The future of multiculturalism

John Derbyshire doesn’t strike me as prone to undue optimism when it comes to the battles that make up the cultural war. Yet, in today’s National Review Online, he speculates that, within the next 25 years, the liberal elites will abandon multiculturalism and may well drop diversity as an ideal (25 years — isn’t that when Justice O’Connor said the Supreme Court should revisit the diversity rationale for preferential college admissions?). But we shouldn’t read this prediction as an entirely optimistic one, since Derbyshire thinks the abandonment of multiculturalism and diversity, if it occurs, may well be the result of racism on the part of the cognitive elites.
It seems clear that the status of multiculturalism and diversity in 25 years will depend on the views of the next generation of elites. In other words, these concepts will be revisited and will need to pass muster with a generation that (one hopes) will not be particularly deferential to the judgments of the preceding one. It’s difficult for me to believe that the absurdity that is multiculturalism will survive this scrutiny (that is, it is difficult to believe that future elites will be as prone to risk national suicide as current ones). The ideal of diversity stands a better chance, particularly given the demographic trends. Much will depend on how hard and how far the ideal is pushed, and (as always) on the success of the economy.

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