Skip to comments.Theodore Dalrymple: Multiculturalism Starts Losing Its Luster
Posted on 07/18/2004 12:34:33 PM PDT by quidnunc
Multiculturalism rests on the suppositionor better, the dishonest pretensethat all cultures are equal and that no fundamental conflict can arise between the customs, mores, and philosophical outlooks of two different cultures. The multiculturalist preaches that, in an age of mass migration, society can (and should) be a kind of salad bowl, a receptacle for wonderful exotic ingredients from around the world, the more the better, each bringing its special flavor to the cultural mix. For the salad to be delicious, no ingredient should predominate and impose its flavor on the others.
Even as a culinary metaphor, this view is wrong: every cook knows that not every ingredient blends with every other. But the spread and influence of an idea is by no means necessarily proportional to its intrinsic worth, including (perhaps especially) among those who gain their living by playing with ideas, the intelligentsia.
Reality, though, has a way of revenging itself upon the frivolous, and September 11 has seemingly concentrated minds a little. Some signs indicate that in Blairite Britain the pieties of multiculturalism, for years an official orthodoxy, are beginning to face a challenge.
The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, for example, recently declaimed that immigrants to Britain should learn English. Blunkett made this heterodox suggestion in response to riotous clashes in northern England between white youths and Muslim youths of Pakistani descent. Liberals predictably decried his comments as tactless at best and proto-fascist at worst. Didnt they give succor to the vicious xenophobic elements in British society, perhaps even portending a new dark age of intolerance?
In fact, Blunketts remarks were both on and off the mark. Doubtless, all of the rioting Muslim youths spoke English. Hardly any British-born young men and women of South Asian descent do not speak itthough some, given the undemanding British school system, speak it poorly. So it is not true, as Blunkett implied, that a failure to learn English was to blame for the rioters aggrieved sense of being unequal citizens in British society.
Yet Blunkett was right in other respects. Though the rioting youths could speak English, the brides they would bring back from Pakistan would notand, furthermore, never would. Many women I have encountered as patients who came to Britain from Pakistan 30 years ago, at 16 or 18, still know little Englishbut not from any unwillingness to learn. Their husbands actively prevented them from learning the language, to make sure that they would stay enclosed in a ghetto and not get any ideas above their station. The same rioting youths who protested British societys failure to accept them as equal citizens have themselves sought to reproduce the unequal social patterns of rural Pakistan, half a world away, because it suited them to do so.
Multiculturalism encourages this stance. If all cultures are equal, and none has the right to impose its standards on any other, what is wrong with the immigrant ghettos that have emerged, where the population (that is to say, the male population) enjoys, de facto, extraterritorial rights? If it is the custom of their ancestral culture to keep girls out of school and force them into marriages that they do not want and to confiscate the passports that the British government issues them for their personal use, what can a multiculturalist object without asserting the superiority of his own values?
(Excerpt) Read more at city-journal.org ...
It is that attitude that forgives men who throw acid in the faces of their female relatives because that activity is permitted or encouraged within the context of their own culture, that winks at thuggery and gang rape and kidnapping and overall oppression of the weak, "as long as they keep it in their own community." And there it is mistaken, because there is, in fact, only one community that matters.
How about for my salad other countries just lettuce alone.
Considering the fact that many of the US's goofy multiculturalism ideas came from England and Canada, it's about time someone from one of those places begins to wake up to this stupid philosophy.
Multiculturalism rests on the suppositionor better, the dishonest pretensethat all cultures are equal and that no fundamental conflict can arise between the customs, mores, and philosophical outlooks of two different cultures.
For those that think the above is true, I would direct your gaze to that building on the east river in NY city. It's Multiculturalism in action.
"Multiculturalism rests on the suppositionor better, the dishonest pretensethat all cultures are equal and that no fundamental conflict can arise between the customs, mores, and philosophical outlooks of two different cultures."
Well, not quite. Actually, multiculturalism rests on the supposition that western civilization, especially America, is pure evil, while all other cultures are purely good.
the intellectual class, whose livelihood depends on ceaseless carping
Great way of putting it!
Some cultures do.
Never the twain shall meet.
Too many fruits and nuts in the salad now.....