Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of nations By Peter West

     Political commentator Amy Chua has been concerned with issues of the nation and nationalism for some time. In her latest book Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations, (Penguin Press, 2018 released on February 20, making this one of the first negative reviews in Australia), she deals with the issue of the nation and the re-emergence of tribalism.

     Chua is one writer who is unafraid of following the argument where evidence requires it to go, and she cites studies from across the physical and social sciences which indicate that tribalism is hardwired into human biology. We thus have in-group loyalties and out-group antipathies, much as we see with football teams, which is a microcosm of the big societal picture.

     Chua is good at arguing via case studies, but this always has the intrinsic problem of limitation of statistical power and the capacity to generalise. Nevertheless, she has some valid insights, concluding that Islamic terrorism, in part, arises from the belief that Muslims are under attack by the West, and that a defence is needed. That, though, is only true in part, as there are specific historical trigger conflicts which set off contemporary jihadism, for it is arguable that Western liberal culture has always been a threat to Islam. Chua advises against us vs them rhetoric, which in principle sounds good, but with reflection on the material available on the near civil war conditions in Europe, seems to be advice given far too late.

     Chua is opposed to the polarisation of present US identity politics, and as is standard in these sorts of “save the system” books, looks towards a shared values, and the identity of an America transcending race and ethnicity. All of this just in time for America becoming a White minority nation.

     The problem with this book is that reality crushes it. It is simply implausible to suppose that the present ethnic and racial groups in America will conform to her plan. Even Whites, being hyper-deracinated and brainwashed by destructive ideologies, are beginning to awaken – a majority of White Americans, according to some opinion polls, believe that Whites are discriminated against in America, and they are across the West. For Chua’s vision there would need to be an end to all of the attacks we report at this site each day. But, instead, there is an intensification of warfare.

     It would be nice if we could all love each other and sit in a circle eating toasted crumpets and drinking weak tea, but as old school Christianity reminds us, there is a little thing called original sin, which has the nasty tendency to get in the way of all socialistic racial utopias. We do not have the capacity to transcend deep flaws, if you want to look at tribalism that way (alternatively, it could be argued to be a good thing, part of human nature), and no perfect society can be built by humans in this world. Otherwise, why need Christ and Heaven?

     As an example of this, not using Whites, consider this gem:

“The largely abandoned former seaside resort town of Castel Volturno north of Naples has been taken over by Nigerian gangs who run drug and prostitution rings. The town has a total population of around 30,000 people, of which an estimated 20,000 are migrants, French news magazine L’Obs reports.

Many of the Nigerian migrant women who walk the streets as prostitutes are underage, offering sexual favours for as little as 5 to 15 euros along the Via Domitiana by the sea. The rampant petty crime and violence in the city has led to journalists wanting to write about the town requiring police escorts for their own safety.”

     So far, nothing new. But, as we read on:

“Even African residents of the town have started to complain about the mass migration of illegals into the town. A resident named Martin commented: “We live in an abandoned place, we cannot accept all these people because we do not have the strength or the means to educate them. We are not in Africa, but in a civilized country, and these people need to be educated.”

     African migrants objecting to other African migrants? Are you listening Amy Chua?



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Thursday, 18 July 2024

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