a means to destroy itself. The ideologies it generates range from nihilism to violent anarchism, from secessionist movements to revolutionary ones, from apocalyptic cults to devil-worship and from gang rape to cold-blooded mass murder. In historical events such as the Spanish Inquisition or Stalin's purges, it is a waste of time to look for rational reasons for them. But if instead we examine them as resulting from clashes between incompatible ethnic groups, then a much clearer picture emerges.

One of the advantages of this approach over trying to pick apart complex and largely irrelevant questions of history, religion, culture and so on is that it can be based on readily available statistics: rate of intermarriage and viability of outcome (in terms of productivity and positive outcomes of the resulting family units). The inability to identify the organic mechanism underlying ethnic differentiation and incompatibility is, of course, a problem. But perhaps this mechanism will eventually be found, once enough evidence has been collected and cross-correlated with DNA samples. In the meantime, there is much more that is already understood about the nature of ethnos as an aspect of the Earth's biosphere.

I will have more to say on this topic in the next installment. In the interim, I propose that there is just one safe and valid way to act when you sense another's otherness: respect the otherness of others—and try to leave them well alone. Set aside your ideology of "humanity as a whole" (should you have one) for it will only cause trouble.

31 comments :

NowhereMan said...

Brilliant hypothesis, Dmitry!

Seshette said...

The US media has cultivated Russia as the eternal monster at the global level. Russians are trying to invade the US. control out elections, take over the world. There's a lot of buzz on the Internet these days about the countries that are now involved in commercial projects with Russia despite all the ill-advised US sanctions.

But anyone with half a brain should be able to see that Russia has, in fact, done very little to thwart whatever might be thwarted here in the US and another, much tinier country, has far more power in the halls of Congress than Russia.

Are Russians different from Americans, at the core I expect not so much. They may be less gullible than we are, and less unjustifiably optimistic, but fundamentally we all love our kids and puppies and kittens, have no desire to kill anyone, and just want good food and clean water. Other differences are welcome provided: they do no harm to anyone, don't break the laws, don't discriminate in any way except where criminal activity may be present, don't endanger the health ( both physical and mental) of the young. Such deviance exists in all cultures, and we much be wary.

Alex said...

Does anyone think it's possible that it's not genetics, but something intangible (like energy in some sense), that creates this incompatibility? I notice that I do a lot of things that turn out to be very "Russian-esque" or generally "Mediterranean" & I do happen to have most of that as my heritage, but I don't match-up in a great deal of these ways to some of my relatives, while I'll see eye-to-eye with someone just as Italian as them- the dynamics between entities (of which there's never the same instance of, of course) both varies dramatically AND adheres to cliches.

How could this be, then? I propose that there are intangible (and, yes, unprovable) factors at work. Science, or more accurately than the metonym (thanks for that Dmitry!), scientISTS would likely have a hard time with this, being as how mentally encompassing something frequently misregisters as an at-will sway over it & that's a high that they wouldn't be able to get from this. Maybe that's a good thing, I don't know. I wouldn't think that convenience would be a factor in how accurate something is, but maybe I'm wrong (please read a high degree of sarcasm at the end).

But, just like how a cripple can understand throwing a kick at someone's head without being able to do it or someone getting shot can understand how guns work without being able to stop bullets in mid air with a mere flexing of their willpower, mental encompassment doesn't create proprioceptive sway. This might not be selected as something to be deemed "correct," but regulatory capture IS a thing &
I hear that scientists have been making a lot of claims to match certain things lately (like business goals or politically-motivated narratives, remember how a woman couldn't get pregnant if she was actually raped?). I guess psychology could be a reason, too, whether it's their psychology or someone else's. This, if it ever came up in scientific circles, could devolve into a situation like a bouncer deciding to steal someone's ID, as anti-associative with scientists as that is.

Dave in Burn said...

The Imperial imagination needs an enemy.

hos said...

Much prefer Dr. D's comment in today's Automatic Earth:

There is no “other” on planet earth, only “us”.

For me, this means what we do to Russia, we do to ourselves. When we hate Russia and Russians, we hate ourselves. And when we finally get around to bombing Russia, and it's men, women and children, we will be bombing ourselves. We are Russia. Russia is us. The number of the biosphere is unity.

pyrrhus said...

The Thirty Years war was encouraged and even pushed by France, which wanted to divide it's potential enemies no matter the cost in human lives...The current maniacal forcing of diversity in the US and constant wars in the Middle East is similarly being pushed by an ethnicity that controls a tiny country in the Middle East in which diverse marriage is prohibited by law, and only one genetic group has full citizenship....Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose...

edmund said...

You forget how much people absorb beliefs which they have no conscious thought towards. I live in a former British colony and the current government retains the sort of ethnic classification system the British used, whereas before the British arrived this was hrlardly ever relevant to the way people interacted.

PostGrowth said...

Interesting and will take some time to absorb, for me this view history, "drive" and ethnic identity compatibility, of Gumilëv. As for positing something in our DNA, this will still involve early childhood learning and conditioning, even though coded in DNA. How mothers and their babies associate together depends on already existing trust, cohabitation, and cultural compatibility. Children learn from their parents, and grow an "immune" system, to distinguish self from non-self, own tribe, from strangers. Fear of strangers is a distinct phase of child development, and becomes most intense later in the first year, from 7 - 10 months, up to maybe 2 years. Such a mechanism is self-generating and perpetuating between generations of mothers. Where physical features, language, dress of ethnoi, are sufficiently different, and children don't get any familiarity with the range of acceptance of their mothers at an early age, it may be likely much harder to accept "otherness" later on. No matter what state ideology and planning might do, if the mums don't get on together, their ethnoi will fail the positive tolerance question.

jeremy said...

Seshette has it right in his middle paragraph. While ethnic incompatibility is certainly a compelling hypothesis, a little psychology may also explain much of the Russia hating, mainly promoted by our craven and sold out MSM. Namely, this paranoia could easily be explained as “displaced paranoia.” When you are not allowed to manifest discomfort with a controlling group that will destroy those who fail to genuflect before it, the natural outcome is to find a convenient scapegoat. Russia is the ideal bouc-emissaire.

The Badger said...

Thought provocative, as always.

It is, indeed, clever to put the "blame" on genetics.

As Prince said in Colonized mind: "the master race idea/ Genetically disposed to rule the world".

But... what it is transmitted genetically, and what it is transmitted epi-genetically in a population?! Is ethnos transmitted genetically? Or, as they say, "with your mother milk"? (No "mother milk", no ethnos?)

And, more to the point: is "exceptionalism" genetical? (Some have laid claim to that. But history tended to diprove them. All.)

About "exceptionalism", and related "incompatibilities", as exemplified by "nordic people", I tend to be under the influence of J. Romanides (http://romanity.org/).

For sure, genetics, in a subtle way, tend to conserv advantageous traits, and to delete the unnecessary or deleterious traits. But these traits are selected by the ethnos itself, if they are favorable to the conservation and expansion of the ethnos at a given moment, in a specific environment. As the conditions of the "environment" are changing, so these traits are changing. In the same time, some particular traits may contribute to "changing" the ethnos itself. So the relation must be two-way between genetics and ethnos.

Rightly it is said: "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". And, if you stay long enough, there are fat chances to "romanize" your genetics!

(But, hey, hold-on! Roman genetics does not equal Nordic genetics. So, in Brussels, it's fat chance to end up with no genetics at all!)

Ray Hilchey said...

A beautiful thought producing post Dmitry. With epigenetics we know that the offspring of cattle who have been shocked by an electric fence will be born with a fear of electric fences down through several generations. A genetic memory if you will.

hank said...

I agree to the hos's comment. The Earth is too small and the humankind should intensively work on overcoming such incompatibilities (if they actually exist).

BTW, Dmitry, how does your theory explain such events as the Rwanda civil war or the genocide in Cambodia?

Unknown said...

Greetings Dmitry:

As usual, an interesting and thoughtful essay. I wonder, though, if you don't give sufficient weight to the actual experiences that remain within the adopted memory of people like myself with predecessors who lived in Poland and Lithuania. My Great Grandfather as a very young man was dragooned from the streets of his eastern Polish town for conscription in the Russian army in the war with Japan. This experience was still vivid with my mother, and the source of animosity toward Russia well into her old age. I know of others with similar family experiences in Lithuania. Add to that the more recent experience of people in these countries of being occupied by Russian Soviets after liberation from the Nazis, and one sees much fertile ground for lasting animosity against Russians. What do you think?

Unknown said...

I didn't see where to add my name.
You can label my comment just now as coming from Edwin
Sorry for the confusion.

Dmitry Orlov said...

Seshette -

Are Russians much different from Americans? Yes, they are. They are a whole lot less racist and have practiced exogamy with almost every major and minor nation as Russia spread East. And what happened to these nations on the North American continent as the US spread West? Answer: the worst genocide in the history of mankind. That is the main difference.

Alex -

Ethnic stereotypes are important to maintaining ethnic cohesion but they are somewhat arbitrary and subject to change and are quite separate from the innate mechanism of sensing ethnic compatibility/incompatibility. This mechanism may not be visible in individuals but obeys the law of large numbers and shows up in statistical analysis of population dynamics.

hos -

If you consider all humans as part of the same biosphere and therefore the same, why stop at humans? Why don't you then say that you are the same as rats, cockroaches, smallpox and the liver fluke? After all, they too are living things that inhabit the same biosphere? Do you know who your people are? If not, then you don't know who you are either, and have no basis from which to consider anyone else.

pyrrhus -

History is a bunch of facts, one after another. Here you are piling on some old political trivia about France. The point is, the war had nothing to do with the ostensible ideological reasons given for fighting it. The impulses that gave rise to the relentless carnage had nothing to do with national identity, language, culture, religion, economics, finance or anything else you care to bring up. It was driven by something else: biological incompatibility.

edmund -

The way people interact within a society has little to do with biological compatibility because such sensations are repressed by social norms. One has to observe how they interbreed and how they fight civil wars to pull the ethnic compatibility signal out of the cultural, etc., noise.

PostGrowth -

Ethnic identity is mutable up to puberty, or close to it, but ethnic compatibility appears to be innate and immutable. On the individual level, a child being adopted into an incompatible ethnic environment is simply not going to be as happy and this may lead to poor outcomes. At the level of the ethnos the incompatibility can sometimes be discerned in the extremely negative reactions by ethnos A when its children are adopted by ethnos B.

Edwin -

Your point about Polish grievances against Russia is tangential to what I am trying to explain, but there is an interesting set of historical accidents behind both the Russian Empire and the USSR. Traditionally, the Russian modus operandi in expanding its territory is "you are going to be Russian or GTFO"—real simple. You can remain an Armenian or a Tatar or an Ingush, but you are going to be Russian first and something else second, and your sons will serve Russia heroically. But then starting with Peter the Great Russia was subjected to a whole lot of Western influence and its elites became cosmopolitanized, acting more like Western imperialists who demanded obedience rather than absorbtion and integration from those they colonized. That's why Poland was liberated from the German overlords and taken in rather than being spat out as incompatible. After the Revolution, the USSR was predominantly governed by non-Russians (lots of Georgians, Jews, Ukrainians, etc.) and the Russian Republic within the USSR didn't even have its own Communist Party (meaning that the Russians were effectively deprived their share of political power). In any case, with the advent of the Russian Federation this has now been fixed, and the new Russian attitude toward the Baltics, Poland, the Ukraine, etc., is really simple: they pay, or they get off the damn bus. And if they are Russophobes and destroy Russian war memorials on their territory and desecrate Russian graves, then they will pay triple.




isdisasystem said...

Dmitri be reading the Codex Serifanius ?

edmund said...

I think one perspective I can draw from is that I live in a postcolonial society, so I have a view of how people interacted before European colonialism and people interacted after. And in a postcolonial society the foreign-introduced norms can sometimes suppress those urges so strongly societal tendencies go in the reverse of what happened before, and yes, I am talking about areas of intermarriage and interbreeding.

Bernd said...

"Set aside your ideology of "humanity as a whole" (should you have one) for it will only cause trouble."

This reminds me of a favorite quote from Carl Schmitt:
"The concept of humanity is an especially useful ideological instrument of imperialist expansion, and in its ethical-humanitarian form it is a specific vehicle of economic imperialism. Here one is reminded of a somewhat modified expression of Proudhon’s: whoever invokes humanity wants to cheat. To confiscate the word humanity, to invoke and monopolize such a term probably has certain incalculable effects, such as denying the enemy the quality of being human and declaring him to be an outlaw of humanity; and a war can thereby be driven to the most extreme inhumanity."
–Carl Schmitt

Dan Leatherman said...

Dmitry, your ethnographic insights are helpful, somewhat similar to what Hans Morgenthau (major 20th century scholar of international relations) called "national character"--a difficult-to-quantify factor and prone to stereotyping, but nonetheless significant.

Also, I've found CREATING RuSSOPHOBIA, by Guy Mettan (Swiss journalist-historian-politician) quite informative--West has been antagonistic toward Russia ever since Prince Vladimir chose Orthodoxy over Catholicism in 988! Mettan distinguishes four kinds of Russophobia--English, French, German, and American. How do you evaluate his work?

Steve Vaughn said...

In the United States, the states that have the most proclivity towards Catholic ways of thinking and belief by the citizenry, rarely if ever use the death penalty. Other states, such as the more Protestant American South, use the death penalty exuberantly. Although legal, New Mexico has used the death penalty twice in 60 years, and finally outlawed it. Texas has executed two this year. I suspect there is a correlation there in your suggestions about culture.

Jean-Paul Printemps said...

Extreme prejudice is a product of many circumstances including class. Napoleon was a notorious racist, and lost thousands of men trying to restore slavery in the San Domingo colony (though he concealed this from the rank and file revolutionaries he supplanted.)

Still in San Domingo a mulatto demographic flourished, though some identified with the shade of color they possessed to the detriment of others. Who could be more incompatible than French colonist and Black African under bondage? Yet a sizable fraction of these people found by assimilation the best of both worlds.

Unknown said...

The history of European peoples is one of repeated replacement by waves of other humans from the near and Middle East with improvements in agriculture or weaponry. Southern Europe was far more thoroughly replaced genetically than the north, with the most western parts having the lowest levels of replacement (hence why conditions like gluten and lactose intolerance are much more common in the outer edges). It may well be that the north Western Europeans have retained more genetics that are compatible with small insular tribes compared to other regions. In terms of innately recognising the "other" it may come down to microbiomes and pheromones, both of which are emerging as mechanisms for humans to evaluate each other subconsciously.

Minor Points said...

Sting conveys as much fear of Russophobia as of Russia:
"In Europe and America there's a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets."
He disparages Reagan as much as Khrushchev. He asserts common humanity:
"There is no monopoly on common sense
On either side of the political fence.
We share the same biology, regardless of ideology."

Meh Max said...

Hmm, well I think Polish-Russian relations are a bit more complicated than Orlov suggests:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland-Russia_relations

Still, I don't think Russia deserves so much negativity:

https://www.independent.ng/carter-names-us-most-warlike-nation-in-world-history/

Unknown said...

Hello,

I'm readind "The Origin Of Family Systems" (sadly only in french) from Emmanuel Todd, he is a French historian, anthropologist, demographer, sociologist and political scientist...
He noticed a strong connection between family types (nuclear, extended, clan, etc.) and ideology (capitalism, communism, christianity, islam, etc.).

It seems that the "absolute nuclear family" and "authoritarian family" have more problems to mix than others ones...


Some explanations at https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/where-do-emmanuel-todds-family-types-come-from/

G Wang said...

QUOTE:***If you consider all humans as part of the same biosphere and therefore the same, why stop at humans? Why don't you then say that you are the same as rats, cockroaches, smallpox and the liver fluke? After all, they too are living things that inhabit the same biosphere? Do you know who your people are? If not, then you don't know who you are either, and have no basis from which to consider anyone else.***

With all due respect, I really don't think hos is hinting at anything like intermarrying with centipedes or things like that. What he's talking about is that raw human impulse that compels us to help other humans i.e. to affirm their existence regardless of their ethnicity, cultural background etc. When I see a child about to fall into a well, I'll feel compelled to reach out and pull the child to safety; I won't be stopping to think about whether the child is black or white or Jewish or whatever.

As for a basis from which to consider the existence of others, I'd venture that the FAMILY is a basis we all have (unless one is from a broken family), and this is an entirely valid and effective basis. The experience of the East Asian milieux with Confucianism bears this out. It is those ideologies which try to destroy the family basis of society that seem to have wrought the greatest mischief in history.

Finally, as for things like nonhuman creatures, it would not seem entirely inappropriate to feel a certain empathy with them -- a sentiment lying at the basis of much ecological thinking, surely, which we would do well to have more of today. I wouldn't view a tarantula the same way I view another human -- that would be madness -- but I'd still respect the tarantula's right to exist, being an integral part of the biosphere and therefore having a role to play in it.

My two cents.

Dr Kirk Meighoo said...

Very interesting piece.

I had developed a perhaps parallel theory about Northern Europeans, which on the surface is quite different, but may actually end up being compatible. Different angles on the same phenomenon.

Northern Europeans are simple pagans, brought into the circuit of world civilisation late -- but their entry was spectacular.

Protestantism is generally a Norther European phenomenon and there are striking similarities with Islam -- theological literalism, iconoclasm, austerity, etc. Among Muslims, the Berber-types are like the Northern Europeans. In contrast, the older, civilised Persians, Syrians, Mesopotamians, Hindustanis, etc. developed much more sophisticated forms of Islam.

The Protestant version of Christianity is extremely flat, ahistorical and simplistic, without the depth, richness and sophistication of the Roman or Orthodox faiths.

The best friend of the Jewish people appear to be Northern European peoples. It appears that only their societies allow a wholesale take over of finance, education, media, economy, industry, etc. Their simplistic Christianity appears to be crucial in this, since only they apparently can wholeheartedly believe in the idea of the Jews as the Chosen People, to the point of nihilism.

I cannot think of any other society: Hindu, Buddhist, Orthodox Christian, Catholic, Confucian, animist, even Muslim, that would allow this.

The Imperial project (as opposed to simple settler colonialism) has always appeared to be lead by or at least seriously intertwined with Jewish finance (e.g. East India Companies, West India Companies, etc.). The Northern Europeans have always appeared to be the best facilitators of this: the Dutch, then the English, then the Americans.

They have always been the dumb muscle for Jewish imperialism / Zionism. Without them, Northern Europe would be a global backwater, as it had been for the millennia before the 18th century.

Now, on to your piece. There is definitely a way our ideas can fit together, I think. But I am working on that.

I'd like to hear your opinion on my ideas as well.

And I'd love to invite you on my podcast "Independent Thought & Freedom" to discuss this and other issues.











alex carter said...

I'm glad I read this.

I'm Lithuanian/Tatar on my mother's side and pure WASP on my father's side. That side fucking hates us. Apparently they railed at my father for marrying this "inferior immigrant" etc.

All the old Nazi slams against Eastern Europeans, inferior, "Asiatic" etc., are still all held dear by WASPS.

I've got relatives who are/were in the DAR, the Daughters of the American Revolution, a notoriously racist organization.

So, this great crime, the marrying by a nice pure WASP to an Eastern European "Asiatic", is like as not, why my family crashed and burned while I was growing up. I have relatives for whom the money to put my siblings and myself through college would be like a bar tip, and while we were very poor at times, they never helped with one thin dime.

Some good news though; white Protestants seem to be decreasing in number. It's hard to afford a family of any size in the US, and given the hyper-individualism of white Protestants, they're just not breeding as much these days. It takes a real family to raise a family and it's one thing these folks are notably bad at.

Dr Kirk Meighoo said...

Alex: That is a very interesting personal story.

I don't celebrate the disappearance of white Protestants, though.

There is a real difference between the WASPs and the ordinary Scots-Irish, in my view.

I think the American Revolution was a great positive force in the world.

My suspicion is that the ancestors of the DAR were not particularly enthused by it at the time.

Then, as now, the coastal elite were traitors to the American people. Globalists and Imperialists. They were wealthy from the Triangular Trade of the British Empire, via the East India Company or West India Company, or both.

In all the New World colonies, there was a fundamental opposition between the "Town" or "King's" Parties and the "Country" parties.

The American Revolution was a product of the Country parties, and from it derived the American system of economics -- the Hamiltonian system which developed the interior of the country, rather than the commercial seaboard.

You are right that the WASPs are terrible at raising families.

The ordinary Scots-Irish may be a bit better? Certainly Thanksgiving is an amazing family-centred Calvinist holiday that seems to contradict everything else we Asians may criticise about America's lack of "family values".

The culture of the Southern states -- country music, jazz, blues, rock and roll -- has provided the country's distinctive culture. And the conservative tradition of the South certainly is based on a sense of rootedness that is markedly different from the cosmopolitan coasts and urban centres.

I admit I have a prejudice in favour of "the common man", but it has generally held true in my years of observation.

Steve Vaughn said...

One story meriting contemplation on this topic, and in considering the conflict of the biosphere and technosphere, is in the Genesis of the Old Testament. In this millennium, there seems to be little interest in considering the Bible, even as fables of remarkable importance.
The story of Babel seeks to explain many elements of humanity in an intriguingly brief few sentences, in Chapter 11:

"They said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."
The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.
The LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.
"Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech."
So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.""
Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.

I suggest that these words attributed to God are unappealing, as they offer the mind of an omnipotent God to be jealous and insecure. I suggest that these are the thoughts which technocrats, modernists and many persons desirous of being the architects of a perfect civilization, would imagine a God to have. I'm looking at you, Mr. Ulyanov.
Humans by our nature repetitively seek to build with our minds great structures which exceed nature. The Tower of Babel is such a mechanical construction, but also we build all manner of technology which we embellish with superstitious awe, and worship it. When it demonstrates imperfections, we angrily denounce failure as being of human cause, for the machine is perfect. The death of Vladimir Komarov is merely a repeat of this story of human worship of the machine, as much as the Tower of Babel.
The Biblical story is of the punishment of scattering people into tribes and alienated by foreignness of language. I suggest without further argument that this is merely a parable of technology, and its inevitable failure.
Another dubious thinker spoke out against the dangers of comity, unity and brotherhood. In fact, Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party blamed the principles of societal comity to be a craven and destructive idea implanted by Judaism to weaken the nature of human tribalism which, in his opinion, could only become noble by the struggle of tribes against each other until the hierarchy of the Über-people above the Ünter-people became settled. Only then would the world have peace. I cite Hitler to mention that his ideas were toxic and deluded, obviously; but also not original. Many people have believed this claptrap for centuries before Hitler.
In both cases, it is the embrace of foreignness and the despite of humanness that inevitably leads us to reliving conflict and misery. The Bible, called the "Book of Remarkable Superstitions," told this story long ago; it is our fate to ignore it and fall unprotected back unto the solid plane of Reality.

ZicoTheMusketeer said...

"Traditionally, the Russian modus operandi in expanding its territory is "you are going to be Russian or GTFO"—real simple. "

Digitei, This us not being Russian. It is being a Roman.