A Multicultural Gedankenexperiment

Human Biological Diversity is one of the central ideas of several different strains of “Dark Enlightenment” crimethink. It is also considered to be pseudo-science by many who can’t bring themselves to accept the implications (which are probably not quite so extreme as many of its most ardent proponents suggest, but that is a topic for another time).

Let’s imagine that it is true that HBD is pseudo-science. Let’s imagine that all the findings and implications are utter rot, and that not one aspect of human diversity can be explained to any degree by biological factors. All of a sudden, we can only ascribe the differences among societies to either cultural or environmental factors. It’s an extreme position, I know, but some people actually believe this.

Under this paradigm, the importance of having a culture that promotes functional society is even more important than in any model that accepts human biological diversity. It means that setting up a culture that promotes stable families, low time-preference, and other stabilizing factors is an issue of even greater magnitude than if we accept biological differences among human populations.

It also means that changes to an established culture have to be weighed even more carefully, for without the influence of HBD factors, culture becomes even more precious, especially if it is a culture that promotes a successful society.

It also means that multiculturalism serves not to “enrich” societies, but rather, to act as a sort of averaging mechanism, promoting regression to the mean across all societal traits. This serves to elevate cultures that are less capable of developing and upholding functional societies, but the flip-side of this coin is that it tears down the most high-achieving and functional cultures.

This means that one cannot build a multicultural society that also happens to be the pinnacle of excellence (great “multicultural” societies of the past have been a bit less multicultural in practice). Even if human biological differences don’t matter, multicultural societies are destined to be no better than average.

An interesting implication that arises in this context is that multi-racial societies can be exceedingly pleasant and functional places to live as long as they happen to be mono-cultural.

Let’s pull ourselves out of this thought experiment and discuss some of the implications*. I actually agree (to some extent, at least) with the implication that multi-racial but mono-cultural societies have the potential for high-level, advanced society. I absolutely believe that strong cultural homogeneity can ease (though not totally eliminate) racial tensions within a society.

I’m even willing to posit that a “soft” multiracialism, in the form of what can perhaps be more accurately described as a multi-ethnic society (think Germans+French+Swiss or Italians+Greeks…etc), can lead to a society that serves as a leader and a model for the rest of the world. There is actually some historical evidence that this is the case. Bear in mind that within the past 200 years, there was a time when roughly 25% of the world was under the dominion of a multi-ethnic state composed of the English, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish. We must also bear in mind that the United States has been a multi-ethnic society since almost as long as here have been European settlers in the new world, and it’s done fairly well for itself in its time.

Were I to be put in charge of developing a multi-racial society from scratch, and I wasn’t allowed to just segregate everybody, I would first take a small group composed of several different ethnicities and ensure that it had a strong, unifying culture. I would grow it over time, and eventually, I would begin slowly introducing other, less related, ethnicities (using The Legionnaire’s Immigration Policy, of course), until my society could plausibly be described as “multicultural”.

Would it work? Possibly.  I certainly like to think it would.  Astra inclinant, sed non obligant. The stars incline us but they do not bind us. Multi-ethnic societies certainly have the potential to do well for themselves, and it is partly because of this that I am willing to entertain the notion that, in special circumstances, multi-racial societies aren’t necessarily doomed to collapse in on themselves.

*Though I’m hitting the pause button for now, I plant to return to this thought experiment in at least one future post, for I don’t believe that all the implications have been fully fleshed-out and examined.

SPQR

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2 thoughts on “A Multicultural Gedankenexperiment

  1. intuitivereason 05/18/2014 / 10:59 PM

    If you mix a group of ethnicities over time you develop your own, at which point there is a single ethnicity. Now there may be a call for that, but I’m not sure that is where you are trying to get to here.
    To retain distinct ethnicities in a society in a stable manner you have to eliminate intermarriage and you have to have races that have distinct but complimentary characteristics.

    Doing so could have distinct societal advantages over a mono-racial analogue, in that you are effectively breeding for task. There is certainly sci-fi with this characteristic.

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