Friday, September 22, 2006

Andrea Leadsom's recipe for DISASTER!

Andrea Leadsom has a recipe for the perfect British society. Some flaws are immediately apparent:

"Take one cup of Anglo Saxon determination"


Read Mencken's essay on Anglo-Saxon courage. We're remarkably determined because we tend to position ourselves onto the winning side.

"Mix with a jugful of Muslim respect for the family"


Steven Sailer has quite a persuasive argument that this is thanks to the tendency of those in the Muslim world to marry their cousins. This increases the closeness of the genetic relationship within extended families. There are a couple of problems with this. First, marrying your cousins is weird and creates freak babies and premature death. Second, it encourages nepotism which hurts the development of a liberal society.

"Stir in a pinch of traditional Asian modesty"


This modesty often manifests itself as a lack of openness to outsiders. This is why Asian business made use of relation based contracting in its early years which led to the investment bias which unravelled in the Asian Financial Crisis

"Whisk with two tablespoonsful of military respect for authority"


This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the authority in question. Respect for authority will tend to vary based on how attractive the authority is rather than any cultural affinity for authoritarianism. Where this cultural affinity is supposed to exist it is usually a source of trouble, i.e. Jasper Becker's explanation for the failure of nascent Chinese democracy.

"Serve on a bed of East European work ethic"


This is clearly a result of context. The Eastern European work ethic wasn't quite as evident during their period of post war Communist control. Free societies generally build a fine work ethic and socialism generally kills it. However, this actually means that we don't have this to learn from other cultures but, rather, to encourage it through the right institutional framework. 'Culture' as a determinant of national success is overrated.

"And enjoy with a full glass of British belief in the freedom of the individual!"


This is the real winner. May I suggest a liquid diet?

"There is a serious point here - we in the so called 'Western civilisations' have so much to learn from other cultures, and they would stand to gain so much by learning from ours. We don't have all the answers - far from it.......but nor do any other culture or religion. It's only by mutual respect, a willingness to learn and the courage to live together that we will build a better life for our children."


There are many Muslim, Asian and other people, both today and historically with ideas and perspectives to offer which we should be open to. However, I would suggest the West's distinctive values have been its strength.

2 comments:

Andrea Leadsom said...

Love it......but you are obviously not a keen chef. Also, a liquid diet is not good for you - ask Jamie Oliver.

The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

Andrea - you are being too harsh.

One can get all the nutrients one needs from a daily diet of ~20 pints of Guinness and ~2 pints full fat milk.

:-)

matthew,

What's all this sh*te about not being a libertarian then in the post below?

PG