Modern societies are characterized by easy living and an increasingly feminized and infantilized culture. The result is that modern man is no longer motivated by spirituality or honor, but purely by lower drives, such as gibs, security, and the pursuit of comfiness.
The great majority of people, and by extension just about all societies, are trying to create security and comfort for themselves. This is achieved through stable and regular social organization, and the production and distribution of goods and services.
Our vast material wealth (food, housing, automobiles, appliances, consumer electronics, software . . .) is created by relatively small groups of the intelligent and their workers. The modern state then redistributes this wealth through a stunning variety of schemes – the “public education” system, negotiated salary levels, hyper-regulation of labor, the vast welfare system for health, the unemployed, the elderly, and the poor, etc – according to that society’s values (to what extent do they value social welfare and equality, as against liberty?). These values, in turn, are to a large extent driven by the society’s degree of empathy and social trust.
I believe this simple model accounts for much of the diversity in economies and social systems across the world. Most societies are, by First-World standards, failed societies, having insufficient intelligence, social trust, and/or empathy the produce the material comfort they would wish.
Panglossians such as Stephen Pinker and The Economist will claim the world is getting better and better, so we’ve nothing to worry about. It is true that there is a lot of economic growth and improvement of living standards across the world. The important point they overlook is that the drivers for this growth are not endogenous to Third-World societies. The fact is that there is almost never full convergence between nations or between racial groups within a same society.
Rather, economic growth is occurring because of technological innovations produced by a very, very small portion of humanity, namely in North America, Western Europe, and East Asia. This is evident in the materials we use everyday: your Apple computer was perhaps produced in Shenzhen, China, while your software and most-frequented websites were created in Silicon Valley. This is reflected in the production of scientific papers, which is dominated by the West and East Asia. The militant atheist Richard Dawkins has pointed out that the Islamic World contributes virtually nothing in terms of scientific discovery. As his goal is to demonize religion while voiding the far more important issue of race and genetics, he studiously omits the fact that the rapidly-expanding Black World contributes even less.
The technological innovations of the First World, produced in fact by a small elite within these countries, in turn drive economic growth at home and abroad through technological diffusion. There is always partial convergence as these technologies spread to the Second and Third Worlds. This convergence is partial because, just as these societies lacked the intelligence and social trust to create these technologies, so they lack the ability to organize themselves maximally to fully close the socio-economic gap with the First World.
The diffusion of First World technologies into more traditional or backward societies, which could never have produced these technologies, can certainly have novel effects. Think of Chadian tribal warfare upgraded with Toyota trucks, AK47s, and rocket launchers. Leon Trotsky, thinking of Russia’s relationship with the West, called this “combined and uneven development.”
The world’s wealthy and powerful nations are also in the habit of trying to impose their liberal-democratic political norms on other countries. However, this often leads to chaos more than anything else. Democratic competition and political pluralism is often a recipe for chaos for countries who don’t have a history of such practices. In particular in multiethnic countries, a moderate regime of stable and autocratic authority is often all that can save the society from chaos.
The economics of “high globalism” involve the abolition of national borders and the convergence of social standards so as to maximize economic efficiency. This ought to lead to further increase in overall wealth, although it is not without its problems: wealth inequality is increased (wages driven down, tax havens optimized), local businesses go bankrupt, and jobs are off-shored Worst of all, free trade reduces national sovereignty – hence why classical republicans such as Rousseau and Jefferson were autarkic protectionists, considering independence to be a prerequisite to self-government – and increases the power of the proverbial “small, rootless, international clique,” the Davos set and assorted multinational corporations in Silicon Valley, Wall Street, etc.
The Great Replacement is however primarily driven by “low globalism,” that is to say, the aspirations of the five billion humans who live, by First-World standards, in failed societies and wish for a more comfortable life for themselves and their children. These people have a certain realism: knowing that their nation will not converge any time soon, perhaps ever, tens of millions rather sensibly (from their point of view) opt to move to the West’s more prosperous and generous societies.
These dynamics work everywhere and at every level of society. The smart fractions everywhere – your doctors, engineers, and so on – choose to go the West, where they can enjoy high wages, better government, and can participate in more influential institutions. This brain drain both sets the home country further back – and they often really don’t have much margin of error to work with – but also contributes to further innovation in the West. A smart Cuban or Bangladeshi does not have to languish in his home country, where his smarts might at best contribute a bit to local order, but can join Google, CERN, or some other organization, and thus contribute to global innovation and prosperity.
Actually, most countries are now affected by this, including ones which used to be immune. Smart French people go where economies are growing and taxes are not punitive, moving to London, America, or even the Gulf states and Singapore. China, despite having low average wages, is already stripping Taiwan of human capital by enticing businessmen to move to the mainland (a development which seems to be leading to the island’s economic stagnation). Peripheral Europe in general, both southern and eastern, is being brain-drained at a truly alarming rate, their smarts being hoovered up by northwest Europe, Germany and Britain in particular (although Brexit appears to be slowing this process).
The result of the global brain drain, contra the egalitarian theory of universal convergence, is to further increase and entrench the inherent inequalities between nations.
Of course, the great majority of people who are moving to the West are not skilled, educated, or gifted. They and their children displace the native people, replace their culture, and disproportionately use welfare and commit crimes. We can see, looking at the counter-example of Japan, how peaceful and socially harmonious Western societies would be if they had not accepted tens of millions of Hispanic, African, and Islamic immigrants.