November 11, 2005

Diversity Means Homogeneity

Michael at 2Blowhards wrote a post that explains more about the French than anything else I've ever seen. Here's an excerpt:

I suspect that the reason why France had such an impact on me and my tastes is simple: it's because Culture and Pleasure are such big things for the French. They're subjects that aren't kept under Puritanical wraps; instead, they're constantly out there, acknowledged, discussed, pursued, and relished. In many ways, there's (or at least there was back in my time) a cultural consensus that art (conceived of in a rather strict sense) and pleasure (conceived of in a very broad sense) are the points of life....

I was lucky enough to spend some time with a wide range of French people -- some rich ones, some middle-class ones, and some poor and working-class ones. And it was striking how similar their convictions about Culture were, and how similar their ideas of Pleasure were too. The Good Life? Coffee, wine, cheese; sparkling cities; good cars; witty conversation, flirtation, fashion; travel and time in the country; picnics; film and lit; and especially food and l'amour ... Rich or poor, all the French people I encountered shared the same taste-set. They worked with different budgets -- and the French people I knew were all really, really tight with a franc. But you didn't deny yourself the pleasures. What would be the point of doing such a thing? Work was important, money was important -- but far more important was having some perspective on these banal concerns. (I recall that even discussing work past a certain point was frowned on.) Living well (l'art de vivre), on the other hand -- ah, now that's what it's all about.

We might as well admit that one reason the French irk us so much is that they genuinely are onto something. If we Anglos feel looked-down on by the Froggies, it's partly because they're so annoyingly snobbish, sure. And, y'know, screw 'em for that. But why not allow too as to how they're onto something worthwhile that we're clueless about?...

The key to understanding the French is understanding how rewarding the French find "Being French" to be. Hard though it is for an American to believe, the French wake up in the morning and look forward to a full day's-worth of Being French. They go through the day Being French with great relish. They re-charge at night so that they can spend the following day Being French.

Well, goodbye to all that. The New York Times explains that in order to start being sensitive to diversity, the French are going to have to stop being so damn French:

[I]n a nutshell, ... what lies at the heart of the unrest that has swept France in the past two weeks: millions of French citizens, whether immigrants or the offspring of immigrants, feel rejected by traditional French society, which has resisted adjusting a vision of itself forged in fires of the French Revolution. The concept of French identity remains rooted deep in the country's centuries-old culture, and a significant portion of the population has yet to accept the increasingly multiethnic makeup of the nation. Put simply, being French, for many people, remains a baguette-and-beret affair.

It drives us Americans nuts with rage that the French think their culture is superior to ours -- and, what really gets on our nerves is that we know deep down that in a lot of ways ... they're right. Then, think of how French arrogance about their cultural superiority must strike people from Mauritania, a country so dirtbaggish that they've outlawed slavery three times (and still practice it) and their most famous cultural contribution is force-feeding girls to fatten them up until they are globular.

So, we are told, France must now compromise both its highest ideals and it unique culture to to make the thugs rioting in the streets feel more at home. It must stop being so snootily French and instead welcome with open arms the global lumpenproletariat multiculture, led by African-American rappers. Soon, Paris can be another Birmingham or Bradford, where the Ali G's of Paris won't have to worry that anybody is looking down their noses at them.

Of course, those officially multicultural British cities with their supposedly vibrant free market Anglo-Saxon economic systems have had their own race riots in this decade, but solving problems isn't the point, now is it? The point of diversity is that every place in the world must become just like every other place! The ultimate goal of diversity is global homogeneity.

To adapt what I wrote about Utah for VDARE in "Utah's Not Diverse -- It's Weird!"

There are two kinds of diversity: external and internal. And they inevitably conflict with each other. When there is more of one, there must, mathematically speaking, be less of the other.

France was an example of external diversity. It worked hard to make itself culturally homogenous internally, so therefore, when observed from the outside, it was obvious that it had a distinct character of its own. It took in a steady but not overwhelming flow of immigrants, mostly from other Roman and Orthodox Catholic countries in Europe, such as Chopin from Poland and Zola's father from Italy, and brought all the considerable resources of the French state and society to forcing them to adopt French culture. But, now it has taken in too many people from Africa who don't want to, or can't, or both, adjust to French culture.

In contrast, internal diversity is the only kind we are supposed to celebrate these days. The people in every state, company, college, or club must "look like America." And soon the people in every Western country must "look like the world."

Of course, when that great day arrives, then everything and everywhere will look like everything else.

As Solzhenitsyn wrote in his Nobel Prize lecture, which the Soviet regime refused to let him deliver:

In recent times it has been fashionable to talk of the levelling of nations, of the disappearance of different races in the melting-pot of contemporary civilization. I do not agree with this opinion, but its discussion remains another question. Here it is merely fitting to say that the disappearance of nations would have impoverished us no less than if all men had become alike, with one personality and one face. Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities; the very least of them wears its own special colours and bears within itself a special facet of divine intention.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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