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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Oikophobia--Is This The Problem With America?


As the Nation anticipates what will happen during the Trump administration, there is a concern in some circles that the United States isn't the powerhouse it once was. According to political philosopher and author Benedict Beckeld, Ph.D., "The decline of American power has many causes, but some of the less well-known ones, partly because it would be politically incorrect to state them, are too much diversity and consequent social fragmentation. Today 'diversity' is a professed goal of most politicians, but the founding fathers knew it was a problem to be contained. They were not against immigration, but immigrants, regardless of ethnicity, must assimilate into a cohesive people, or else Americans would fall into a fragmented tribalism, which is exactly what has happened."

"Once people start to define themselves as part of a group, the main targets of their ire will be other groups at home rather than adversaries abroad, and that makes American power decline," adds Beckeld, 37. A former professor of Philosophy, Greek, and Latin at the American University of Paris, Beckeld, author of Art & Aesthetics: a Promenade ab Homine (Lux Classic), notes that Martin Luther King considered integration into normal American society, where black Americans could enjoy the same advantages and lifestyles as white Americans, to be the goal. Civil rights leaders today, on the other hand, "unwittingly express their descent into tribalism by sneering at 'white privilege' ", states Beckeld. "By considering themselves victims, they push King's goal ever farther away and begin to hate the country whose values of democracy and individual freedom their forbears had sought to universalize through the whole population."

Beckeld's latest book is The Hatred of Home: A Brief Analysis of Western Oikophobia.
In its simplest definition, oikophobia is the opposite extreme of xenophobia: so like xenophobes dislike foreigners and other cultures, oikophobes dislike their own culture or their own civilization. In a recent interview with journalist Anand Bhatt, Beckeld warns that "we are living in very oikophobic times here in America and in the West in general, and the result of the recent presidential election was a predictable reaction to that. The same reactionary development is going on in Europe as well. It is my feeling that, as has been the case in previous and similar instances, the reaction will be able to slow but not stop the descent into oikophobia and tribal fragmentation that America is currently undergoing, and that consequently, in the long term, we as a country will project less and less outward power. Those who celebrate the result of the election should be reminded that, in due time, there will be yet a counter-reaction."


A native of Sweden, Dr. Beckeld received his education in the United States and abroad. His Ph.D. is in Philosophy, Greek, and Latin from the University of Heidelberg; he later taught those subjects as a professor at the American University of Paris. His most recent book is Art & Aesthetics: a Promenade ab Homine (Lux Classic, ) which sold out its first print run. Dr. Beckeld, who resides in New York, is an expert in ancient Greek and Roman culture, and European culture. Fluent in seven languages, he is a fitness enthusiast, and plays the violin.

Benedict Beckeld is available for interviews. For additional information, visit