« Obama's Carter Moment | Main | Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid »

Multiculturalism: Bastard child of Marxism

That pearl from Victor Davis Hanson:

Where did multiculturalism come from? It is a bastard child of Marxism, of course, inasmuch as it is anti-capitalist and judges left-wing or pseudo-left-wing totalitarians far less harshly than right-wing authoritarians (e.g., Obama is more sympathetic to the crowds in Cairo than he was to those in Teheran). It is also a byproduct of Western affluence, which alone provided the margin of safety and affluence to indulge in fantasies. One reports on the noble Palestinians by staying in nice places in Israel; one is an advocate of the "other" in Harlem from the Harvard Lounge and Upper West Side; the yuppie actor praises Chavez and his forced redistributive housing schemes, but would never turn over his vacation Malibu beach house to homeless illegal aliens who cut his lawn.

Finally, multiculturalism is a form of political and historical ignorance. The multiculturalist is an ahistorical fool, who confuses the cultural periphery with the core. Thus the United States is enriched by "multicultural" music, food, fashion, art, and literature from a Mexico or Kenya or Egypt. Fine, wonderful, all the better. But one, in the spirit of "diversity," does not wish to embrace the Mexican judiciary, the Kenyan economic system, or the Arab attitude to women. Multiculturalism is a fraud of sorts, as the activist who wears the serape to campus never quite agitates for adopting the protocols of the Mexican police or the Mexico City elite's approach to Indian peoples. We do not see signs blaring out: "We want Nigerian speech codes," "Treat women as they do in Saudi Arabia," "Look to the Iranians for gay rights," "Arabs had the right idea about slavery," etc. When I do radio talk show interviews, usually the harshest U.S. critics are transplanted Middle Easterners who in their furor at American foreign policy never quite explain why they left and do not go back to places that they now idolize -- as if the economic, political, and cultural protocols they enjoy here would appear in Gaza or Yemen like dandelions after a rain if it were not for U.S. imperialism.

Bottom line: it will be hard for Obama in the future to immediately come out on the side of those professing Western values in opposition to some pseudo-revolutionary indigenous strongman, whether in Iran or Venezuela. To the degree he feels comfortable "imposing our values" and taking a stand, it will only be in a context where there is an authoritarian figure who can be seen as culpably right-wing or an American puppet. Western bad is clear from abstract standards, the good is all relative.

Oh yes, Obama at times will resort to abstract notions of justice and timeless morality that transcend culture, but mostly to fault America for some sort of past -ism or -ology, or sin -- as the apologies from Turkey and elsewhere made clear (an abstract standard says the U.S. was genocidal in its treatment of the Native Americans or in using the bomb at Hiroshima, but no such arbitrary and culturally constructed "standard" passed off as transcendent allows us to condemn the Turks for the mass killings of Armenians, Greeks, and Kurds.)

It is going to be a long two years. You see, the world has figured Obama out, and the wages of our version of 1979-80 are coming due.

Read the entire piece and be enriched.  Then hope like hell this country will survive the Obama presidency.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/41081.

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Multiculturalism: Bastard child of Marxism:

» Brutally Honest linked with Multiculturalism: Bastard child of Marxism

Comments (35)

Multiculturalism/biodiversi... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Multiculturalism/biodiversity/social justice egalitarianism/tolerance/choice/gun safety/fairness doctrine/ etc, etc, etc....

All evil must first be labelled as a "good."

No one understands the value of false labels as the earthly messiah crowd. Like perverts with stolen candy seeking victims to lure -their trash unfortunately works on the unsuspecting (and the willing)

I always enjoy reading Mr H... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

I always enjoy reading Mr Hanson. It is rare that I disagee with him.

Multiculturalism is a joke.... (Below threshold)
mag:

Multiculturalism is a joke. It just code word to beat down anything American or even European...in other words anything white. I appreciate and love learning of other cultures, it is interesting, but I don't expect to live like them, because I choose to live in America..if that were not the case then I would move to Asia,Africa, Middle East. This article is so true: any of these causes multiculturalism, enviromentalism etc...are just fronts for the leftists for control...maybe they all burn in hell.
But I can not really understand why anyone wants to control someone else (as you see in some relationships), or a country or masses of people...what is the point...we all end up in ground 6 feet under, in a very short time 70-100 years at best...so what does it get them???

But I can not really unders... (Below threshold)
Don L:

But I can not really understand why anyone wants to control someone else..."

In my book, there are 3 different catagories of people.
1. Those that seek to control others(liberals, macho abusive folks, wimpy cowardly bureacrats etc.)

2. Those folks who cannot live without being controlled (wimpy husbands, abused wives, and most liberals who vote)

3. Independent folks, who's last choice in all things is to be controlled by the first group, or be forced to support the second group )

Mag said "Multicu... (Below threshold)
TexBob:


Mag said "Multiculturalism is a joke. It just code word to beat down anything American or even European...in other words anything white."

Pretty much sums it up for me. Well done!

Good grief. Where do you f... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Good grief. Where do you find this stuff Rick?

Multiculturalism is basically the acceptance of cultural diversity in a plural society (ie a nation state that has a variety of ethnic groups). That's the basic definition, which Hanson then takes and butchers with a nice paranoid, hyperbolic, ridiculous rant.

Overall, it's a fairly basic concept. And yes, there is always going to be debate about social norms, rules, etc. That's how things work when people have free choice. The opposite is a rigid assimilationist model, which accepts no diversity--and history should tell us how well that has worked out in the past.

Multiculturalism is little more than the acceptance of the diversity that has been here in the US from the start. Not really as scary as your article makes it sound.

I like VDH, more so when he... (Below threshold)
Clay:

I like VDH, more so when he sticks to the topic in which he excels: classical studies. His writings on politics, not so much. However, his treatment here is spot on. Not because of the political undertones, but because he is doing what he does best. While extolling the virtues of Western civilization whose roots are found in the Greeks and Romans, he sounds the clarion call for all of us to wake the hell up. Vintage Hanson, that.

Ryan, you miss the point.</... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Ryan, you miss the point.

And you are also wrong about mulitculturalism. It is not just about accepting cultural differences. It's most fervent supporters have used the multiculti banner to denigrate western culture and ideals. In the university multiculturalism has been used as an excuse to disassemble western civ courses and students today have little education on the history of their own culture. Multiculturalism has thus elevated foreign cultures above our own.

By elevating foreign cultures we have fostered the isolation of immigrant groups who have been encouraged, not to assimilate and scores of other immigrant waves have done, but to isolate themselves and to promote a balkanization of our country into ethnic enclaves. Just look at France where ethnic enclaves have become places the police dare no go because the local police are viewed as foreigners in their own country.

Ultimately, multiculturalism does not promote acceptance or tolerance of anything, but it promotes the isolation of everyone. While it claims to be promoting the equality of all cultures it really is promoting the elevation of all other cultures above the local one. And since multiculturalism is an artifact of western academia, it has promoted all other cultures over western culture.

ryan a, I think you are mis... (Below threshold)
Grace:

ryan a, I think you are mistaken.

What the U.S. has always been is more like a stew where the richness of peoples' heritages mixes and melds to make it better for the sum of its parts.

Multiculturalism is more like individual pieces of fruit cocktail suspended in jello. No mixing, no blending.

Multiculturalism is how the... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Multiculturalism is how they divide us, how they maintain conflict, how they get to decide the winners and losers.

Eventually, it will destroy our national identity which has always been the goal.

"Multiculturalism: Bastard ... (Below threshold)

"Multiculturalism: Bastard child of Marxism."

ZING!

I love that headline.

Ryan A -In my view... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Ryan A -

In my view, multiculturalism as it's practiced is dedicated to making sure the cultures stay independent and unassimilated. Melting and merging isn't desirable, neither is assimilation into the mainstream. Losing the identity of the nation that the immigrants came from seems to be utterly abhorrent to some.

Why? Hell if I know, because it doesn't make sense. To use a metallurgial metaphor, you don't get steel from just shoving a bunch of elements into a furnance - you have to melt them together. Taking a pile of unsmelted iron, some nickle and some chromium and expecting them to hold up a building would be foolish, I think. So is moving to the US and then demanding that everything be as much like the country you came from as possible.

And like that - you can't expect a country to have a national identity (weak or strong) if you encourage every cultural subgrouping to maintain its independence from the whole.

Needless to say, I think the idea of hypenated-Americanism is a real crock. It's just another way of attempting to Balkanize our society, and does more harm than good. You never hear of Mexican-Canadians, Brazilian-British, Chilean-Chinese, do you? So why the desire to hypenate pretty much every ethnicity in the US?

Merge everything together? Sure! Take the best and leave the rest? Hell, yeah. Forget where you came from? Not for the first gen or two - but there will come a point where the kids aren't going to be seeing themselves as (fill-in-the-blank)-Americans - they'll just be Americans....

If that's what they're taught.

Why is it that if I move fr... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Why is it that if I move from Chicago to Boston as I did two years ago, I am expected to adopt my new home town's ways of doing things, its sports teams, etc? Yet if I move from Beirut to Boston I am expected, even encouraged to not assimilate. The expectation comes that my culture is worth keeping separate from everyone else.

Sure the differences are much less but the theory is the same. If I moved from Toronto to Boston the distance is even shorter than from Chicago and frankly the culture is closer to Boston's but I would be expected to preserve a separate identity as a Canadian since that is 'foreign'.

Multiculturalism isn't really the acceptance of other cultures it is the fetishizing of foreign identity.

I think a lot of you guys b... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

I think a lot of you guys bring up good points...but many of you are talking about particular ways in which people use the concept of "multiculturalism" to further specific political and social agendas. I think it's important to consider the possibility that "multiculturalism" isn't just one thing, and that MAYBE there is some merit to the idea.

As with anything, there are going to be problems with ANY extremist understandings and practices--and this applies to both multiculturalism AND assimilationist models.

My point is that some of you are arguing against a particular form of what you call "multiculturalism," which I think conflates some of the issues a bit. This discussion is conflating a lot of political issues with the basic concept of multiculturalism, which came about in reaction to some pretty nasty assimilationist and nationalist histories (in the US and elsewhere).

Of course, as with any concept, there are problems. But the basic intent, as I see it, is acceptance of diversity within the larger national framework. And that's a pretty good starting point, especially compared to some rigid assimilationist model. In the end, there is a need for a certain amount of cooperation and balance.

More later. Kinda busy right now.

Why is it that if I move... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

Why is it that if I move from Chicago to Boston as I did two years ago, I am expected to adopt my new home town's ways of doing things, its sports teams, etc? Yet if I move from Beirut to Boston I am expected, even encouraged to not assimilate

Just go to Canada and see what this mult-culti BS has done. Signs everywhere are in English and French, except when you cross into Quebec. Then all of a sudden, signs are only in French.

Multi-Culti BS only leads to Balkanization of the United States. Just look what the Mexicans are doing to Kalifornia, Arizona and sections of Texas.

Why is it that if I move... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

Why is it that if I move from Chicago to Boston as I did two years ago, I am expected to adopt my new home town's ways of doing things, its sports teams, etc? Yet if I move from Beirut to Boston I am expected, even encouraged to not assimilate

Just go to Canada and see what this mult-culti BS has done. Signs everywhere are in English and French, except when you cross into Quebec. Then all of a sudden, signs are only in French.

Multi-Culti BS only leads to Balkanization of the United States. Just look what the Mexicans are doing to Kalifornia, Arizona and sections of Texas.

Good grief.... (Below threshold)
Rick:

Good grief. Where do you find this stuff Rick?

Umm Ryan... Victor Davis Hanson is quite well known... perhaps you should be asking why it is that you've never heard of him...

Just sayin'.

Ryan A - "I thi... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Ryan A -

"I think it's important to consider the possibility that "multiculturalism" isn't just one thing, and that MAYBE there is some merit to the idea."

I can think of a number of uses for a propane torch. It's a very useful tool, for anything from plumbing repairs to metalworking to even igniting material samples for a science fair project.

However, using it for purposes that are harmful to those around you (like buring people, or using it to torch buildings) is contrary to the reasons the manufacturer made it, and would be condemned.

History may have examples of assimilation gone wrong, but it's just as possible (and, I think worse) to go too far in the other direction.

JLawson,"However, ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JLawson,

"However, using it for purposes that are harmful to those around you (like buring people, or using it to torch buildings) is contrary to the reasons the manufacturer made it, and would be condemned."

Ok. But that can be applied to either side of the argument here, so I'm not sure what it adds.

"History may have examples of assimilation gone wrong, but it's just as possible (and, I think worse) to go too far in the other direction."

Hmmm. Not sure if I agree with that one. There have been some pretty bad results to strict state assimilationist models. The "worst case" of assimilation--forced assimilation--has been about as bad as it gets. But I'm not sure what you have in mind for your side of the argument.

"Umm Ryan... Victor Davis H... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"Umm Ryan... Victor Davis Hanson is quite well known... perhaps you should be asking why it is that you've never heard of him"

Thanks for the literal answer to a rhetorical question, Rick. Indeed, I have heard of Hanson. But thanks for your concern.

jim m,"In the univ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

jim m,

"In the university multiculturalism has been used as an excuse to disassemble western civ courses and students today have little education on the history of their own culture. Multiculturalism has thus elevated foreign cultures above our own."

What are you basing this assessment on? Your own experiences? Are you arguing that everyone who goes through university education has no understanding of US history?

"By elevating foreign cultures we have fostered the isolation of immigrant groups who have been encouraged, not to assimilate and scores of other immigrant waves have done, but to isolate themselves and to promote a balkanization of our country into ethnic enclaves."

What do you mean by "elevating foreign cultures"? What time period are you talking about? Are you just making generalizations? This nation has been constructed out of immigrants (and people who were already here) for two centuries. What "culture" do you think should be called "native" here in the US? I am interested to hear what you consider "authentic US culture." The Germans? Italians? The Irish? Anglo-Saxons? Considering the diversity of people who were already in the Americas when this nation was founded, I am really interested to hear your ideas about which "culture" is supposedly the "right" one, and how that fits with your understandings of our founding documents, which by no means preclude change over time.

"Ultimately, multiculturalism does not promote acceptance or tolerance of anything, but it promotes the isolation of everyone. While it claims to be promoting the equality of all cultures it really is promoting the elevation of all other cultures above the local one. And since multiculturalism is an artifact of western academia, it has promoted all other cultures over western culture."

Ok, so that's your understanding of the situation. Do you think this assessment applies in all cases, or is this based upon your experiences? Or just your opinion? I see things pretty differently. And I think that some folks--on various sides of this debate--tend to overreact a bit.

"Ryan, you miss the point."... (Below threshold)
914:

"Ryan, you miss the point."


Yeah, we get that. He is long winded too.

"Multiculturalism isn't rea... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"Multiculturalism isn't really the acceptance of other cultures it is the fetishizing of foreign identity."

So that's your definition. Mine is that it's about accepting cultural diversity as a positive aspect of a pluralistic nation state. As opposed to rather bad policies of forced assimilation, which did not work out all that well for some folks in the US and elsewhere (Australia is another good example).

I think your definition is a bit exaggerated and overstated jim. I do think *some* people use the banner of multiculturalism as a political tool (like when people freak out about Christianity in public, etc), and I think that's an example of a clear problem. But I don't think your definition applies across the board, by any means.

914,As usual, you ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

914,

As usual, you have nothing to contribute.

JLawson,Sorry for ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JLawson,

Sorry for not getting to your first post, well, first.

Overall, I don't really think that whole multicultural model is such a crock, as you say, but I agree that some folks take things too far at times. In my view, there is a need for a balance between nationalism and various cultural and/or ethnic identities. In Mexico, for example, the hyper nationalism has a long, prejudiced history against its own indigenous peoples (especially in southern Mexico). And programs for "assimilation" have been more about taking power away from certain groups of people.

In the US I prefer the mutual respect and cooperation model rather than forced or mandated assimilation. For numerous reasons.

"Merge everything together? Sure! Take the best and leave the rest? Hell, yeah. Forget where you came from? Not for the first gen or two - but there will come a point where the kids aren't going to be seeing themselves as (fill-in-the-blank)-Americans - they'll just be Americans..."

This is already a pretty standard part of the immigration process. Multiculturalism, as I see it, isn't as rigid as some of you guys make it out to be. I don't see it as being about elevating particular identities (foreign, ethnic, whatever), but about accepting and working with cultural diversity, mostly because it's been here from the start. People always use California as a good example of multiculturalism gone wrong, but they tend to dismiss the presence of Native American groups, Chinese, and Mexicans from day one. California STARTED as a multicultural state, as did many others. So calls to go back to some national ideal are based upon a fiction that never really existed. Our national identity has been diverse for years, and continues to evolve as time rolls on. It's never been static, never will be.

Ok. Back to work.

Last point:After r... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Last point:

After reading all of Hanson's article, it's clear to me that his definition of "multiculturalism" is incredibly simplistic, partisan, and full of all sorts of questionable assumptions. The attachment to marxism, for example, is pretty spurious at best. I'd be interested to know where THAT came from. His article is more of a political statement than something based upon a reasoned, or even accurate, discussion of the role of multiculturalism in contemporary society. Sorry, not impressed.

Not a problem, Ryan - I kno... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Not a problem, Ryan - I know you've got stuff to do and not all that much time to do it in.

Re your comment: "I think a lot of you guys bring up good points...but many of you are talking about particular ways in which people use the concept of "multiculturalism" to further specific political and social agendas."

That's hitting it exactly. You can go in differing directions on the multi-cultu train, with France offering a very good example of what happens when you DON'T assimilate immigrants, and Sweden/Norway having problems with immigrants who WON'T assimilate into the local language and customs but instead insist that the state accommodate THEM and THEIR customs.

Like this. And this. And this about immigrants being urged NOT to assimilate. And this bit about whether Sharia and democracy are compatible. (Apparently not...) . And apparently there was a suicide bombing in Stockholm (don't remember that in the news, but I don't see everything...) leading to this. And even the BBC's looking at the problem with this.

Yes, immigration/assimilation's a two-way street with the immigrants changing the society they're moving in to - but when the immigrants want to change the mores, morals and customs of the new country into what they left behind then it's a real problem.

In the US I prefer the mutual respect and cooperation model rather than forced or mandated assimilation. For numerous reasons.

You and me both. But what happens when that mutual respect/cooperation isn't a two-way street? When the group coming in demands concessions that aren't feasible?

You say Hansen's take on the problem is simplistic - I guess there's only so much you can get into in a blog post. But I have to wonder at times whether it's possible to look at a problem that IS simple, and yet complicate it up all out of proportion - and render it unsolvable by doing so - because you're expecting the solution to be difficult.

Like all the proposals to (on another subject) reform the mortgage system. Why not roll the regulatory environment back to 2000? Reinstate the need for a good credit score and a down payment? Why complicate the system with a few more layers of bureaucratic oversight, when it WAS working pretty well once upon a time, and it was the additional requirements for certain classes of loans to lenders that would never have qualified for a loan otherwise that broke the system?

Sometimes it just doesn't make much sense to mess with what's working.

Ryan - just posted somethin... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Ryan - just posted something to you, but I must have too many links in it or something - it's being held for approval.

We'll see if it comes through.

"Multiculturalism has thus ... (Below threshold)
Don L:

"Multiculturalism has thus elevated foreign cultures above our own."

Bingo.

The other movement by the left is biodiversity, which has as its goal the same exact thing -the devaluation(and thus the defeat) of Western Judeo-Christian beliefs about the dignity of man: man and cockroaches are equally valued, thereby they have successfully reduced our dignity (and the only reason for demanding proper behavior)to the level of a mere animal -thereby he can then be prodded to behave like an animal and tah dah, there goes western society.
Multiculturalism places the worst cultures (the cockroach) beside/inside ours in order to devalue the greatness of western Judeo-Christian culture and tah dah, there goes the western society.
They are not fools, nor are they without evil purpose.

JLawson:"We'll see... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JLawson:

"We'll see if it comes through."

Ya, for some reason posts with html get held up sometimes. Not sure why. I'll check back in a bit.

"Multiculturalism: Basta... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

"Multiculturalism: Bastard child of Marxism."

ZING!

I love that headline.

Problem is, it's wrong. The evils of multiculturalism are well known among those who bother to look, but they don't derive from Marxism. They come from elsewhere - specifically, from the way the postmodernist Left chose to attack 'imperialism' and 'colonialism.'

Wolfwalker:"Proble... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Wolfwalker:

"Problem is, it's wrong."

Alas, some accuracy!

"Multiculturalism: Bastard ... (Below threshold)
914:

"Multiculturalism: Bastard child of Marxism."

More like, ""Multiculturalism: Partial birth child of Barry Saulzalinsky."

JLawson:Looks like... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JLawson:

Looks like your post was eaten by the filter. Thanks, as usual, for keeping things cool despite out disagreement with this one. Always appreciated.

ryan

Should read: our disagreeme... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Should read: our disagreement.

I really need to check my posts more often before clicking the submit button.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy