Friday, September 01, 2006

Multiculturalism Dissected

Over at the First Things blog, Michael Novak is recycling an old book of his. It's still a cogent takedown of multiculturalism, no matter that the multicult has now a) fallen prey to the inevitable creeping irony, and b) will possibly get us all killed if we can't shake it off. Go ahead and click through to read the bullet-point indictment; but here's a great pull-quote from further in:

For centuries, humans have suffered, and from suffering have drawn wisdom. To absorb this precious wisdom requires respectful attention to the records of the past. One learns, as well, from evils committed in the past. The past records both: sins against wisdom, and wisdom painfully acquired. Let those whose ancestors are without sin throw the first stones. Let those without sin throw the first stone at their ancestors. My father once told me that people who boast about their ancestors are like potatoes—”the only good part of them is underground.” Yet he urged us all to study history avidly. He warned us not to be surprised to find that our ancestors were in some things smarter than we. (That is probably a good definition of a conservative—one who believes that his grandparents were at least as good as he.)

When and if multiculturalism embraces truth—shows genuine respect for all (including dead white males)—and ceases to be intolerant toward any but the politically correct, it may command some measure of respect. As long as its fundamental appeal is to its own moral superiority, intolerance, and coercion, it deserves to be met with contempt by those who seek to live under standards of evidence and truth.

I still like what I read somewhere, that there's a difference between multicultural people and international people. International people speak other languages, can knowledgeably order wine anywhere, and may send their kids to foreign boarding schools. Multicultural people lambaste America, run around in Mexican wedding shirts, and live by grubbing for grant money. Which one sounds better to aspire to, savoir vivre-wise?

1 comment:

  1. I like your angle on Multiculturalism - that's something which has been pretty successful in places like Australia. The only problem is this "political correctness" rubbish. That makes me cringe.


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