“What’s not to like about multiculturalism?” asks the typical person. “Isn’t it good to have respect for all cultures? Isn’t the reverse racism and cultural imperialism?”
One of the finest books on the subject is Thomas Sowell’s Race and Culture” in which he points out that cultures themselves are made up of various things borrowed from other cultures. Cultures are often made up of “best practices.” We borrow from other cultures practices and ideas that work better, which then displace other practices and ideas we previously had (whether home-grown or otherwise).
Paper replaced parchment and papyrus, for example, in much of the world. And those cultures that did so are the better for it. It was a better idea. Think about how impoverished North Korea is, for example, because of its explicit rejection of the better practice of freedom — both political freedom and economic freedom. It is no coincidence that those countries that wish to retain more ancient and barbaric types of government must erect walls to the outside. And sometimes, as with the Berlin Wall (or the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea), those walls are literal. But often they are the walls of censorship, media misinformation (aka “propaganda”), and government coercion.
We are, in effect, our own “cultural imperialists,” as are other cultures, as we keep the good while the less efficient or more barbaric is left to fade away. Those cultures that do not remain static are generally the better for it. Think of how much better off we are of being able to do math using the concept of the zero. Calculations using Roman numerals are very difficult.
But this very dynamism also means NOT choosing certain things. If we forget this and simply honor all cultural practices or ideas as being honorable and equal in their own right, we forget that civilization has been a constant shuffling and sifting of “best practices.” And we may instead (quite destructively) honor ideas or practices that are simply inferior or immoral. We might, for example, turn an ambiguous or blind eye to the Islamic practice of forced marriages, “honor” killings, or religious imperialism (where apostates are put to death). We might turn a blind eye to the Hindu practice of Sati (burning the widow on the husband’s funeral pyre) or their regressive caste system. The moral is, all cultural ideas are not equal. Some are better than others. It is the ignoring of this truth that is the core rot of multiculturalism — or at least half the rot.
Western Civilization is not perfect, and it is changing even as we speak. But it is the culmination of a whole lot of “best practices” including freedom, freedom of speech, self-government, limited government, private property, an independent court system, and individual rights. Thus we come to the other dark side of multiculturalism. Along with teaching a naive acceptance of the ideas and practices of other cultures — no matter how barbaric those practices might be — inherent to multiculturalism is an attack on Western Civilization as being inferior because it is not all those things the Left loves so much such as indiscriminate “tolerance” and a love of “equality” over the actual reality of differences. The naive multiculturalists believe that if only we let go of our own cultural arrogance we would join the “family of nations” and we could all get along like two peas in a pod.
Now fast forward to Europe where this multiculturalist idea has long held sway and where they are now in danger of becoming an Islamic continent (to be ruled by barbaric Sharia law) by the end of the century. (See Mark Steyn’s “<a href=”http://www.amazon.com/America-Alone-End-World-Know/dp/1596985275/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297279961&sr=1-1″>America Alone</a>” for much of the demographic data.) The dogma of multiculturalism has, for the most part, successfully immunized its citizens from any sense of pride in the greatness of their own civilization. Instead, Europeans are taught to loath it and feel nothing but guilt about it. “Celebrating diversity” at heart is about paying penance for what the Left sees as evil Western Civilization. And far too many people — the ones who have not had a proper education about the merits of their own culture — have bought into this. It has left many morally defenseless to mount any kind of criticism of the “bad practices” of other cultures.
The same has occurred in America. A mistaken belief that multiculturalism means “compassion” or “pluralism” has left many unable or unwilling to defend our southern border from the flood of illegal aliens. It has left many unable or unwilling to defend English as our primary language. It has even gone so far that our Constitution is regularly ignored and belittled, such is the rot of multiculturalism that teaches that we are bad and everyone else is good.
It’s time to out multiculturalism as the rotten idea that it is. We can understand and learn about all types of cultures — including our own — without turning an unnecessarily hostile eye to our own and a gullibly naive and indiscriminate eye toward others. • (943 views)