Sunday, January 30, 2005

Equality...of cultures?

NOTE: I have posted a review of Mr. D'Souza's book here before, so if want to read more check it out. My apologies if you are tired of hearing about it; this post was written primarily for the Western blog.

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One of the greatest errors that is consistently taught in American universities is the precept that all cultures are equal and therefore should have equal standing in the world and even our society. Harmless little thought? Hardly!

Let's look at the implications of such thinking.

First, what people need to understand is that this liberal precept is one of the primary reasons that there is so much hated for America emanating from campuses. Some of the manifestations that we often see on campus is the perpetual idolization of diversity and the need to be completely accepting as valid--to the point of literal relativism--of all viewpoints and philosophies. Let me also clarify that I don't mean that someone doesn't have the right to their viewpoint or cultural background--that's not what I mean. I mean the push for diversity is unfortunately rooted in the common belief that all cultures and views are equally right or good. This way of thinking conflicts with my core values because 1, I believe, regardless of one's rights, there is still absolute right and wrong--in other words, we have the right to be wrong--2, I do believe that America is a superpower because the values it holds are superior to other parts and countries of the world.

*liberal readers gasp in abject horror at this point*

Recommended reading on this topic is the book by Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great About America. Before you judge the book by the title let me say yes, it is written in support of western values, but it is hardly a book of right-wing dogma. Mr. D'Souza is an Indian immigrant who has a very balanced perspective. He doesn't pull any punches in his analysis; both liberals and conservatives will find reason to squirm under his sharp, objective insight. This is a really-easy-to-read book of philosophy!

Mr. D'Souza points out that the belief that all cultures are equal is the necessary thought process that produces the dogmatic faith: that America became so powerful and influential through coercion and oppression alone. You see, if each culture is equally meritorious, there can be no getting ahead of the others without coercion--and so thinks the liberal professor. The notion that we might have earned this wealth through a superior way of life and faith is dismissed as absurd and even bigoted.

In conclusion, another spin-off of our status in the world is (duh) we are much envied by both common people of other nations and also--in a more deceitful way--the governments of our rivals. Case in point: I don't think (this is speculation as well as experience) that the average foreigner desires to emulate a Frenchman for style. On the contrary, it is the American style and way of life that is desired and sought after. One of D'Souza's points is that a liberal professor would see a this desire, give a puzzled grunt and tell him he is mistaken to desire it, because, after all, his own culture of dime-a-day wages, contaminated water, and corrupt government is just as intrinsically good as America. I can just imagine the confusion on this hypothetical foreigner's face.

Read D'Souza's book for what it's worth and appreciate what we have for a change.

Cross-posted at Western Washington Unraveled
<< Home 5 Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I agree with most of what you say in this blog, the last part about one's "own culture of dime-a-day wages, contaminated water, and corrupt government" being considered of the same value as America doesn't quite seem to be the argument to me. Mind you, I am not of a Liberal mindset, so I could be wrong. However, it seems to me that the Liberal's argument would not be that the conditions of a culture are neutral (or why would they want increased funding for welfare, etc.?), but rather that the beliefs and values of a culture are neutral. So, for instance, they would likely see a polluted river as being a bad thing, but that washing in that river (which might make it contaminated) would be okay, if it had cultural significance to the people. I think that Liberals seem to have difficulty distinguishing between cultural beliefs and the possible negative results of those beliefs.
-Giustezza

5:24 PM, February 02, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am foriegner. I am Norwegian. You are wrong to think that foriegners want to have an American life. If you think that then you definitely know very little about the world. Most of the time we find Americans arrogant and greedy. I would choose the french or any culture over american. Why do you think we envy you?

5:50 PM, February 02, 2005  
Blogger Mark R said...

Thanks, both of you, for commenting. I don't know how come I am all of the sudden receiving two international comments (yes, I think I know who you are, Giustezza--correct me if I am wrong--you are Canadian?)

Giustezza:

My point regarding "dime-a-day wages, contaminated water, and corrupt government" was not that liberals see equality of conditions. Liberals couldn't care less about the truth of conditions in other countries. Thy want to normalize relations with Cuba because they don't think there is anything intrinsically wrong with communism.

Mr. "Norwegian:"

I'm sorry if I sound a little short when I say I have no way of knowing who you REALLY are considering this is the internet and you chose to remain anonymous...

But even if you are really Norwegian, that just proves that you haven't read Mr. D'Souza's book and also didn't understand some of my terms. Mr. D'Souza outlines three groups of America haters: Europe, Radical Islam, and (the one I covered more) the American left.

Unfortunately, you (if you are indeed Norwegian) end up under the first group. Therefore, I think it better you read Mr. D'Souza's book for yourself since you are the one of his target groups.

With regard to America's image...

Envy of "Western" (not American exclusively) culture was the broader subject Mr. D'Souza refers to. Yes, that means, when I said we are envied, I was saying that people in other cultures (e.g. the India he came from) envy you as well. I hope, considering the greed and arrogance you referred to, you are not offended at being lumped into the same culture.

6:55 PM, February 02, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed, I am Canadian. (I'm also a member of Joseph's forum.) I've been reading your blog - I like learning about happenings in American politics. Well, actually, politics in general interest me.

1:16 PM, February 03, 2005  
Blogger Joshua said...

Hey Mark,
I don't know if you will ever see this since the post was a long time ago but here is my two cents...
I would agree with the person from Norway and say that the majority of Canadians do not envy Americans and hold a fairly similar view of the 'Yankees' as the Norwegians though perhaps not quite as harsh.
I didn't really understand your explanation (perhaps I need to read the book) about Europe being lumped in with "Western" culture. But then you said that most would prefer coming to America then France - aren't you saying that Europe is part of those envied, but then saying that America is preferred? Maybe I just need more sleep :)

4:42 PM, May 17, 2005  

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