Allum Bokhari, Breitbart, November 27, 2015
Cultural appropriation is the idea that adopting elements of a foreign culture, from dressing up as Mariachis to wearing dreadlocks if you’re not black, is oppressive. Ein volk, ein culture. Naturally, the concept was invented by campus progressives.
The consequence of this regressive, segregationist view of culture is the rise of racial identity politics on campus. But that’s not what this article is about. In my research on cultural appropriation, I’ve uncovered a shocking truth, a great, unspoken crime against humanity, hidden in plain sight. It is the greatest, longest-running, and most heinous act of appropriation in global history.
The appropriation of Western Civilisation.
Half-Pakistani in descent, I feel a personal sense of guilt at how non-western countries have unapologetically oppressed their fellow nations. I’ve therefore taken it upon myself to compile a list of all the things the world has culturally appropriated from the west, in hope that this injustice might one day be corrected.
Alfred North Whitehead described philosophy as “a series of footnotes to Plato.” A series of culturally appropriated footnotes to Plato, he meant to say. In the middle ages, the Arabs set up entire libraries devoted to translating and appropriating Greek and Roman philosophers. How dare they? The west appropriated some of it back later, but that doesn’t excuse the initial crime.
Look out at the skyline of any modern, non-western city, and you will find it looks strangely similar to a modern, western city. The Arab states are the worst offenders, taking the beautiful steel glass creations of the west and turning them into garish monstrosities. It’s like entire cities started wearing Sombreros for Halloween and forgot to take them off. Why does the west allow this to continue?
This is another western cultural creation that causes non-westerners to go into rabid fits of appropriation-addled hunger. Entire wars have been waged and governments deposed for the chance to appropriate these. Once again, to discourage further violence in the rest of the world, caring western activists have decided to end due process on American campuses, with a clever device they call “Title IX.” Once again, Islamic countries have the best track record in resisting the urge to appropriate: instead of due process, Islamic State beheads people and throws them off buildings.
Aside from Islamic countries, some of which are making a commendable effort to restrain themselves, most countries around the world have adopted a western political ideology of some kind. The history of the postwar period, for the most part, is the history of third world nations fighting over their favourite western political ideology, like nuclear-armed otakus fighting over their favourite waifu. Some of them still are. It’s disgusting.
The Scientific Method
Yes, science can be appropriated. As postmodern feminists tell us, science is just another cultural/social construct. And it’s one that’s been stolen from the west. Every lab built, every experiment conducted, every breakthrough made is another unacceptable insult to western scientists. Isaac Asimov said, “There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere.” Yeah, if they’re massive racists.
Asian drivers might not have the greatest reputation, but the fact that they’re driving at all is down to the western invention of the car. Henry Ford’s methods of mass production, too, have been shamelessly appropriated by many developing countries, without so much as a thank-you.
Campus social justice warriors insist that the greatest victims of cultural appropriation are non-western cultures, like the Native Americans, Japan, and Mexico. No doubt, they would use some sort of intellectual contortion to claim that western culture can’t be appropriated. Something about “punching up,” or “culture plus power” no doubt.
But looking through history, a neutral observer can’t fail to see that western culture is the most appropriated of them all. Other countries have been borrowing, imitating, and remixing western culture for centuries.