Saturday, 8 August 2009

Part #1 - Where the politics of hate meets the conservation of cultures

I've seen a number of articles in various places over the last week which at first seem unrelated, but today suddenly seem to have a connection (however tenuous). This article has become so big that I've split it into 2 parts to make reading it more accessible.

It started this morning with, as usual I'm afraid, a BBC news article "Debunking A Youtube Hit". This article explained and revealed several "facts" and figures claimed in the Youtube video "Muslim Demographics", which in a nutshell proclaims doom for "Christendom" (i.e. white Europe) because of mass Islamic immigration. I think anyone using the word "Chistendom" in this day and age should be shot, never mind listened to, but it's had 10 million views which shows some people on the planet are paying attention - even if it's just a tiny minority spread across the world (the video is clearly aimed at Americans, and stupid gullible ones at that) watching it repeatedly.

Quite separately, I was then looking up videos of political correspondent Andrew Marr with big arms from the show Dead Ringers. (This is in relation to a song I'm writing about Andrew Marr and Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr which I won't go into right now.) Under "related videos" was British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin's interview on the Andrew Marr Show. I can hear all you liberals gnashing your teeth already - here it is:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvtqk2E_LwE


If you're still reading and haven't smashed your computer in rage yet, there are several interesting points I thought while watching this. Most notable was the almost tender moment when Nick Griffin turned David Attenborough: the BNP's policies are apparently about preserving the British ethnicity. It doesn't matter what bizarre ingredients have made up the British "ethnicity" (Gallic, Norman, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian) - it is now one of many many different ethnicities that make up the world, and the real enemies are the globalisationalists who want us all to mix and become a single coffee-coloured race.

Bizarrely, he strikes a very modern chord. Preserving endangered cultures has been a popular liberal concept from Greenpeace to academic anthropologists; meanwhile it has become a big issue in South America and even government policy in Brazil and Bolivia (where leftist president Evo Morales is an indian himself).

At the same time, languages are dying out too. It was recently Maori Language Week in New Zealand, and this article in the Dominion Post raised not only the apparent fragility of Te Reo ("the word" in Maori, meaning Maori language), while this other DP article reminds us of the endangered nature of a huge variety of Aboriginal languages. (I think this probably carries more weight, due to the vast number of Aboriginal languages and severe lack of people in comparison to Maori people having one language which has grown much over the last few decades.)

This is all very commendable; it takes a new kind of thinking to see languages, cultures and ethnicities like endangered animals, and yet they are just as at risk. However, there are limits to this way of thinking, and the BNP have the wrong, nasty end of this stick altogether.

The BNP have apparently dropped their scary repatriation policies for people not "ethnically British" (e.g. 'dear 4th generation Indian, here is some money to go "back" to India, even though you've never been there, because we think you belong there').

However, even if this is true, which I doubt, the original stem core of these policies still remains: the absolutist link between culture and ethnicity.

Even a thousand years ago, this concept was defunct. People have moved faster than ethnicities have changed for a very, very long time; invasions and population movements means most ethnicities, especially those in Britain, have links with their country just a few hundred years. Most important of all is the fact that human beings are adaptable creatures of their environment; if you raised a Japanese baby in France, the adult is French by habit, belief, custom.

Cultures are not tied to ethnicity.

AMENDMENT: Please see blog post "Amendment" above regarding the video with Nick Griffin.

Part 2 coming at an undisclosed-but-soon date!

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