Cultures

Michael Miller

A Journal for Western Man-- Issue XXIX-- December 25, 2004

All cultures are created equal. Thus saith the establishment. 

A culture may be notable mainly for centuries of poverty-stricken stagnation. It may be successful only in producing a long line of brutal, tyrannical governments. It may never have produced a government at all. It may be mired in the superstitions of past millennia. It may be a mere Stone Age relic, as mountain glaciers are relics of the Ice Ages. 

Nevertheless, we are told to respect all cultures equally. 

What is the proof that you don't respect them? It's very simple. If you dare say anything good about your own culture, about the culture of Canada and the US, then you are damned as a bigoted racist, and are shown no mercy. 

How's that again? All cultures are equal, so all cultures may be praised, except one? Isn't that an interesting contradiction! 

It's not only interesting, it's highly embarrassing to the cult of multiculturalism. Maybe that's why What's-Her-Name the federal Minister of Something-or-Other1 attempted to conjure it away by declaring on national television that Canada has no culture! So the official view is that every bushwhacking bunch of backwoods barbarians has a culture, but Canada has none! 

There is no point trying to follow the twists and turns of multicult dogma. The obvious fact, written glaringly across the whole sorry mess, is hatred. Specifically, hatred of the one culture which may not be celebrated and praised—our own. 

Why? What is a culture? And why does the establishment hate this one? 

A culture is the sum of ways of acting of a group. A way of acting embodies a principle of action. Thus, a culture is an implicit moral code, a moral code displayed in action. 

A prized way of acting is a virtue. Different cultures prize different ways of acting. What is regarded as a virtue in one culture may be damned as wickedness in another, or disregarded as a personal foible. For example, visitors to Latin America report being driven to distraction by the lack of punctuality; nobody seems to care about being on time for appointments. This cultural difference is a moral difference: we regard punctuality as a virtue, and other people's tardiness as a theft of our time. Latin Americans seem to regard this stress on punctuality as a mildly puzzling oddity. 

On the other hand, telling the truth is prized almost everywhere because a lie is an attack on whoever is lied to; lying to people makes them grumpy and hard to get along with! Almost everyone prizes honesty as a way of dealing with others. 

So when the multicultists single out our culture for attack, they are attacking our particular view of virtue. 

What is that? 

What is the single most outstanding characteristic of what is called "Western" or "European" culture—especially the culture of English-speakers? 

In a word: success! In the last 400 years, Western culture has swept around the Earth like a tidal wave. Inhabitants of ancient, stagnant countries are abandoning the old ways, and adopting this culture by the dozens and hundreds of millions. It has shocked countries into growth and rising prosperity wherever it has reached. 

What are the roots of that success? 

Western culture began in Ancient Greece, which came up with the revolutionary idea of science, that you could learn about anything by studying it systematically. The best of the ancients is Aristotle, the father of logic and author of a frankly egoistic ethics. 

Ancient culture made a fine beginning, but was riddled with errors, and collapsed into the Dark Ages. About 800 years later, when the Age had brightened a bit, Thomas Aquinas popularized Aristotle in the West, big time. The result was the Renaissance. 

Sir Francis Bacon converted the confused groping of the Renaissance into modern Western culture. He had the idea that knowledge could be useful. "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. Knowledge is power." This completed in principle the cultural revolution begun by the Greeks. 

Inspired by Bacon, men sought practical knowledge. John Locke formulated individual rights. Adam Smith began to uncover the principles of free markets and the creation of wealth. Capitalism arose and men's lives took a radical turn for the better! 

A uniquely Western idea of virtue is implied by all this. As heirs of Aristotle, we know virtue means acting for our own good. As heirs of Bacon, we know that successful action must be based on knowledge. Method is the link between knowledge and action. Virtue is method. 

This idea of virtue creates progress. It implies that virtues are not a stagnant deposit of custom handed down from time immemorial. Methods can be refined and improved—and entirely new methods devised—as we learn more. We can get better at living than our ancestors were. 

And we have! The proof is written in history: success. This is what multicultists hate. They feel that success is unfair to those who fail, although the same virtues would work as well for anyone. 

What can you say to multicultists? I suggest this: 

"I am a Western man. I love logic, science and technology. I love individual rights, free markets and wealth. My virtues are methods, and I love successful methods because I love my life. I love to improve my virtues, and to learn new ones, because I know that progress is the law of successful life. Everyone—from anywhere, of any race—who loves these values is my friend. Together we'll leave the rest behind in a cloud of dust and small stones! 

"Take your stagnant relic cultures, and blow 'em out your ear!" 



1 Sure, I could look up this information, but she's not worth it. 
2 It may not resemble anyone's professed moral code, but that's another matter! 
3 There are deeper reasons for honesty, but this much is plain even to a child. 
4 If you've noticed that Bacon, Locke and Smith were all English speakers, so have the multicultists! 

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You needn’t despair at the worship of primitive cultures—you can become a Quackgrass activist! Copy this article! Keep the original for future copies. Paper meetings with it! Paper your office! Leave a stack on your business counter! If you expect hostility, use stealth and cunning—it’ll drive your opponents wild! Be ingenious! Have fun! 

Michael Miller is an engineer and Objectivist filosofer with thirty years of experience. He had been a member of Boycott Alberta Medicare in 1969 and of the Association to Defend Property Rights from 1973 on. He writes in-depth philosophical theory at his publication, Quackgrass Press, which can be accessed at http://www.quackgrass.com.

This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA's Statement of Policy.

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Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's four-act play, Implied Consent, a futuristic intellectual drama on the sanctity of human life, here.

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