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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

If racism is like poison then ‘culturalism’ is like strong drink…

Which is to say, best taken in moderation. Racism is always poison because it is completely irrational, based on either stupidity or (even worse) pseudo-science. ‘Culturalism’ of the sort David Carr talks about however is just saying ‘the values of my culture are better than the values of that culture’… and it may well be true.

Provided one realised that what matters is the liberty actualising aspects of a culture and not all the other clutter over which people periodically feel the need to kill each other, then a degree of ‘culturalism’ is not just ok, it is vital.

Just don’t over do it as in the minds of some, it is not about which culture enables liberty and prosperity best but which culture ‘stinks up our streets with curry’ or ‘builds hideous Mosques in our Christian towns’. Discerning ‘culturalism’ is just fine but ignorant cultural chauvinism is not. I realise it is the former not the latter which David Carr is advocating, but it is a distinction worth making again and again. Like Slivovica or Whiskey, a little is a wonderful thing but too much dwelling on culture seems to send some people completely bonkers.

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