Replacing Western civ: how bad would it be?

by Chris Bertram on November 30, 2021

A key element of the the ideology of the new populist far right (Trumpian, Faragist, Zemmourian etc) is some version of the “great replacement” theory, the idea that Western civ is under threat from migrants, Muslims, black people, brown people, yellow people and the rest. In some version or another, it actually goes back a long way, and was the main driver of things like the White Australia policy and similar paranoias elsewhere about white settlers being overwhelmed by coolie labour. I happen to think the fears are overblown and that the good stuff in Western civ – Bach, Shakespeare, Gothic architecture, science, ymmv – is going to survive any amount of demographic change. But the question I’d like to pose here is, how bad would it be, morally speaking?
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