Thursday, July 31, 2008

Social paradigms shift, e.g. our view on race before and after 1945

The “What Can We Do?” thread at Gates of Vienna is one of the most comprehensive anti-jihad discussion held, both in terms of what has been discussed and in terms of the broad range of people who's been involved. It's been a virtual anti-jihad mini-conference.

The discussion is being furthered in the thread The Quiet Game, where Zenster brings up the question of which has to be defeated first, Islam or political correctness / multiculturalism / etc.?

Armance answers to this is that it will happen simultaneously: "I think Islam, immigration and the multi-culti ideology will vanish as a whole. Once we acknowledge that there is an Other who can be harmful to ourselves, the idea of the sacred minorities and the myth of the good savage will perish at the same time."

And I agree with Armance. This is how historical changes usually take place. And all the people who feel despair and cannot imagine such a change have not read any history, or haven't paid attention while reading it. Only last century we had a couple of shifts of this magnitude. When you live in the middle of a paradigm it looks impossible to change it (because all the aspects of it support each other). But if you study history you will find that such changes happened fairly often, and how it works.

To illustrate what I talk about. Louis Armstrong visited Sweden in 1933. In all the news papers he was describe as something monkey-like let loose from the jungle. All across the line! And in the reviews by the most serious music critics.

Who would have imagined in 1933, that twelve years later Western Europe would undergo an America-led cultural revolution which would lead to the common belief that there are no differences between races?

Translation of two of the quotes:

Knut Bäck in Göteborgs-Posten, November 1933:
"This world is strange... No protests are raised against how the jungle is let loose into the society. Armstrong and his band are allowed to freely wreak destruction."

Sten Broman in Sydsvenskan, November 1933:
"Dare I say that he at times had something monkey-like about him and sometimes reminded of, according to our perceptions, a mentally disturbed person, when he pouted with his mouth or gaped it to its widest open and roared like a hoarse animal from a primeval forest."

The third quote compares the concert with a natural disaster, and Armstrong's trumpet with a hell machine. The only good thing coming out of it, he says, is that it solves to old dispute of whether monkeys have a language.

This is what Europe looked like, up until 1945. And since some people will live under the misconception that this was a phenomenon of the '30s, I here provide a quote from the Swedish Encyclopedia, Nordisk Familjebok, the 1876-1899 edition (here and here).

"Psychologically the negro can be said be on the level of a child, with vivid fantasy, lack of endurance, ... can be said to lack morality rather than being immoral ... etc."

Even though the point here has been to illustrate how social paradigms can shift completely in short time (and this is just one out of numerous examples), let me add how up until 1945 all the focus was put on the differences between races, and after that all the focus has been put on what is equal (while ignoring differences). Let's see if the next shift means a synthesis of the two extremes. Will people be able to keep two thoughts in their minds at the same time?

[End of post]

1 comment:

geza1 said...

Very good point about pre-war conceptions of race in Europe. And it cannot be repeated enough that it truly _was_ across the board. Let us not forget that some of the leading movements who championed racial science and especially eugenics were progressive/leftist movements. The existential shock of WWII changed Europe and for the left, multculturalism at that time seemed like a logical progression from economic parity and it was also the left's big chance to seize power by propogating anti-racism. They knew the right would eventually catch up with them, they had to.