Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Best Lack All Conviction

Pedestrian Infidel has some interesting insights into "cultural diversity." The topic arises here on occasion, as well, generally in relation to our response to the collapse of the Third World's entrenched anti-Modernism and our response that we must, following in the footsteps of William Walker, take Modernity to the world at large rather than be swamped by it regardless of the hardships of imposing neo-colonialist Modernity on an unwilling and resistent population.

We'll look at some background here to see the nature of the contrast between family ethos in the West and the primitive peasant world. Directly below is a quotation from an African migrant who comments on the aftermath of the recent fires in Paris that killed numerous children. His is a common understanding of families in Third World culture.

"There are no houses in Paris for families with several children. Maybe this society doesn't accept families with five, seven or eight children ," he said.

Though there are myriad studies of population and sociological responses to growth and overpopulation, studies by the thousands, we feel a short quotation sums it up nicely. Ther speaker above has a point, and it's one uninformed by Modernity. Conversely, Modernists are usually at a loss to grasp the fundamentals of peasant family practices. To put it in perspective for Westerners we refer to the United States merely 100 years ago, during which time conditions were little different for immigrants from what they are today for African migrants in Paris:

Birthrates among the immigrant population of the United States ran much higher than those of the native-born-- from 35 per cent in rural areas to 90 per cent in urban areas, which suggested that fertility varied primarily according to the way of life women expected.

The fertility pattern of migrant women corresponded to their families' needs for productive workers: farm women, whatever their country of origin, needed children for work, and farm children tended to be producers. The more children, the better, so far as life on the farm went. By contrast, city women's children tended to be consumers, especially if they were native born to white collar parents. Middle class children being unlikely to bring money rather than spend it, middle class families were smaller. Foreign-born women, whether they lived in the rural or urban United States, preserved the farm pattern of fertility. After all, poor families depended on child labour just like farm families. And children might die young-- infant mortality rates ran high; as many as half the deaths in a rural immigrant community might be children under the age of five.
Eric Rauchway, Murdering McKinley. New York: Hill and Wang; 2004, pp. 126-27.

Cultural, social, community, and family pressures weld the person to the norm, particularly if one is uneducated and poor. Poverty restricts ones options for experimentation. [Cf. Eric Hoffer, The True Believer.] Poor, uneducated women in foreign places are at extreme disadvantages in experimenting with alternate life-styles or in leaving the security and relative safety of home and community, regardless of its attendant dangers, for freedom of person. Women, more so than children, are the primary victims of oppression in primitive societies for the reasons that being ignorant they are likely poor and extremely vulnerable to abuse from outsiders. Better the devil they know than the devil they do not.

The quotation above sets out some major points: expectation being primary. When we look at the average Muslim female migrant in the West we see a woman who is likely uneducated in her own culture beyond that of family and perhaps clan lore. Early marriage and fertility halts whatever intellectual development likely otherwise. It's hard to go to university at 22 when one has five children to tend. The children, on the other hand, have the outside world to reflect on, perhaps. But peasant women, ghettoized by family and community, are trapped in their received expectations. Such was the case among immigrant peasants in America 100 years ago. Women, having come from Third World cultures to the New World, brought with them and retained Third World expectations, not enlightened by the wider American social world. What we today refer to as generation gaps appear with mobility and affluence. Personal expectations change with outside influence. Affluence creates the possibility of successful risk-taking in ones life. Without the broadening of experience and the ability to take personal risks in ones life-style, one is reduced to conformity to the monoculture of peasantry.

Things do change, and rapidly. Usually.

One may look at Jugoslavia, as an example, to see where things do not change from generation to generation. Marx, in his consistently profound lack of psychological insight, assumed wrongly that (both) the capitalist rush to monopoly would reduce the former competitor to penury, and that he would identify thereafter with his new class position, i.e. would see himself as proletarian. Looking at the reduced Muslim in Bosnia, previously of the social elite in a privileged station vis dhimmis, the Muslim, having lost the protection of his status with the collapse of the caliphate, is now on equal social levels with former dhimmis. Retaining all the pretensions of former rulership and social superiority, the Muslim does not rejoice in newfound personal freedom for all but clings to a romanticized past of former glory in much the same way the bankrupt capitalist remembers the Gilded Age. Islam, even more insidious than lost wealth, creates a class of dispossessed who feel the loss as personal even though it was a class for few loss and a class gain for all. The Muslim, seeing former dhimmis as social equals, resents the equality more than perhaps poverty itself. Clinging to the past expectations of dhimmi servitude, the retrenchment of Islamic reaction maintains and sustains resentment and a futile violence against Modernity. They expect to reclaim the caliphate and social superiority under the re-establishment of the caliphate and greater Islamic adherence. It's a matter of expectation and irrationality ingrained in them by Islamic rote.

Birthrates, anecdotally, are five to one Muslim versus non-Muslim. With the lack of jizyah, (welfare payments to Muslims,) and an advancing industrial/technological economy, the income divergence is markedly worse for the Muslims yearly if not monthly. As the social status is further eroded by democracy and meritocratic income levels, the Muslim past superiority becomes more glaringly rusty. Retrenched in Islamic fundamentalism further, stressing the need to restore the past by cargo-cult fetish, in other words, by recreating the trappings of the past one hopes to make real the past, (you build it, they will come,) socially illiterate and reactionary Islam digs itself deeper into the hole, becoming increasingly more violent as the hole gets deeper and the light of Modernity and its benefits recedes further.

As the frustration of failed Islamic triumphalism is more obvious daily, and as Islam tries harder to restore itself to its former glories of inequality, the rest of the world progresses nicely. Modernist women, being better educated and less dependent on husbands and family for physical survival, take more personal risks in their personal live-styles. With education comes a lesser need for numerous labouring children. With Modern medicine comes a lower infant mortality rate. Contrast that with the primitive who needs fewer children for labour but is caught in a cultural straight-jacket and is also burdened by the success of modern medicine: her children live as she keeps having more. More Islam, more living children, and less possibility of change without risk of loss of regaining past glories.

As peasant children become increasingly financially burdensome, and as they become increasing numbers, something has to give, and in Bosnia they were turfed from the home at the age of six or eight to fend for themselves. Rather than being the former boon to the family farming enterprise they became, like their middle class counterparts, consumers. But, given the lack of expertise in the market economy of a welfare recipient Muslim with no jizya, the increasing number of children means less per capita for the child, fewer opportunities for advancement for each and every one. The spiral continues downward for the Muslim family. It also poses a risk for the middle class family exposed to violence and crime committed by the feral Muslim community. The Muslim family situation is intolerable. There cannot continue the for them the status quo. Either Islam must prevail to restore them to their former status or they must die as a politico-religious culture.

What happened to women in the West when they began to receive higher education, an event in history that has changed the world beyond anything recognizable 100 years ago? Rauchway contuinues:

Only four per cent of Americans could attend college at all, [circa 1900] and well under half of these were women, making for perhaps forty thousand women collegians in a total population of some fifty million Americans. Even so, this number represented a marked increase since the Civil War-- an increase propelled by the creation of state universities with federal funding under the Morrill Land Grant act in 1862.... [Women] found few careers open to them. Business, law, medicine, engineering, and the ministry-- the fields that attracted their brothers-- refused them entrance. Four-fifths of this first generation of women university [graduands] became teaches of one kind or another. Facing these limits, the highly educated and inventive women alumna of the late nineteenth century invented a profession of the own: social work. (pp. 132-33.)

Rather than remain peasant baby factories, modern women became baby-sitters-- of the world at large:

[A]mong that first generation of university graduands, about forty per cent [of females] did [avoid marriage.] (p. 134.)

Given what we know of the norms of the time, we can suggest that these educated ladies did not have children. Forty per cent of college educated women did not have children! Comparing the fertility rates of urban peasant women in America in 1900 to educated women, we can see the problem of today. What we might also look at is the contrast between the desperate children of American immigrants who wanted to assimilate in America and the Muslim population who are raised to hate Modernity and who revel in an imagined glorious past of triumphant Islam. The possibilities of assimilation of Third World Muslims into mainstream society are as real as they were for Irish and Polish Catholics in 1900. We can also see the possibilities of Islam metastasizing as it does in Bosnia and the rest of Jugoslavia.

"Maybe this society doesn't accept families with five, seven or eight children ," he said.

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