Secular liberalism and what it requires
This might be obliquely pertinent. As a science copy editor and blogger, I once pondered a study of a lizard species that had three male "morphs"—with blue, green, and red throats—signaling different reproductive strategies. There were dominant males, cooperator males—who got access to females by being the dominant male's best buddy/sidekick—and "sneaker" males, who got access to females when the dominant's back was turned. Stick with me, this does become relevant, more so even than the obvious comic human analogies (the "sneaker" male is the cartoon guy in the bed with the wife when the husband unexpectedly comes home).
A balance among these "morphs," rather than a more than fleeting preponderance of any one of them, seems to serve the species. I was provoked to the following speculation.
"Societies need cohesion and change in some kind of balance; at one end of the scale lurks the danger of stagnation, at the other, disintegration....It’s easy to imagine, though probably impossible to prove (and here irresponsible bloggers have a carte blanche not granted to scientists), that humans come in ... three social morphs: call them tribal, trader, and...tech geek. “Tribals” would have very strong [preference] for “their own kind.” “Traders,” lacking those strong birds-of-a-feather cohesion drives, would be free and even impelled to cross boundaries in search of novelty and fortune—at higher risk (the guy in the pith helmet in the cartoon cannibals’ pot is definitely a Trader), but sometimes for a higher payoff [including hybrid vigor]. Tech nerds, more focused on ideas and things than on people, would just want to be left alone to tinker and invent. Ring any bells? Our ever more global world is dominated by Traders—only thanks to the tech nerds—but the recoil of horrified Tribals poses a genuine danger (and, perhaps, [necessary] counterbalance) to the Traders having their way."
In other words, maybe assimilationists aren't the bad guys you portray them as, and nationalist populists aren't the bad guys assimilationists portray them as. They're just different. in our current Tech Nerd–enabled tug-of-war between Tribals and Traders, maybe neither is wrong, and both are necessary.
Very insightful and fun read, thanks! I look forward to your next effort.
"Can you imagine a Swarthmore grad springing ‘LatinX’ in bad Spanish on a Buenos Aires cab driver? This supposed elite cosmopolitanism is actually a form of parochialism, even if currently a preponderant one."
It's a rather appalling state of affairs that the folks who run that particular asylum don't realize they are teaching their charges how to avoid thinking.
"...adapt to the Anglo world and be as American as anyone..."
The most patriotic American I have ever known was a Cuban. I met him at Fort Benning, GA - at Ranger School. He was there out of a deep sense of obligation to his new "identity", and lamented that because he was not yet a citizen he was ineligible for a security clearance and therefore barred from serving in a Ranger Battalion or other special ops role.
He had a rather harrowing story about emigrating to the US. He came as a 16 year old, with a few other young men, on a barely seaworthy boat (stop me if you've heard this one) whose motor gave up the ghost out of sight of land, and drifted for the next few days until finally, dehydrated, sunburnt, hungry, and despondent, washing up in the Keys. When talking about the United States, he would inevitably close by putting his index and middle fingers together, kissing them, looking up and pointing with those two fingers to the sky and say, "May God bless this country." To us cynical and complacent native born it was a little, I dunno, camp. Until we realized he was utterly sincere.
"A grown-ass man with a wife, kids, a mortgage and a career, but he’s 'Beef' to us."
"Beef" is a pretty cool name. I know a guy who will forever be known to a small group of friends from decades ago as "Dumpy."
This resonates. My husband and I spent two years traveling around the world (mostly SE Asia, but Eastern Europe and South America as well). It was great for us to be out of the bubble of US politics; I now understand what people mean when they say that travel is the best way to expand your worldview. Of course, now it is positively infuriating to try explaining to our, as you say, urban cosmopolitan friends that the identity politics they hold so dear don’t matter at all to people outside our borders (and not most people inside them either).
Separately, I was just thinking the other day about how we've become a culture with no common symbols or stories, so I look forward to you one day writing about that :)
This breaks my rule that no writer should ever use the words "I tweeted...x", but nice piece nonetheless
Your high school sounded a lot like the Chinese day schools in Southeast Asia that my parents were angry about not existing in the US.
Fortunately the Chinese social media infrastructure (WeChat etc) gives this generation a sense of separateness from American culture. For we are the unmeltable ethnics.
Late in the game here (got to this post via Bari Weiss), but - as a Brazilian Jew living in Park Slope, this rings so true. Maybe there should be a WhatsApp group to safely compare non-PC shitposts from different diaspora WhatsApp groups. :)
I wouldn't be bothered about a few melting pots existing for people who like that kind of stuff, or don't know any better, but problem is, modern progressive-globalists want to transform the entire first world into one giant melting pot, erasing all the authentic & valuable cultures in the way - and they're pretty damn near the finish line.
Even worse, it's beyond denial by now that this is mostly driven by a desire to rid the world of the white race. It's kinda' nauseating how the very same people say that replacing white people in their own homelands is just a far-right conspiracy theory for nutjobs and in the next sentence they celebrate the idea of "minorities" soon becoming the majority in quite literally every single western country from Canada to Denmark to New Zealand. In the meantime anything related to the white race is being demonised and erased in academia, which is a peek into the future of general culture and politics. Shakespeare and Mozart are getting canceled for being born with the wrong skin color, but hey, don't you dare voice your doubts about this as only nazis do that.
Whites are not allowed to have an identity, any kind of identity really, besides that of a guilt-ridden self-hating wretch perpetually apologising for its own existence and swearing to fade out of existence without children to "save the planet", "repent for the sins of its ancestors" or whatever.
I wonder if open-minded non-whites will realise that nationalism seems to be the only protection against this for white nation states. Either we actively defend ourselves against this barking mad progressive-globalist lunacy, or we succumb to it. No middle grounds.