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The Secret to Human Success is Multiculturalism

Back in the day, when I was an under-educated dipshit with right wing leanings, I would repeat a popular right wing mantra that multiculturalism has never worked. And I never questioned the logic, regardless that it came to me third hand in the way a cult tells itself a story of identity. I was a proud white man. The story fit my conclusions. White men were special. I hate to inform anybody of this one… but we’re not special at all. We’ve just had 200 years of might is right especially if it’s white.

So I thought writing an article about this mantra might be interesting… at least for those under-educated non-thinking right wing bigots who repeat that ignorant statement. Because it turns out that multiculturalism is what brought us out of the caves and into this crazy era of the Space Age homo sapien. Not DNA diversity, not bigger brains… the sharing of culture.

DNA Diversity is not the Secret of our Success

One group of people would have you believe that our genetic diversity is the reason for the homo sapien success story. Bollocks. Although we have this diversity of appearance that we as homo sapiens recognise in the finer details of faces … there is vastly more genetic difference between chimpanzees living on one side of a river to the other than there is between human beings around the planet.

In simple English, homo sapiens are more alike around the World than chimpanzees that live locally. So, no, genetic diversity didn’t make us this successful. In fact, there was a point in our early history where one father can be linked to all males. All males on this planet are related. At a point where human beings on the planet were reduced to approximately one thousand survivors of a cataclysmic event.

Brain Size is not the Secret to our Success

I’ve bought into this one in the past because ignorance has a way of manifesting in plain sight. The biggest brain on the planet is the 8kg brain of the sperm whale… an elephant’s brain is around 5kg… and a bottle nosed dolphin has a brain bigger than a homo sapien at 1.5-1.7kg. Homo sapien brains weigh from 1.3-1.5kg.

It’s quite clear there are no evolutionary brain sized arguments for why sperm whale and elephants have not joined the space race. We’re quite unremarkable when you look at the brain size argument. And that’s where we come to culture.

Cultural Diversity & Multiculturalism made us Super Animals

What we do really well is culture. We aren’t that smart as individuals, but we share. We share between our families, our countrymen and our competitors. Civilisations constantly fed off the inventions and philosophies of neighbouring states and built upon those foundations.

If you think of how every culture invented a boat for different reasons. The boats we have now are a confluence of all that thought through all those iterations. One person takes what is known and adds onto that an iteration of improvement. We’re never satisfied. Then we share that improvement and another person has that next improvement to the design of boats.

Or food, or housing… or science. Where would we be without the number Zero, first recorded in Mesopatamia in 3 BC and Mayan culture in 4 AD? Zero reached Europe in the 1100s. Without zero there is no calculus and all these marvelous modern inventions that rely on zero would never have happened.

Consider how slow and backward an insular singular-culture civilisation would really pan out. You wouldn’t learn anything from your competitors… you wouldn’t learn to cook better food, make better boats, wage better wars, do better science.

My Passing Message to Opponents of Multiculturalism

This appears to be pretty obvious to me, but we don’t have greater genetic diversity or bigger brains… we share. We share culturally. This cultural diversity is what made Britain a great power, for example – the Vikings, the Normans, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish… trade with Europe and Africa and being a melting pot of ideas. English itself is a trading language derived from German and finally coloured by Shakespeare to be the fitting descriptive juggernaut in today’s World. The real languages of Britain are Gaelic, Scots, Irish, Manx, Angloromani, Shelta, Cornish and Welsh.

I get tired of seeing the ignorance on banners and tshirts that somehow getting rid of The Other is going to make us better, stronger and smarter people. Diversity and multiculturalism are exactly how the human ape made it into space! A better sword, paper, glass… the building blocks of where we are today. No other animal on our planet has even made a first step along that road of discovery & invention. We’re smart across our species, but not very smart as individuals. Our capacity is magnified through this unique ability to share with strangers.

We share. We share across cultures. There isn’t another species on this planet that shares on the level that we share. And that, my friends, multiculturalism… is why we are the dominant species on this insignificant rock called Earth.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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