Why “multiculturalism” is self-destructive.

November 28th, 2006

No stronger argument against trying to have a “multicultural” country is needed than the sectarian violence in Iraq or Quebec seperatism in Canada.

A nation is nothing if not a shared language and culture.

People who advocate that dominant cultures can coexist equally inside a shared society are either lying to themselves or lying to the rest of us.

Entry Filed under: Observations

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tim  |  November 29th, 2006 at 3:08 am

    I don’t know how the sectarian violence in Iraq is related to the issue of multiculturalism. The violence in Iraq is taking place between Shiites and Sunnis which are religious groups rather than cultural or linguistic groups.

  • 2. Administrator  |  November 29th, 2006 at 10:26 am

    Really Tim? You don’t see religion as a major component of culture?

    Some cultures can moderate the impact of religion, but I can’t see how you can eliminate it as an element.

    Heck, look at groups like the Amish where their religious beliefs almost completely drive their culture.

    I think the Sunni and Shiaa religions with their attendant tribalism to rise to the level of competitive cultures.

    In fact, the main problem in Iraq is that there isn’t a dominant national (religiously tolerant) culture that can create an environment where the nearly separate Sunni and Shiaa societies can coexist.

    I’m not saying that the dominant culture needs to be monolithic: there doesn’t need to be only one religion, or one language exclusively…but their does need to be a dominant culture that controls how the sub-cultures interact.

    Multiculturalism that equally priviliges each individual culture will inevitably lead to clashes (and probably violent ones) between those cultures.

  • 3. Tim  |  November 29th, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    There could also be problems when the dominant culture regards all other cultures as inferior and unworthy. Look at the situation in Iraq. Sunnis were promoted over all other groups for centuries. Now when the other groups have power, they are taking revenge from the Sunnis. If there was a culture in Iraq which treated all the cultures as equal, maybe we wouldn’t be having all the sectarian violence in Iraq.

  • 4. grumps  |  December 1st, 2006 at 9:33 am

    Do we then reject the Amish as 2nd-Class Americans based on religion? Where would you draw that line?

    These are the same tired arguments used aginst the Chinese in California, the Finns in Minnesota, the Irish in New York and the Arcadians in Louisiana over the last century and a half.

    The arguments are pathetic in hindsight and the current xenophobia about Brown People will be viewed in the same light within a few generations. We are stronger for our acceptance of people and ideas different than ours.

  • 5. Administrator  |  December 1st, 2006 at 11:10 am

    Do you guys really think I’m making a racist argument?

    I’m not against people having their own identity (whether that’s based on ethnicity, religion, sexual-orientation, or whatever).

    I’m pointing out that subcultures must exist within a tolerant BUT SHARED dominant culture otherwise a society will rip itself apart along ethnic, religious or ideological lines.

    For example, I think people should be able to speak whatever language they want in America BUT I think government policy should only privlege English as a way of helping maintain that aspect of our cultural glue.

    My point is that any society is only as strong as the cultural mores and beliefs that bind it.

    I would prefer that those meta-beliefs were American-style individualism, democracy, and tolerance.

    A refusal to declare that any dominant cultural values (tolerance for example) are superior to ANY competing value of any subculture is one posssible path to societal dissolution.

  • 6. Melinda  |  December 1st, 2006 at 5:30 pm

    Grumps actually PROVES Elliot’s point. The dominant culture in America IS (or supposedly is) one of Christian tolerance.

    Our dominant culture trains its young folks and those that don’t step in line to accept other American groups, such as the Amish. (Which is exactly what Grumps is trying to do when he thinks Elliot is not in line.)

    However, in countries where there are cultures fighting for dominance – as in politics when the Dems are trying to oust the Republicans or visa versa – the message is that the other guys are wrong and the waters become muddy trying to prove it. In Iraq, unfortuantely – the waters become bloody since neither the Sunnis nor Shiaa believe in tolerance and getting along ‚Äî especially when they don’t have the confidendence of being dominant.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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