'Equality at the expense of liberty'
0 comment Friday, June 27, 2014 |
Of late, I haven't been reading The Brussels Journal as closely as I did in the past. To be honest I am more preoccupied with what is happening within our country (or what used to be our country) than with Europe. I find many of the articles there lately to be rather tepid, but this latest piece by 'Takuan Seiyo' is one of the best things I've read concerning not only the situation in Japan, but the lessons for the West which are implicit in the Japanese experience.
Just as a bit of context, I expect my readers have all seen this distressing article which appeared in the last few days:
Japan must boost immigration
...We think it would be appropriate for Japan to accept immigrants to make up 10 percent of the population over the next 50 years," the lawmakers said in the report, which was unveiled late on Thursday.
"Japan is an island country situated in the Far East, and seen as having a relatively homogeneous population, so some say it is not suited to accepting immigrants," the lawmakers said.
"It is a fact that we have less experience of immigration than do Europe and America. But we are facing harsh times," they added.
The report also called for Japan to accept more refugees. Asylum seekers are currently admitted to Japan only in very rare cases.''
This should be disturbing to all Westerners, and not just to those who admire the Japanese culture. To me, it's one more piece of evidence showing that the tentacles of globalism and 'multiculturalism' have reached to the opposite side of the planet. So far, it has seemed as though the 'one world' elitists were content to let Asia remain Asian, focusing their efforts on de-Europeanizing the West. I've long thought that this must surely be a temporary oversight on their part, or maybe the Japanese need further 'softening up', more conditioning to the multicult before they would be willing to accept being colonized or 'diversified' with people from the backward nations. It looks as though the 'powers that be' have decided the time is ripe.
Takuan Seiyo does not address this latest bit of news in his piece, but he makes many very cogent points about the contrasts between Western culture and that of Japan, and about how we might learn from each other. He describes how Western ideas, disseminated via the ubiquitous mass media, have come to change Japan, particularly (as always) among the younger generations.
He discusses the writings of Masahiko Fujiwara, a professor who has written about the decline in Japanese traditional culture.
In late 2005, Fujiwara published a book entitled The Dignity of the Nation (3). Within six months the book had sold two million copies, making it Japan's second best-selling title of 2006, after, tellingly, Harry Potter.
Fujiwara is a patriot who does not like what he sees in contemporary Japan. In his book, he criticizes the Western values of logic, democracy and individualism and decries their negative impact on Japan. He lists symptoms of the disease ravaging the world's developed countries: disintegration of the family, educational collapse, crime, terrorism, drug use, AIDS.
He attributes this decay to the failure of Western logic and rationality that has set root also in Japan.
Fujiwara adduces, wrongly, that meritocracy and capitalism are among the causes of this sickness. This is a common opinion among Japanese "conservatives" that is debatable with respect to Japan but is grossly ignorant with respect to the West.
Meritocracy was the great strength of the West in the 20th century, until it was abandoned in favor of the very hobbling pox that Japan, to Fujiwara's dismay, has been trying to wean itself from. Our fetish now is to insist on equal results, on equality among unequals, on social promotion instead of merit-based promotion. And Western capitalism has degenerated to printing and shuffling money and phantom money, and it has been perverted in other ways too � but even now it has a salutary foundation that Fujiwara misses entirely.
[...]Fujiwara names these Western "starting points" on which the West's social arrangements are based: freedom, equality, democracy and, of late, globalization.
Freedom, Fujiwara writes, has degenerated into nothing more than unrestrained egotism. Equality is a fiction, a lie used to mask a reality of great inequality, or to wield as a club in the constant class, race and gender skirmishes roiling the West. Globalization is worldwide homogenization, and not to the highest common denominator. And democracy is based on an erroneous assumption: that people are capable of making mature and informed judgments.
Only a governing elite can curb democracy's tendency to run amok, says Fujiwara. Members of the elite must possess four characteristics: a broad cultural and historical erudition, an ability to see "the big picture," exceptional strength of character, and sufficient love of their people and country to sacrifice for them their lives in an hour of need. Japan, Fujiwara adds, used to but no longer has such an elite. One of his greatest delusions is that Great Britain, France, and the U.S. still do.''
It's evident to those of us living in the West, those of us who care about our peoples, that our elites no longer possess these qualities in the least, most especially the last one: love of their people and country, and willingness to sacrifice for them. Our leaders not only lack these qualities, but they embody the very antithesis of these qualities.
Seiyo then discusses the role of social class in this situation. I had just been ruminating on this subject when I read this piece, so it coincided rather nicely with my musings. I have been wondering (and I realize this is heresy in today's America) whether we in America, more than many other Western countries, have gone too far to the egalitarian end of the spectrum regarding social class. Despite the egalitarian rhetoric of some of our Founding Fathers, there was during their age, still an aristocracy of sorts in America. These people were not aristocrats in the European sense, bearing hereditary titles and special privileges, but there was an idea that there was a sort of aristocracy of birth and character in the sense that people born of 'good' families should live up to a high standard, and set an example to those lower in the social order. The idea of noblesse oblige was still extant.
I've written before about how Thomas Jefferson's phrase ''all men are created equal'' has caused untold mischief, and is now threatening to destroy us as we are hobbled in our attempt to deal with mass immigration and racial grievances. I am convinced that Jefferson did not mean for his phrase to connote an absolute equality among men.
John Taylor of Caroline (and perhaps John Randolph of Roanoke) said ''I am an aristocrat. I love liberty; I hate equality.'' Yet in our zeal to repudiate monarchy and aristocracy in general, it seems we've gone too far in embracing the leveling spirit. As it is, we have an elite who constitute an aristocracy of sorts, but they are not an aristocracy in the old genteel meaning of the word. They lack the superior education, the high standards, the sense of duty to kin and country, and above all, they lack the nobility of spirit which marked the best of the old aristocracy. Many of our elites are not of 'good families' as they used to say, but are merely riff-raff with money. Coincidentally, I was watching a documentary about a scandalous crime among the supposed members of the 'upper crust' in a New England town; their behavior was indistinguishable from the behavior of the guests on Jerry Springer. As I watched it, I thought of how money is the sole determinant, these days, of who is considered 'upper class', while higher standards, dignity, and restraint are conspicuously missing among most of 'high society.' Look at the behavior of the Hiltons. These are people who've accumulated wealth but who have no 'class' in the old sense. Money can't buy class. Even worse than the tabloid scandals of the 'upper class' is their lack of loyalty and their utter selfishness. Our elites of old at least had loyalty and a sense of nobility of character in most cases.
And the notion that the quintessence of the upper class is decoupled from any considerations of wealth and is instead linked to descent from warriors and, much more important, to character traits that once were the idolized hallmark of warriors: honor, chivalry, loyalty, courage, honesty, good manners, modesty, self-restraint, contempt for materialism, love of justice, love of country and of its deity.
Values and virtues tend to trickle from the top down, rather then percolating from the bottom. And that has huge implications. Since the newly invigorated merchants in 17th century Edo (Tokyo) started emulating samurai customs, such as the tea ceremony, Japanese with higher aspirations have sought to adopt the values and comportment of the upper class. The ethos by which those are transmitted is, by now, so widely diffused that it's an essential part of Japanese schools' curriculum, for instance in a wise book, The Tsurezuregusa, written by Kenko, a Buddhist priest and poet at the Imperial Court, around 1330.
1330! How many books reflecting traditional Western virtues as perceived even a hundred years ago are still being taught in Western schools? Instead, the psychotic Western elite disseminates the contemporary values it has minted: erasure of history, custom, and the white peoples� ethnic identity; prostration before hostile aliens without and within; tolerance über alles; equality at the expense of liberty; quantity rather than quality; flesh over spirit; indulgence over will; statism over self-reliance. All these are a contagion that destroys, rather than a restorative that invigorates.''
I've lamented before that we have no leadership, and when I say leadership I don't just mean politicians, who are all too often a venal group of people, but people of accomplishment who inspire us, people who champion what is right, people who care about their country and their people and speak out on our behalf, or who work to uphold our culture at its best, our traditions, our heritage. There is an utter vacuum at the top.
I think most who read this blog agree with me that the idea that 'all men are created equal' is false, and that certainly all peoples are not equal in abilities or in character, and certainly it follows that all cultures are not created equal. I think most of us agree that blood and heredity count for something in how people grow to be what they are; we are not born blank slates. Good and decent people usually produce good and decent children and people of low character have children like themselves more often than not. And it should not even be necessary to state the obvious, that yes, there are always occasional exceptions. But as always, those exceptions don't disprove the rule.
We are to some degree a product of heredity as well as environment. Extreme liberals of course believe environment is all, and that we are all infinitely malleable, blank slates. Conservatives know better -- or they should know better.
Seiyo talks about how the Japanese have upheld many of the values of the old samurai code, which have to do with honor, shame, and 'contempt for base behavior.' We in the West had our code of chivalry, which is not an exact parallel to the samurai code, but similar enough. To some extent that code has been preserved in Southron culture, but it's weakening. We in the West have, as our Christian faith and ethics have been weakened, succumbed to the 'non-judgmentalist' dogma which is at the core of psychology. Standards and rules are considered 'elitist' and 'undemocratic.' And many conservatives acquiesce to this unhappy state of things. Why?
The very concept of base behavior has vanished in the West, because to perceive and loathe baseness we would also have to be taught to perceive and revere highness � and that's committing a high crime in the degenerate West of today, a crime of discrimination, discernment and "judgmentalism." We much prefer the distinction of legal / illegal � but that distinction is, per se, base, for it invokes the state�s guns, batons and watching eyes as the generator of virtue.''
As a child, I was taught by older family members and elders in general that certain behaviors were 'trashy', 'low-class', and that we were to be better than that. Is that elitist? Probably, but I've retained these ideals all of my life and passed them on.
Elitism, centered by a strong moral code and set of ethics, is not a bad thing. I wish we could get over this childish, rebellious egalitarianism and regain high standards once again.
Along with our discarding of standards as 'elitist', we have lost our concern for courtesy in interpersonal relaitonships and we've lost our emphasis on quality in our workmanship. This is visible in our dealings with others every day, and in the marketplace, we settle for poor service and shoddy standards. America once had very high standards in all areas of life; American-made products were generally well-made and reliable.
Americans were once very courteous and helpful in our interactions; businesses put the customer first. No longer. There is a general air of apathy and surliness all too often. This is also exacerbated by the intercultural misunderstandings, and the presence of so many Third World peoples among us who observe no niceties, no small talk, no 'please-and-thank-you'.
Seiyo also mentions the honesty of the Japanese people, and their belief that stealing is 'base behavior.' Too many of us no longer have any such moral or ethical convictions, or even a sense that doing such things is a cause for shame, and is degrading intrinsically. Add to that the numbers of people from corrupt Third World countries where moral standards are lacking or drastically at odds with our own, and we have an increasingly value-deficient society.
Here is something else that we in the West might rediscover: the proper order of our loyalties and priorities:
Japan is one of the world's greatest supporters of the United Nations and of other global institutions, partly because its people and leaders are too naïve and ignorant to understand some of the malign mechanics that animate such institutions. But even in their enthusiasm for multilateralism, the Japanese do not forget the proper order of things: love of family, love of hometown, love of country, and only then love of mankind.
White people, in contrast, have turned this on its head so that love of mankind comes first, love of hometown and country are quaint and rare relics, and love of family is increasingly disappearing too. While the pierced-and-tattooed future of the West is busy with the problems of the Africans, the Palestinians, and Inconvenient Gorefiction, Fujiwara says: "There is no such thing as a 'global citizen,' and teaching such a fiction does a hundred times more harm than good." '
Fujiwara says it all there.
Seiyo says that the diversity mania that is raging through the West is absent in Japan. I hope he is right; I hope that xenomania, as it exists in the West, does not spread further. I hope that it isn't too late for us to be cured of our terminal case of it.

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