Assimilation Of Culture Essay, Research Paper
Here’s a question that I’ve puzzled over for some time: how longwill it take different modern-day races and ethnicities to blendand/or assimilate fully? Reading through the Old Testament, forexample, we see mention of dozens of ethnicities which no longer existtoday: Babylonians, Assyrians, etc. Of course their descendents liveon, but the Babylonian people no longer exists qua people. In the modern world there is in many cases an increasinginter-marriage rate, as well as a breakdown of racial prejudice at historically impressive speeds. Taking all this together, how longshould we expect it will take the following ethnicities and racesto more-or-less be fully intermingled and no longer distinguishable?1. Jews and non-Jews. I predict that the Jewish people will bedisappear almost entirely qua people in the next 200 years. A handfulof strict Jews may persist, but for the most part it seems that therate of intermarriage is sufficiently high in mixed countries (about50% in the U.S.) and the level of prejudice is sufficiently low that the Jew qua ethnicity is unlikely to continue for too much longer. Of course, Jews have persisted as an independent culture for severalthousand years, but it is only in the last 1-2 centuries thatintermarriage has become so widespread. In a sense, it seems thatanti-Semitism is the woe of Jews but an important preserver ofJudaism as a distinct cultural identity. 2. Asians and Caucasians. I would predict about 500 more years. Again, in mixed nations the inter-marriage rate is high and (I think)still growing. The result will be more of a blending than anabsorption. I would expect that it will take longer both becauseof the large initial population, and because of the degree of geographicisolation. Still, national borders will become less and
less important and travel easier; combined with the increase in inter-marriage and the decline of Caucasian-Asian prejudice, my projection is quite reasonable. 3. Causasians and Hispanics. This one is harder to predict — Iwould say 500-1000 years for full intermingling. Intermarriage isstill on the rise, but the level of prejudice between the two groupsis not clearly falling. As with Asians, I would think that advancesin transportation and the declining importance of national borders willbreak down racial distiction faster than many would expect. 4. Caucasians and Africans. This one will probably take the longestfor full breakdown — I give it 1000-2000 years. I believe thatinter-marriage, though rising, remains at low levels; and again,the trend of prejudice between the two groups is unclear. But the decline of national borders and the advance of transportation aregoing to ultimately eliminate the distinction, perhaps to the surpriseof many alive today. There are many other combinations to consider — theseare merely meant to be illustrative.A final question one might ask is: Is this “abolition of race” a goodthing? It seems clearly so to me. I don’t expect war and hatred andprejudice to disappear when identifiable races and ethnicities nolonger exist, but ONE important factor contributing to these problemswill disappear. It would be unfortunate if valuable cultural traitsdisappeared, but there is no reason why a deracinated humanity couldnot pick and choose the best elements of each of the cultures of thepresent time. I suppose that many find the prospect of humanity withoutethnic identity to be frightening and alienating, but I see it asan exhilirating opportunity for individuals to define themselves asthey think best, freed from the dead hand of the past. It will nolonger be possible to inherit one’s identity; it will have to be chosenfor oneself.