Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What is the Nature of Multiculturalism?

The Fjordman Report
The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.


Lars HedegaardI got some criticism of my essay about Multiculturalism and Political Correctness, labelling the latter as “cultural Marxism.” Since some of this criticism came from people I respect, such as Danish writer Lars Hedegaard, I will take a second look at some of my assertions.

Hedegaard has said that he believes Europe suffers from a death-wish following the world wars and de-colonization, and that Europeans allow themselves to be replaced through immigration because they want to die as a culture. It is true that there is a loss of cultural confidence in Europe, but there is one catch to this thesis: Many Europeans have never expressed any such desire to be wiped out.

Sigurd SkirbekkProfessor Sigurd Skirbekk of the University of Oslo notes that “In 1994, the German periodical Focus pointed to opinion polls taken in Germany, France and England in which 55, 52 and 50 per cent, respectively, felt that their countries accepted too many immigrants.” “From Norway we have a representative study from 1987 which showed that 51% of the people felt that the country should accept fewer immigrants; 25% felt that politicians should stick to current practice, while only 8% wanted to accept more immigrants. A similar study in Sweden, made a couple of years later, showed that 54% of Swedes felt that too many people were immigrating to Sweden.” “In later studies the figures have varied somewhat; but there have always been more people who have favored a restrictive policy than those who favored liberalization.”

Thus, according to Skirbekk, “the extent of recent immigration cannot be explained on the basis of popular opinion [my emphasis].”

I do agree that the fact that such massive changes can take place without the consent of the people, sometimes in direct opposition to it, is disturbing. It may reveal something disturbing about how certain élite groups can impose their will on a reluctant public. Or it may reveal that democratic nation states have been weakened by supranational organizations such as the EU, as well as human rights legislation, to the point where they have lost control over their own borders and get overwhelmed by migrants. In both cases, we are dealing with serious, and potentially lethal, flaws in our democratic system.

American political analyst Tony Corn claims that “The recent referenda on the EU Constitution [in 2005] have proven, if anything, how disconnected EU élites have become, not just from world realities, but from their own constituencies. It should now be clear to all that the intra-European gap between élites and public opinion is greater still (and in fact older) than the transatlantic gap between the U.S. and the EU. For Washington, there has never been a better time to do “European Outreach” and drive home the point that the existence of a “Sino-Islamic Connection” calls for closer transatlantic cooperation and a reassertion of the West.”

Bat Ye’or thinks this is caused by the stealth agenda of the EU élites to create a larger entity of Europe and the Arab world. The promotion of Islamic culture under guise of Multiculturalism is an essential part of this plan. She talks about a conflict between Europeans and Eurabians, with the latter holding sway for now because they dominate the media and the political establishment. However, there are similar conflicts in Canada, Australia and the United States, too. I sometimes wonder whether the West at the beginning of the 21st century is mired in an ideological civil war between Westerners and post-Westerners. Although left-wingers tend to be more aggressive, post-Westerners have penetrated deep into the political right-wing, too. This is true.

I have pointed out that there is usually a high concentration of Marxists in our anti-racist organizations. Professor Skirbekk, however, wonders whether there is a semi-religious undercurrent to the anti-racist movement, and that it is quite literally the equivalent of the witch hunts of previous ages:

Inger Lise Lien “A number of researchers have come to see that certain issues in the migration debate has religious connotations. The Norwegian social anthropologist Inger Lise Lien, for instance, has written that ‘racism’ in the public immigration debate has become a word used to label the demons among us, the impure from whom all decent people should remain aloof.” “We have every reason to believe that the use of the term ‘racist’ in our day has many functional similarities with the use of the word ‘heretic’ three hundred years ago.”

“It is presumably fully possible to join anti-racist movements with the sole motive of identifying with something that appears to be politically correct, or in order to be a part of a collective that entitles one to demonstrate and to harass splinter groups that no one cares to defend.” But “behind the slogan ‘crush the racists’, there might well be something more than a primitive desire to exercise violence. The battle also involves an element of being in a struggle for purity versus impurity. And since racism is something murky, anti-racism and the colorful community it purportedly represents, becomes an expression of what is pure.”

Jean-Jacques RousseauWhat are the origins of Multiculturalism? Well, that depends on your perspective. Some elements of the fascination with more “primitive” cultures can be traced back to Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the 18th century and his praise of the “noble savage” who had not been corrupted by society and civilization.

Dutch novelist and commentator Leon de Winter thinks that is one of the unforeseen effects of the “hippie” cultural revolution in West in the 1960s. “Certain values were cherished: anti-fascism, feminism, secularism, pacifism, anti-colonialism, anti-capitalism, et cetera. It is here where the ideas of multiculturalism first showed up. It started with the so-called ‘sub-cultures’ of pseudo-bohemian artists, academic Marxists, all pretending that the existing values of Western civilization were overdue.”

American author Claire Berlinski claims that Multiculturalism is “completely incompatible with doctrinaire Marxism.” “Many leftists did indeed end up as multiculturalists after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but multiculturalism is functioning here as a substitute for anti-capitalism (in turn a substitute for something else), and not as its natural extension.”

MulticulturalismLars Hedegaard believes Multiculturalism was produced in the United States following the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, and from there exported to Europe. By the 1980s and 90s, when the term began to be widely used even in Europe, it had “turned into an ideological platform on which the left could base its claim to power” when Socialism was becoming discredited. Thus although Multiculturalism “is not a weed that has grown” in the Socialist garden, it is now the core ideology of the Left. Hedegaard doubts whether there is any Utopianism embedded in the new ideology, though:

“For now the multicultural ideology functions as an umbrella under which a variety of political and economic interest groups — left, right and center — may comfortably pursue their particular interests. In Denmark it was very clear that once the left had abandoned its anti-capitalist rhetoric and no longer called for the nationalization of the means of production, the capitalists lost all interest in ideological matters. The result can be described as an implied social contract: The capitalists and much of the traditional political center and right are perfectly willing to accept the left’s ideological hegemony so long as the leftists do not threaten their special interests. In fact, as long as it works, it is a perfect system where nobody is interested in rocking the boat. The left may continue to import its social clients — and voters — and the right may feel secure because the Muslim newcomers do not settle in their neighborhoods and have no other political agenda than identity politics.”

He thinks this alliance was displayed during the Muhammad cartoons crisis, “when the entire left allied itself with the cultural, academic and media élite, most of the Christian church and prominent capitalists and bourgeois politicians to condemn the cartoons and Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for refusing to compromise free speech.”

I appreciate many of these points, and I agree that Multiculturalism is not exclusively the recourse of the political Left, which may indicate that its roots are complicated and not entirely based on Marxism. However, I disagree with those stating that the closely related form of mind control called Political Correctness has no ties whatsoever to traditional Marxism.

Koenraad ElstKoenraad Elst describes how Ruby Schembri, a white 35-year old Maltese national who moved to Britain in 2004, earned £750 by taking her employer, HSBC Bank, to court claiming race discrimination because she had overheard a private conversation between colleagues. Watford Employment Tribunal found both Debbie Jones, a local bank manager, and HSBC guilty of racial discrimination after Ms Schembri claimed that she had overheard Ms Jones say “I hate foreigners” and “I am against immigration” in a conversation with a colleague in April 2005.

This was one of the first cases to find that that a comment not made directly to another person, who in this incident was also of the same race as the accused, can be construed as racism. Moreover, the court ruled that using the term “foreigners” is racist. The verdict also indicated that the mere fact of “disliking” foreigners constituted a crime, even if one’s dislike was purely private and not shown directly in one’s behaviour towards a foreigner. Elst points out that thanks to the Multicultural society and its guiding ideology PC, people who in the past would have pursued careers as Inquisition officials or Stasi informers in Communist East Germany can now snitch on colleagues and neighbors.

In another story from the UK, the Labour government is considering denying multimillion-pound contracts to companies that fail to employ enough black and Asian workers. Private firms could be asked to provide figures showing the numbers of black and Asian employees on their payroll. This would then be compared with the proportion of people living in a surrounding area. According to writer Neil Davenport, “the ‘affirmative action’ proposals are less about tackling racial discrimination per se than they are a mechanism to bring the private sector within government control.”

As both these examples from the UK — and many more could be added — demonstrate, there are, in fact, quite a few common features between Multiculturalism/Political Correctness and traditional Marxism. In Marxist societies, the public is continuously bombarded with ideological indoctrination through the media. This constant brainwashing to demonstrate that the ruling ideology is benevolent is a very good indication that exact opposite is true. In case this isn’t be enough, there is also a system for snitching on those who won’t comply with the directives, as well as punishment, public harassment and “re-education” of those individuals who fail to submit to the Official State Ideology.

This Ideology implies that the state has to seize control of, or at least regulate and interfere with, all sectors of society, which leaves little room for individual freedom and thus real democracy. If we notice all the new laws restricting speech and behavior in the Multicultural society, not to mention the massive re-writing of our history and the total change in the very nature of our institutions, we understand that our countries moved rapidly in a totalitarian direction the very second Multiculturalism was adopted as the ethos of the state.

There is little doubt in my mind that this post-democratic ideology was desired and encouraged by certain groups. If we look at the people supporting the most totalitarian and anti-freedom aspects of Political Correctness, it becomes apparent that it is frequently the same organizations and sometimes individuals who a generation earlier supported traditional, economic Marxism. They now hide their goals under slogans of “diversity” and “anti-racism,” but the essence of their ideas is still the same.

Berlinski, Hedegaard and others seem to argue that our problems lie less in any deliberate ideological project among certain political groups and more in a general loss of cultural confidence in the West. This is, however, a false dichotomy. It is both.

I agree with Bat Ye’or that the rise of Eurabia is closely tied to the European Union. There is also little doubt in my mind that many Leftist intellectuals in our media and our universities want to erase the foundations of Western civilization and replace them with something else.

Arbeit Macht FreiIt is true that these groups could never have been so successful in implementing this if there had been stronger popular resistance. There is indeed a loss of cultural confidence, sometimes bordering on active self-loathing, that has penetrated deep into the general populace, not just some élite groups. Europe’s faith in itself was severely wounded in the trenches of WW1, and perhaps mortally wounded in Auschwitz.

However, as the numbers quoted by Skirbekk demonstrate, there has never been any unanimous enthusiasm for the Multicultural project. It has been championed at best by only parts of the population, but by a disproportionate amount of powerful post-Westerners in the media, the academia and the political establishment, not to mention by unsupervised supranational organizations such as the EU. Perhaps Multiculturalism is also championed to hide the fact that national authorities have lost, or deliberately vacated, control over their borders.

The prevalence of hate speech laws and the sheer force of the pro-Multicultural propaganda are powerful indications of the resistance to it in sections of the public. Neither would have been necessary if everybody had been thrilled about the project or happily embraced their own extinction, as Hedegaard implies. The draconian Discrimination Act in Norway was passed by stealth, almost entirely without public debate, for precisely this reason. Multiculturalism must increasingly be forced by co-option or deception on a reluctant populace.

I agree with Mr. Hedegaard that there sometimes seems to be an alliance of convenience between left-wingers and right-wingers. The European Union, for instance, cannot exclusively be explained as a Socialist undertaking. Some Marxists have been rather critical of the EU, but they are usually critical of it for the “wrong” reasons, because they think the common market is a neo-liberal conspiracy to promote more capitalism. Their judgment thus cannot be trusted on other issues.

French Socialists were for instance worried that plumbers from Poland might do the work cheaper than local plumbers because of the EU. They did not object to the EU encouraging Multiculturalism, anti-Americanism, demonization of Israel and pro-Islamic policies, since these issues all suited their own ideological agenda. Indeed, some of the same argument about the lack of democratic accountability and massive bureaucracy could be made about organizations such as the United Nations, and the UN is always applauded by left-wingers. Which shows that Leftists are not critical of the EU primarily because it is “too undemocratic,” but because it is “too capitalist.”

All in all, I admit that it may be a tad simplistic to label Political Correctness as cultural Marxism, but I disagree with assertions that there is no connection at all between Multiculturalism and Marxism.

36 comments:

David S. said...

Good essay, Fjordman.

I do have one thing I wish to point out, a question rather. You state that, "I do agree that the fact that such massive changes can take place without the consent of the people, sometimes in direct opposition to it, is disturbing." I'm curious: do you support total democracy? To me the very idea that a majority of opinion makes it correct - might makes right, essentially - is disturbing. Don't you think that at least in certain cases the rulers of a country ought to oppose popular opinion, if popular opinion is wrong?

This is of course hypothetical, because in this case popular opinion is entirely correct. I'm just trying to get a grasp on your ideology here.

tcobb said...

Whether it was by design or chance, multicultural policies are helping to create the large underclass that classic Marxist theory said would ultimately overthrow the existing order and usher in the new Utopian paradise. Culture is more than the food we eat and the way we dress, it also encompasses the way we interact with one another and the kind of political and business relations that one views as legitimate.

There is no material reason why there should such a huge economic disparity between the US and Mexico. Both countries are rich in resources. But the economic gap is huge. Much of it is directly due to the political culture of Mexico. The amount of corruption which exists and is viewed as being normal there would not be tolerated in the US, and the different cultural traits are reflected in the political institutions of the two countries.

All you need to do to create your own critical mass of the downtrodden is to ensure that they will retain the same cultural traits that made the societies they came from so impoverished to begin with, and this is what multiculturalism does. Whether or not this was or is the intent of the proponents of such policies is really immaterial, but it seems to me that the direction its leading us, if unchecked, will bring about the same result.

Fjordman said...

David: No, I don't believe in total democracy. But what we are seeing here is not an enlightened leader leading his nation, but traitors fundamentally and permanently altering the demographics and core culture of the countries they are supposed to serve and protect.

Rico said...

As I noted in my blog (http://ricorant.blogspot.com/2006/09/one-ring-to-rule-them-all.html), "Multiculturalism, the panacea of the liberals (read: dhimmis) for fifty years, fails in the face of a culture that only admits of a monoculture."
Islam is a virulent monoculture; like many monocultures, it's sterilizing and invasive. We need to develop an antidote.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Political correctness IS cultural marxism. There is a documented, simple direct, uninterrupted causal link. Anyone who has not read "The Origins of Political Correctness" - please do so, now.

Multiculturalism is more complex. While there is obvious Marxist appeal in importing the drowntrodden masses necessary for a proletarian revolution in a country with an all to contented and large middle class, and mass imigration would be an obvious means of destroying a traditional society, as far as I can find the use of mass immigration as a deliberate cultural weapon is not mentioned by the Gramsci/Frankfurt school. (Anyone who has seen such please report asap).

Multiculturalism appeared in the 70's, and was enacted as leftist parties came into power post cold war in the 90's. The multicultural meme does not have a definitive seminal article or event. It apparenly is a follow on counterculture revolution of the 60's, combining elements from the civil rights movement, the Frankfurt school's cultural marxism, and the earlier cultural pluralism (and the internationalist ideals of Soviet communism, but let us not delve too deeply into that, eh comrades?).

The use of multiculturalism to justify mass immigration as a political weapon to ensure the electoral success of pro-immigration/pro-welfare, that is socialist and leftist parties, is new and still evolving. Fjordman and others has documented this in past essays, and we are still to see the full horrors it may presage. When the backlash comes, will a leftist party somewhere open the floodgates to a 20-30% (or more) population swing in a single electoral cycle in order to retain power?

So while multiculturalism is not part of the original cultural marxist doctrines, it is fairly evidently still their offspring. The bastard child of civil rights and marxism, cultural pluralism and good intentions. And, as Fjordman points out, the usual suspects have taken to it like ducks to water.

Van said...

It's probably silly of me to try this so close to midnight, but here goes:

Multiculturalism come from relativistic windiness - which comes of Marx's version of the Dialectic, adapted from Hegel's, which was adapted from Kant’s - which was codified from Rousseau's main idea that Emotion was more authentic and valuable than Reason.

What they all come down to is an unwillingness to identify reality or even admit to truth, which they manage to hide under massively convoluted complexity, which is the sole substance of their philosophical shell game.

None of it is intelligible, but Marx happened to supply a few sections that were easily dished out into philosophical sound-bites "Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains!" Capitalists are evil, proletariat’s shall rule! and so on.

Because Marx is easily parroted with dramatic self puffery, he has been the default favorite of Progressives - but his writings are not the true source of their 'intellectual' roots, Kant's are. It was he who supplied their motus operandi with his philosophic excuse "I have found it necessary to deny knowledge, in order to make room for faith." Kant set that method as the root motive power of his philosophy, and all succeeding variants that have followed him, flow from it. It matters not whether you substitute "State Spirit" (Hegel), "The Collective" (Marx), or anything else for "Faith", the principle that he established, and that all "philosophers" have accepted since, is that of "Deny truth to further THIS cause".

This is the reason that leftists worship complexity and dismiss simplicity. The drive towards error & obfuscation necessarily breeds disunity, disintegrated concepts of the world and the necessity for more and more elaborate 'explanations' to fit them within the party platform agenda, and to squeeze them into your head. Eventually, denying Truth as a principle, will deny you the ability to even say 'This is Good', and so soon all must be, not good... but 'Ok'... "Valid"... "Viable" and the rest.

Multiculturalism is all that is left to a people who deny truth and even reality. Shame on us if we let them get away with it.

Profitsbeard said...

A mixed bag of ideas from Fjordman, a little less focused than usual.

But, concerning one apsect of his argument, if you are ever accused of being a "racist" (as a tactical trick by the slip-shod polemicists of the jihad-enablers) I would suggest one judo tactic for anybody who wants to avoid being pigeonholed by the multicultural propagandists seeking an advantage through the use of the "bigot" card:

-render all of this nonsense about "racism" moot by appealing to their own purported modernity and broad-mindedly progressive spirit.

By becoming a "post-racist".

A position based on the biological truth that our mitochondrial DNA traces us all back to white (look at the soles of black Africans' feet, or the insides of their mouths, to reveal the ur-color of our species, before diet and climate gave us the "racial rainbow") African hominids.

By transcending (through the most accurate genetic data available) the limiting and fallacious concept of "races" (essentially a misunderstanding of a word that means "breeds" in the original German) you can implode all of these p.c. pinheads' attempts to spread their specious stupidity, and irrational nescience, hoisted by them in order to try to dominate the political/social conversation.

Do not allow their false premises to be taken seriously in the first place. Cut the ground out from under them and deny the very existence of any real "races". Only accept that there is a human race, period.

(Which is one of their quasi-Utopian wishes, ironically, although a "state" that they pretend has not yet come, and, as long as "racism" is a useful weapon in their argumentational arsenal, one that never shall arrive.)

Insist, when they begin bandying about the words "race" or "racism", that the scientific reality is: a world of slightly different "variations" of ONE inter-breedable people. A single species that has simply adapted from the root primordial type of homo sapien sapiens, slowly mutating over millenia. Adapting to stare into icy winds in Siberian Asia, which resulted in the epicanthic eye fold, or hunting and gathering nearly naked under the strong sun of Africa, they naturally selected for a high melanin content in the epidermis, etc., etc.

Use post-emotional arguments against their infantile, affect-based accusations.

And utilize this same form of "implode the premise" method to attack all of their equally fatally-flawed, and patently-superstitious hypotheses.

Most of the post-modern Marxian socialist one-worldy dream-staters can't stand it when you one-up their imbecilic utopianism with a higher form of it [ their ever-receding-never-to-be-achieved Wish World], based in actual science.

It destroys their spurious power, and drives them nugatorily nuts.

LA.Bueche said...

I have to say - You folks are some of the most thoughtful, intellegent commentators on the web. It goes without saying that this is a reflection of the fine writing and thought provoking analysis on The Gates of Vienna.

Every so often I check out the threads on Daily KOS or Huffington Post, and it's just the most foul mouthed, self serving, rabid dog type prose.

Just thought it was worth commending the high moral and intellectual tenor of this site and it's patrons.

All right - enough self-congratulation...

merrimacshores said...

To Fjordman and All:

You could always reply to charge of being a racist by saying, no, you are actually a realist and then proceed to discuss your side of the issue at hand and putting the epithet-slingers on the defensive.

On another issue, raised by a preivous blogger, the left-wing bent of msm:

More worryingly, in Saudi Arabia an organisation has just met to encourage wealthy Moslems to buy influence in Western media via shares, stocks in newspapers, TV, radio, etc in order to promote positive view of Islam.(Saudi Arabian prince owns 5.4% of Fox News, for example) On Sept 13 The Times of London printed a letter in its Letters Page from an Imran Waheed of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain extolling virtues of returning the caliphate. This is, according to www.jihadwatch.org a terrorist organisation, banned in several countries world wide inc Germany, Russia and Moslems countries for advocating return of caliphate by overthrowing govts, advocating suicide bombing, virulent anti-semitism. It just missed being banned in Britain and Australia because security forces said a ban would send it underground. Also, it tries to escape censure by promoting itself as 'anti-racist' and 'speaking out against islamophobia'. This letter was printed by The Times with no attempt to tell readership what this organisation is. Also, week before, The Times of London printed article by D Shelburne on Why the West can not defeat Islam. This looks to me as if the Times of London may operate, knowingly or not, as a fifth column. A letter I received from The Times's Letter Editor earlier this year appeared to indicate the Letters Editor was Moslem which should not have been a cause for concern apart from the fact that no letters critical of Islam, its doctrines or its history, ever appear as rebuttals to letters in faovur of Islam in the Times of London. I believe this issue, that of media, should be a topic of a Fjordman report. We on the internet discuss these issues openly but how can this be brought to general public readership's attention if msm is so dangerously biased? Sorry if this has interrupted discussion of this report.

truepeers said...

Multiculturalism is at root a form of Gnosticism, as is Marxism (in other words, they are both fantasy ideologies: just as "communism" never really existed, nor could it ever, neither does a multi-culturalism really exist, not least among those authoritarian thought police who fantasize that it does). If you want to understand the anthropology of Gnosticism - the experiences of history that lead to the kinds of symbolization we call Gnostic fantasy ideology - you can't do much better for breadth of vision than Eric Voegelin, though he is not the easiest person to read. One of Voegelin's contemporary interpreters is Tom Bertonneau who has a fine essay here that explores, among other things, the Gnostic qualities of multiculturalism.

truepeers said...
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truepeers said...

BTW, what I mean by multiculturalism not really existing is that a political system or political culture cannot really defer to multiple cultural perspectives and still be a coherent political system. Yes, we can have an economic marketplace where every kind of food is made available, where all kinds of people are given jobs, and in this respect we can have many cultural elements together. But politics cannot work like economics: it either has a logic that makes it one kind of rational poliitcal system and not another, or it indulges in fantasies that it can be many things at once and this leads to it falling apart, into pieces.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

truepeers : Falling apart? That is the least of our worries. A multicultural democracy cannot make for politically coherant system, since a democracy reflects its society (and therefore wil be incoherant, balkanized and divided). A dictatorship (totalitarian or otherwise) can happily be multicultural, since it does not reflect its own society. Think the USSR or Austro-Hungarian empire. Quite right, multiculturalism and democracy are not compatible in a longer time frame. So one can get rid of the multiculturalism in several ways -falling apart (USSR the moment it started democratizing) or ethnic cleansing (Yugoslavia the moment it started democratizing) or minority repression (Turkey after the end of Ottoman empire), OR one can get rid of the democracy. Our leftists are tending towards the latter.

georgesdelatour said...

Hello Fjordman -

I think your thoughtful essay is getting sidetracked by the issue of whether Marx was a "cultural relativist". Marx, like many others, felt indignant at the wretched condition of the urban proletariat in the 19th Century. But the German philosopher in him felt such indignation was "unscientific". So he developed a theory of how the proletariat were ultimately going to prevail purely because of unstoppable historic and economic forces, with no appeals to morality required. He derided Christians and socialists who campaigned for the poor on moral grounds as "utopians".

(Even as a scientist Marx was a bit of a fraud. When preparing the second edition of "Capital" he decided he ought to update the statistics from the first edition. His theory predicted that real wages would fall. But the statistics showed they were rising. So he updated all the other statistics, but left the figures for wages as they had been in the first edition. Needless to say, if any modern social scientist were caught doing this, he'd be in deep s***.)

Marx's dislike of moralizing made him a kind of moral relativist. Maybe that leads to some modern dhimmi-leftists refusing to take stances against stoning of adulterers, gays and apostates, or forced marriages. But Marx was also vehemently anti-religious. The man who declared religion "the opium of the people" hated ALL religion, including Islam. The USSR, in imposing secularism on both its Christian and its Muslim republics, was following Marx. Also, Marx's belief in science and progress does not sit well with "back to the 6th Century" Islamism. The USSR, notwithstanding its terror and its gulags, also gave the world Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin. Saudi Arabia has the resources to be at the forefront of science, yet its Wahhabist ideology is inimical to it.

Identity politics, though often portrayed as Marxist, is actually predicated on the failure of Marxism. For Marx, economic class is everything. Religion, culture, nation - these are all mirages: only class is real.

There may be good reasons to reject Marx and Marxism. But consider Rosa Luxemburg's most famous quote:

Freedom is always the freedom of dissenters. The essence of political freedom depends not on the fanatics of "justice", but rather on all the invigorating, beneficial, and detergent effects of dissenters.

I can't imagine her in a Burqa calling for the murder of Danish cartoonists, can you?

Asger said...

Fjordman:

2 comments:

1. You might consider the idea, that a state philosophy reflects the reality of the society. Like:

- Luthers protestantism reflected the fact that north Europe the aristocracy held power
- Marxism began with the rise of the working class
- Multiculturalism is strong in places with many cultures

So that is one of the reasons why we have multiculturalism: It gives a viable theory to a new reality.

2. The problem with the theory, as I see it, is that it has a dubious philosophical base – actually it does not have a philosophical base. The result is, that important civilization ideas, are not present in the mulitculturalism theory – like; democracy, freedom of speech, the law state and so on.

So, in this light, the problem is the quality of the idea.

Archonix said...

Actually Marxism preceeded any rise of the "working class", by effectively defining the term within its own frame of reference, creating divisions that didn't previously exist, or exagerating divisions that previously caused little friction. Of course there were many workers movements prior to that but they weren't based on the idea of seizing power from the land owners, or putting the means of prioduction in to the hands of the proles, but simply with getting a fair deal from their employers. Like enough pay to live, and such. The biggest irony of Marxism, and one that it shares with multiculturalism (which I'll expand on in a moment) is that it was, first and foremost, a product of the intellectuals. Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky were all what we would now call middle or upper-middle class academics types.

Marxism, in fact, couldn't exist at all without an industralising society, with a great many workers in new industries, in which to grow itself. It's ironic again, in that it then fossilises that society that that point in its growth by stifling any incentive to improve.

Multiculturalism was born out of the anti-racist movement, which went via the positive discrimination idea. PD was originally a product of white people, who had adopted the previously touted "white man's burden" under a new disguise. Multiculturalism is an extension of this thorougly racist idea, because it assumes that other cultures are either inferior and needing support, or not strong enough to survive contact with our culture. In that sense it's as ironic as the roots of Marxism, because it creates conflict where none previously existed and puts up artificial barriers between people who would, at one time, have mixed and become something new.

Beach Girl said...

In a most simplistic and to the bones comment, let me suggest that the elite (always threatened by a rising middle class) chooses "multiculturalism" to further insulate itself from the pedestrian masses and as a "fad" from which to get its amusements. The elites in the MSM and other places will still be driven to work in their limos, will still have their armed guards, and will still live in their protected enclaves.

We of the middle class will see our way of life eroded, our children discriminated against, and our culture dissolved. It is the elite who loath our culture and its successes while still living the "high life" at our expense. The invasion of the Third World into the West will not raise the boat but, by its numbers, sink the boat for everyone.

Jukka said...
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Sluggo_f16 said...

Baron,
Not to thread jack...but standby for the riots from the "religion of peace". The Pope on Tuesday opened up a very important discussion in his "engagement with Islam" having to do with violence and rationality quoting a 13th century Byzantine ruler.

http://www.chiesa.espressonline.it/dettaglio.jsp?id=83303&eng=y

truepeers said...

Fellow peacekeeper, yes I think your analysis is basically right. The kind of democracy we value does depend on a sense of shared nationhood, of a nation, or at least a polis, that rules itself. But then the question becomes, how much "diversity" is possible in a nation that still maintains a sense of shared nationhood. I actually think quite a lot, perhaps an infinite amount.

Consider, if we go back far enough in time, we discover that all humanity, in all its diversity, stems from a common linguistic and genetic origin, or unity; similarly, all particular communities that have since evolved stem from a common event of political or religious origin that re-interprets the primary human origin in a way that maintains meaning - faith and reason - for those within the group, if not for those outsiders who must have a different re-interpretation of our fundamental human origins. Despite the fact that there are now different and competing human communities, their difference stems from a common unity and that common human origin remains as a basis for initiating any conversation about or negotiation of their differences.

If all people in a particular nation are willing to respect the common political unity - the founding event in which the political community re-interprets its common humanity - the shared events from which all genuine, and not fantasy-ideology, diversity flow, then that unity or origin could be endlessly productive in generating new representations of that unity in such a way as to recognize and allow for new differences, new ways of relating our diversity to a common loyalty to a shared origin.

But practically, in the west, this means genuine diversity depends on respecting our Judeo-Christian and classical Hellenic origins, and relating them to fundamental anthropological questions. Newcomers may be integrated into these traditions, but only if they modify, however much is necessary, their religious and political traditions to be compatible with the western ones.

But if we start dissing, or deconstructing, our cultural traditions, our sources of unity, in the name of multicultural diversity and fighting "white male patriarchy" or what have you, then we will lose the unity that is necessary to true diversity and we will soon become either a totalitarian empire with a fantasy ideology of "diversity", or the locus of a disintegrating civil war, as you suggest.

Baron Bodissey said...

Jukka - please make long URLs into links; otherwise they mess up the page width in the single-post view.

Jukka said…

According to doctor Sosis — studing religion from evolutionary perspective — multiculturalism probably favors fundamentalism and religious terrorism.

The reason is that in a multicultural environment the different religious and ethnic groups compete with each other much like the tribes in ancestral environment. Group cohesion is important for the success and survival of the group in the struggle with the other groups and group cohesion is maintained by costly rituals. For long the antropologists have known a tendencey that the heavier the rituals practised by a group the stronger the cohesion of the group.

Evolutionary antropologists talk about costly signals for group commitment: an individual signals his commitment to his group by participation in terrifying rituals and/or aggressions against out-groups. Meaning in case of islamic groups religious terror against those who believe in a different way.

Without the high cultural diversity which multiculturalism is creating terrorism would not be needed for group cohesion.

See: link

Ofcource not all religious groups maintain group cohesion by aggressive rituals — for amishes and hutterites maintaining group cohesion is at least as important as for muslims but the means are different. Hutterites and amishes maintain costly communal norms and punish all who break the norms of the community. So doing they however do not any harm to anybody except maybe sales people trying to sell videos, televisions and cars.

Baron Bodissey said...

Profitsbeard and others --

With all respect, there's another judo move one can use against the charge of "racism". But it's a very difficult move, one that I have never attempted to use outside of the blogosphere.

Suppose I make Proposition X in an argument, and my opponent says, "You're a racist."

I respond by saying:

"OK, I'm a racist. I hate spics and wops and niggers and kikes and micks and chinks and gooks and slants and bohunks.

"In fact, I even hate chicks and faggots and cripples.

"Now what?

"What's your counter-argument to [Proposition X]?"

This effectively takes race off the table. However, it is the nuclear option, and will probably end the discussion right there.

Also, if you do it in real life or under your real name, it may well cost you your job. If you're in school, it may set you up for academic discipline and "diversity training."

This all kind of proves Fjordman's point. "Racism" and related accusations serve as a handy mechanism to target heresy and cut off all further heretical arguments.

Archonix said...

Heh, that's a good tactic. I'm too chicken to try it though...

Speaking of culture again, One mistake that many people make is in the assumption that culture, race and religion are synonyms, which is silly. You can have a multiracial and multi-religious society as long as they share a common, binding set of values. Those values are the primary force in a culture, everything else becomes subservient to them in a way.

Old Peculier said...

Also, week before, The Times of London printed article by D Shelburne on Why the West can not defeat Islam. This looks to me as if the Times of London may operate, knowingly or not, as a fifth column.

Hardly. On reading David Selbourne's article, a logical mind would conclude the opposite.

Profitsbeard said...

Baron-

Same result -from your implosive "super-racist" plan- as from being a "post-racist", although without the ability, by your tactic, to forward the overall argument from a position of [scientifically-based] strength.
The semantic 'scorched earth' route, however, can be fun when dealing with those who you know aren't going to listen to reason... or anything else ...anyway.

I gave up on the simple-minded theory of "races"- in the same way that the idea of the inter-planetary 'ether' faded with the Michelson-Morley experiment- when DNA research showed that not only are all humans essentially identical, but that all Life is brewed from the same primal biochemical soup, woven in unique poses.

Those who seek advantage from superficial differences deserve only scorn, because any blind person can see the fundamental non-reality of "races" better than those blinded by the mere variations of skin color and shape. (Blood types are more important a difference than "race", when it comes to survival, anyhow.)

Because the "bifgotry"-accusers are not looking for the truth of the circumstances, but only the power edge in the situation, "race" is merely a handy dialectical cudgel to beat the unsuspecting with.

By transcending this simplistic level of argument ["'Races', I don't need no stinking races'!" to paraphrase the bandit in "Treasure of the Sierra Madre"), you can change the dimension and direction of what usually degenerates into a dialogue of bi-polar pointlessness.

Letting your opponent set the ground rules pre-determines the end of the discussion, -and it is always in their favor.

Deny their presumptuous assumptions and a real debate can begin.

Or, at least, you will expose their underlying motive, which has more to do with intimidation than liberation.

georgesdelatour said...

Maybe there's a difference between multiculturalism and cultural relativism. I love with a passion the greatest hits of Western culture, like Shakespeare, Bach and Rembrandt. If multiculturalists point me in the direction of the Tale of Genji, the Benin Ivories, Indian Ragas and Persian poetry, all of this can be enriching too. My dislike of Islam is moral, not cultural.

Phanarath said...

I hope the left will end up painting themselves in a corner with the racist namecalling game.

Soon racist will only meen that you disagre with people who have a different oppinion.

The antiracist will then be someone who can somehow agree with everyone and focus on something good in everything. By then then the consept will lose all political mening. And those who want to stay in the game will be forced to leave it behind.

Personaly I hope the left will keep at it for a good while longer and dig and even bigger hole for themselves.

Dan said...

Martin Luther King, Jr. said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”

Multiculturalism stands that on its head by demanding that we be judged solely on race not as individuals but as members of a collective. It seems doubtful to me that it came from the civil right movement, though it has certainly took it over.

Multiculturalism does not seek to be inclusive of other cultures. Do you ever hear multiculturalists express an interest in cultures that were not oppressed by the west? Multiculturalism only seeks to include cultures that support its main goal of destroying western civilization by demeaning western institutions such as logic and linear thinking so that minorities will lack the tools to better themselves or even realize that they are being used by liberal elites; all the while feeling good about themselves because they are morally superior to the western oppressor.

So under the mantra of inclusiveness it serves to exclude it’s victims from mainstream society further creating grievances to feed its self.

By focusing solely on grievances and differences it seeks to fracture society its self by driving wedges in racial and social fault lines leading ultimately to anarchy- then totalitarianism.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AnnsFuseBox said...

This old article (dating from 2002) from Lee Harris in Policy Review (http://www.policyreview.org/dec02/harris.html) I think does a superb job of explaining how the Marxists of the past have become the pro-Eurabians of today.

His basic thesis is this: Marxism was based on the idea that capitalism would increasingly separate the wealthy from the poor. The poor would be so downtrodden that they would rebel and usher in the age of communism. Originally, it was thought that the great capitalist countries would be the battle ground. That much evil capitalism was bound to make the proletariat angry. But John Kennedy's "rising tide" turned out to be the far more accurate model. In a capitalist system, the poor get wealthy right along with the rich. Thus, no great wave of angry peasants to lead the revolt.

In light of their theory's failure, Marxists looked around for another downtrodden group to lead the great struggle. Instead of the workers of the first world uniting, they turned to the poor of the third world. Surely here, the theory goes, they would find angry proles itching to break their chains and take up an AK-47 against the raiders and pillagers of the capitalists.

It is in light of this, Harris proposes, Marxists have turned to Eurabia. Get the third world riled up--those angry Arabs seem particularly eager for a fight--and the great Communist Age must follow.

It's a great article, and I've found over the years that it rings true again and again.

Archonix said...

They'll get their overarching centrally controlled collective whever everyone is equal. It just won't be the one they want.

Da Bear said...

"As an ideology, multiculturalism is a corrupted form of Marxism in which race and nationality replace class. Like Marxism itself, it is an ideology that must be opposed if we are to preserve a country founded on the proposition that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights."

Quote from Scott at Powerlineblog

Phanarath said...

Hehe, A corrupted form of marxism. That sounds bad.

But I think it must be a corrupted form of liberalism. Liberals wish freedom for everyone no matter what race or religion. But this was ment as a negative freedom, mening that you should be free from bad things being done to you becourse of race and religion.

After Marxism had become a very unpopular idea. The hive-creatures looked around for something new to settle on and found the freedom rights. But they missunderstod the whole thing and thought that freedom rights ment the rights to do things and to get stuff. And so they corrupted a dream of a better world and turned it into a nightmare, where freedom rights are now something you bang other people in the head with to get what you want.

But people where getting angry about this. And the hive-creatures felt treatened. So they found the good old Conservative idea about politenes and good manners and corrupted that to. This ment that whenever people said negative things about other religions, races, cultures or the hive itself, they would be seen as inpolite and bad mannered or "politicaly incorrect" as it came to be called.

The hive-creatures are unable to come up with anything new themselves. They can only take what others have created and corrupt it. They corrupted Nationalism and createt fascism. They corrupted religion and created a threat against the whole world.

Now they have taken conservative and liberal ideas corrupted them and created a new monster.

The Neo-Socialist or the Politicaly-correct Multicultural being. Who very much like the last humans in Nietzche, blink with their eyes and insist that they have invented happyness.

Steve Hayes said...

I've been finding it vert difficult to understand discussions in which multiculturalism cropps up, because most participants in such discussions have multicultural understandings of multiculturalism. They rarely say what they mean by it, and assume that everyone else in the discussion shares their cultural presuppositions about it, which they usually don't.

Where I live, culticulturalism was a prodcuct of capitalism and colonialism. People from Europe created mutlicultural societies by drawing lines all over the map, and incorposating everyone within those lines into a single political and administrative system, regardless of cultural differences.

Maggie said...

This is a very interesting discussion regarding multiculturalism and political correctness. I live in Australia, and the rise of multiculturalism was synonymous with the rise in the power of the socialists (the ALP). The architect of multiculturalism in Australia is the late Al Grasby (not at all popular with those who detest the relaxation of immigration laws). This occurred in the 1970s, during the time when I was still studying at the University of Melbourne. Australia had been known for its White Australia policy, which in hindsight protected us from being overhwelmed by the hordes of immigrants who lacked culture, and good sanitary habits. The White Australia policy had its good and bad points. I was personally against the way in which the English tests were handled in that period, because they worked to keep out potential citizens who were good for the country because they were industrious types. The White Australia policy served to prevent the race riots of the previous century, especially the kind of riots experienced in the gold fields against the Chinese, who were digging up gold that the others had failed to find. (a simplistic historic version of what took place. Professor Geoffrey Blayney wrote some interesting material on this subject). During the 70s were saw a wave of new immigration from refugees, namely South Vietnamese who wanted to escape the communists. I can remember the xenophobic comments that could be heard on the radio from the broadcasters as well as their general audience. The main thrust of the xenophobia was the fact that these Vietnamese were allegedly Catholic. So the real cause of the tirade was two-fold for the Vietnamese were Asian (the real Asians) and they were supposedly Catholic. The protesters did not want more Catholics in Australia!!!

However, the change of government from the Liberal-Country Party to that of the ALP would in effect spell the end of the White Australia policy. Grasby, who was the son of Italian immigrants was the face of the change, but the major policy shift also came from other members of the Whitlam government, and not Grasby alone. Since that time we saw an increase in Vietnamese, Chinese,Lebanse, Indian, Pakistani and now Sudanese, Pakistani, Lebanese, Chinsee and a variety of other nationalities. There has been a shift from the Northern European migrants immediately after the second world war, to the acceptance of what can only be considered as immigrants from a very low class background, on the whole. There are notable exceptions with regard to the calibre of the immigrants. What it has meant though, is that there has been a very large rise in the number of immigrants with a Muslim background, especially of Pakistani origin. This, I believe is a real problem and it needs to be checked, because we do not need migrants without skills who are going to accept the dole and refuse to look for work.

The cultural shift brought with it some rather unpleasant outcomes. Back in the 1980s, ProFessor Blayney very courageously commented that if the migration of the Asians was not checked then there would be a similar rise in xenophobia to that of the 1890s when there were race riots on the gold fields. His comments were prophetic, and well intentioned, but the Chinese community claimed that they were "hurt" by the comments, and the good professor was ostracized by the academic community. Yes, his words were prophetic, because there is an every increasing feeling that jobs are being taken away from people of English background in favour of those who come from India and elsewhere. People in their 40s face a difficult time getting work on a permanent basis. These new prejudices give rise to a rise in anti-Asian feeling. The timing of Blayney's comments was unfortunate, but on looking back, I see that this coincided with the rise in political correctness. It was no longer politically correct to be able to express one's opinion in this way.

Another Australian event of note is the rise of a rather ignorant woman from Queensland by the name of Pauline Hanson. She rose in popularity because she expressed views that struck a chord with a lot of people who were fed up with the new stance on immigration. She became popular at the height of the invasion by the boat people from China, Vietnam, Afghanistan and elsewhere. I do not agree with locking these illegal immigrants away in almost solitary confinement, which was the policy adopted by the Australian government. I can see how this policy worked in favour of the illegals from the point of view that they were able to win the sympathy of the bleeding hearts within the community. There were genuine refugees amongst those who arrived on Australian shores, and I fear that Australia made a lot of mistakes in not granting refugee status especially to the Chinese couples who knew that by having a second child they faced being tortured. The immigration department in Australia has been totally inconsistent with its policies, and by being inconsistent, it has contributed to the rise of politicial correctness.

Basically, political correctness means that we cannot express our true feelings. Pauline Hanson was pilloried because she did express those feelings. She sent the PC crowd into a frenzy. As a result of the errors of Pauline new laws were passed that make it even more difficult to state the truth. Instead of being able to call a Lebanese perpetrator of a crime, a Lebanese, we have to couch it in terms of "Middle Eastern appearance". What a joke!!

Basically, I am saying that the rise in multiculturalism preceded the rise in political correctness. These phenomena go hand in hand, because PC seeks to prevent us from being able to express an opinion. If I were to say that I thought that no Indians should be given a job in accounts because they stuff up, I would be accused of racism, even though I have seen the end result of what happens when an Indian has been employed in Accounts Receivable!!! I am not joking about the mess that they make in a ledger. However, I would be generalizing because not all Indians are alike and it is only a certain type (mostly Hindu women).

Also, I am not allowed to express my own fears about the fact that once an Indian comes into the country, and gets work, the money is sent back to India, and the next thing you know, the whole family - aunts, uncles, cousins and the like - end up in the country, and quite often in the same house. This is only an illustration of the kind of fears that people want to express, based upon their own personal experiences.

Political correctness means that I am not allowed to express my views about the demands of homosexuals, but I am supposed to behave like a person who has been slapped in the face and just accept the in your face behaviour that makes me feel so very sick. That does not mean that I have the right to bash a homosexual, because bashing another person because of race, religion and sexual immorality is against the penal code. We would do well to make sure that we have an appropriate penal code but not that is over the top, such as what is now in place because of PC.

USpace said...

Scary situation created by supposedly well-meaning idiots...


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never confront Islamists

just let them push you around
change your culture to fit them
.