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Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Godot22, Aug 4, 2002.
This for me (as an American conservative) always signified the difference between American and European conservatives. Maybe it is the idea that in America everything is new and all things are possible, maybe it is silly exhuberance, I do not know.
My theory is that European conservatism (with exceptions like Thatcher or the Progressive Democrats in Ireland) tend to be tied into the old feudal ideas. Their conservatism never really shook off the idea that there are some who are natural rulers, their are the ruled, and every one knows their place.
Only recently has Europe given rise to conservatives that American conservatives might recognize as kindred sprits. And even then, in those like Thatcher, tend to have some traits that we do not associate with (Thatcher, for example, was anti-devolution, whereas American conservatives tend to be big on federalism).
I disagree with most of his points, but just to take aim at a few:
Pop culture is filth.
I hate people moaning and bitching about Hollywood. Don't like it? Don't watch it. Not everything that comes out is bad, Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List immediately spring to mind. I saw the new Austin Powers movie over the weekend and thought it was pretty funny, but I guess I'm just a degenerate.
If MTV isn't your ideal viewing pleasure, watch the History Channel or something.
The environment is collapsing. His proof? China's environment sucks and people tell him that India's is worse. Well, that hardly proves anything. By the same logic, I could point out that the state of the environment in the US is unquestionably better than 30 years age and therefore things must be getting better.
Science has stopped. What? I figured a guy his age would have at least heard of Viagra.
Only Anglo-Saxon countries can do democracy.
Oh come on. He provides almost no justification for this outlandish statement, saying that Germany and Japan are currently "faking it." Isn't the oldest parliament in the world actually the Althing in Iceland?
Not all groups are equally good at all things. East Asians will continue to win Olympic diving events, and runners of West African ancestry will continue to win the 100-meter dash. Similarly, nobody will ever be able to devise a test of knowledge or understanding on which groups with different population-genetic histories all record identical statistical profiles. You can have meritocracy, or you can have equality of outcomes by ancestry-group, but you can't have both. Which one do you want? It seems we have already made up our minds.
One unpleasant truth about conservatism is how they insist on using sports metaphors to justify their backwards and invidious views on race and culture.
I realize this article was meant to be humorous to some degree, but I think Derbyshire honestly believes this garbage.
There are probably a lot of intelligent reasons to argue against affirmative action, but mealy-mouthed Reggie White-style "some groups are just better at certain things" is an argument in favor of affirmative action. As long as people in power believe this counterfactual, unscientific, eugenic "ancestry-group" bilge, then affirmative action will be necessary.
Unpleasant truths, indeed.
Isn't Iceland an Anglo-Saxon country?? Of course, so is Germany, which is one of the countries he says is "faking it". On top of which I'm pretty sure the majority of Americans don't come from primarily Anglo-Saxon backgrounds (I myself am pretty damn close to 50-50, with English and German blood in about the same amount as Irish, Scottish, and Welsh). India has been a democracy for many years, so has Israel, so has Italy, so have a number of non-Anglo-Saxon countries, even some whose names don't begin in "I".
I don't know. The term Anglo-Saxon is derived from two of the largest tribes in Germany who moved to England, the Angles and the Saxons (from the German state of Sachsen). I am guessing that neither the Angles nor Saxons moved to Iceland, so technically I don't think they are Anglo-Saxon.
I'm not sure Italy is the best example of democracy in action.
Nope. Iceland was founded by Erik the Red (or someone of a similar name) in the 10th, 11th or 12th Century. Erik came from what is now Norway, so he was a Viking (although that is not really an ethnic group apparently).
The Vikings, as everyone knows, come from Scandanavia, and not Germany as the Angles and saxons did. they used to pillage the North East of England at the time of Anglo-Saxon rule, and palyed a part (unwittingly) in the Norman Conquest of 1066 by attacking York about a week before William landed in the South coast, thus momentarily distracting Harold the English king.
An interesting sidenote to this is that some linguists put the accent and dialect of those from North East England (e.g. Newcastle, Suderland) down to a Viking influence that was strong in that area, but not anywhere else.