I was going to write about something completely different, mostly about “victimhood as saintliness” but I was listening to Waldo and Magic (Robert A. Heinlein) while cleaning the kitchen, and something rubbed me wrong. More than once, he referred to the formation of the UN as ending war; and then he mentioned “the US had an army at the time.”
And my hackles were well and truly up.
Oh, I understand how Heinlein came to make that mistake. You see, he sort of assumed that the UN would be run with American values. It was a logical mistake. At the end of WWII we were a colossus bestriding the globe. And everyone who has been in that position before imposed its values and its culture on the world.
We didn’t. Part of it might have been our administration at the time and the shameful deal that created the cold war.
Part of it might have been that we didn’t want to scare Europe and wanted to make them feel like equal partners.
I think it was a mistake, and means we’ll fight a global war again. (I might be wrong, but I think I can sniff it in the wind.)
The point is that the UN without universal values that all the world agrees on is a sheep and ten wolves arguing what is for dinner. It has become a vehicle for countries that would otherwise be totally disregarded – and which by culture should be. I mean, Iran is in charge of women’s status in the UN – to hit out at bigger, more successful countries. Also for countries to cadge Dane Geld from bigger, richer countries (mostly the US.)
One wonders how long the scam can go on, when it’s obvious that this is not a way to create universal peace, which is how it was billed. Instead it’s a rent seeking organization with a side order of “make the US feel guilty” which is necessary, of course, for rent seeking.
But that’s not the topic of this. The topic of this is the concept of internationalism.
I was talking to a friend this week, and he said the world – due to increasing connectivity – is bound to become a mono-culture. We’re already trending that way. And if it becomes a mono-culture, it will stop having “stop points” and “corrective measures.”
Look, all cultures go crazy now and then, sometimes temporarily, sometimes terminally. Sometimes they survive their insanity for a while. Rome was nutso-crazy for centuries before it died. But Rome lived in a more stable world. Europe (and at this level, Europe IS a monoculture) has been howlingly insane since WWI. I’m not sure Europe will survive. I’m not sure it would have survived this long without our financial, moral, and cultural influence making it a “satellite culture.” Frankly, I doubt it. And if we crash, they’re going to hurt worse than you can imagine. I remember living there and how much fun the seventies were because ya’ll went crazy and elected the peanut farmer. I gather they’re almost as interesting now. And of course, the Europhiles in and out of the US don’t see this. Never mind…
The point is that a mono-culture which goes howlingly insane at the same time could destroy not just civilization or culture, but the whole race.
Which is why my friend said it was important to get to space, and to create societies that aren’t so close and so easy to influence. So that – in that sense – diversity can lend strength. A world or colony could collapse, and another would go on. For the species.
I agree with him, but that’s besides the point.
I’m going to come back to the idea of the UN, of a world body that can stop wars, and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.
Not only is that impossible, unless we agree on one culture (Be fair to the soviets. Their internationalism was SANE. They wanted a one-world government, and that government soviet.) but is it really desirable?
It amuses me that those who agree on “diversity” in everything are unable to see that diversity of culture and thought might be desirable. At least they are unable to see it when it violates their sacred cows.
I’m all with Heinlein when it comes to “making it one world and that world American” if we’re talking about the America of his time. But now? How many apologists for barbarism, guilty for not being a minority, cult of victimhood representatives do we need? And do we want science fiction world wide to be all wall to wall glittery hoo has?
Okay, that last was a joke, but it brings up a point. The glittery hoo ha and the rot in science fiction developed because the structure of publishing became centralized and a mono-culture and that culture Eastern Seaboard Liberal. This didn’t fit even the rest of the country and has been a resounding commercial failure. And meanwhile they, isolated from all criticism, became ever more crazy and started drinking their own ink. Which is why we have a field already dominated by women crowing about “kicking patriarchy in the balls” by giving awards the outer world ignores to people on the basis of their genitals.
THAT is what happens to cultures that are isolated and get their own feedback loop.
Now, I’m going to tell you right now that yeah, I think our culture is superior to others in some basic things, and that if I had an army, I’d march into certain countries and stop cold the brutalization of minorities (yes, sexual and orientation minorities, but also religious and ethnic minorities. Such as the killing/running off of Christians in the middle East. Or the running off of the Jews in the same place.) Because in my opinion no good comes of those practices.
It’s a good thing I don’t have an army. No, I don’t believe the Islamic womb will conquer the world. I think they’re already spiraling the drain which is what makes them so dangerous. No, I don’t believe they’re the next big thing, and history would seem to back me up. They’re not, shall we say, known for creating anything enduring or innovative. (Most of their so-called ‘inventions’ were stolen from the Persians.)
Could I be wrong? Oh, boy. Scholars have been wrong about less obvious things.
Look, I’m not saying we stop (or perhaps don’t start is more appropriate) calling them to book on their treatment of women, gays, Christians, Jews, Non-Muslim. I think we should defend our own culture and fight for it hot and heavy. To the diplomacy for other means state, if needed.
BUT I think that’s what cultures should do world wide. If you believe in your own way of living, defend it. Not in some namby pamby “everyone gets their say and we all gang up on the big guy” way, but in the real world, where we say what we mean and shame the devil (and Iran.)
I say that’s how it must be because it’s the only way that human civilization advances and that what is best for the species happens.
Maybe, as revolting as I find it, it is best for the SPECIES SURVIVAL for women to be dressed in sofa covers and treated like chattel. I don’t know. And neither do you. And neither do the people who do this.
Early signs are against it (if you believe their population figures, I have some swamp land in FL I’ll sell cheap. ALMOST no gators.) But it could be.
We don’t know. We can’t know. We don’t see with the eyes of history. We can’t see with the eyes of history. We can only make individual judgments and fight for what is right. And we can resist the attempts at all levels to make us a mono-culture.
Look, in the course of normal human thinking, there are no absolutely monolithic cultures, and enough variety will remain for some reality checking.
Even if we prevailed tomorrow and the American way as Heinlein believed it owned the world, countries would have individual quirks from their history and culture that would make things different.
It would never be as the glittery hoo Ha social justice workers want to make it, a monolithic agenda and only “right think.”
And this is a good thing, because if it were, then there would be no feed back, and we’d have a world of Glittery Social Justice Whiners for … about a generation, before the population collapsed, because after all PIV is rape. Or something.
You see how that would be bad?
Well, there are ways in which even our own culture could be bad, too, for human survival. We don’t know. We can’t know.
I agree with my friend that we need colonies, far flung and with varied experiences to be quite sure we have enough variety that the species will survive.
But until then? I say we’ve been on the wrong track with this world-unity thing. Surely war – large scale war – is to be avoided if possible. I don’t like it and neither do you.
However, the history of our race seems to show that’s how we work and how we survive.
So I say, let cultures defend themselves and their beliefs.
I say the other guys are wrong. And I say we tell them that. I say we stop them upholstering women and treating minorities like dirt.
Let the better culture win — for a while — and carry the torch of species survival for a time.
Until we can get out of this mud-ball.