No Christ, No Evolution
September 11, 2001 more or less applied the kibosh to this idea, or at least made it clear that certain cultures have a very long way to go if they are ever to break through the tribal barrier and join the ranks of the civilized.
I read The End of History when it came out, and found its thesis to be entirely persuasive. I mean, who in their right mind wouldn't prefer individualism to collectivism, liberty to authority, the rule of law to the rule of man, democracy to autocracy, civil rights to unlimited state power, free markets to command economies or crony capitalism?
The operative term is, of course, right mind. "Mind" is the most important variable, both individually and collectively, because it is obviously the case that many people prefer all of those social arrangements that we find anathema.
So Fukuyama can be correct in essence, or "archetypally," even if things are much messier on the ground. This should come as no surprise, because this is Just the Way the Cosmos Works.
For example, my racket, psychology, is implicitly predicated on the idea that health exists and that it is preferable to pathology. Any organism is internally directed toward its archetype, but that doesn't mean everyone is healthy.
To the contrary, pathology in any organic system is a measure of the distance between reality and ideal. We could say the same of cultural pathology, at least so long as we have an ideal. Modern liberalism, of course, has abandoned this in favor of a horizontal multiculturalism, in which all cultural comparisons are considered invidious and probably racist.
The result is that for the politically correct left, there is a ban on the exercise of judgment and discrimination, and therefore wisdom. One can certainly see this in the field of psychology. Like most every other profession, mine has been hijacked by left wing activists who substitute their collective ideology for individual discrimination.
In certain areas, one is not permitted to entertain thoughts that are counter to various reflexive leftist memes, especially as they pertain to race, sexual orientation, sexual differences, family structure, mothering, fatherhood, and cultural practices.
If in our view a person is enmeshed in a pathological culture, then it is our problem. As in the old Soviet Union, we need the psychologist. We need a dose of sensitivity training in order to overcome our bourgeois indoctrination.
Here one can appreciate one of the many contradictions at the heart of the left: that all cultures are equally precious except for traditional American culture, which is uniquely bad and oppressive. No leftist ever condemns, say, homosexual activists, for insensitivity to the Judeo-Christian norms of the majority.
You will have noticed how this mechanism operates in your personal life. I assume we all have crazy relatives.
The annoying thing about crazy relatives is that they always insist that you adapt to their craziness, and if you don't, you are considered crazy, or impolite, or inconsiderate.
This conceals the fact that the crazy person is crazy specifically because he has no insight into his craziness, nor can he adapt to the real world. Screwball comedies from Shakespeare to Seinfeld are based on this idea, but it's not funny when it's happening to you.
A friend of ours recently endured a three week visit from especially difficult in-laws, and was nearly insane by the last day. Here we see how mental pathology is exported into others in the psychic environment.
Conversely, the healthy person is more empathic and flexible. He can see that the crazy person is actually in pain, and he will try to minimize their pain by adapting to their nutty world. But often a line is crossed, whereby the crazy person becomes a tyrant because of our indulgence of them, i.e., our desire to spare them of pain.
When people accuse Petey of being unkind, this is usually what is going on. Since he has no one to please, he has no interest in making crazy people feel comfortable. He is not going to adapt to them. Rather, they must adapt to him. If they don't like it, they can find someone else to manipulate. It shouldn't be difficult. Don't you have family?
It is the work of a moment to see how this identical mechanism operates on the world stage. What is the UN but a bunch of crazy autocrats who expect the world to fall in line behind them? Look at their favorite mascot, the dreaded Palestinians. The UN has spent the last 50 years indulging their madness instead of pointing it out to them, which would obviously be the helpful and "therapeutic" thing to do. Indulging madness only results in more of it.
Now, back to cultural evolution. As we have discussed in the past, the word "evolution" in its original sense is completely at odds with any materialistic/relativistic/Darwinian framework, since evolution is by definition directional. So when we talk about cultural evolution, we are implicitly saying that there is an ideal way for man to "be."
And as soon as we say this, the psycho-spiritual left will accuse us of some nonsense such as "cultural imperialism" or "religious fascism." But this is no more fascistic or imperialistic than to say that some diets are better than others for cardiac health. Only if one begins with the assumption that clear arteries are no better than atherosclerosis can all diets be considered equal.
Fukuyama -- who is clearly not coming at this from a personally religious standpoint -- writes that "The only part of the world where tribalism was fully superseded by more voluntary and individualistic forms of social relationship was Europe, where Christianity played a decisive role in undermining kinship as a basis for social cohesion."
That's odd. It's almost as if Christianity, far from being at odds with evolution, is the key to it.
And when we say "Christianity," please do not make the multicultural error of substituting "religion." For example, "In India, kinship interacted with religion and mutated into the caste system, which up to the present day has proved much stronger than any state in defining the nature of Indian society" (ibid.). And let's not even talk about Islam.
However, this raises the immediate objection of why evolution didn't proceed apace in South America despite its conversion to Christianity, or in the Orthodox east, where church was generally subordinate to state.
We'll deal with that later, but it's a little like asking why one brother turns out to be a sterling chap, the other an assoul. This problem was recognized before the beginning. Look at Cain and Abel. Same family. Same God. What went wrong?
Indeed, what went wrong between Judaism and Islam? They're both tribal, strictly monotheistic, and conspicuously porciphobic. How come the former raced ahead of the pack, while the latter is stuck in the wayback machine?
Early day today. Gotta get to work. To be continued...