Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: All men are not equal
Posted on 08/11/2005 7:47:57 AM PDT by Pokey78
Theres an abandoned town in Labrador called Davis Inlet. An Innu community i.e., natives, of the Mushuau people, if youre big on whos who in the Great White North. About a decade ago Canadians switched on their televisions and were confronted by shocking images of the towns populace passing the day snorting drugs, glue, petrol and pretty much anything else to hand.
So, as any impeccably progressive soft-lefties would, Her Majestys Government in Ottawa decided to build the Mushuau a new town a few miles inland state of the art, money no object, new homes, new heating systems, new schoolhouse, new computers, plus new more culturally respectful town name (Natuashish). Total cost to Canadian taxpayers: $152 million, which works out to about $217,142.85 for each of the towns men, women and children. Got a wife and two kids and youre looking at a government handout of about nine hundred thousand bucks.
And the upshot of Canadian taxpayers generosity? Two years after the new town opened, the former Mushuau chief and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police both agreed that there were more drugs, alcoholism, gas-sniffing etc., than ever before. Also higher suicide rates.
Gas-sniffing is not a traditional native activity. Before the first European settlers came, the Mushuau did not roam the tundra hunting for Toyota Corollas to siphon the tanks of. Thats a particularly perverse form of cultural co-mingling, but one in which compassionate white liberals seem determined to keep the natives mired. The government showers native communities with money; theres no economic downside to sniffing petrol all day; and as everyone in Natuashish is driving around in brand-new pick-ups on roads that go nowhere you might as well use that full tank of gas for something. The net result of 40 years of a caring policy intended to maintain communities in their traditional culture is that Canadian natives now have tuberculosis, diabetes, heart disease and brain damage at levels accelerating further and further away from those in society at large, not to mention lower life-expectancy, higher infant mortality, and endemic suicide. On the last point, the Canadian government doesnt give natives the rope with which they hang themselves, but they do give them free supplies of ammunition. (Natives have higher murder rates, too.) Identity-group grievance-mongers routinely go on about the first Europeans introducing disease to hitherto vigorous North American Indians four centuries ago, but the current health crises afflicting literally dying communities are of less concern. Nonetheless, the math seems unarguable: too many agonised white liberal multicultural chiefs leads to not enough Indians.
Canadian natives, as the most comprehensively wrecked minority on the continent, are a microcosm of everything thats wrong with multiculturalism. The premise of multiculturalism is that all cultures are equally valid, but of course thats bunk: some cultures are better, some are worse, some are successes, some are failures. Im not being Eurocentric here. Perish the thought: an awful lot of European cultures have proved hopeless at sustaining over any length of time representative government, property rights, the rule of law and individual liberty. Those are largely features of the Britannic world not just of the United Kingdom, America, Australia and New Zealand but also of India, Singapore, St Lucia, as well as Quebec and Mauritius, to name but two francophone jurisdictions all the more agreeable for having spent their formative years under the British Crown.
Thats one reason why Im a Eurosceptic because I dont think the British have anything to learn from the Belgians or Germans; on the other hand, the Belgians and Germans have quite a lot to learn from Belize and Barbados. The debate led by the editor of this magazine and others over this last month about promoting Britishness is perplexing to an offshore observer, if only because the superiority of the Britannic inheritance should be self-evident. Even in the dodgier parts of the globe, a good rule of thumb is head for the joint that was under British rule the longest: try doing business in Malaysia and then in Indonesia and youll see what I mean. The fact is that the further you remove people from the Britannic inheritance, the greater disservice you do them the unfortunate Innu of Davis Inlet, excluded from the normal currents of advanced society (home ownership, economic activity, etc.) are merely a particularly grim example of this general truth.
In the Telegraph the other week, Boris Johnson mentioned Mary Seacole, a 19th-century black nurse from Jamaica who was in her day as famous as Florence Nightingale. And, reading of her, I was reminded for the umpteenth time of why the British, of all people, should never have fallen for the neo-apartheid of multiculturalism. British was the prototype multiethnic nationality: if you were a doctor from Kingston-on-Thames or a nurse from Kingston, Jamaica, or an assistant choreographer from Kingston, Ontario, you were British and, unlike the Germans, race didnt come into it. The British, wrote Colin Powell of his Jamaican background, told my ancestors that they were now British citizens with all the rights of any subject of the Crown. Thats correct: in law, there was no distinction between a British subject in Wales and a British subject in Tobago. Britishness was far more of a genuinely multicultural identity than the yawning we-are-the-world nullity of modern multiculturalism. Im still a wee young thing but my earliest passports bore in bold print on page three the words A Canadian citizen is a British subject. It requires a perverse ahistorical fanaticism to decide that Britishness is some shrivelled Little-Englander thing that should never be passed on to our children. Its always been the great outward, global, embracing identity.
Conversely, I dont see why we should pretend that self-evidently deficient cultures are our moral equal. In so far as I understand the Arabist mindset of the FCO, it would seem to be something to do with the old Lawrence-of-Arabia routine, dressing up in robes and singing The Desert Song calling/ Its voice enthralling/ Will make you mine.... Im sympathetic to the romance of the noble Bedouin riding his Arab on the moonlit sands, just as, apropos the Innu, I can see the attraction of seal and bear hunting. But both cultures seem to have a difficulty accommodating contemporary life. Even in corners of the Arab world that have the veneer of modernity, people say nutty stuff to you all the time. Not misfit weirdsmobiles in loser jobs, but fellows at the very heart of the community. To pluck at random, take Abd Al-Sabour Shahin, respected Egyptian professor, lecturer at Cairo University and head of the Sharia faculty at Al-Azhar university, the Harvard of Sunni Islam. On Monday on Saudi Channel One, Dr Shahin told viewers:
Our enemies weave many lies about us, which we are not necessarily aware of. For example: one day, we awoke to the crime of 9/11, which hit the tallest buildings in New York, the Empire State Building. There is no doubt that not a single Arab or Muslim had anything to do with these events. The incident was fabricated as a pretext to attack Islam and Muslims.
Er, OK. So if no Muslim hit the, um, Empire State Building, who did? On that, Dr Shahin was in no doubt: I believe a dirty Zionist hand carried out this act.
Dr Shahin is the product of a deformed culture. In the days after 9/11, we heard innumerable reprises of the lazy leftist trope poverty breeds terrorism. But the Arab world is wealthy. It suffers, as David Pryce-Jones has said, from intellectual poverty. And, whether or not Boris and co. need to talk up Britishness, wed be doing ourselves and them a great favour if we were to make a concerted effort to talk down Muslim nuttiness. With hindsight, the problem with the Salman Rushdie affair the prototype example of the Islamists claiming global jurisdiction for their psychoses was that the resistance was left to a bunch of largely humourless self-important literati who made it all into a dreary business about the need for transgressive artists to challenge ...zzzzzzz ...losing will to type.... Instead we should have resisted with a gleeful mocking campaign against Islamoparanoia. Every day of the week you can find some bonkers story from the Muslim world. Heres the Sunday Age in Melbourne reporting on 31 July on Werribee Islamic College:
The imam told the students that the Jews were putting poison in the bananas and they should not eat them.
You dont have to be bananas to teach in an Islamic school but it helps. Thats a college, by the way, that receives funds from Australian taxpayers of about $3 million a year. For three million bucks they cant hire a catering guy who can find them Jew-free bananas?
Even their terrorism is mostly laughable. The shoebomber gets his bomb on the plane but has only a damp book of matches. The 21 July bombers are all hot for their 72 virgins but their bombs refuse to perform, like a bunch of dud fireworks. One Palestinian suicide bomber is intercepted en route by another Palestinian who tries to steal his suicide bomb and they both get blown up before theyve got near any Jews.
The only thing these guys have going for them is our undervaluation of ourselves and perverse boosting up of them. By pretending that all cultures are equal, multiculturalism doesnt preserve traditional cultures so much as sustain them in an artificial state that ensures theyll develop bizarre pathologies and mutate into some freakish hybrid of the worst of both worlds. With the Innu, the destructive compassion of guilt-ridden white liberals is no big deal at least for us. The Innu live a long way away from anybody else and so for the most part they mostly harm each other.
But the Islamists are much closer to home. Like the Innu, theyre a dysfunctional amalgam of traditional and Western culture, fundamentalist Islam filtered through an old-school European fascist movement. Like the Innu, theyre hooked on welfare and the glorification of self-destruction. Like the Innu, theyre the creations of Western largesse from the firebrand imams bilking the British welfare state, to the bananaphobic imams of taxpayer-funded Aussie schools, to Osama bin Laden himself, who took his pas dough from the US-fuelled Saudi construction boom and sunk it into a hole in the ground in Tora Bora. Remember Mohammed Atta? He piloted the jet that hit the first World Trade Center tower or, for any Saudi TV viewers reading this, the first Empire State Building tower and his main concern seemed to be that his corpse would make it to paradise without being contaminated by infidels and whores. As he wrote in the will he left behind, He who washes my body around my genitals should wear gloves so that I am not touched there.
Young Mohammed graduated from Cairo university with a degree in architectural engineering and later studied at Hamburg university. One had assumed his wealthy parents didnt put junior through architectural engineering in order to pull off one spectacular demolition job. But his dad, also called Mohammed, recently popped up on CNN to praise the 9/11 attacks and the 7 July bombings and tell the network that if it wanted another interview it would cost $5,000 which hed donate towards financing the next attack in London. Hes a lawyer, his son was an engineer and qualified pilot (well, except for the landing and take-off part, which he told his flight school he didnt need to learn). But theyre kookier than the most in-bred backwoods up-country yakherd.
Yet somehow weve wound up in a situation where it requires a hugely agonised public debate even in the Telegraph about whether we should state the obvious and historically indisputable truth about British culture, while simultaneously we all agree to dissemble like crazy about Muslim culture, handling it with the kid gloves Mohammed Atta wanted reserved for his genitals. This is a disastrous strategy. One lesson of Dr Shahins drivel is that a culture in which it is difficult if not impossible to tell the truth eventually goes nuts. It would be a most unBritish ending.
Yes, Islamo-noodles are even weirder than my in-laws ...
How true..How politically incorrect of him to tell the truth...I love Steyn.
If I had several years of time and several thousand pages of paper, I'd sit down and put together a compilation of Steyn's classic quotes. LOL.
Mark Steyn ping.
"Canadian natives ... are a microcosm of everything that's wrong with multiculturalism."
To me, the first five paragraphs of the article reiterated everything that is wrong with the Nanny State.
Bump for later!
Spot on, as usual!
Double throw down Mark Steyn bump.
Ouch! Take that, American Academia! ;)
All too true. I grew up in Northern Quebec and I can tell you first hand, the kids showed up for the first day of high school, picked up a healthy check and stayed in school for exactly three weeks until moose hunting season started. Hey, they had to stay in town for long enough to buy new gear, but that was the sum total of their contribution to the community and the economy. White men destroyed their lifestyle not with modernization, but with welfare.
And we act surprised when we see their leaders like the one just stripped of his Order of Canada liken themselves to the Palis? Clearly his intent was to expose oppression, but ironically it exposes the folly of a socialist, secular state. Ditto the increase in Islam among African American inner city populations. Same cultural death at the same hands.
Too true. Look at Africa - could use a major dose of colonialism again. Ditto India, all that is good still reflects the Anglo influence.
I loooovvveeee Mark Steyn!
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