So, crazy muslims are killing people again. Everywhere I see good modern atheists lamenting the barbarism of religion. “Remember that time that radical atheists killed all those people? Me neither,” they say. If people would just see the light of reason and give up these silly caveman superstitions, all of this violence would go away.
Point one: Radical atheists have killed WAY more people than radical muslims.
Here are a few examples:
- Communism is to its very core antireligious. “The opiate of the masses” and all that. Even disregarding the massive famines, plausibly caused by characteristic leftist innumeracy rather than genocidal malice, communists murdered 38 million people in the 20th century. If we want to compare apples to apples, let’s just think about all the Commie bombers and terrorists active in the 60’s and 70’s in Europe, like the Red Brigades.
- The French Revolution abolished Christianity and set about enacting the destruction of Catholicism in that country. In less than a year, the Reign of Terror enacted by the revolutionaries claimed 40,000 lives, including some 2,000 Catholic clergy.
- In a similar vein, the Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century resulted in a regime that despised the Catholics. The non-religious Plutarco Calles was “president” of Mexico in the 20’s, during which time thousands of priests were executed and literal wars were fought between Calles’ regime and the overwhelmingly Catholic population of Mexico.
This isn’t meant to suggest that atheism prompts mass murder; it’s just to make the point that atheists aren’t exactly immune to radicalism and extreme violence.
Rather than blaming religion, perhaps we should blame ideology. The notion that any of our airy philosophies are worth more than actual human lives may be the only truly evil thing that exists.
Point two: Even if you eliminated religion from the picture entirely, Arabs in France would still be pissed off and violent.
Obviously it doesn’t fit with the proper multicultural worldview, but I’m convinced that the only way Arabs and French will really get along is if it becomes impossible to tell them apart. I would say the same thing about any other pairing of ethnic groups, in any other country, anywhere in this world or any other one.
I’m biased in this thinking by my training as an ecologist and an evolutionary biologist. It’s clear that if you put two populations in the same environment, competing over the same resources, you’re going to end up with only one population after not too long. Either the two will blend together, or one will outperform and supplant the other. There are ways around this, but those are the two most likely outcomes.
Not only is conflict guaranteed between two distinct populations in the same environment, but there are good reasons to suspect that the conflict will usually favor the resident population over the immigrant. This is especially true when you have organisms that extensively engineer their environments or depend on complicated social arrangements — both things that are important in human societies. Culture has an infrastructure — all the buildings and art and language and even modes of transportation that accumulate through the industry of a people acting in a place for many lifetimes. Every last bit of that infrastructure is designed by and for the resident group. Whatever the resident’s peculiar strengths are, you can bet those will be enhanced and emphasized by that cultural infrastructure. Moreover, you can pretty well guarantee that that infrastructure has been adapted specifically to give the residents an edge over their nearest neighbors, who incidentally are also the most likely to immigrate.
On a “level playing field” then, the residents will usually win out over the immigrants. We can try to make things more equitable by giving the immigrants a ‘leg up’ or by hamstringing the residents in various ways — but even then, all those policies will be designed by the residents, using the resident’s cultural infrastructure, and will still usually wind up screwing the immigrants. The only way those poor bastards can come out ahead is either to conquer the residents or to marry them and cease to exist as a distinct ethnicity.
Because we believe so strongly in multiculturalism, we are basically incapable of thinking about this UNTIL the situation gets so out of hand that heads are being lopped off. So we encourage immigration, and inevitably the immigrants figure out that the game is inherently stacked against them forever, no matter what anybody does. This results in very pissed off people, often in large numbers.
Pissed off immigrants might be forgiven for lashing out at the resident population, who is in fact the proximal cause of their problems. Even if the residents welcome the immigrants, their very existence restricts the success of the immigrant population.
And how do pissed off poor people fight the resident authority? Do they call up the reserves and field their tank armies? Do they whip up votes in the legislature and sink billions into lobbying for their interests?
No, they use terrorism. It’s the only weapon they have. Acting surprised when poor immigrants blow up soft targets is like acting surprised when a dog bites you after you poke him in the eye. What did you think he was gonna do, call the cops?
Terrorism is the curse of a globalized humanity, where people move around so much that every moderately successful country has large populations of failing immigrants growing progressively more radical and angry. There are no good solutions to this situation, but one might predict that ethnic nationalism in Europe and elsewhere will continue to grow in popularity, both as a defense mechanism for immigrants and a solidarity movement for residents.