Monday, March 28, 2005


How important to us today is the Protestant Christian culture that appears to have been so central in creating the modern world? Most conservatives I know would answer: "VERY important". And Leftists of course would also say that it is important -- but only as something that needs to be eradicated as quickly as possible.

I don't agree with either. I hark back to another important and historic conservative belief -- in the importance of human nature. I think that what is normally attributed to culture is in fact almost all due to genetics. And the studies that are now coming out of genetics research are pretty startling confirmation of that. It is in fact something of a wonder to me that conservatives do very often seem to maintain in their heads two rather contradictory beliefs -- in the importance of culture and in the importance of genetics. It is obviously true that what we are is the product of both but I don't see how conservatives can assert the central importance of human nature (which they normally do) and also give a large role to culture. Anybody I put that point to normally retreats into saying that BOTH are important -- perhaps 50-50 or perhaps 60-40 but that neither can be downplayed or ignored.

But that's not what the evidence shows as far as I can see. I don't want to beat people over the head with genetics research findings (though I think I will in a minute) so let me initially point to some things that are widely known. I am however going to have to offend just about everybody to do so. Take the importance of Christian culture. There is a very vigorous flow of claims from Christians to the effect that it is only America's Christian heritage that keeps America civil. Yet that is patently false. The overwhelming source of uncivil (to put it mildly) behaviour in the USA is undoubtedly the black population -- who are at least as Christian as the whites -- perhaps more so overall. So the source of destructive and disruptive black behaviour is not in their culture. It is in their genetics. Yes. I know all the Leftist tosh about the legacy of slavery suppressing their self-esteem etc but since all the studies shows that blacks tend to have unusually HIGH self-esteem, I am not going to waste time on that one.

I suppose I have just spoken an unmentionable truth that you need to blot out from your consciousness in order to get by in American society today but, unlike Leftists, I think the truth is vitally important and I intend to persist with my lifelong habit of exploring it wherever it may lead. And what we see in the black/white behavioural difference is a huge gap that certainly cannot be attributed to Christianity or the lack of it. It is true that there has evolved in recent years a black "rap" culture which is just about as antisocial as you could conceivably get but the black/white behavioural gap goes way back -- to long before the evolution of rap culture. Rap culture is more an effect than a cause.

And I am now going to mention something else that is going to lose me friends. Most Leftists lead perfectly decent personal lives whether or not they subscribe to any form of Christian thinking or values. I myself prefer to deal with Christians where I can because I think that Christianity does have some effect in keeping people honest but I normally don't know anything about the beliefs of the people I come across in everyday life except that on average about half must be Left-leaning and about half must be Right-leaning. But I have yet to be able to detect any person's politics from just the way they behave. So culture doesn't seem to matter there either.

And it is not just that I lead a sheltered life. For twelve years I taught sociology in a major Australian university -- where most of my colleagues were Marxists of one sort or another. And I always made clear my view that Marx was just an obsolete economist. In the middle of my time there I even wrote a big book in defence of conservatism. So how did my colleagues treat me? With the greatest civility. Even though my views were clearly anathema to them they even used to invite me to some of their parties! So how much difference to everyday behaviour did their cultural beliefs and my cultural beliefs make? None that I can see.

Now let me mention something else. I like Indians. I even have four of them living in my house with me (two Hindus, one Sikh and one Muslim). And if there is any group of people I know who are outstanding for warmth, civility, good humour, patience and sociability it would have to be Indians. Their culture could hardly be more different from my own Presbyterian heritage but their behaviour sets a standard that makes Westerners a pretty rough lot by comparison. If I thought culture was important for making decent human beings I would be recommending that we all take up Hinduism.

Anyway, I have probably said enough by now to be giving all my readers indigestion of some sort but for those masochistic enough to want to explore the issues I have raised in more detail, I have an article on the role of Christian culture here (or here) and two articles touching on the central importance of genetics here and here (or here and here). Which do you think genetics has more influence on: How tall you are or your political beliefs? You may be surprised at what the geneticists have found.



What a stupid old fart the President of France is: "During the summit, Mr Chirac said that "ultra-liberalism" - for that, read market forces - was the "new communism of our age"".

Jacques Chirac is the amoral leader of an amoral nation: "Let us not forget that Chirac in his youth was a communist, distributing l'Humanite, the French communist newspaper, on street corners. [He] is more of a "girouette" (wind vane) than Clinton ever was..."

Some amazing pictures of a people-smuggling operation here. The things people will do to get into that "cowboy" USA! I guess trampling all over the feelings of the "international community" must be a good thing.

Good comment from Tom Heard: "The United Nations, my favorite organization has decided to send 10,000 peacekeepers to Darfur. A little too little and a lot too late. Hundreds of thousands displaced and by some counts a genocide of 150,000 has been taking place there and the UN decides to pass a Resolution. That's all this region needs right now, 10,000 rapists and pedophiles to add to their problems."

An email: "As always, eagerly covering up for the Communists, The New York Times today, in the obituary for Judge Wright (the memorable "Turn 'Em Loose Bruce" ) never mentions the judge's active participation in Communist rallies in the 1970's. I recall seeing his name on posters in Harlem, together with Angela Davis and other such "luminaries".



That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftist movers and shakers is perfectly shown by the 2004 Kerry campaign. They put up a man whose policies seemed to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though the Left have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

Leftist ideologues are phonies. For most of them all that they want is to sound good. They don't care about doing good. That's why they do so much harm. They don't really care what the results of their policies are as long as they are seen as having good intentions and can con "the masses" into giving them power.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist"

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