WHY MULTICULTURALISM IS WRONG

Multiculturalism creates a world structured in terms of cultures, usually national cultures. This structure is imposed on people who do not want it: since it is a global structure, there is no escape. It limits freedom, it limits possibility, and it limits possible futures. In Europe, multiculturalists form a de facto alliance with nationalists, to impose culture on Europe. The specific examples are from the Netherlands. When I first wrote this, multiculturalism was the political standard here, and it was taboo to criticise it. Since then, attitudes have reversed and hardened, especially since the assassination of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh. There is now a consensus that immigration must be restricted, and that immigrants are a source of social problems. A similar reversal of attitudes is now under way in Germany. So take note: multicultural political correctness can suddenly evaporate. If it happened in the Netherlands, it can happen elsewhere.

For more on nationalism, see the introduction to the link site Nation Planet.


 

___Legitimising racism and inequality

The reality of a 'multi-cultural society' has become more evident. In the Netherlands, 'multicultural' is systematically used as the opposite to 'equality'. A multicultural society is a society where African immigrants clean toilets, and upper-middle-class ethnic Dutch are the lawyers, pilots, surgeons and bankers. The word 'multicultural' no longer carries any connotation of equality or respect - if it ever did. It implies the presence in society of ethnic minorities, but says nothing about their social status. Worse, it implies that all moral obligations have been met, when society is 'multicultural' in this sense.

___Compulsory culture

A 'multi-cultural society' oppresses migrants. Having left one culture, they are obliged to rejoin it in the country in which they arrive. Wherever they go, they will be enclosed in their culture of origin. Mono-culturalism, multiculturalism and inter-culturalism all enforce culture. Despite what you have been told at school (and at home), it is simply not necessary to have "culture". Far from being sacred, it is a political choice, a choice advocated by nationalists.

When government policies are based on this kind of multiculturalism, they favour traditionalists. Conservatives often put themselves forward as representing the "true values of the community". If the government looks for authentic representatives of each culture, the it will find that conservative kind of representative. In practice many European governments do nominate conservatives, often religious leaders, as representatives of an immigrant minority. This has happened so often, that multicultural has acquired the meaning 'multi-faith' or 'multi-religious'. For instance, in Amsterdam local politics, Turks are assumed to be Muslims. The imam of the local mosque is assumed to be their representative - even if they are atheists, even if they never saw the inside of a mosque, and don't know where the local mosque is.

This attitude - compulsory culture - facilitated the switch back to mono-culturalism in the Netherlands. And just as predictably, the 'Dutch values' now being demanded of immigrants are those of the 1950's. The standard version of culture is always the conservative version - better no culture at all.

___Hereditary culture

Multiculturalism makes culture hereditary. A good example was the "Education in own language and culture" program in the Netherlands. For instance: if the Turkish language has any value, then why are children of Chinese immigrants forbidden to learn it? Why are children of Turkish immigrants forbidden to learn any form of Chinese? This is how the program works: the "own language" is the language of the parents' country of origin.

What makes Turkish an "own" language for a child who speaks only Dutch? The answer is obvious: birth. They are born to be Turkish, whether they like it or not. Children, whose parents are both Turkish citizens, are defined as Turkish. So, the extra language they are taught, is Turkish. This labelling process continues into the next generation, and perhaps into a 3rd and 4th generation. There is no appeal against this definition (as even the South African race classification had). This approach has harmed many children of Moroccan origin in Amsterdam. In the name of multi-culturalism they were given their education partly in Arabic. The multiculturalists, on the basis of their own racist ignorance, simply labelled them "Arabic". In reality, most Moroccan immigrants come from Berber-language areas. The children were being educated in a language they often could not understand - in the name of preserving "their own culture".

In the post-Fortuyn Netherlands, attitudes have reversed, but the children will not be any better off. The children of Moroccan immigrants who are separated from their parents, must now learn Dutch in Morocco before they are allowed to join their family in the Netherlands.

___"Cultures" are nations

The 'cultures' in multiculturalism, correspond to existing nation states. A classic example is again Turkey: many of those classified as Turkish in the last 20 years, considered themselves Kurds. And the "Kurdish question" is not the only identity issue in Turkey. Why is someone born in Istanbul not Ottoman? or Byzantine? or Roman? or Mediterranean? Why is someone born in Izmir (formerly Smyrna) not Greek? And why is someone born in Tashkent not Turkish, as the pan-Turkists claim? Why are people born in Helsinki, Istanbul and Budapest not all Turanians, as pan-Turanists claim? None of these identities is permitted to form the basis of a multicultural programme. In other words, multiculturalists reject 'cultures' which do not correspond to nation states.

Most multiculturalists, for example, would reject the claim of a person born in the Republic of Ireland, to consider themselves British. Yet for some time after Irish independence there was a small Unionist party seeking Ireland's reincorporation into Britain. Some southern Irish did feel British: in northern Ireland many still do. As time passed, the equation of southern Irish with Republic of Ireland citizenship became accepted as natural and self-evident. But in the last few years, a small unionist trend has re-emerged in the Republic: what will the multiculturalists say now?

In general, the world view of multiculturalists is the same as that of the anti-immigrant parties in Europe: a cultural-nationalist world-view. (In the United States, also, all the hyphenated identities of diversity correspond to existing nations, or nationalist movements). For centuries there was a Burgundian state in Europe, yet there are no classes in Burgundian culture for immigrants in Amsterdam, and there are no Burgundian-Americans. But if someone founds a Burgundy Liberation Front, and it gains some support, "Burgundian culture" will become a political force. Cultural nationalism is about present politics, not ancient memory, although it uses that memory as an instrument.

Again, the identification of cultures with nations has undoubtedly facilitated the switch back to mono-culturalism. Right-wing anti-immigration politicians, such as Pim Fortuyn, consistently used the rhetoric of cultural value to legitimise their attitudes and policies, with success.

___Multicultural order

Multiculturalism internalises the nationalist world order in each nation state. The end result would be, in a perfectly multi-cultural world, 180 UN member states, each with 179 narrowly defined minorities within its borders, corresponding to the other states. In the United States this ideal - Nation of Nations - has a long history, and it recently re-appeared in Robert Kaplan's bestseller Empire Wilderness. Any such system would probably collapse under its own absurdity, but that does not stop the multiculturalists trying to implement it.

___Race

Multiculturalism restates the core of biological racial doctrines, substituting words like "culture", "identity" and "roots" for the often discredited word "race". Yet the discredited race doctrines were themselves a biological variant of older doctrines of ethno-cultural identity. There is no agreed term for all these variants, but the best option is to include them under "nation" and "nationalism".

There are obvious parallels with nationalism: the belief in the necessity of each culture, the loyalty demanded to it, the duty to transfer it to the next generation. Nationalists usually start with the fiction that each nation is a singular entity, but multiculturalists take their so-called "diversity" as starting point. A system which defines just 180 acceptable forms of diversity, and tells me where I belong (on a hereditary basis) - that is clearly not very "diverse". Anti-cultural opposition to multiculturality is a form of anti-nationalism: it opposes this restrictive and limited world.


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