In light of the attacks in France and around the world from ISIS it seems necessary to say something, but on this blog I don’t want to repeat myself. The things I’ve said in the past about ISIS I believe are still true and remain even more pertinent now than when they were first written.
However a topic not breached yet is the resulting ‘culture war’ and mass migration occurring in Europe. This ties into ISIS and the resulting ‘war’ of Christian Europe vs Muslim Middle East.
Migrants: You Can’t Stop Them
Mass migrations occur with some regularity in history. Either by government action (war, colonization, etc.) or by some natural catastrophe. There are very few places in the world which remain culturally ‘stagnant,’ cultures change or warp over the ensuing decades. This is brought about by immigration or by some greater societal changes. This is especially true when you are a modern powerhouse (America, France, Germany, modern China…) and not a nearly nameless pacific island nation like Tongo.
Cultural change is a human constant and so is mass migration. People are continuously moving from one part of the world to the other and no matter how elaborate of a wall you build, unless you’re willing to mount those walls with machine guns, you will not stop immigration in any significant way.
There has been much talk about the migrations from Europe that America received in the 1800s and early 1900s, and how this seemingly successful experiment is rationale for Syrian refugees today. Thankfully, historical hindsight (say, 100+ years) and a modern politically correct discourse allows us to view these instances with some rose tinted glasses. It was a painful, racially charged, and exploitative period of American history.
But I challenge anyone reading this to find me a period of any nation’s history which isn’t littered with the same atmosphere brought about by our natural inclination to perpetual cultural change.
Human societies are constantly changing, mass migrations do not alter this reality in any significant, holistic sense. We are continuously being warped and changed on our own, tossing in foreigners doesn’t affect the magnitude of these changes; it just shifts the direction.
Culture Wars: We are Always Having Them
So naturally we are afraid of cultural change and we hate unfettered immigration particularly because we have this absurd nation that our ‘culture’ is somehow this comfortable sterile bubble. It is not. In addition I want to say that this is a natural and normal reaction to immigration. We feel threatened by the differing ideological views of these outsiders, which are certain to be radically different from our own sterile bubble of ideological peace and harmony (again, this isn’t true either).
Spoilers: abortion supports will win, sorry.
These culture wars never stop, they just take on a different form. Infusing the American Border States with Mexicans is no different from flooding the American East coast with hordes of uneducated rural Irishmen. The only difference is the pain of the latter experience is long past us, and the pain caused by the former is ongoing.
We view people from the Middle East as radically different from ourselves, in some sense that’s true. In fact, I bet Americans would much rather take another 15,000 Mexican immigrants over just 1,000 Syrian refugees any day. We’re that afraid of their beliefs.
These Syrians have been impacted by their own societies and bring with them ingrained beliefs about how the world works. Very few immigrants desire assimilation. Who would? Who wants to throw away the one thing they’ve known since birth; knowledge of how they believe the world works?
When I watch Fox news and see the rantings of Atheists against Christmas ‘culture’ wars against the apparent Christian majority we learn very little about ourselves and thus change very little in the process. We play by the same rules and behave within the legal and cultural norms of our nation, so nothing really happens. This isn’t a culture war, it’s a cultural softball match.
Culture wars are radical. And radical change requires uncomfortable, dangerous movements. Mass protests by college students against elderly white people during the Vietnam War is a great example of intra-nation culture war. It can be, and has always been, just as brutal as modern culture wars against Muslims in Europe.
If we sit on our hands and seal off our borders, we will have more culture wars, they’ll just be painted with white faces (unless you’re in the south). And if we let in these hordes of Muslims to our paradise, we will indeed have more culture wars, you guessed it, painted black and white.
No matter how much we try and protect ourselves from these ‘others’ migrations, legal or illegal, it will happen. There is no stopping starving families who’ve gambled everything on making it to a new country. The alternative for these people is death.
With violent, dynamic culture wars the societies in question start being tested and questioned. How do they rationalize their violence? How do they justify the ideology they are desperately trying to protect? These are experiences we learn from and can hopefully use to move us forward.
The most dangerous tendency of all is to say that these modern culture wars are unique from our historical experience, they certainly are not; the only difference is the methods in which we use to kill and oppress each other. But beyond all else these culture wars all suffer stark similarities. There are the conservatives (loyalists supporting ‘the way things are’) and liberals (rebels supporting ‘the way things should be’). This dynamic hasn’t changed since the the earliest of civilizations.
It forces government loyalists and protesters alike to justify violence against one another. Ideological conversion takes decades. And it’s constantly happening. We cannot influence how these cultural conflicts will manifest, but we can change how we voice our ideological views when it begins. In that moment real change can take place and people can be influenced by your voice.
So everyone relax, nothing will ever be the same again.