„Before the Europeans arrived, there were 500 to 600 tribes in the continent speaking different languages. They did not have a common name or share an identity; they regarded each other as enemies. The Aborigines as we know them today, a national group with a common identity, did not exist before European contact; they are a product of the European invasion which destroyed traditional culture, brought people of different tribes together and gave them a common experience of oppression and marginalisation. They are not an ancient people, but a very modern one. Only in the lands which Europeans did not want or settled very sparsely did traditional groups and something like traditional culture survive.“

—  John Hirst
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John Hirst15
Australian historian 1942 - 2016
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„Our basic problem is that we have three levels, I would say, of moral beliefs. We have the first instance, our intuitive moral feelings which are adapted to the small, person-to-person society where we act for people whom we know and are served by people whom we know. Then, we have a society governed by moral traditions which, unlike what modern rationalists believe, are not intellectual discoveries of men who designed them, but as a result of a persons, which I now prefer to describe as term of 'group selection.' Those groups who had accidentally developed such as the tradition of private property and the family who did succeed, but never understood this. So we owe our present extended order of human cooperation very largely to a moral tradition which the intellectual does not approve of, because it has never been intellectually designed and it has to compete with a third level of moral beliefs, those which the morals which the intellectuals designed in the hope that they can better satisfy man's instincts than the traditional morals to do. And we live in a world where three moral traditions are in constant conflict, the innate ones, the traditional ones, and the intellectually designed ones, and ultimately, all our political conflicts of this time can be reduced as affected by a conflict between free moral tradition of a different nature, not only of different content.“

—  Friedrich Hayek Austrian and British economist and Nobel Prize for Economics laureate 1899 - 1992
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„A very remarkable people the Zulus: they defeat our generals, they convert our bishops, they have settled the fate of a great European dynasty.“

—  Benjamin Disraeli British Conservative politician, writer, aristocrat and Prime Minister 1804 - 1881
Upon hearing of the death of Napoléon, Prince Imperial of the House of Bonaparte in Africa (1879); cited in James Anthony Froude, Lord Beaconsfield (1890), p. 213.

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„People define themselves in terms of ancestry, religion, language, history, values, customs, and institutions. They identify with cultural groups: tribes, ethnic groups, religious communities, nations, and, at the broadest level, civilizations. People use politics not just to advance their interests but also to define their identity. We know who we are only when we know who we are not and often only when we know whom we are against.“

—  Samuel P. Huntington American political scientist 1927 - 2008
Context: In the post-Cold War world, for the first time in history, global politics has become multipolar and multicivilizational. During most of human existence, contacts between civilizations were intermittent or nonexistent. Then, with the beginning of the modern era, about A. D. 1500, global politics assumed two dimensions. For over four hundred years, the nation states of the West — Britain, France, Spain, Austria, Prussia, Germany, the United States, and others — constituted a multipolar international system within Western civilization and interacted, competed, and fought wars with each other. At the same time, Western nations also expanded, conquered, colonized, or decisively influenced every other civilization. During the Cold War global politics became bipolar and the world was divided into three parts. A group of mostly wealthy and democratic societies, led by the United States, was engaged in a pervasive ideological, political, economic, and, at times, military competition with a group of somewhat poorer communist societies associated with and led by the Soviet Union. Much of this conflict occurred in the Third World outside these two camps, composed of countries which often were poor, lacked political stability, were recently independent, and claimed to be nonaligned. In the late 1980s the communist world collapsed, and the Cold War international system became history. In the post-Cold War world, the most important distinctions among peoples are not ideological, political, or economic. They are cultural. Peoples and nations are attempting to answer the most basic question humans can face: Who are we? And they are answering that question in the traditional way human beings have answered it, by reference to the things that mean most to them. People define themselves in terms of ancestry, religion, language, history, values, customs, and institutions. They identify with cultural groups: tribes, ethnic groups, religious communities, nations, and, at the broadest level, civilizations. People use politics not just to advance their interests but also to define their identity. We know who we are only when we know who we are not and often only when we know whom we are against. Nation states remain the principal actors in world affairs. Their behavior is shaped as in the past by the pursuit of power and wealth, but it is also shaped by cultural preferences, commonalities, and differences. The most important groupings of states are no longer the three blocs of the Cold War but rather the world’s seven or eight major civilizations. Non-Western societies, particularly in East Asia, are developing their economic wealth and creating the basis for enhanced military power and political influence. As their power and self-confidence increase, non-Western societies increasingly assert their own cultural values and reject those “imposed” on them by the West. Ch. 1: The New Era in World Politics, § 2 : A Multipolar, Multicivilizational World

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