Multiculturalism Explained

Why does the Left expect us to tolerate intolerant cultures like that of Iran? Will moral relativism be the end of our culture? Find out as I explain the dangers of multiculturalism:

  • Chezwick_Mac

    What Clayton didn't say is that multiculturalism – in its essence – is the Western repudiation of its own cultural patrimony. And why not? The only things we really have to be proud of are…

    1) democratic governance

    2) empirical science

    3) intellectual, religious and sexual freedom

    4) gender equality

    5) modern modes of commerce and production

    6) Literature, music, art and film spanning the genius of Bach, the Beatles, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Rousseau, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Hemingway, Twain, Bergman…the list is veritably endless…

    No big loss, eh Lefties?

    • Gerald Treffinger

      All the lefties have is Rap . Appropo , eh ? In this brave new world , ALL cultures are equally relevant , except the culture that , not only invented all the things we take for granted , but invented INVENTION . The Western view that the universe could be UNDERSTOOD by means of human reason ultimately created everything you see around you . The virtues a culture evinces are directly tied to the VALUES that Culture espouses . For instance , Osama Bin Laden was quoted as saying , " You in the West love LIFE , while we love DEATH . That is why we will defeat you . The two Cultures are NOT equal , if your standard is man's life on Earth . Every day , the Left denigrates Western Culture . It is ours to keep or lose . In 1776 , The Declaration of Independece sent a message to every Dictator and they KNEW that it would be a war to the death between Freedom and servitude . We didn't , and we had better learn . Our culture , which has given so much to the world , must be cherished and defended , or it and civilization will go the way of all Democracies . We are a Republic . Celebrate it and love it , or we are lost . GHT

  • John Locke

    Identifying multiculturalism with moral relativism is philosophically incorrect and betrays a lack of knowledge of the terms used. Multicultural policies are based on a pluralist and not a relativist perspective. Liberal tolerance has never been conceived as limitless. There are liberal democratic principles (such as gender equality) that are non-negotiable within a multicultural framework, i.e. only groups that respect such principles will be accommodated. A serious and in-depth engagement with these concepts and the political policies based on them would have led the speaker to an entirely different conclusion. This reductionist stance does nothing but pander to the dogmatic and in no way helps a meaningful engagement with the left. More sophisticated and grounded arguments need to be used in order to successfully challenge the adepts of multiculturalism and liberal toleration.

    • Richard

      See the article by Johan Hari in today's edition of the UK Daily Mail if you think you can believe three impossibe things before breakfast! He doesn't and he's a gay Leftie.

      You cannot square gays rights and Islam. You cannot square gay rights and Islam. You cannot square gay rights and Islam.

      There are many, many, other things you cannot square with Islam.

      No way, jose.

      We could do with a dozen or so books on multiculturalism and relativism from a secular pluralist position though.

      • John Locke

        You Cannot "square" gay rights with some forms of Islamic thought and practice, just as you cannot "square" gay rights with some forms of Christian thought and practice. This is exactly the reason why the principle of the separation of church and state was historically developed: in order to guarantee that the law cannot be used to deny rights to anybody.

        In terms of the US jurisprudence and the provision of equal rights for gay people, there is still progress to be made. I am wondering, however, why have so many obstacles have been created for gay marriage in the US? What kind of values are behind the resistance to gay marriage?

        I have a feeling that by focusing on the intolerance of "Islam" we forget to deal with our own intolerances. It is so much easier to take the high moral ground about what tMuslims are doing than to think critically about our own democratic imperfections at home.

        • Chezwick_Mac

          I'm sure it never occurred to you, but there is something called 'the law of unintended consequences'. Redefine marriage as something more than the union between one man and one woman…and there is not one scintilla of doubt that legalized polygamy will surely follow. Polygamy is a one-way ticket to patriarchal despotism (and integral to the creeping Sharia already making inroads in our society). I have a wife, a daughter, sisters, nieces. I want to protect them from such a future.

          Civil unions, absolutely…with all the corresponding legal benefits. Marriage ceremonies not recognized by the state, fine. But the legal redefinition of marriage as something more than the union of one man and one woman, sorry, no. The consequences would far transcend the issue of gay rights.

          • John Locke

            I think the law of intended consequences is a bit of a red herring. It is also an argument that seems to be used almost exclusively in the US, if I am not mistaken, and always to serve the purposes of the right. The slippery slope – or its variant the unintended consequences – argument assumes that our Congress cannot distinguish constitutional laws from unconstitutional ones and that it cannot stop the irreversible force of the reactionaries, once the open hás been opened for them. There is a huge difference between legalising gay marriage and legalising poligamy. Such alarmist arguments have done nothing but pander to the unreflected fears of the public.
            As for your view on marriage, I respect it, it is a valid contribution to the debate. I just want to point out to the Christian values behind your understanding of marriage, values that underlie our Constitution. Again this is jus tone among many examples showing us how imperfect the separation of church and state in the US.
            As you see, I have been thinking about these issues, I just happen not to agree with everything you say. You begin again with an ironic remark about my capacity to reflect on things. Once again, this is a non-starter for a meaningful and respectful dialogue.

          • Chezwick_Mac

            One thing is certain, friend. If the current definition of marriage is expanded beyond the union of one man and one woman, eventual legalized polygamy is a DISTINCT POSSIBILITY. If the current definition is NOT altered, polygamy will remain illegal. This is undeniable reality.

  • robert

    I agree, what the queers are asking for are n't rights but demanding the Government force prople to accept their sexual deviancy.

  • rRobert

    There's no such thing as group rights, there's only individual rights. What the queers are demanding is that the goverment force us to accept their sexual deviancy.

  • votedagainstoby

    to "John Locke"

    "I think the law of intended consequences is a bit of a red herring."

    Lame reply, and very disingenuous deflection of refuting the argument.

    ergo; YOU LOSE.

    Also please put the thesaurus away, and learn to think for yourself.

    Oh,.. please use another pseudonym, as you are insulting heritage of the REAL "John Locke" with your trite arguments.

    You see, two can play at that game.
    LAME.

    John Locke
    (pronounced ; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered the first of the British empiricists, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work had a great impact upon the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the American Declaration of Independence.[

    • John Locke

      Dear Troll,

      Your calling my argument "lame" does not amount to an argument on your part. Until you are ready to offer one, I will not respond to your provocations.

      John

      • John LockNload

        Except that you just did (respond to his "provocations") lolz

  • http://endofwesternmorality.blogspot.com DArtagnan1

    “strange funny little Europeans”? as opposed to big fat Americans? And “why do they talk funny?” Well, because they speak another language, for one. Not a surprise this bald-headed knuckle-dragger didn’t catch that. Or is Andrew, who knows the mind of Shakespeare character Hamlet (just because he says so), just being obtuse as well as stupid? His definition of multiculturalism is essentially correct yet without multiculturalism America wouldn’t have become the powerful nation it is today. There is no such thing as a society without multiculturalism, except in totalitarian states like North Korea and in former Nazi Germany. If that’s what he wants America to be, well, good then, since I don’t have to live there and instead must suffer all the great benefits of horrid socialism – a benefit derived from traditional European culture thanks to the Enlightenment, to Western tradition. Multiculturalism has generally worked in America mainly because they actually integrated into society. Of course, it’s important to ignore the plight of the Native America or the problem of racism against the black man. In Europe, many foreigners do integrate quite well; it’s the fundamentalists Muslims and the unemployed with their extended families who do not.

    Now I know he’s talking about the problem of Islamic doctrine and Sharia which I and many others also oppose here in Europe and am working to fight against along with Gert Wilders in The Netherlands. His treatment of multiculturalism is simplistic and will probably resonate fine with 5 year old minds who have no idea of the complexities of societies and cultures. He contradicts himself saying that Jesus Christ embraced differing cultures, in other words, multiculturalism.

    In case he hasn’t heard, most liberal Europeans do not follow the liberal multicultural narrative, they oppose Islam doctrine pervading and perverting their society and, on the contrary, firmly believe in Western traditions, not moral relativism. It seems most of the commenters here just like the idea of smearing and painting all liberals with one broad brush.

  • John Locke

    First of all, it is this kind of undue generalizations ("Muslims kill their critics" ; "Libtards are nothing, if not whining cowards") that are conversation stoppers. It is this kind of undue generalizations that makes the Left dismiss as irrelevant as as mere rhetoric the position of the Right. Islam is not a uniform, monolithic community, like the American Right is not a uniform, monolithic group. There is internal diversity within both groups.

    Secondly, one needs to engage with the arguments, take them seriously and challenge them from within, and not attack the person who offers the arguments. Attacking the the person and not the argument is not a useful way of moving the debate forward, to say nothing of achieving political change. Plus, attacking the person violates norms of civility by showing disrespect for the other citizens with different views from one's one views. The way in which you attack the liberal's strength of character and you ironise my intellectual bent are telling examples.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    Mr Locke, with all due respect, you are wrong.

    In the liberal, multicultural narrative, race trumps gender. A perfect example would be NOW's national leadership firing Tammy Bruce as head of its LA chapter because she used the OJ murder case to demonstrate against domestic violence. OJ's skin color made him – in the eyes of NOW – an inappropriate example from which to draw attention to the problem of domestic violence.

    Muslims, by virtue of the fact that they are mostly non-white, are perceived by the multicultural Left as victims and therefore, intrinsically benign. Western feminists tout the Burkha as "liberating". They conspicuously ignore honor killings and other facets of Islamic misogyny, and they teach in our universities that AMERICA is an institutionally racist, sexist country…while denouncing any honest exposition of Islamic misogyny as racist.

    One liberal feminist's thesis is that the Muslim male's brutality towards his woman is an outgrowth of "Western imperialism", i.e., since he was "oppressed", he took it out on his woman. No reference to the Quranic sanction for wife beating (4.34), no reference to the 12 centuries of Islamic misogyny that pre-dated the Western conquest of the Muslim realm. I remember reading it with incredulity.

    Another Leftist feminist, Norwegian sociologist Uni Wikkan, has written that to avoid being raped by Pakistani immigrants, Muslim women should acknowledge to themselves that they now live in a multicultural society and should dress accordingly…i.e., wear head scarves. No thought of demanding that immigrants adopt the customs and mores of their adopted country, just ever greater standards of accommodation.

    You seem like a thoughtful, intelligent person, John…but I don't think you've thought this issue through…either that or you just aren't up to speed on how bad things have gotten. Multiculturalism has become an unmitigated disaster!

  • John Locke

    Thank you for your reply. Oh, but I have thought things through. Let me try to answer each of your points one by one.

    1. OJ and NOW. I am not familiar with the debate. I have a feeling that the NOW's position was related to the fact that too often black men as stereotyped as "rapists" and "brutes" when the levels of domestic violence are quite high within non-white groups. I assume the decision to change the head of NOW reflects the concern with the symbolic power of examples. Using OJ as an example would reproduce harmful generalizations about the aggressiveness of black men. If I am right, this in no way means that race trumps gender.

    2. Muslims – non-white – perceived as benign by Liberals. I do not think that this is the reasoning behind the Liberals' concern with the plight of the Muslims. I think it is a concern with Muslims as human beings that explains liberal concern with the plight of Muslims. And I do not think that Liberals think all Muslims are "benign." To the contrary, Liberals recognize as partners in dialogue only those who recognize the rules of civil dialogue (as opposed to resorting to Violence).

    3. The "liberating effect of the burka": Feminists in the West see the burka as liberating because of the commodification of the woman's body in the West. The Western obsession with women's thinness, aesthetic surgery, and standard ideas of beauty that lead to all sorts of health problems for women, make the burka seem liberating.

    4. "AMERICA is an institutionally racist, sexist country…while denouncing any honest exposition of Islamic misogyny as racist". In statistical terms, there are a lot of racist and sexist institutional practices that plague the American democracy. I do not think that any serious feminist would condemn institutional racism and sexism at home while condoning misogynism elsewhere. I think you misinterpreted this point.

    5. The Quranic texts and Western Imperialism. I am not a specialist in religious interpretation. I just want to point out that religious texts can be interpreted in various ways, and some interpretations are more progressive than others. Not all Islamic strands of interpretation take the passage you mention literally. The Bible is essentially a misogynist text yet women's equality is not questioned in most Christian communities. As for the "Western imperialism" remark, I do not find it a plausible argument. However, there are studies that show how British colonists helped reproduce problematic gender inequalities through their interpretation of the Sharia law in India.

    6. I am not familiar with the work of Uni Wikkan. I thought she was a cultural constructivist. As such, I doubt that she would endorse thinking about Muslims as a uniform, static culture.

    In the spirit of civil dialogue,
    John

  • John Locke

    Thank you for your reply. Here are some thoughts:

    1. OJ and NOW: the intention was not to reproduce stereotypical ideas of Black male aggressiveness when domestic violence is not restricted to black homes.
    2. Not all Muslims are seen as bening by Liberals. Liberals have a more differentiated understadning of Islam than one might think. Muslims who refuse the norms of dialogue and engage in unjustified violence are not to be tolerated by Liberals.
    3. The liberating Burka: the remarks have to be seen in the context of the Western obsession with female bodies, their thinness, their shape, height, beauty etc. When viwed against the obsession with aesthetic surgery, the burka may seem liberating.
    4. No serious feminist would fail to condemn misogyny home and elsewhere.
    5. I do not find the “Muslim takes his anti-imperial resentment out on his wife” a plausible argument.
    6. Religious texts can be interpreted progressively or regressively. The Bible is a misogynist text but surely there are few Christian communities that refuse equal rights to women and men.

  • truthaddict

    AIPAC has us fighting Israel's enemies. The Zionist Jews and Christians are using the divide and conquer strategy they used in Lebanon on the U.S. Follow the money! The big 8 in the media are owned by Zionist Jews. We give Israel $3billion a year and a lot of that money gets repatriated by AIPAC to their political front men in the U.S. AIPAC is made up of dual U.S. Israeli citizens and is the most powerful lobby in Washington(and has been for a long time). Just like the Palestinians are told there is no such thing as a Palestinian or race for that matter, they feed Americans the same b.s. multiculturalism message through their Zionist controlled media; all while declaring that the only race that truly exists are the Jews(and that doesn't include Arabic Jews). They were also involved in implementing the 1965 changes in immigration law that changed the quotas to no longer favor immigration from European countries. Your hearts in the right place, your just blaming the wrong people. It's Zionist Israel that's the problem. Bin Laden attacked america because of its unwavering support for Israel and repressive dictators across the middle east.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    1) How unfortunate that you're validating the position of NOW. Who gives a rat's ass whether or not the perp was black or not? This was a high-profile case of domestic violence and could have served the country as what you liberals call an important "teaching moment". Instead, the opportunity was lost, because OJ happened to be black. The same fear of "stereo-typing" minorities is used by liberals to squelch critical analysis of honor killings and other pathologies that afflict Muslim communities here and abroad.

    2) We're all familiar with the "tiny minority of extremists" canard used by liberals to militate against critical scrutiny of Islam. But the paradigm is consigned to those Muslims predisposed to terrorism. A more honest and accurate appraisal of "extremist" would include those who are proponents of Sharia, which would comprise a plurality or even a majority of Muslims. But doing so would upset the multicultural apple-cart that all cultures are the same, so liberals would rather avoid this debate.

    3) You can hide behind "context" all you want. The Burkha is a symbol of male oppression…and feminists would trumpet it loudly as such if it were worn by Christians, but once again, under the rubric of multiculturalism and "respect" for the "other", they employ the tried-and-true double standard: 'thou shalt not judge the oppression of women when the perp is non-white'

    4) On the contrary, the most rabid feminists inside our universities and newsrooms are astonishingly silent on the recent honor killings in America (and other issues regarding the Muslim treatment of women). Two trials just finished up, one in Arizona, another in New York, in which Muslim perps were convicted of killing their women-folk. Feminists around the nation were diligent in avoiding ANY linkage between the cultural misogyny of Islam and the murder of these two women. Whatever happened to the liberal obsession with "root causes"? Apparently, root causes are only to be sought in inditing America, Christianity and Western culture.

    5) The point is, this pathetic argument that even you repudiate was actually advanced in a seminal thesis by a feminist in academe…trying to rationalize Islam's oppression of women by blaming the West, and she received no repudiation from her peers. Such is the sorry state of feminist thought in our universities…and the extent to which Islam is molly-coddled.

    6) Ahhh yes, the moral relativism argument. Believe it or not, there are reasons why the Bible isn't dictating to us our behavior towards women…and why the Quran IS dictating to Muslims theirs. In short, Christianity has a secular tradition lacking in Islam ("render unto Ceasar"), has undergone a Reformation that Islam hasn't, has a pacific message lacking in Islam, has a feminist tradition (reverence for Mary,etc) lacking in Islam….and on and on. Liberals love to equate Christianity and Islam, but they are two entirely different belief systems.

  • John Locke

    Thanks again for taking the time to answer my points in such details.

    1.OJ again. I think it is relevant who serves as an example, given the high rates of racial profiling by US police.
    2.and 6. I still think that we cannot lump everyone in the same category. Not all Muslims are extremists. Just think of what recently happened in Egypt and Tunísia and what is happening in Lybia. What does this say about the Right’s proclamation that democracy is only possible in the West? Also, think of Turkey, a Muslim secualarised country of about 74 million people. What do these examples say about talking about “Islam” in such general terms?
    3., 4. and 5. I am aware of the excesses of political correctness. and I agree with you these excesses have to be criticised. (I assume the extreme relativist position you are criticising is a response to the other extreme position in our public sphere, a position that the vídeo by Clayton expounds.) Just because I point out to the misogynism of the Bible does not mean that I am a relativist. It just means I am trying to put things into perspective and encourage some honesty and self-reflection in our society and our public debates. As I said, it is too easy for us, Americans, to criticise the problems abroad and forget we still have to work hard for an egalitarian society at home. Talking about the “other” distracts our attention from our problems at home. Just to be clear on this, I condemn forms of women’s oppression wherever they happen. It is just that talking like “Muslims are like this” “Christians are like that” is something I cannot tolerate. Just think of the polygamy scandals by Christians in the US (accroding to some statistics between 30, 000 and 50,000 Christian Mormons live in Polygamy in the US) and you will see why it is not a good idea to demonise the other and think we are all pure and innocent here in the US. Before we start “policing” others we should better think about our problems at home.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    1) What a cop-out. You're essentially saying that the mere existence of minority profiling means we mustn't draw sociological lessons or engage in critical scrutiny of the pathologies that afflict minority communities. This is the perfect recipe to insure the perpetuation of these same pathologies. And I notice you don't touch the linkage between the supposed fight against ethnic "stereo-typing" and liberal attempts to smother critical scrutiny of Islam

    2 and 6) Your examples are as fallacious as your over-all world view. A very likely outcome of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya is the triumph of extremism. Crowds in Tahrir were recently filmed chanting in unison "death to Israel". When had that happened under Mubarak? Meanwhile, Turkey's democratically-elected government is pursuing a gradual process of Islamization and de-Kemalization. Just because it's not happening violently doesn't mean it's not happening. In short, not ALL Muslims are extremists, but a significant percentage ARE! Ignoring this reality is culpability in enabling the entrenchment and spread of extremism.

    3,4 & 5) The propensity of liberals to insist we should solve our own problems before lecturing others is once again, a cop out. We're NEVER going to construct a perfect society, so what it amounts to is a persistent paradigm involving the constant exposition of our own defects and historical sins…while negating the defects and historical sins of others. This is exactly what is transpiring in the humanities dept's of our universities. The end result is that our impressionable youth are taught to view the history of America and the West as uniquely malevolent, effectively detaching many of them from love of country…(the intended outcome, as far as I'm concerned).

    Furthermore, Martin Luther King, in his wisdom, once said "a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Liberals surely had no problem passing judgment on the Apartheid regime in South Africa…and rightly so! But once again, when the perpetrators of injustice are non-white, as are the oppressors of women and religious minorities throughout the Muslim world, suddenly, the liberal capacity for discerning right from wrong evaporates.

  • truthaddict

    One side note. The U.S. should not be the liberator of the world. We should set an example and let other people fight and secure their own freedom. Besides, regardless of our intentions we're always viewed as occupiers.