Culture Matters

When in the course of human events, a great civilization commits suicide, a decent respect to the welfare of ourselves and our posterity requires that we should investigate its causes. And there indeed significant differences among cultures, and what the results may imply for immigration policy?

First, a word about the modern cult of multiculturalism, one of numerous manifestations of leftism. Multiculturalism may be defined as the following set of beliefs: 1) cultures differ from one another, but not in any meaningful way; 2) all cultures are worthy of respect and preservation, except for Western civilization, by far the worst. The contradiction of these two beliefs is no greater than their internal self-contradiction.

Comparative cultural study may take place at two points: inputs and outputs. Cultural classification often starts with inputs. Thus, we may classify cultures by two dimensions of inputs: ethnolinguistic group and religion. This produces a grid on which we may find the major world civilizations, with Western civilization, for example, sitting at the crossroads of European languages and Western Christianity. Such an approach is taken in Samuel Huntington’s classic The Clash of Civilizations.

Alternatively, we may focus on the behavioral outputs of cultures. For example, David Livermore of the Cultural Intelligence Center describes 10 dimensions of behaviors that vary between cultures: identity, authority, risk, achievement, time, communication, lifestyle, rules, expressiveness, and social norms. Recognizing these factors greatly facilitates cultural understanding, but they are not quantifiable.

We shall focus on nine outcomes that are more or less objectively quantifiable for most countries, outcomes that express values cherished in the West in general, and in America in particular. These fall mostly under the headings of life, liberty, and property.

  • Life: murder rate and suicide rate (World Health Organization, UN Office of Drugs and Crime); terrorism (Institute for Economics and Peace: Global Terrorism Index)
  • Liberty: political rights and civil liberties (Freedom House: Freedom in the World, based on compliance with Universal Declaration of Human Rights); female genital mutilation rate (UNICEF)
  • Property: economic freedom (Heritage Foundation, Wall Street Journal: Index of Economic Freedom); public debt as percentage of GDP (CIA)
  • Other: literacy rate (CIA); fertility rate (CIA); sex ratio (CIA)

(If reliable international statistics on rape had been available, they would have been added to the study.)

Each outcome is transformed to a score between 0 and 100. The results are combined to create an aggregate score for each country, and are mapped below for 143 countries. These countries were chosen mostly on the basis of large population or GDP. The highest quality of life is enjoyed towards the purple end of the spectrum, while the lowest quality of life occurs towards the red end of the spectrum.

Rather than limiting ourselves to one aggregate score, however, we can determine groups of countries that have mostly similar scores in the nine outcomes discussed above, by using cluster analysis. The results for the 143 countries fall most naturally into seven clusters, shown in the map below.

  • The rose cluster has an exceptionally high female genital mutilation rate, and exceptionally low economic freedom and literacy.
  • The pumpkin cluster has an exceptionally low political freedom score, and exceptionally unbalanced sex ratios (the Russia-Ukraine-Belarus group has not enough men, while the Arabian group has not enough women).
  • The custard cluster has the highest fertility rate.
  • The avocado cluster has an exceptionally high terrorism rate.
  • The blueberry cluster has an exceptionally high murder rate (especially the central American group of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, as well as Venezuela, Jamaica, Belize, Colombia, Brazil, and southern Africa).
  • The sky cluster does not represent any extremes among the clusters. It does contain Mongolia, the country with the highest aggregate score outside the lavender cluster, as well as North Korea, the country (along with Eritrea) with the second lowest political freedom score after Somalia and Syria.

The lavender cluster has the lowest murder and suicide rates, the lowest terrorism rate, the highest political and economic freedom, and the highest literacy. It also has the highest public debt ratio and the lowest fertility rate.

The lavender cluster includes what is generally thought of as Western civilization: most of Europe west of the former Soviet Union, the three Baltic states, Cyprus, Georgia, and Armenia; the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Moreover, it contains three Latin American countries (Chile, Costa Rica, and Uruguay); Israel; three east Asian tigers (Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan); and an African country, Ghana.

To paraphrase Dr. John Kenneth Press, focusing on the lavender cluster of countries is most certainly not racism, but rather culturism. Indeed, the East Asian group nicely complements the Western group in this cluster, while Israel is the root from which the Western group grew.

The lavender cluster is also distinctive, in that, were the analysis to be done with a goal of three clusters, the pumpkin, custard, avocado, sky, and blueberry clusters would consolidate as one supercluster, while the rose and lavender clusters would remain separate.

Both in America or in Europe, immigration policy is central in current political discussions. Outside of Western civilization, it is universally acknowledged that every society has the right to perpetuate itself. Only within Western civilization is it argued that the society must destroy itself in order to accommodate hostile invaders.

Immigration policy should not be determined by the country of an immigrant’s current residence. However, it should be determined by the culture with which that immigrant affiliates. Islam correlates strongly negatively with values cherished within Western civilization and throughout the lavender cluster. The scatterplots and trend lines below display the relation between increased Muslim population in a country, and levels of freedom, terrorism, and female genital mutilation.

Islam is very strongly associated with a drastic decline in freedom, and a drastic increase in terrorism and female genital mutilation. The points far from the trend lines do not disprove this main point.

  • In the first plot, the points in the lower left corner are communist countries with few Muslims.
  • In the second plot, the high terrorism in some countries with low Muslim populations is still often committed by Muslims; the rising trend line merely reflects the willingness of Muslims to attack their own.
  • In the third plot, all countries with substantial female genital mutilation also have substantial Muslim populations.

Cultures, even religions, evolve over time. In the wake of World War II, Shintoism was forcibly reformed by the conquerors to remove the Japanese emperor as a deity. It may be that the jihad imperative embedded into Islam will finally force the world into a war against militant Islam. The Islam that survives such a war must condemn and renounce the Medinan suras, the Sunna, jihad, female genital mutilation, and rape, relying only on the Meccan suras.

The lavender cluster in general, and Western civilization in particular, have every right to restrict immigration to accept only applicants from other countries in the lavender cluster, with exceptions for non-Muslim asylum seekers; but to refuse admission to Muslim immigrants, on the same grounds that Nazi and communist immigrants have been turned away in the past (and should continue to be turned away). The rose and blueberry clusters represent abhorrent practices as well (female genital mutilation and murder). The West and the remainder of the lavender cluster should bar entry to people who do not cherish and affirm life, liberty, and property.

Surak is a patriot and a scholar.

When in the course of human events, a great civilization commits suicide, a decent respect to the welfare of ourselves and our posterity requires that we should investigate its causes. And there indeed significant differences among cultures, and what the results may imply for immigration policy?

First, a word about the modern cult of multiculturalism, one of numerous manifestations of leftism. Multiculturalism may be defined as the following set of beliefs: 1) cultures differ from one another, but not in any meaningful way; 2) all cultures are worthy of respect and preservation, except for Western civilization, by far the worst. The contradiction of these two beliefs is no greater than their internal self-contradiction.

Comparative cultural study may take place at two points: inputs and outputs. Cultural classification often starts with inputs. Thus, we may classify cultures by two dimensions of inputs: ethnolinguistic group and religion. This produces a grid on which we may find the major world civilizations, with Western civilization, for example, sitting at the crossroads of European languages and Western Christianity. Such an approach is taken in Samuel Huntington’s classic The Clash of Civilizations.

Alternatively, we may focus on the behavioral outputs of cultures. For example, David Livermore of the Cultural Intelligence Center describes 10 dimensions of behaviors that vary between cultures: identity, authority, risk, achievement, time, communication, lifestyle, rules, expressiveness, and social norms. Recognizing these factors greatly facilitates cultural understanding, but they are not quantifiable.

We shall focus on nine outcomes that are more or less objectively quantifiable for most countries, outcomes that express values cherished in the West in general, and in America in particular. These fall mostly under the headings of life, liberty, and property.

  • Life: murder rate and suicide rate (World Health Organization, UN Office of Drugs and Crime); terrorism (Institute for Economics and Peace: Global Terrorism Index)
  • Liberty: political rights and civil liberties (Freedom House: Freedom in the World, based on compliance with Universal Declaration of Human Rights); female genital mutilation rate (UNICEF)
  • Property: economic freedom (Heritage Foundation, Wall Street Journal: Index of Economic Freedom); public debt as percentage of GDP (CIA)
  • Other: literacy rate (CIA); fertility rate (CIA); sex ratio (CIA)

(If reliable international statistics on rape had been available, they would have been added to the study.)

Each outcome is transformed to a score between 0 and 100. The results are combined to create an aggregate score for each country, and are mapped below for 143 countries. These countries were chosen mostly on the basis of large population or GDP. The highest quality of life is enjoyed towards the purple end of the spectrum, while the lowest quality of life occurs towards the red end of the spectrum.

Rather than limiting ourselves to one aggregate score, however, we can determine groups of countries that have mostly similar scores in the nine outcomes discussed above, by using cluster analysis. The results for the 143 countries fall most naturally into seven clusters, shown in the map below.

  • The rose cluster has an exceptionally high female genital mutilation rate, and exceptionally low economic freedom and literacy.
  • The pumpkin cluster has an exceptionally low political freedom score, and exceptionally unbalanced sex ratios (the Russia-Ukraine-Belarus group has not enough men, while the Arabian group has not enough women).
  • The custard cluster has the highest fertility rate.
  • The avocado cluster has an exceptionally high terrorism rate.
  • The blueberry cluster has an exceptionally high murder rate (especially the central American group of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, as well as Venezuela, Jamaica, Belize, Colombia, Brazil, and southern Africa).
  • The sky cluster does not represent any extremes among the clusters. It does contain Mongolia, the country with the highest aggregate score outside the lavender cluster, as well as North Korea, the country (along with Eritrea) with the second lowest political freedom score after Somalia and Syria.

The lavender cluster has the lowest murder and suicide rates, the lowest terrorism rate, the highest political and economic freedom, and the highest literacy. It also has the highest public debt ratio and the lowest fertility rate.

The lavender cluster includes what is generally thought of as Western civilization: most of Europe west of the former Soviet Union, the three Baltic states, Cyprus, Georgia, and Armenia; the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Moreover, it contains three Latin American countries (Chile, Costa Rica, and Uruguay); Israel; three east Asian tigers (Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan); and an African country, Ghana.

To paraphrase Dr. John Kenneth Press, focusing on the lavender cluster of countries is most certainly not racism, but rather culturism. Indeed, the East Asian group nicely complements the Western group in this cluster, while Israel is the root from which the Western group grew.

The lavender cluster is also distinctive, in that, were the analysis to be done with a goal of three clusters, the pumpkin, custard, avocado, sky, and blueberry clusters would consolidate as one supercluster, while the rose and lavender clusters would remain separate.

Both in America or in Europe, immigration policy is central in current political discussions. Outside of Western civilization, it is universally acknowledged that every society has the right to perpetuate itself. Only within Western civilization is it argued that the society must destroy itself in order to accommodate hostile invaders.

Immigration policy should not be determined by the country of an immigrant’s current residence. However, it should be determined by the culture with which that immigrant affiliates. Islam correlates strongly negatively with values cherished within Western civilization and throughout the lavender cluster. The scatterplots and trend lines below display the relation between increased Muslim population in a country, and levels of freedom, terrorism, and female genital mutilation.

Islam is very strongly associated with a drastic decline in freedom, and a drastic increase in terrorism and female genital mutilation. The points far from the trend lines do not disprove this main point.

  • In the first plot, the points in the lower left corner are communist countries with few Muslims.
  • In the second plot, the high terrorism in some countries with low Muslim populations is still often committed by Muslims; the rising trend line merely reflects the willingness of Muslims to attack their own.
  • In the third plot, all countries with substantial female genital mutilation also have substantial Muslim populations.

Cultures, even religions, evolve over time. In the wake of World War II, Shintoism was forcibly reformed by the conquerors to remove the Japanese emperor as a deity. It may be that the jihad imperative embedded into Islam will finally force the world into a war against militant Islam. The Islam that survives such a war must condemn and renounce the Medinan suras, the Sunna, jihad, female genital mutilation, and rape, relying only on the Meccan suras.

The lavender cluster in general, and Western civilization in particular, have every right to restrict immigration to accept only applicants from other countries in the lavender cluster, with exceptions for non-Muslim asylum seekers; but to refuse admission to Muslim immigrants, on the same grounds that Nazi and communist immigrants have been turned away in the past (and should continue to be turned away). The rose and blueberry clusters represent abhorrent practices as well (female genital mutilation and murder). The West and the remainder of the lavender cluster should bar entry to people who do not cherish and affirm life, liberty, and property.

Surak is a patriot and a scholar.