IN his Clash of Civilizations Samuel Huntington argues that the world, following the centuries of western hegemony, is now divided along civilizational lines. So if you are a politician in Singapore or China, you extol the obvious superiority of Confucianism, and if you are a political leader in a Muslim country you extol the obvious truth of Islam and the Prophet, peace be upon him.
Huntington believes that the ideological age, in which half the world was run on socialist ideas, is over, and that we are reverting to a religious age, with cultural rather than ideological cues. International and intranational conflict, he writes, now occurs along civilizational -- actually religious -- fault lines, not ideological fault lines, as during the Cold War.
Except that the ideological fault lines were religious, if we accept that socialism/communism/progressivism is a secular religion.
On this view, the leaders of the West should be extolling the virtues of Christianity, as the rest of the world extols their Axial Age religions; only they are not. In fact, the West is divided between a nominally Christian capitalist side and a progressive/secular religious side.
The interesting thing is that the progressives use not their religion, but tribal cues, to rally their voters. Thus they have spent the last 50 years raising racial and sexual consciousness among women and minorities. This is palpable in the current 2016 election cycle as Democrats rally women against the sexual harasser Donald Trump and blacks against the police with Black Lives Matter.
Notice that our Democratic friends are not raising issues; they are raising race and gender identity. Now, nominally, this race and gender politics proposes the white male as an "other." But really, behind the screen, they are attacking our Christian, capitalist, limited government culture.
Against this progressive push, Donald Trump openly wraps himself in the flag and the nation. Although, of course, his core voters that show up at his rallies are overwhelmingly white and ordinary middle-class.
If Trump were the racist, sexist that our Democratic friends want him to be then he should be openly making a racist, sexist pitch for his Trumpster votes just as Democrats are unashamed as making a sexist pitch for "nasty women" and a racist pitch by endorsing the racist Black Lives Matter.
But here is the thing. If Huntington is right, and the coming fault lines across the world are going to be religious, then the divided West better get its act together. Because in any conflict the side that is united has a huge advantage over the side that is divided.
To raise the question is to answer it. Right now, native Westerners across the West are starting to rise up against their globalist rulers, and they are doing it over the question of religion. People in the west are clearly stating that they do not want a Muslim minority in the West that achieves strategic concentration.
As this Muslim issue develops it will put pressure on the western women who are clutching their pearls this season over Donald Trump's locker-room talk. And the Muslim issue will put pressure on African Americans that are more worried about police shootings than about the cultural collapse in the black majority inner cities and the threat that rising Hispanic and Muslim numbers represent to their special status as liberals' favorite victims.
For years I have worried about how conservatives can possibly push back against liberal identity politics -- i.e. sub-national tribalism -- because how can you do the politics of division when your basic line is that Americans are the best people in the world and America is the best country in the world? Where is the encouragement for rage and coming out to vote out the corrupt rascals?
The basic thrust of Huntington's Clash of Civilizations argument is that wars on the fault lines between civilizations force secondary actors to decide which side they are on, and usually they side with their co-religionists. So you can see that as the fault lines develop in the coming years, they are going to force the West to decide which side it is on, and the current divide between Christian capitalists and progressive identity believers will have to be resolved one way or another.
But there is another question, that Huntington doesn't address. He talks about fully westernized politicians like Lee Kuan Yew putting on the armor of Confucianism when running for office in Singapore. But was that just a blind?
Put it this way. How much of the western cultural agenda is optional if you want to be a leading civilization that can carry a big stick in the world and win fault-line wars? Capitalism? Limited government? Democracy? Rule of Law? Christianity? Tolerance? Science? Free speech? You tell me.
RADICAL leftist Tom Hayden, founder of the Students for a Democratic Society and author of the Port Huron Statement, is dead. The New York Times obituary shows what a great gig being a lefty radical was in our times. Given that Hayden was, at least in his early years, a revolutionary, he got pretty gentle treatment from the ruling class. Which, I suppose, goes to show that Tom Hayden was never...
OVER at Vox Popoli, I am reading about Infogalactic, which is Vox Day calls the Big Fork of Wikipedia. The idea is to take all Wikipedia content and then remove the influence of the 500 gatekeepers that make sure that, e.g. the notion of "cultural Marxism" is merely a right-wing conspiracy theory. (Really, go read the Frankfurt School at La Wik.) The Big Fork seems like a ludicrous notion. ...
IN my reductive Three Peoples theory I propose that three kinds of people live in the modern world. There are the People of the Subordinate Self, workers and peasants who are clients to some great lord. There are People of the Responsible Self, citizens that work in the city as responsible individuals. And then there are People of the Creative Self, that believe life should be more than just ...
WE won't be posting to this blog any more.
Go to an American Manifesto instead.
HOW do we deal with the meme that sank Mitt Romney, the idea that he was an unfeeling rich man that didn't care about "people like me." Mona Charen makes the point directly. Many Republicans now recognize that they must propose reforms that speak to middle- and working-class voters, and shed their image as the party of the rich. But what is it that makes the Republican Party the "party of the ...
MANY conservatives are puzzling over why, just why, the Obama administration would get itself into such a mess over the Bergdahl prisoner exchange. How could anyone treat Bergdahl's likely desertion as just a matter of missing a class on Monday? The answer is simple. It is honor. Lefties don't understand honor, male or female. And especially they don't understand military honor. The whole ...
YOUNG Voices Associate Cathy Reisenwitz has taken a look at the new ideas in YGNetwork's "Room to Grow" proposals, and wonders what's the point. Forget the "new" ideas. How about some good "old" ideas? Here’s a old/new idea: get government out of the way. cut off the spigot. end the subsidies. cut the regulations. help the middle class by allowing the market to work for them. Cathy quotes ...
EVERY time we hear of a new incident of Obama administration lawlessness, we have to wonder. Do liberals really not see this as a problem? We know what is going on. The news media and the cultural czars reckon that Obama and the liberal activists and the Democratic Party have their heart in the right place and so the corner-cutting on Obamacare, the bogus wait-list scam at the VA, the ...
WHEN A WHITE racist thug kills a bunch of black Charleston church ladies we are supposed to go into the Cringe. But when a black racist thug kills a bunch of Dallas policemen we are supposed, even by conservative writers, to get out of our partisan foxholes and fraternize with the other guys in political ...
I was sitting at the bar at Morton’s in West Palm Beach when I saw them reporting Hillary Clinton’s “alt-right” speech. ...
THE SUPRISE OF REDNECKS debouching from the Appalachians into the Atlantic plain and the explosion of Pentecostalism in the inner cities has unnerved those who had convinced themselves that religion was a thing of the past, now that God was dead.... more
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
Work to restore the Road to the Middle Class. Heres how. Ground it in faith. Grade it with education. Protect it with mutual aid. Defend it with the law. more>>
The Road to the Middle Class is a journey from a world of power to a world of trust and love. In religion, it is a journey from power gods that respond to sacrifice and augury to the God who makes a covenant with mankind. In education, it is a journey from the world of the spoken word to the world of the written word. In community, it is the journey from dependence on blood kin and upon clientage under a great lord to the mutual aid and the rules of the self-governing fraternal association. In law it is the journey from the violence of force and feud to the kingŽs peace, the law of contract, and private property.
When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of agesthey seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society
We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.
E. G. West, Education and the State
Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures
The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since
1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and
philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West
Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its
characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then,
once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison