The Romans were a (justifiably) proud people, but they were no chauvinists. A bare-assed, long-haired Gaul wouldn’t get very far in Roman society, but his son might, and his grandson would be as Roman as they come. Just a generation removed from Julius Caesar, the famous three divisions of Gaul were the peaceful, prosperous heartland of the Empire. Antoninus Pius, the most peaceful of the “Five Good Emperors,” actually was a Gaul. The best, cheapest way to secure your borders against barbarians is to civilize them.
Caesar’s Gallic Wars is worth reading for a lot of reasons, but especially to see this outlook in action. He, like most Romans, subscribed to what we might call a laissez-faire mission civilisatrice. His attitude, in the parlance of our times, ran something like this:
This is the border. You are free to be blue-assed savages on your side of it, raping and killing and eating each other to your hearts’ content. If, however, you want to embrace the comforts of civilization, we’ll give you as much of it as you can handle. Bring your dysfunctional barbarian shit onto our side of the Rhine, though, and we will slaughter you to the last man.
Which brings us to Black History Month (betcha didn’t see that coming!)
BHM is designed to be divisive. Black Americans simply are Americans; Black Americans’ culture is Western Culture. The historical process by which that happened, though awful, is irrelevant, in the same way that Antoninus Pius’s provincial origins were irrelevant. (Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul weren’t just slave raids, but one hell of a lot of Gauls ended up enslaved).
BHM is, in fact, deeply counterproductive. Modern life is the easiest, safest, and most pleasurable existence in the history of the human race, and it was built almost entirely by the scientific junior varsity — engineers, tinkerers, “rude mechanicals” (the truly towering intellects are all theory guys). Judged by the B-team’s standards, George Washington Carver was an impressive dude; he did a lot with a little, and human life is better for it. Judged as the intellectual apex of his race, though….
It shouldn’t be that way. In this one sense only, race really IS a “social construction.” We white folks, even those of us who are, say, Bulgarian, don’t sit around ranking the greatest Bulgarian scientists*, pissing and moaning if our top guy is three notches below Isaac Newton. Western Culture is vast, it contains multitudes, and we all did our bit.
Now, before you start that all-caps comment about how this is just another cuckpost about Dems r tha real rayciss, please note the argument I am NOT making: Blacks are part of Western Civilization; therefore we’re all equal. I’m well aware of the average Black IQ, and its likely implications in a highly technological society.** The argument I AM making is: Bulgarians are no great shakes either, IQ-wise — the Italians, apparently, wipe the floor with us, if you can believe that Bologna — but since Bulgarian-Americans don’t go all-in on a cosseted, histrionic grief culture, nobody has to pay a bunch of extra taxes, write off entire cities, and live in what amounts to a police state to avoid Bulgarian-American social pathology. Bulgarian-Americans are happy just rolling with Western Civ.
If we want to start reclaiming Western Civilization, we must first acknowledge that we’re talking about civilization — which entails its opposite, barbarism. If you want to come over to our side of the Rhine, I for one am happy to have you… provided you play by the rules (“having rules” is step one in the civilization process). You may not make it all the way to the top of our civilization, but you can certainly be happy here, and contribute your bit. Ask the Gauls… or, better yet, the Thracians.
*This being the internet, there of course are ranked lists of great Bulgarian scientists, but the very fact that these lists are created by Internet People should serve as a built-in refutation.
** Jesus, though, that list is brutal. One wonders how the authors haven’t been reeducated to death by now.