Monday, July 26, 2004

Racism and the Mega-State

All right-thinking people are against racism. As a believer in the sanctity of the human spirit and of consciousness, I wholly support this dogma, dogma though it may be.

The problem is that the opposition to racism ignores some basic facts about human nature, nay, about the nature of life itself, to wit: individuals seek to propagate their genes. That is why the most basic unit of human society is the family. In difficult times, we know who our brothers and sisters are and we can trust them to help us long before we can trust any stranger. Even if we die, the survival of our genetically similar syblings offers a form of immortality. Some would contend that this is an exact calculus, with an individual perfectly willing to die to save two syblings, four cousins, etc. Whatever the truth of that proposition, it is undeniable that the desire to propagate ones genes is a fundamental part of life.

The most basic form of the state is the family, followed by the extended family and groups of allied and intermarried families--tribes. According to The Arab Mind, it is a fundamental characteristic of the Arabic belief system that all of Arabia is considered to be part of one big family, and that this awareness transcends any particular political state currently extant, which is considered to be ephemeral. There are other states, such as France, which are essentially abstract tribalisms based on linguistic qualifications. You're in the French tribe if and only if you speak French. Then there are imperial states like the United States or the old Soviet Union where membership is determined solely on the basis of abstract ideas.

Racism can only be held in check in the presence of a powerful imperial state.

Only when people are relatively secure and can afford to focus their attention on activities other than self-defense, only when there is the rule of law and not the rule of individual men, only when decisions are made based on the well-established rules and not who you know can ties to family and friends be dispensed with. Only a powerful universalist state like the United States or the Roman Empire can guarantee the degree of safety and fairness necessary to allow people to relax their natural tendency to trust only their family and friends. Only in such an environment can people truly be indifferent to the way other people look.

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