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A national way like any other

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On October 11, 2011 @ 9:38 am In racism | 1 Comment

I’m a racist of sorts: I believe that people are different and so are nations. Leftists proclaim universal equality—or rather, uniformity—for a reason: in order to apply their social theories on the international scale they need to presume the subjects similar. For the same policy to produce similar results, the input should be similar in each case.

It is a morally soothing thing to apply one’s theories on a grand scale. But in order to project American-type democracy on Lebanon, ethnic-blindness on Israel, or liberalism on Palestine, their populations and situations must be presumed similar to the American. Never mind the professed policies exist only in academic minds even in America, where democracy, liberalism, and ethnic-blindness have their limits.

But how can the nations be similar when there is so much diversity in the animal kingdom? We can presume that humans are more diverse than animals simply because humans have more behavioral alternatives. Proponents of national similarity counter that argument with the assumption that intelligent humans are quick to jump on the most beneficial behavioral patterns, and therefore tend toward similarity. If that were true, we would have seen the Swedes embracing an American-style free-market economy. Even if we accept for a moment the major unproved assumption that all humans are similarly intelligent, their understanding of beneficence varies wildly. Arguably, the propensity for national values diminishes with affluence, as citizens can find satisfaction in material rather than spiritual things. There is strong empirical evidence, however, that affluent societies which have satisfied their material needs seek spiritual values, often by bizarre experimentation with various teachings. Americans, close descendants of enterprising emigrants, are traditionally enterprising. Swedes, no less an intelligent nation, consider social security a more important benefit than personal enrichment. Torn between tribal identities, Western consumerism, and charitable welfare, Africans see benefits in ways often unintelligible to Westerners.

Foreign observers rarely comprehend national mentality. Looking at the ultra-polite Japanese, who could imagine their atrocious wartime behavior? Amplified by cleverly tailored propaganda, national traits can temporarily rise to unimaginable proportions. Looking at Palestinian bread-sellers, what tourist can imagine them in a murderous crowd streaming from Friday prayers?

To summarize, nations are different and defy the application of similar policies to them. In times of national emergencies, the differences amplify. Applying policies unsuitable for a particular nation guarantees a fiasco.

In Lebanon, democracy meant Hezbollah’s ascendance to power. In Palestine, liberalism removed the military, totalitarian obstacles to Hamas’ ascendance. In Israel, ethnic-blindness winds down the Jewish state.

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