Saturday, December 23, 2017

Margin of what?

When we look back at the ways our ancestors lived, there’s no getting around it: we are tribal primates. We are exquisitely designed and adapted by evolution for life in small societies with intense, animistic religion and violent intergroup conflict over territory. We love tribal living so much that we invented sports, fraternities, street gangs, fan clubs, and tattoos. Tribalism is in our hearts and minds. We’ll never stamp it out entirely, but we can minimize its effects because we are a behaviorally flexible species. We can live in many different ways, from egalitarian hunter-gatherer groups of 50 individuals to feudal hierarchies binding together millions. And in the last two centuries, a lot of us have lived in large, multi-ethnic secular liberal democracies. So clearly that is possible. But how much margin of error do we have in such societies?

Here is the fine-tuned liberal democracy hypothesis: as tribal primates, human beings are unsuited for life in large, diverse secular democracies, unless you get certain settings finely adjusted to make possible the development of stable political life.[1]

I am no stranger to folly. In fact, we go back a long way. However, it’s best when one’s life’s record contains entries reflecting only episodic instances of impressive mistakitude.

Ditto in spades in the societal context. Immigration is meant to be a considered affair that takes place for a concrete reason not simply for reasons that reflect a mindless acceptance of the idea that we’ve always done it this way. I.e., nationofimmigrants!!! Frans Timmermans – tied for the “Most loathsome Man on the Planet” award with Peter Sutherland and George Soros – just waved his wand one day and let us know that diversity is the destiny of mankind.

I admit I didn’t know that and wonder how he arrived at this conclusion. Sutherland announces that “nationalism” was the cause of the world’s troubles pre-1945. Here I thought it was totalitarian leftism.

There you have two influential men who, all on their lonesome, let us know that cultural/racial homogeneity and the nation state are passé. “Trust me. I went to college.” Neither even bothered to wave those stellar ideas over a warm George Soros voting machine.

Well, that’s arrogance squared and it ranks right up there with the destructiveness and viciousness of those who beat their chests over the class struggle and the need for a dictatorship of the proletariat. We know how that turned out. Well, actually, “we” don’t, if you include the Western educated classes.

Timmermans, Sutherland, and Soros are examples of the “what margin of error?” school of thinking. Advocates of unlimited public debt, socialist redistribution, monetary debasement, fawning over minorities, hate speech laws, 1930s-style street thuggery, and lunatic feminism are the same. If a little is good then ten tons of it must be excellent. Like kebabs and chop suey? Great. Lets import millions of Middle Easterners and Chinese. Nirvana, baby. Coming soon to a theater near you: shariah patrols, industrial-scale rape, and minority status in your own country.

Relationships on an individual level as well as a societal level are delicate balances of habit, love and tolerance. People who engage in adulterous affairs often do not anticipate what the reaction of the injured spouses will be. There are, in short, subterranean aspects to our lives that influence them profoundly, and disruption of the normal, the accepted, or the routine is a perilous undertaking. All the more so as the enormous changes that come with immigration begin to be visible and work their corrosive magic.

But this is Greek to the Beautiful People. It’s clear that Western elites have no grasp of the concept of margin of error. Timmermans blithely announces possibly the most poisonous doctrine ever to appear on this earth – the idea that your personal, social, and political arrangements are entirely at the whim of governments and the millions and millions of foreigners who may and must be imported to live cheek by jowl with you.

Say what?

Throughout all of human history the foreigner has rightly been viewed with suspicion and tolerated only in limited numbers and circumstances. Now it’s “what could go wrong” raised to the status of holy writ. The official answer being, of course, “why, bugger all.”

[1] "The Age of Outrage. What the current political climate is doing to our country and our universities." By Jonathan Haidt, City Journal, 12/17/17.

UPDATE: I finished the rest of Prof. Haidt’s essay after posting the above. The excerpt I quoted is a good one so far as it goes but Haidt proceeds to give voice to a boat load of liberal inanity about how slavery "was written into the Constitution," Newt Gingrich increased divisiveness in Congress and that “Fox News and the right-wing media ecosystem had an effect on the Republican Party that is unlike anything that happened on the left. It rewards more extreme statements, more grandstanding, more outrage.” Well, ugh. He’s correct that the current “political climate” is bad but at this point someone who serves up warmed over, colorblind liberalism and slobbers over the benefits of immigration has little to add to an understanding of what ails America. Apparently, everything would be peachy in our Constitution-free land if only the Republicans wouldn’t be so mean to those well-meaning and sainted Democrats who long ago embraced virulent leftism.

I give the essay 4-1/2 stars on the barfometer.

No comments: