Hey Mark!

Thank you for numbering and another response; the numbering definitely makes things easier. I’ll try to go down the list.

  1. They were on the other side of the planet from the majority of colonial powers, they opened to the US first (as opposed to the British, the US was not a significant colonial power and did not have serious aspirations in that direction), they were not as fragmented as India at the time of contact, and they were able to rapidly industrialize. Again, this stuff isn’t as simple as breaking it down into “monocultural” vs. “multicultural.” I know that political scientists love to fixate on one variable, but usually things aren’t that simple.
  2. Eh. Sure. Japan is stronger, for the moment. And the US is stronger than Japan. So around we go on that wheel. Again, playing the “which nation is stronger” game is a very nuanced endeavor, and I don’t think it readily lends itself to a single variable analysis.
  3. I had to track that one down (so I did https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/29/misleading-qa-question-on-sadiq-khan-should-have-been-corrected-abc-admits). In general I agree with him, but I don’t think multiculturalism really has much to do with the problem. Major cities are fat targets for anyone who wants to influence the affairs of their home country. Given that all countries have some degree of threat of terrorism, I don’t think it’s necessary to bring multiculturalism into the picture. To cite an example from the US, Timothy McVeigh wasn’t a foreign national, but he was a terrorist. Now, it just so happens that Britain and the US are primarily concerned with Islamic terrorists at the moment, but frankly that’s an artifact of our current moment in history. If you went back in time a hundred and fifty six years, and you were in the American South, your primary worry would be abolitionist terrorism and slave rebellions. That was that moment in time. This is ours.
  4. Hijackers gaining entry: I don’t know their entire motivations, but I would imagine path dependency played a role here. They trained in Florida, because there are cheap schools in Florida. It was probably just easier for them to hijack a plane in the US rather than going outside the country and coming back in. https://www.cnn.com/2001/US/09/13/flight.schools/

Re: Native Americans and culture change. Look, anyone who argues for permanent stagnation has not been paying attention to history. Cultures change; it happens whether you like it or not. I actually have a whole other article about that too.

My general response to the whole cultural displacement thing is that, empirically speaking, it’s a non-issue. In the US we have kept all the bits of our culture that people seem to like (i.e. the fun things, less so the bits about segregation and unequal opportunities). For example, despite the “War of Christmas” (which is frankly not a thing, but people need enemies, so I don’t blame the Evangelicals too much), Christmas is one of the Earth’s dominant holidays, and Americans lead the charge every year. And we also have tacos now. Win/win. Again, this is a very nuanced discussion at its core. The important bits of American culture are enshrined in our foundational ideals, nothing more, nothing less.

5. Lol I agree. I think it’s that people are more likely to complain than to praise, which is why Yelp exists. That being said, these articles also get more claps than most of the other things that I like, so I suppose the people who agree simply don’t bother to leave a comment.

Anyway, I hope you are well and are planning a well-deserved weekend!

Searching for truth in a world focused on belief.

Searching for truth in a world focused on belief.