Friday, January 8, 2010

Culturism, Avatar, and the Death of the West

Avatar, the movie, illustrates all that is wrong with multiculturalism and shows how it threatens Western civilization. This film is easily summarized. It is the good indigenous people fighting the bad U.S. military. But, beyond the highest globally grossing film of all time having audiences cheering the killing of U.S. Marines, the film reflects even deeper multicultural truisms that we must combat with culturism or die.

This film provided a perfect representation of multiculturalism. At heart multiculturalism says to respect all cultures, except the West. This is because we are, as the film explains, seen as imperialist. And, as we have transformed the world, we have disproportionately disrupted the indigenous cultures multiculturalism celebrates. Culturism, by way of contrast, supports the West and recognizes progress.

In indigenous cultures, on average, Lawwrence Keeley and other anthropologists tell us, 25% of the male population died in warfare. And, there was yearly war. The population stayed low because of starvation and death in childbirth. And, while the men fought, women were beasts of burden. In 20th century Europe, by contrast, with its two World Wars, only 1.9% of males died in combat. Most Americans never go to War. Nearly none of us die in War. We live long lives with lots of comforts and food. If you are anti-War you should support the West.

Indigenous poplutions were not the angelic environmentalists of left leaning Hollywood minds. As the indigenous population spread across North America, it wiped out 85% of the large mammals. Jared Diamond, in Collapse, tells us that Arizona used to be forested. The locals used all the trees and descended into cannibalism, before Columbus arrived. And remember Easter Island? Science solved the Ozone problem. To abandon the West and rationality is to destroy the hope of environmental management.

The film backs an array of pathological leftist multicultural thoughts. This film, as multiculturalism generally, denigrates progress and the West for having made it. The lead character says the indigenous will not give up their way of life for “lite beer and blue jeans.” The West is more than that. We have taken the world from one of scared superstition and constant warfare to a place with comfort and progress. Thanks to the West, slavery is nearly gone and the world population is booming.

It was significant to me that the lead character had a “tribal” tattoo. These tattoos show disaffection with the rational West and sympathy for a more emotional primitive past. In several scenes the indigenous people all chant or sway in unison. They have a sense of community. The West is an alienating place as it stresses individualism. But, we could again find cohesion in the fact that we are the cutting edge of technology and freedom in the world. By claiming that we have no majority culture or connection with western civilization, multiculturalism drives people to look for it in fairy tales and get tribal tattoos.

In Avatar the left’s hatred of America was on display. Though it happens in a remote time and place, a protagonist calls the marine’s destruction “Shock and awe.” A Marine leader says “we must fight terror with terror.” And, as a central trope, the Marines attack their tallest structure, a tree. This covertly justified the indigenous people’s attack on our tallest structure, the World Trade Center. When you couple this with Avatar’s asking us to root for the killing of American soldiers, we have a fairly anti-American film.

In reality, whether Hollywood’s left or Obama want to admit it, we are currently fighting for the survival of western civilization. Our Islamic enemies, like all indigenous folks, are war like, irrational, and oppressive. When the Taliban took over parts of Pakistan last year, they immediately destroyed nearly two hundred girl’s schools. They are attacking Thailand. It is not because of Thai crimes. It is due to the rabid, irrational, drives that their form of theocracy unleashes.

Lastly, the film sinks to its lowest multicultural level with its invocation of racist themes. The angry Marine leader, before and in the ultimate showdown between good and evil, asks the lead protagonist to stick with his own “race.” The correct word would have been species. But the choice parallels the multicultural blurring of race and culture. The multis label all mention of negative aspects of cultural diversity “racist.” Ultimately, in this film, to be for the West is, in the Marine’s words, to be racist. That optimizes the multicultural left’s position.

We must use the words culturism and culturist to help distinguish between race and culture. Racism is stupid. But cultural diversity, like progress, is real. If we cannot talk about the negative aspects of some cultures, and if to root for our side continues to be demonized as racist, we are in trouble. Avatar’s overtly saying those who side with Western civilization are racist reflects a common multicultural tactic of the left that should not be taken lightly.

Perhaps even scarier, the film constantly evokes the use of the word, “the people.” In Avatar, to be for western civilization is to be against, “the people.” This is the sort of black and white thinking that leads to genocide. When leaders start doing things in the name of “the people” we are on our way to demagogic authoritarianism. To be good, the lead protagonist must show is he not part of the West, disdains it, and has converted to being one of “the people.” This is a bad trope.

For the West to thrive, it must replace multiculturalism with culturism. We must know we have a valuable and vulnerable civilization and strive to protect it. This will give us a much-needed sense of pride and community. We must recognize that progress has happened and we can revert to something much worse. While we have a war on terror, films that subtlety justify the 9/11 attacks and overtly justify the killing of Marines, sap our defense of civilization. The West must stand against theocracy. To do so we must side with and strive for the success of the West. We must adopt a culturist, rather than a multiculturalist, perspective. Avatar shows us why.


Lexcen said...

It seems that there exists a dichotomy where we enjoy the fruits of Western culture, that being a movie like Avatar, and yet feel that there is inherent evil within our culture and express that feeling in anti-authoritarian scenes as you describe in Avatar.
And within Islamic culture, the trappings of corrupt western culture (jeans,Nike trainers and G strings) are worn and celebrated beneath the burkah.

Culturist John said...

Hmnn, might the natives see more to our decadent world than "light beer and blue jeans"? Perhaps g-strings too. Yes, it is ironic that the film will teach people to hate the West while enjoying cutting edge western technology!!

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

FINALLY! An excellent analysis of this very popular recent film on a plane and point that Cameron was trying to make. The storyline would not have been so had he not PURPOSELY tried to MAKE that very specific point about the "west" and all other "good" or "agrarian" or lower cultures.

As you and I both know, had the American Indian had his Bronze Age and Industrial Age before Europe, he would have crossed the waters and kicked Europe's ass. A culture does what it can when it can. There is NO "inherently good primitive culture."


Lefty said...

"the left's hatred of America was on display"

Don't you think by that statement that you are guilty of Multiculturalism? Isn't "the left" part of this Western Culture? Didn't freedom, democracy, and gender equality start out as leftist ideals? You seem to have a narrow view of what western culture is, what America is. So does the left Hate America? If "the left" hates anything it's the way this country has become the biggest bully on the planet. In doing so we have made ourselves a target of those other "violent and repressive" cultures. So would I like to preserve western culture, yes. Do I hate America? no. Do I disagree with American policy in the last X years - yes. Do I think that this policy threatens our culture more than the Avatar movie... Yup.

Culturist John said...


Thank you for the thoughtful comment. You deal with issues and not personal slander. That is greatly appreciated. Also, if your name was just used for this reply, your humor is appreciated! : )

First of all, you are right to see that culturism does not adhere to a party line. For example, culturism is a big supporter of freedom, democracy, and gender equality. I would dispute that these are of the "left." I think these are beyond modern left or right.

For example, in the book Culturism, I use the term liberty and contrast it with license. This is building on the work of Isaiah Berlin. But it is an old distinction. It goes back to the Puritans. This more of a real concept than freedom. And, as were the Puritans, not easily connected to the modern left or right.

Democracy is again, rooted in a sense of republicanism that goes back to the Founding Fathers (though they relied on the history of the West to design it). I would not say that this combination of Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin map easily on to today's left and right.

You're mention of gender equality probably has the most merit herein. I would say that the modern left is more into, on the whole, gender equality. I believe in responsibility and that no one lives outside of structure. That said, I think gender equality is one of the glories of the West.

Where we disagree and where I will stand my ground, is on your representative claim that the US is "the biggest bully on the planet." That attacks against us, as you imply, are justified for our actions. I think we have been a tremendous force for good.

Have we been perfect? No. And, I totally agree with your distinction about loving the West and still being able to criticize it. If we asked that all people agree or get called traitors, we would be - especially in relative peacetime - betraying our basic principles.

But, we must contrast realities. Compared to what we could do with our lopsided control of power, we have been very benign. Remember that many cultures consider it a virtue to conquer and enslave. And, with our power we have repeatedly made sacrifices for the good of the world.

And, while culturism is generally isolationist, and culturism holds dear every nation's right to steer its destiny according to the dictates of its majority culture, it has sympathy with those who would have us out of Iraq immediately. But from my reading of the world, it is obvious that the world would be a much less liberal place without the West.

Therefore, films that say we are deserving of being attacked do disturb me greatly. This is precisely when we fall, Islam, China, and the general powers of illiberal gangs, warlords, and militaries will fill the vacuum. So, the assumption of inherent good and justification of those who would attack us is illiberal, dangerous, and anti-western.

Thanks again for the thoughtful comment!

Culturist John

Ducky's here said...

My goodness that was a lousy film.

I would like to ask culturist, how many young right wing wannabes do you think really got off on that cliched portrayal of the colonel? Thing is, that junk is the main reason they buy a ticket for this Hollywood crap.

Culturist John said...


It was a very partial triumph of style over lack of substance.

I would venture to guess that just as much frothing at the mouth came from leftists who were shaking their hands in defiance of the imperialistas as there were rightists having wet dreams over the colonel.

If I have to ask who has the most screaming and passion, who has the most protests, and who has the most extremists signs, it would not be the tea party folk. It would be the Viva the Revolution crowd.

That said, lots of folks buy tickets to see cops shoot up bad guys. That is a popular motif!

Good to hear from you! John

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