Does Cultural Nationalism Work?

Can you weld a united and cohesive nation-state consisting of many different races and religions? Does cultural nationalism work? It is so much more acceptable to the current zeitgeist than racial nationalism but from where I stand, it seems that people act pretty much in line with their ancestors aka their genetics. Japanese-Americans act like other Japanese around the world (high parental investment in their kids, low rates of crime, high educational and professional success, etc), Mexican-Americans act Mexican (high crime rates, low educational and economic achievement, etc), blacks act black (high crime rates, low educational and economic achievement, etc), Persians act Persian, Germans act German, Swedes act Swedish, Jews act Jewish, etc.

* “What attachment can a poor European emigrant have for a country where he had nothing? The knowledge of the language, the love of a few kindred as poor as himself, were the only cords that tied him: his country is now that which gives him land, bread, protection, and consequence: Ubi panis ibi patria [where there is bread, there is one’s fatherland, is the motto of all emigrants. What then is the American, this new man? He is either an European, or the descendant of an European, hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country. I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, and whose present four sons have now four wives of different nations. He is an American, who leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds.”

–From “Letters from an American Farmer,” J. Hector St. John Crevecoer, 1782

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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