Jacques, in a debate in an earlier thread with Bob the Ape (sic!) writes:
[. . .] The mere fact that conservatism, or western civilization more generally, is the product of a specific group does not _imply_ that "it must remain the exclusive property of that group, or that that group is essential for its existence". On the other hand, there is no particular reason to believe that these things are _not_ the exclusive property of western peoples or that white Europeans are _not_ essential to the conservation and functioning of our western civilization. What evidence could anyone have for thinking that western civilization encodes principles or ways of being that are "true for everyone" or, more to the point, feasible for everyone? Obviously a healthy western society can do just fine with small numbers of foreigners, including even Australian Aborigines. But the question is whether our societies can thrive (or even exist) when non-whites, non-westerners, non-Christians are introduced in numbers so huge as to reduce white western Christians to minorities. I can't think of any reason for optimism about this scenario. And there's lots of evidence for the view that western civilization could only have been created and sustained by the specific racial-cultural groups that in fact created and sustained it. Certainly it seems far-fetched to imagine that groups such as the Aborigines have the capacity to produce anything like the civilization of Italy or England or France or Holland. These are groups who have never left the stone age. [. . .]
One claim Jacques seems to be making is that
C1. There is no reason to believe that Western civilization includes principles true for everyone.
Now (C1) strikes me as plainly false. Suppose we mean by a principle a true proposition fundamental to some body of knowledge. Accordingly, the Law of Non-Contradiction (LNC) is a principle of logic. It is true and it is foundational. This principle, along with all the rest of the principles of logic, is not just true, but necessarily true. So they are true not only for every actual person but for every possible person. Is Jacques a relativist who thinks that the truths of logic vary from tribe to tribe, that LNC is true for whites but not for blacks, for Europeans but not for Australian aborigines? I hope not.
Obviously the same holds for the principles of mathematics and all the propositions derivable from these principles. They are necessarily true for all actual and possible persons.
All of these truths of logical and mathematics are true for everyone, not in the sense that they are accepted or believed by everyone, but in the sense that they are binding on everyone.
The principles of natural science, though presumably not necessarily true, being contingently true, are nonetheless true for all if true for any. Consider the principle of the additivity of velocities at pre-relativistic speeds. If a Zulu on a train fires a gun in the direction of train travel, the velocity of the projectile will be governed by this principle just as it will be if it were an Englshman doing the firing.
Further examples could be given, but the foregoing suffices to refute (C1). Another claim Jacques seems to be making is
C2. There is no reason to believe that the principles included in Western civilization are not the exclusive property of Western peoples.
Jacques is suggesting that the these principles are the exclusive property of Western peoples. The suggestion is absurd. No one has proprietary rights in truth. Truths cannot be owned. Pythagoras discovered the theorem of Pythagoras, but he did not thereby come to own it. If a German or an African uses the theorem to calculate the length of the hypotenuse on a right triangle is he violating Pythagoras' property rights, or those of his descendants?
Had Pythagoras invented the theorem bearing his name, then perhaps one could say that he owned it. But he didn't invent it; he discovered it. To latch onto a truth is to latch onto something absolute: the truth of a proposition is not subject to the whim of arbitrary creativity. A truth of mathematics is not like an advertising logo or a song. A song can be copyrighted, but not a truth.
Suppose I write a post in which I state some well-known truths in my own classy way. Impressed by my inimitable style, you decide to plagiarize my post. All you succeed in doing is plagiarizing my classy, or perhaps quirky, formulations: you cannot plagiarize the truths the formulations express. Plagiarism is literary theft. You can steal my formulations by copying without quoting and attributing the sentences I have constructed, but you cannot steal the truths, if any, that I have expressed via those formulations. I own the formulations, but not the truths they express. Truth is too noble a thing to be owned by the likes of me -- or you. And what one cannot steal, one cannot own. Or to put the point with precision: if x cannot be stolen, then there cannot be any y such that y owns x. (Please run that proposition through your counterexample detector.)
The Egyptians measured land and so were involved in geo-metry, but it was the ancient Greeks, Euclid and the boys, who made of geometry an axiomatic deductive science. Those Greek geniuses discovered axiomatics. Did they own it? Is an Italian or a German who axiomatizes set theory guilty of theft, or 'cultural appropriation'?
And now we notice something very interesting. These alt-rightists are the mirror image of crazy leftists. This is no surprise inasmuch as they are reactionaries. He who reacts is defined by that against which he reacts. He has decided to dance with the pig and get dirty instead of eschewing the dance altogether. Thus to the identity politics of the Left, they oppose an identity politics of the Right, when what they ought to be doing is getting beyond identity politics altogether.
And if they maintain that the cultural goods we have in the West (logic, philosophy, science, law, engineering, architecture, music, art, Judeo-Christian ethics) are owned by Western peoples, then they will have to endorse some notion of illicit 'cultural appropriation' when non-Western peoples make use of them. But notice: if it is wrong for the Koreans, say, to appropriate the engineering know-how of Germans and Americans in their auto manufacturing and elsewhere, then why wasn't it wrong for the French and Italian mathematicians to 'culturally appropriate' the fruits of Greek mathematics?
The point here is that there is no such thing, strictly speaking, as Greek mathematics; there is mathematics and the Greeks were uncommonly gifted at getting at its truths. Do you alt-rightists think that there is Jewish physics and Aryan physics? Physics is physics. Race, ethnicity, class, and 'gender' are irrelevant when it comes to the contents of physics.
Are men as a group better than women as a group when it comes to contributing to math and phsyics? Yes. But it doesn't follow that there is male math and female math.
One of the alt-right fallacies, then, is to think that Western culture is somehow tied necessarily to Western peoples either by being true or normatively binding only for Western peoples, or by being owned by Western peoples. The fact that Western peoples originated this culture is irrelevant. What is Western in origin, and thus in this sense particular, is yet universal in validity.
More defensible than (C1) and (C2) is
C3. There is little or no reason to think that Western civilization includes ways of comportment that are feasible for everyone.
This is a large topic. I agree that our recent foreign policy has been irresponsibly interventionist.
But consider that the barbarian bastards from the North, the Goths and Visigoths and others who sacked Rome more than once and laid waste to the civilization of the Mediteranean -- didn't those Teutonic and other bad asses end up getting civilized by the great Graeco-Roman, Judeo-Christian culture to the extent that, in the fullness of time, they could produce a Goethe and a Kant and a Beethoven?
I am not opposed to everything Jacques says above. I agree with, or at least find very plausible, these further claims:
C4. There is good reason to think that white Europeans are essential to the preservation of our Western civilization.
C5. Our civilization is at risk if Western Christians become a minority.
C6. "Western civilization could only have been created and sustained by the specific racial-cultural groups that in fact created and sustained it."