Bill Whittle has the first chapter of his new book up on his blog. Suspend what you are doing, this is more important. Here is a quote:
I believe that human beings are interchangeable.
By this I mean that had Baby Billy been dropped off in the heart of the Amazon rainforest and raised by Yanomami tribesmen (and according to my mother there were times when I was in real danger of this happening), I would have spent my youth learning to hunt monkeys with my bow and 6ft. long arrows, and generally hanging around the shabono sleeping in till almost 6am. Likewise, if Baby Kopenawa had my parents, he’d probably be cranking out online essays at irregular intervals and shooting instrument approaches in experimental canard airplanes.
I don’t believe such a thing because I want to (although I do)…I believe it because to me it seems like coastline rather than map. I believe it based on the fact that wherever I look, I see a full spectrum of multi-colored barbarians and savages, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, a rainbow of the brilliant and the civilized and the decent. Rwanda and Bosnia are on different sides of the planet, and their citizens as different-looking from each other as humans can be, but the horrors each perpetrated during the last decade should put to rest forever the idea that a few millimeters of melanin can save us or doom us one way or another.
There may in fact be some genetic component to intelligence, but if there is, I believe it pales compared to the effect of culture – and by that, mostly I mean the luck of the draw regarding your parents. In fact, I’ll bet my life on the fact that I can make astronauts and engineers out of any healthy babies of any color. I know I could make murders and rapists out of anyone, and that this is far easier to do than the former.
So when we talk about the entire idea of civilization, a simple glance at history shows we are not talking about race at all. At various times in history the leading civilization has been black, yellow, brown, or white, and the barbarians lined up to tear down those civilizations have been of every color as well. So to make claim that saying one culture is civilized while another is not is somehow racist is patently ridiculous on its face. Anyone who claims otherwise is trying to shut down the argument because they know they cannot win it on facts and logic – which to some of these people are also racist. But facts and logic don’t give a damn what they think…facts and logic exist whether they like it or not. So do I, and I don’t give a damn what such people say, either. This intimidation tactic has silenced benign, well-meaning people for too long. How would a real Nazi respond to being called a racist? Hitler, dude, you’re like a total racist! That’s a compliment to goose-stepping sons of bitches. That’s a badge of pride for them. Only decent people are deterred by such rhetoric…and that is the entire objective. It works. But not here. Not anymore.
It’s not the hardware, it’s the software. It’s not race, it’s culture.
That’s what I believe.
I believe it too. I believe we are in a culture war, but we are not in it because of what our opponents are. We are fighting because of what they do. If some other, non Muslim, culture proposed to wipe my society, my tribe, from the planet, I would be at war with them as well. Conversely, if our current enemies rectified their world view to the belief that I, and my tribe, have a right to exist and to live as we see fit, this war would cease. I am just not optimistic that they will come to this conclusion.