The future of the West is touted as transnational progressivism (per John Fonte): a borderless, nation-less land-mass, across whose surface all humanity will be free to roam and free to consume wealth, stability and peace. The vanguard of this dystopia is multiculturalism. Few notice the monster hiding inside this political face of plurality — namely, the failed state.
The failure begins with hyper-ethnicity, or romanticized tribalism, whereby people cling harder to identity politics by becoming “billboards” of “their culture.” Such displays are not in the manner of dress or exoticism of food but in the habit of mind.
To be fair, this loyalism is required of minorities who are rewarded with power and position, if they live up to expectations by being hyper-ethnic. Again, as with all Leftist ideologies, a utopia is pursued while reality is ignored.
Plurality means that the West has chosen to empty itself of its essential core, which is that innate vision of destiny, grounded in Judeo-Christian history, and which it now deems embarrassing, or worse, regressive.
But what is also being lost is community, which was always far more than ethnicity in the West, for it meant, first-and-foremost, a habit of mind. The wise words of Isocrates bear repeating, “If you think like a Greek, you are Greek.”
Further, by adopting multiculturalism, the West, in fact, demands that the lives of people be split into two: an economic life spent in the workplace and a private one lived in a romanticized homeland — and private life provides both value and meaning (the proper role of culture). This renders the West as nothing more than a grand money-making opportunity. But can economic vitality continue for long when the ideas that created and sustained it are allowed to shrivel and die?
Nearly a decade ago, Spanish philosopher José Antonio Marina — an important thinker in the area of culture, —published a book titled, Las Culturas Fracasadas, or “Failed Cultures” (which yet awaits an English translation).
Culture, Marina pointed out, enables thinking; it molds the mind. And, it is the mind that creates the world, the only fit habitation for humanity. And here a truism emerges — there can be no world without the mind.
But in multiculturalism, the minds of people are forever attuned elsewhere, to imagined homelands, to places other than the reality of life in the West. However, the world is full of failed cultures.
Marina details nine fundamental components of culture: the value of life, the production and possession of goods, participation in power, the relationship of the individual with society, conflict resolution;,sexuality and family, caring for the weak, dealing with foreigners and dealing with the hereafter.
Successful cultures provide intelligent answers and solutions to each of these nine fundamental needs of human life. Failed cultures not only fail to provide intelligent solutions and answers, but in the process, they destroy human capital, by limiting or suppressing the creativity of their people.
In effect, failed cultures are unintelligent (Marina is blunt, and uses the term “stupid”) because they create societies in which oppression and tyranny are the only viable means of maintaining cohesion. People living in failed cultures have no interest in furthering the betterment of society because they are too busy surviving tyranny — or contriving means of escape.
Unintelligent cultures have built the Third World, while intelligent culture has built the First World. This has nothing to do with DNA and everything to do with good ideas versus bad ideas.
The ideas which created the First World nurture an intelligent habit of mind, which knows how to sustain that which has been created. The Third World fashions another sort of mind, which knows only self-interest because it is about survival. In other words, successful cultures teach giving because they trust community. Failed cultures teach taking because they have no trust in community.
But hyper-ethnicity is not only the consequence of multiculturalism but its misguided justification, for it depends upon the notion that all cultures are good and can seamlessly fit into the West.
To accomplish this shoehorning of incompatible customs and ideas into Western civilization, liberalism equates race with culture, which is then made into the moral imperative of safeguarding minorities by protecting their cultures.
Instead of “progress,” reductionism is achieved, where people can never be greater than their ideology, and who must therefore live in the West, according to liberal expectations, namely, by fulfilling the demands of their various cultures, no matter how reprehensible those mandates might be. And they embrace hyper-ethnicity because it fulfills the liberal precondition of the denial and rejection of the West.
Consequently, all cultures become good, because such cultures contain those fabricated types of human beings which liberalism requires in order to vindicate its own ideology (progressivism). In this way, failed cultures are given compatibility status within the West, even though these cultures contributed nothing to the construction of the First World. Their true and proper fruit is and will always remain the Third World.
But questions emerge: Does culture actually fulfill racial needs? If so, how is this not race-baiting? Should not failed cultures be allowed to die? Why should they be given an afterlife in the West?
Marina further points out that successful cultures understand the necessity of maintaining good ideas, for these alone provide “the best social tool to protect the wealth of nations, their creativity, their peculiarities, their social capital.” By divorcing culture from ideas and fusing it with race, the West no longer wants to understand this necessity.
If failed cultures continue to strengthen their unintelligent ideas, while the intelligent ideas of the First World weaken, it can be said that the West will become a failed state.
The only possible way for the West to avert such a fate is to return to its root, which is Christendom. But therein lies a fresh problem — is the West still interested in building civilization?
Nirmal Dass is a former university professor specializing in the Early and High Middle Ages. His areas of research are philosophy, history and ancient languages. He has written several books and is actively engaged in literary translation.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.