Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Political Correctness of Multiculturalism / Mark Steyn

As I was writing the previous post I came across the video I've embedded below of an interview with Mark Steyn on the subject of The Fraud of Multiculturalism. He's doing a good job on the subject but the interviewer obviously doesn't get what Multiculturalism means, and Steyn doesn't seem to grasp that he's confused.

In fact he contributes to the confusion by failing to make a crucial distinction between melting-pot style mingling of the colorful aspects of multiethnicity, and the insistence of the Politically Correct ideology of Multiculturalism that practices contrary to western democracy must be absorbed by the host culture.

To the interviewer it means the benign multiethnicity that characterizes the melting pot:  that you can come to a western society from any other culture and be treated with respect, which you can't expect by moving to any tribal culture. He's thinking of the melting pot in which a plurality of cultural practices are given free play and doesn't understand why anyone would object to that.

The problem here is what the word "cultural" means. I don't think there is a better term than Multiculturalism for what it refers to, but it makes people think of ethnic foods and colorful festivals and racial differences and languages and other distinctions between cultures that we enjoy, rather than what it's meant to mean, which I think boil down to the laws that govern a culture.

The reason the west can welcome so many different cultures is that we don't operate by tribal laws, but by laws intentionally hammered out over centuries toward the greatest good for the greatest number, for the highest justice for all. Historically it has been acknowledged that the west, and particularly America, have arrived at the best form of justice. No, not perfect, but it does have a consistent character from which ideally imperfections can be corrected over time. The American Constitution even anticipates the need for such change and provides guidelines for bringing it about.

Every kind of ethnic lifestyle from exotic foods and celebrations to the different racial types, can all find a place within this legal system, but the foreigners do have to learn the basic laws and institutions that have formed the larger culture into which they are expected to assimilate. But foreign forms of law cannot be assimilated, and should not. Tribal law is usually oppressive. Yet what Multiculturalism does is invite such alien legal systems to corrupt our own, the very laws that make multiethnic expression possible in the first place.

As Steyn says, MC thinking for instance makes an equivalence between the Common Law inheritance of Canada and the tribal law practiced on any small patch of jungle somewhere. It goes beyond that into proposing that these primitive systems be incorporated into our own, or "tolerating" them in their separate enclaves. And if we argue that foreigners need to adapt to the host culture, and that our system is a better form of justice, we're accused, usually, of racism. So what we have here is one of the many forms of Political Correctness that are designed to destroy western civilization. See the video of Bill Lind on the general history of Political Correctness in the previous post.

More Steyn on Multiculturalism:

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