Was the problem on the Costa Concordia the West’s loss of chivalry, or the West’s loss of whiteness?

Mark Steyn writes:

On the Titanic, the male passengers gave their lives for the women and would never have considered doing otherwise. On the Costa Concordia, in the words of a female passenger, “There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboat.” After similar scenes on the MV Estonia a few years ago, Roger Kohen of the International Maritime Organization told Time magazine: “There is no law that says women and children first. That is something from the age of chivalry.”

If, by “the age of chivalry,” you mean our great-grandparents’ time.

While the loss of our culture’s ethos of chivalry is very regrettable, was it the reason the male crew members pushed past the female passengers to get in the life boats? Consider the fact that of the 1,000 crew members, at least 300 were Filipinos and the rest were largely Asian and Latin American. Mario Pellegrini, the deputy mayor of Giglio, who went out on a small boat to offer advice on the best way to get people on to the island, later told the National Post:

“There was total confusion and then mounting panic as the ship tipped further on to its side. I found no officers on board, not only the captain but also no officers, and the rest of the personnel were all Asian and spoke no Italian and also very little English.” [Emphasis added.]

So yes, again, there has been a decline of chivalry in the West, due to feminism and radical individualism. But that is not the explanation for the crew’s unchivalrous behavior, because the crew came overwhelmingly from cultures that are not known for having a tradition of chivalry. An additional factor is diversity. Men who may be willing to risk or even sacrifice their lives for women of their own culture and race, will be much less willing to do so for women of a different culture and race.

Blaming the Costa Concordia disaster on the West’s loss of chivalry is like announcing, “Inequality in America is on the increase,” without mentioning that inequality is increasing because of the influx of poor Third-World immigrants. It’s like saying, “Anti-Semitic violence is on the rise in Europe,” without adding the clarification that the anti-Semitic attacks are all being carried out by Muslims.

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Ed H. writes:

You do not have to be on board a sinking ship to observe Third World “survivalism”; you need only go to the nearest Third World America barrio or ghetto of the kind burgeoning across our collapsing nation. There is no “culture” in these places, they are cultureless. They exist as a mass cesspool of opportunistic hustlers, gangs, crime, and unbearably dull dreariness. Just as in the Third World it is the thug, the popularist vote getter, the purveyor of escapist fantasies that rise to the top. Life is an unbearably dreary routine of just surviving. Nothing changes, nothing new is created, ever. Everything is utterly predictable and repetitious on the very lowest IQ level. Men are self centered braggart machos, women are chattle to be impregnated ASAP, and children transition from childhood to adulthood with no emotional or intellectual growth. But of course the leftist One Worlder description of all this is “vibrant.” The left is good for something sometime. As in Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, and Ministry of Love the truth is always in the exact opposite direction from what is being claimed.

LA replies:

But most of the crew members on the ship appear to have been Asian. Your hellish description might fit certain non-Asian minority communities.

David P. writes:

The first instance of women and children first took place on HM Troopship Birkenhead.

Also Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “Soldier an’ Sailor Too”:

To take your chance in the thick of a rush, with firing all about,
Is nothing so bad when you’ve cover to ‘and, an’ leave an’ likin’ to shout;
But to stand an’ be still to the Birken’ead drill
is a damn tough bullet to chew,
An’ they done it, the Jollies—‘Er Majesty’s Jollies—
soldier an’ sailor too!
Their work was done when it ‘adn’t begun; they was younger nor me an’ you;
Their choice it was plain between drownin’ in ‘eaps
an’ bein’ mopped by the screw,
So they stood an’ was still to the Birken’ead drill,
soldier an’ sailor too!

The demise of chivalry is noticeable in Scandinavian countries where the latter day Vikings walk by as their women are sexually assaulted.

Mark C. writes:

But most of the crew members on the ship appear to have been Asian.

I don’t think this has much to do with enforced multiculturalism, but rather the exploitation of cheap Asian labour (overwhelmingly Filipino due to their english speaking skills) by many shipping companies and cruise liners these days. [LA replies: I didn’t say anything about multiculturalism, whether enforced or not. I simply referenced the nonwhite nature of the crew, and suggested that that, rather than the West’s loss of chivalry, might explain the crew’s widely reported behavior of rushing ahead of the female passengers to save themselves.]

They are appallingly paid, and often treated with little respect. There is likely resentment against the rich European holidaymakers whom they have to serve for a pittance. Thus it would be hardly surprising if they looked after their own skins before that of the passengers.

Also I think you are being unfair singling out these Filipino crew members. This is what one passenger described “There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboat”

Have you seen these Filipino men? The average height of a Filipino male is 5’ 4.” It is likely these “big” men were Europeans.

As for Asian chivalry, I don’t think it is a totally foreign concept to them. Stories abound of noble behaviour during the Japanese tsumani last year, although of course it was not Japanese who were staffing the Costa Concordia. [LA replies: That was noble behavior of Japanese toward other Japanese. Note that I gave two possible explanations from the racial angle: that Asians are not known for a tradition of chivalry toward women (for example, in India, women carry burdens while their husbands walk ahead of them, behavior totally alien to the West), and that men are more likely to risk their lives to save women of their own race and culture than women of a different race and culture.]

And it seems unfair you have neglected to mention the cowardice of the captain. [LA replies: I’ve just posted something about the captain, entitled “The worst.”]

These crew members, from talking to them (my wife and I enjoy cruise holidays), have no right of abode in the West, and take their savings home with them. Perhaps a symptom of “globalisation,” rather than multiculturalism. After all they certainly were not employed in the name of “diversity,” but simply because they are very very cheap.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 21, 2012 03:30 PM | Send

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