The Problem With Multiculturalism

Most conservative observers are of the opinion that multiculturalism as it has been understood and practiced is nothing short of a social and economic disaster. And it must be said they are largely, if not entirely, correct. The multicultural project in its contemporary form suffers from two grievous flaws: the filter is too wide, allowing into the country unskilled people who are poorly equipped to participate in a modern, technologically oriented economy and who consequently become a financial burden to the nation, disproportionately swelling the welfare rolls; and, no less critical, many of these immigrant groups import the hatreds, prejudices and conflicts of their countries of origin, sequester themselves with official approval into closed or aggressive enclaves, and often cause violence and disruption in the public life of their new home. (Rape and “grooming” statistics compiled in the U.K. give a dataset that leaves in no doubt the ethnic make-up of the great majority of offenders.)

Of course, in those cases where immigrant societies, while preserving their cultural habits and religious beliefs in the private sphere, make every effort to integrate into the public domain, to respect the laws, assumptions and folkways of their host, and to contribute to the economic vitality of their adopted country—in such cases, multiculturalism may be said to have succeeded. We are, after all, a country of immigrants. Nearly everyone has an ancestor who was not born here. But in every Western country, whether in North America, Europe or parts of Australasia, there is one immigrant group whose more radical members refuse to adapt to the heritage culture, insist on the supremacy of their ideas and customs, shamelessly milk the dole, create havoc and mayhem, and pose a serious threat to the security and wellbeing of the larger population.

Not long ago I spent an afternoon at Kingsmere Park, the historic estate of legendary Canadian prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, near the capital city, Ottawa. It was filled with thousands of weekend visitors enjoying the vast landscaped gardens, rustic dwellings and architectural ruins erected by King, who was prone to eccentric visions of grandeur. I was, however, more impressed by the people than by the site itself. They represented a microcosm of the Canadian census, the changing and multi-hued face of the country, brown, black, white and every shade in between, some speaking languages I could not identify, others in languages that I could, and English in a bewildering variety of accents and intonations. Many were garbed in a panoply of exotic costumes. But they were Canadians, experiencing a piece of Canadian history, reading the pamphlets and brochures provided by the service personnel, pointing out objects of interest to their children, and participating in the festive atmosphere of the place.

I spent most of the afternoon strolling about Kingsmere fascinated by the prism of citizenship before me. But I did not see a single hijab, or burka, or abaya, or chador, or niqab, or shalwar. I did not hear a syllable of Arabic. So far as I could tell, or at any rate on that particular day, a certain ethnic cohort seemed to be entirely absent.

A month or so later I attended the November 11 Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa, a profoundly moving event that brought me to tears, as it did many others among a multitude so large it could not be reliably counted. The laying of wreaths, the war veterans parading by, some in wheelchairs, the busby-topped buglers, the multi-denominational speeches, the jets flying at low altitude, the 21-gun salute—all brought to mind the debt of gratitude we owed to our soldiers and relit the candle of patriotism, too often guttering or extinct, for one of the more decent and tolerant countries on the planet. Recalling my earlier experiment at Kingsmere, I began canvassing as much of the crowd as was feasible under the circumstances to determine its composition; and, as at the national site, it seemed no less chequered and comprehensive. I did note one woman in a hijab staring impassively at the proceedings, but apart from this anomaly, even after several hours, I was unable to detect a single one of her congeners. Again, a certain ethnic cohort appeared to be massively un-or under-represented.

The parallel memorial in Toronto, however, featured at least two Muslim women, who made their presence felt not by honoring Canada’s war dead and her living heroes but by disrupting the ceremony, screaming obscenities at the crowd. A scuffle then broke out among some of the participants although no arrests were made—probably because this would have been offensive to a certain ethnic group. Food for thought, although not especially appetizing fare.

The fact that Luton in the U.K. saw much greater abuse, the burning of poppiesand the jeering at and taunting of British soldiers returning from Afghanistan, is no consolation. The point is, to put it bluntly, that such people should not have been welcomed into a democratic country with a history of sacrifice and traditions of loyalty that require respect. They are not genuine citizens but an obstreperous and unproductive fifth column that works against the viability of the country that has taken them in. And many seem to have all the time in the world to attend protests and demonstrations when other people are busy at their jobs—as I recently observed at a vehement pro-Hamas rally before the Israeli embassy—so that it seems clear they are the welfare beneficiaries of the very society they seek to subvert.

Here, once again, we are presented with the problem of multiculturalism as it is currently implemented: we have opened the gates to seditionists on the one hand and parasites on the other, two categories that frequently coalesce. We need not be as strictly exclusionary as, for example, Switzerland, where citizenship is difficult to obtain. (My aunt, who worked for the International Labor Organization in Geneva and has resided there for most of her life, waited for years before citizenship was finally granted.) But if we are to be candid and scorn the travesty of political correctness, we should admit that citizenship is a precious gift and that it needs to be earned and deserved.

This does not militate against any race, religion or ethnicity, and we know that there are peaceful, law-abiding, responsible and productive members of any and every immigrant group, without exception. Therefore, the argument I am making for a rational immigration policy is neither “racist” nor “xenophobic,” the favorite slanders of the liberal-left political class that has a vested interest in promoting indiscriminate multiculturalism. On the contrary, as philosopher Roger Scruton, in a speech reported by The Brussels Journal, has eloquently maintained, “the problem posed by the large-scale immigration of people who do not enter into our own…way of life” affirms the right “of indigenous communities to refuse admission to people who cannot or will not assimilate.” The host society’s failure to sift wisely among aspirants to citizenship leads inevitably to “inter-communal strife” and to the political and cultural trauma of “states that have been irreversibly changed through immigration”—changed by those who refuse allegiance “to a shared home and the people who have built it.”

The principle holds. Immigration policy in general should be louvered toward the proper criteria of admissibility: capacity to contribute to the life and prosperity of the nation, and willingness to integrate. Anything less produces costs in political dissidence, cultural upheaval and fiscal extortion we are increasingly unable to defray.

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Civilization & Diversity

1. Civilization is a word often confused with the scientific and technological progress, or understood historically as a cultural heritage of a people. For the purpose and limits of this short note is meant by civilization, the art of living: family, in the building in the city in the interior of a state, between peoples.

Diversity is another key word of this note and reflects an undeniable reality. We are all different by sex, age, language, skin, culture, religion. Besides, if we were all the same life would be a great bore. The acceptance of this reality is the first step of civilization, the first condition to live in peace. Rejection is the foretaste and cause conflict.
This diversity can thus be understood as a danger, selfishness, ignorance, lack of maturity. Does not even know each other, different from us, and the lack of knowledge of its reality leads to the generalization, to the contempt and hatred. All those who belong to a certain category are inferior and dangerous an obstacle on the path of progress. Hence the intention to reduce them to impotence or even suppress them. This is racism, one of the most bloody nonsense expressed by men at all times. Only people can profess any psychic maturity an idea so absurd, that also has repeatedly marked tragically the story.
The ideologies that have poisoned and strewn with carnage this century have reinforced a schematic view of humanity and unreal, which involves the rejection of diversity and the legitimacy of violence to gain and maintain power.
Despite the conflicting goals and various social groups and taken as an absolute value enhanced by ideologies (nation, race, class) is the same method of bullying, presented as a value almost mystical, as the most modern and effective discovery of human thought.
The ideologues have ignored the true vice versa, only the invention of modern politics: the respect and protection of different opinion, that is, liberal democracy.

2. This millennium closes with a budget of tragic wars of all kinds, which have reached the summit during the last century with two world wars and the killing of millions of human beings from
part of dictatorships. Except that in recent years, the sunset of the millennium, while still raging conflicts in various parts of the world, have been some incredible facts that have revolutionized the life of humanity, offering prospects for peace that the world had never before known.
These are facts that make it much easier to understand diversity. First, the collapse of ideologies, even if they left circulating the virus of violence and discrimination, and then the spread of democracy, with the acceptance of diversity of opinion. This extraordinary achievement of civilization consists in a radical change of attitude towards those who think differently from those in power. Always, everywhere and in countries still ruled by dictators, the dissenters were considered a threat and imprisoned, killed, exiled. It turned out however that the dissent is beneficial to all. In countries with liberal democracy does not cut more heads, are counted. The disagreement is guarantee that became critical of power, alternative parts. The fruits are peace within and with other states, the bloodless change of government, the development of freedom, culture, market.
The best recognition of the validity of the method consists in the progressive liberal Democrat and growing a peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy: Spain, Portugal, Greece, Latin America and all the states of Central and Eastern Europe.
The development in the dizzying speed of communication and information has been expanded beyond the borders of the size of the fundamental problems that have assumed a global dimension and that individual states can now only be solved with the cooperation with international institutions. Just think of the peace, ecology, currency markets, organized crime, etc..
This has accelerated the crisis of the nation state, will lose more and more sovereignty to the Community aggregates top and bottom for strong autonomy or federal forms. At the same time the country is gradually losing its importance, from the military point of view, with the advent of missiles and, from an economic standpoint, with respect to the exchange of information, capital, labor.
A new phenomenon in the history is also the growing dialogue between religions, despite the persistent fanaticism of fundamentalist fringes.
Another novelty of our age is the discovery of non-violence as an instrument of political struggle winner. This is not an abstract utopia of a few dreamers, but now a revolutionary method tested on several continents. Gandhi-his-inventor was able to defeat the British Empire. Martin Luther King with the same method led to the greatest social revolution of our times, that the American people of color. The Polish-violent resistance, which lasted 8 years, thanks to the authority of the Pope, has been instrumental in the collapse of the Soviet non-violent.
These events have radically changed the course of history and the relationship between peace and war, which now has a completely different way from how they have lived all previous generations.
These facts need to add the new institutions created in the past decades, and they see people from every continent to join the company so far impossible to win the peace. Organisms are still imperfect, sometimes outdated and malfunctioning, however, express a ‘human aspiration which has become universal and give new hope to the end of this century, which, for the first time the men engaged in new and difficult profession of peace, which requires more imagination and courage than the old, tragic, silly game of war.
Last but certainly not least is the fact, the invention of weapons of mass destruction has made the world live for years in fear of a nuclear war between major powers and still, given the proliferation of such weapons, even a small Conflict managed by a ruthless dictator can become the trigger of a nuclear war. So you can not afford the war without risking the destruction of humanity.

3. In light of these facts extraordinary man who ever lived, the negative attitude toward diversity has become unsustainable. Being outdated or weakened some of the main factors of the war (the territory, the sovereign state), the consideration of diversity as a threat now is the main reason for fuel conflicts and push desperate people and immature to armed violence. This allows the absolute masters of the power to incite hatred and war. This is demonstrated by the news in recent years.
It ‘s time to explain so clearly and soon the kids of today that the level of civilization is measured by the degree of understanding of diversity. The first step-as-you said the principle is to accept diversity as realistically as an essential characteristic of humanity. The second is to understand each other. The main obstacle may be that, but sometimes the refusal of dialogue to atavistic prejudices.
When you begin to understand you open an ascending scale that ranges from understanding the comparison, competition, collaboration. All terms used often preferable to that of tolerance, which still holds a negative meaning and proud.
The last and highest stage is the appreciation of the positive aspects as diverse as stimuli to broaden their vision and renewal. The others can teach us what we have forgotten or never learned. In comparison you can find that balance point, the new vision of reality, which allows us to deal with more openness and farsightedness, and the great problems that the new global reality offers us with rapid change and urgent. Hence a mutual enrichment that finds repeated confirmation in the history.The high points of civilization were the result of open and common ground between different cultures. This led to prodigious advances in every field, from art to philosophy, from science to economics.
Characteristic example of peaceful coexistence in a democratic nation state, which guarantees peace in freedom to the citizens. Examples of peaceful coexistence among different peoples are Switzerland, the U.S. and the European Union. This last example, well-established half a century, is perhaps the most stunning. Peoples who for centuries have fought bloodily for various reasons, among them now have established a dense network of economic, cultural, legal and political, that the hypothesis of an armed conflict between member states has become a political fiction. Not only that, but the beneficial effect and peacemaker in the countries you can already see that crowd the antechamber of the European Union.

In conclusion:

1. Diversity is an inescapable human reality which can become a source of mutual enrichment.

2. Against him but you can have a negative attitude, discriminatory, which is due to conflicts. This negative attitude is not usually innate in people and can sometimes be taken in good faith. Discrimination is fueled by propaganda and manipulated by those in power, especially dictators.

3. The difficult task of peace is won on the first floor of the ideas and education. The new generations must therefore be educated to a positive attitude towards diversity, to withstand the negative pressures and become peacemakers.

Posted on November 29, 2012, in Truth to Power. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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