Culture of Violence

Ahh, the joys of multiculturalism. One of the things I value the most about my college education is that very little of it was spent in the fuzzy studies departments. My undergraduate degree is in mechanical engineering and my graduate degree is in business administration. These are both fields that are firmly grounded in empirical reality. In engineering, if you ignore the real world, your designs fail. There’s no middle ground or room for subjectivity. The product either works or it doesn’t. Similarly, in business, if you decide against all available evidence to pursue some quixotic course of action, you will go broke. There’s more wiggle room in business, but not by a lot. A firm grounding in reality is unnecessary in many, if not most, liberal arts disciplines. I’m convinced that in some, it’s actually a handicap.

I bring this up because one of the more pernicious ideas to come out of the liberal arts departments is the wonderfully ill defined concept of multiculturalism. Apparently, I am supposed to give other cultures some sort of open-minded respect for their virtues and wisdom. I freely admit I’m unclear on the concept. I’ve been overseas and seen other cultures, albeit through the sights of an M-16. I can’t say that I was impressed. However, I’m aware that you get a limited view of the rest of the world when traveling with the military. Maybe I missed something.

Then I read articles like this one. Remind me again why I’m supposed to respect other cultures? I’m supposed to care about the opinions of people who think killing your daughter because she was raped is an acceptable form of behavior? Really, am I supposed to give a shit what these people think about anything? Try again. It ain’t gonna fly. Silvio Berlusconi was right: "We must be aware of the superiority of our civilisation".

Here’s where the grounding in empirical reality comes into play: the Western world, as exemplified by the US, has more material wealth, individual wellbeing, and personal liberty than any other part of the world. By any objective standard you want to come up with, Western culture produces better results for more people. Yet somehow, the fucked-up parts of the world have a culture that should be respected. From what does this imaginary respect derive? Show me some sort of impressive cultural achievement and maybe we can talk. The idiotarians of the world think the West shouldn’t impose our cultural values on the rest of the world. What’s the alternative? Leaving the rest of humanity to stagnate in fundamentally flawed societies that excel at producing nothing but body counts and religious fanatics? Somehow, that doesn’t seem like a good idea from where I sit.


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