Civilizations clash; cultures compete. Some do better at it; some do worse.
Some cultures come out on top; some lag the rest. The results of competition, in the marketplace and in war, show which values spell success.
Success involves the ability to protect and provide for your people. You do not get points for producing great art or great philosophy. Nor do you get points for how you feel or how you think.
As happens in any competitive enterprise, when one culture sees that another is doing better, it may choose to emulate the other culture, the better to gain a competitive edge.
To do so requires humility. You have to accept that you have failed and that the game has been played fairly.
Otherwise you might choose not to change, but to find another way to challenge the winning value system.
Over the past few centuries the culture associated with Great Britain and America has led the world. It has demonstrated that a culture based on freedom-- whether it involves free trade, free elections, free markets, free speech, or freedom of religion—out-competes all others.
It is never a bad thing to remind ourselves of the greatness of Anglo-American culture. Bill Flax does so today in an interesting article in Forbes.
Put into practice Anglo-American values have produced economic and military success beyond those of any other nations or cultures in our time.
Freedom was not the only value that produced this success. The proper use of freedom requires trust. Without strength of character, freedom can easily yield to anarchy or despotism.
Also, Anglo-American culture invented and championed the greatest advance in modern civilization, the Industrial Revolution. It was the first and the best at adapting to the social disruptions this Revolution caused.
Of course, there’s a darker side to world historical competition. Some people are so attached to their culture that they refuse to believe that it has lost out in competition.
These groups demean and denigrate the standards by which competition is judged, insist that the game has been rigged, and cover their bruised egos with false pride.
Imagining that false pride is better than lost pride, they refuse to do what is necessary to regain true pride.
In some cases they refuse to abandon a culture that values art and philosophy for a culture that values practical results.
Often, they feel that avoiding competition grants them spiritual superiority. They persevere because they are convinced that God is on their side. Or else, they fear that God will punish them if they abandon the values their ancestors bequeathed them.
At times, such groups try to diminish, demean, and even destroy the achievements of their competitors. By tearing down what they do not know how to build, they can feel superior to those who put up the building or created the industry in the first place.
If there’s a better definition of false pride, I do not know what it is.
Sometimes they try to pretend that they are supremely powerful because they are extremely brutal. Mindless and senseless carnage, inflicted by people who suffer bruised pride, is designed to sustain their false pride.
I am not just talking about terrorist groups. What I am saying applies well to the philosophical method that is called deconstruction.
Intellectually speaking, multiculturalism is yet another way to avoid having to face the judgment of reality.
This academic shibboleth devalues competition between cultures. It asserts that all cultures are created equal and that if one outperforms the others, then it must be dishonest, oppressive, or exploitative.
Multiculturalism has done everything in its power to remove America’s competitive edge. It has tried to undermine the cultural strengths of the Anglosphere, to diminish its achievements, to sow doubt and guilt, the better to make America less competitive, and therefore to make others feel less bad.
Multiculturalism is a softening agent. It is especially appealing to those whose values or occupations are not on the front lines in the conflict between cultures.
If you do not belong to the corporate world or the military, if you are part of what Michelle Obama calls the helping professions, if you practice the soft arts, you will find that your personal prestige is diminished when cultures compete at protecting and providing for their people.
If you have studied certain kinds of philosophy you will feel deep resentment over the fact that corporate and military cultures do not grant you the power and prestige that you deserve.
Thus, you will not feel that you are undermining the dominant culture but gaining your proper place… at the top.