I learned something very important last weekend: I should be a Slovak. If I cannot, I should definitely aspire to be. I learned it from an authoritative source, a Slovak.
Slovaks, you see, are the prettiest, strongest and smartest people in the world. They don’t take crap from nobody. Wherever they go, they succeed. This Slovak loves Canada because – as he said – ‘Canadians are stupid’. It’s easy to get rich here. It’s a lot more difficult when you are surrounded by equally smart, strong and pretty people.
It does not matter whether he is right or wrong, what matters is that he knows who he is. He knows his place in this world. He knows his own worth and not afraid to proclaim it.
There is a very thin line between self-confidence and arrogance.
Most people consider arrogance a character flaw while at the same time they cannot resist its attraction. Arrogance is just the shame-free expression of self-confidence.
Cultural self-confidence isn’t that much different. Slovakia is a new country. The first time Slovaks were truly masters of their own destiny was in the wake of the 1993 velvet divorce. (The Slovak Republic of 1939-1945 was only nominally independent).
Being an old nation but a young country explains their attitude quite a bit. Not only their self-confidence and pride, but their concern for the fragility of their situation. They can hardly manage their existing minorities, the Hungarians and the Gypsies, the last thing they need is another unmanageable minority, especially not one that is just as self-confident as they are.
Because Muslims also know who they are and what they want and becoming Slovak Christians is not it.
The Slovaks understand this which is why they are resisting so vehemently the obnoxious push of the European Union to sign their collective suicide pact.
The Slovaks know who they are. They understand what it means to be a minority but by now they also understand what it means handling minorities. They know how precarious culture is and how much it needs protection. Like my friend, the Slovaks are proud and they don’t take crap from anybody.
In this respect, we should all be Slovaks. Proud and protective of the values of our culture.
The article is very good, the only thing I would rephrase is that Canadians are stupid. They are not stupid they just have a good heart and they cannot say no to immigrants that only want to take advantage of this gorgeous country. That is why it is easy to get rich, not as a millionaire but to live better than in any country in the world. And that is why they are stupid because they have to pay high taxes to pay for all the expense these emigrants incur.
And my reply:
Well, stupid is indeed a strong word, but when it comes to the immigration policies of some countries, including Canada, I don’t think it is strong enough.
There is nothing to fear from immigrants who want to get rich, who want to make it in Canada because it is not possible to get rich without giving something for it. The Slovaks who get ‘rich’ here are above all hard working (not just smart, strong and good looking 😉 ).
I did not like this writing; because of its logic implying that the culture of a nation is homogeneous and because of its moral message, the ‘Cultural self-confidence” suggesting the ethos of the Übermensch (in this case Nadredeny človek), the idea that I don’t only protect my culture because I feel comfortable in it but because I consider it superior. If I am justified to think that, then so are others and in such cases small cultures such as Slovaks, Hungarians or even French Canadians are at a distinct disadvantage facing cultural masses such as the Germans, Russians and WASPs.
On the migration debate, my position is that the spread of Islam is indeed a real threat, but they should not be opposed by protecting “Christian values” (an oxymoron), because no theocracy is better than any other. The greatest European value (including its overseas offshoots) is that its science and society has freed itself from the oppressive rule of organized religions.
I expect anyone coming into my cultural sphere to adapt to it while also showing some of his own just in case I may find something worthwhile in it. I expect this not only from immigrants, but from my own compatriots as well because a nation isn’t culturally homogeneous.
Actually, the main source of my own cultural discomfort at this point is my own government…….
As for the particulars, it seems that we disagree only on one point: I believe that cultures are different and therefore they can be ranked and I also believe that religions are not equal either and they can most definitely be ranked by degree of harm they may cause.
I understand your Übermensch point, but I consider your argument a non sequitur. Even if you are better than me in every imaginable respect, it does not follow that you should have the power to oppress me.
It is also a self-contradicting argument to use the excuse of being ‘better’ to become worse.
In another respect, no evaluation happens in a vacuum. We are always comparing things based on certain criteria. The different indices of freedom (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_freedom_indices) use hundreds of attributes to come to some sort of ranking. I have not seen any suggestion in any of them that the ranking should justify bad behavior.
I also disagree with your blanket condemnation of religion. I am an apatheist, not a militant atheist and as such, I see all religions as cultural phenomena. I wrote about this in several of my posts, the most focused being “The atheist Zeal” (http://zorkhun.com/wp/2015/03/14/gestures-symbols-rights/). The only place of worship I have not yet been in out of the nine religions indicated in the illustration of the post “Gestures, Symbols, Rights” (http://zorkhun.com/wp/2013/05/24/the-atheist-zeal/) is a Shinto temple and I appreciate understanding the differences between them. I believe that religions can most definitely be ranked based on a number of criteria such as their attitude toward violence, tolerance toward other ideologies, etc.
…. On a somewhat philosophical note: any systematic comparison implies the possibility of ranking……
As for homogeneity, I don’t even believe that individuals are ‘homogeneous’ – so to speak. We evolve over time and our position can be slightly different based on circumstances.
I never considered national cultures homogeneous I even made some allusions to this point in my posts on immigration. Regional, ethnic and subcultures all enrich the larger culture they exist within.
I have the good fortune to live in the most diverse city on the whole planet. It is possible to love it without becoming a cultural relativist.
The only serious point of my post was that it is important to know who you are and what you stand for and then to have the fortitude and self-confidence to stand up for it.
As for your last point, it is indeed an excellent question: what is a greater embarrassment, Viktor, or Justin?