The limits of multiculturalism

The ideology of multiculturalism combines nicely with mass immigration to provide the perfect recipe for national dissolution. In the new issue of the Weekly Standard, Leo McKinstry focuses on the effects of the recipe in Great Britain: “Dis-United Kingdom.” McKinstry contrasts Great Britain unfavorably with France to make his point:

For the last three decades, in response to waves of mass immigration, the civic institutions of Britain have eagerly implemented the ideology of multiculturalism. Instead of promoting a cohesive British identity, they have encouraged immigrant communities to cling to the customs, traditions, and language of their countries of origin. The emphasis is on upholding ethnic and cultural differences rather than achieving assimilation. This is in stark contrast to France, which has taken a color-blind approach to immigration, with newcomers expected to adapt to the culture of the host nation. The recently imposed ban on Muslim girls’ wearing the hijab or headscarf in schools is a classic example of the French model.

Britain has moved in exactly the opposite direction. Soon after the French hijab ban was implemented, a British Muslim teenager brought a successful legal action to win the right to wear in school full Islamic dress from head to toe. She was represented in her court case by Cherie Blair, the barrister wife of the prime minister. And Mrs. Blair’s action was typical of the spirit of the Labour-led British ruling class, which has elevated dogmatic multiculturalism into a principle of governance.

McKinstry makes the key point about the limits of multiculturalism — a point that exposes the doctrine as an ideology, and a fraudulent one at that:

Yet the diversity enthusiasts want to celebrate every culture but their own. In the self-flagellating climate of modern Britain, the nation’s traditions are increasingly regarded as reactionary and prejudiced. Britishness has “systematic, largely unspoken racial connotations,” declared the government’s Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain. The commission’s report, published in 2000, described the United Kingdom as “a community of communities” and called for British history to be “revised, rethought or jettisoned.” The official mood of self-loathing, epitomized by the terror of giving offense to any ethnic group, has become even more pervasive in the last five years. In one typical instance, the English inspector of prisons stated that wardens should not wear badges or tie pins with the red cross of St. George, England’s national flag, because this could be “misinterpreted as a racist symbol.”

As an ideology, multiculturalism is a corrupted form of Marxism in which race and nationality replace class. Like Marxism itself, it is an ideology that must be opposed if we are to preserve a country founded on the proposition that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights.

I don’t know enough to judge whether France is in better shape than Great Britain with respect to the corruptions of multiculturalism. Moreover, it seems to me that elites in the United States — the “leaders” whom John wrote about yesterday — have similarly elevated multiculturalism into an operative principle, if not a principle of governance. We have our own multicultural problems with with which to contend. McKinstry’s article outlines the looming perils that confront us as well as the Brits and the French.

UPDATE: As for France, see Diana West’s Washington Times column: “C’est la vie in France.”

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