No, it’s not an irrational fear of pigs; that would probably be oinkophobia. Oikophobia is the opposite of xenophobia: cultural self-hatred, an aversion to one’s own nation and culture. This meaning was coined by Roger Scruton in his 2004 book England and the Need for Nations. The term has been getting some press lately*, most recently in this Quillette article by philosopher Benedict Beckeld.
Oikophobia describes “…a civilization that has stopped believing in itself, that hates itself, and that is therefore unwilling to defend the values of individual freedom, democracy, and scientific and scholarly skepticism that have been handed down to us since antiquity.” Beckeld takes a historical perspective, giving examples of other civilizations that have fallen into oikophobia. He explains that
- Oikophobia is a disease of late-stage empires when the citizens, especially the elites, are rich and comfortable.
- Once a culture begins down this path it is difficult to reverse and rarely ends well.
The ubiquitous virtue signaling is but one manifestation of oikophobia. Beckeld concludes
Once we realize that oikophobia is a sort of pathology that develops under distinct socio-historical circumstances and does not involve any particularly interesting independent thought, but rather is more of a knee-jerk reaction, we are better equipped to face it in our everyday lives.
Unfortunately, Beckeld fails to make the connection to diversity in the article, though he does make a passing reference to it in the related Quillette interview. This is another example of how diversity is our strength is a dangerous lie.
*This NR piece is the typical Conservative Inc. lukewarm embrace of leftist framing that we’ve come to expect.