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Some interesting thoughts on bilingualism and multiculturalism.
 
 
Multiculturalism: Disease or Symptom?

Culture/Society Opinion Keywords: MULTICULTURALISM, NATIONALISM, ETHNICITY, EMPIRE, CIVILIZATION
Author: self
Posted on 08/15/2000 17:12:35 PDT by Gecko

In order for a nation or culture to exist, it must stand for an idea and its members must share a common identity, grounded both in a common worldview and some cultural trait that separates the nation from the rest of the world. Throughout history, the decline of nations and of civilizations has been inextricably linked to the decline of common identity and shared worldview.

To a large part, the fall of Rome was due to the fact that there ceased to be such a thing as a Roman. To be sure, in the time of the Caesars, Rome was a vast empire which controlled a better part of the western world and engulfed an array of alien peoples. And the latter was part of the problem. Rome the Empire was no longer Rome the nation or Rome the peoples. It was rather an arbitrary collection of different tribes, different cultures, and different creeds that happened to fall into the borders of something called the Roman Empire under the control of the Caesars and their Hegemons. Just as Romans moved to the far ends of the Mediterranean and beyond, so did peoples from around the world move into Rome proper, brininging with them their faiths and their ways of life.

Thus, in the time of the Caesars, Rome became a linguistic and ethnic Babel. While centuries ago Roman peasants gladly volunteered their services to their people and their nation, increasingly the empire had to be maintained by conscripted or mercenary troops. Furthermore, the ruling classes shared nothing culturally, ethnically, or religiously (and often linguistically) with the multitudes they ruled over. Thus, there ceased to be such a thing as a Roman. Who would fight for something that they couldn't identify with? If one saw themselves as first and foremost Greek, Persian, or of Palestine and not as Roman, why should they feel a sense of duty to Old Rome, its rulers, and its gods? Thus, it is no surprise that the Roman masses, including the uprooted peasants who were forced to find an existence in urban, commercialised, and multi-ethnic Rome did not look upon their barbarian Germanic conquerors with fear. Their attitude was often one of indifference - they weren't Roman, so why should they fear or fight non-Roman rulers, or uphold an empire and worldview they didn't believe with through their blood, sweat, and money?

Thus, "multiculturalism" is inextricably linked to the cultural decline of a nation. By its very nature, multiculturalism is a negation of national identity - it is groups of people in a country saying "we are ethnicity/nationality/race x, we are not of nation y!" As the various peoples who settled from the outskirts of the Roman empire said of their host nation, so do various ethnic minorities in the West, particularly America, say about their own nation. They are first and foremost "African" or "Jewish" or "Hispanic" and only secondly American or European (for those who live on the other side of the Atlantic). As such, the concept of national culture means nothing to them, and apart from common economic interests, they have no vested interest in the well-being of their host nation per se because they regard themselves as independent of it. Various ethnicities in our country have become nations within nations, so to speak. Inumerable Latin Americans vote for the interests of their nation of origin, in fact Mexico's politicians encourage as many Mexicans to cross the Rio Grande and vote Mexico's interest. Many American black activists are solely interested in political questions insofar as they effect their ethnic enclaves rather than the nation as a whole (to the point of praising LA rioters), while Jewish organisations such as the Anti-Defamation League do everything in their power to remove the influence of America's native Christian faith from the public square and our schools.

How far removed are these mentalities from the end of Rome's days of grandeur, when the man on the streets of Rome thought of himself as a Persian, an Egyptian, or an Ethiop and wanted nothing to do with Rome and its Caesars? What remains to be answered, of course, is whether multiculturalism is the cause of decline or merely a symptom of debility.

There is good cause to argue that multiculturalism is a cause of decline. After all, multiculturalism is not a shared worldview or a new direction, in spite of what its ideologues would lead us to believe. Quite the contrary, multiculturalism is the negation and rejection of shared national identity. It is the Weimar German who says "I am not German" (and if particularly fashionable, he will call himself a citizen of the world), or the so-called American citizen who spends his time lobbying on behalf of a foreign power. It is the attitude which says that the nation's founders and their faith should be removed from school curricula, so that the students may be immersed in alien faiths and cultures in the name of "diversity." Kwanzaa, anyone? It is the attitude which takes pride in saying "we are a nation of immigrants." In the past this used to mean a nation of immigrants assimilated to the shared culture of our founders (i.e. a Christian nation in the tradition of Western Europe), while today it is simply a meaningless tautology equivalent to saying "we are a nation of foreigners." A nation of foreigners, without common creed, or shared values, is not a nation. You cannot have a nation where the only shared value is the fact that there are no shared beliefs.

However, one could argue that multiculturalism emerges as a symptom of decline rather than the cause (in spite of the obvious fact that its more militant forms accelerate decline). Only when the national will weakens does a nation not impose its collective will on outsiders to either assimilate or leave. A strong nation has the stomach to accomodate and assimilate outsiders. That was the strenght of America, and indeed all nations in the past. That America is multiethnic does not mean that it must be multicultural. After all, there are many Germans with French or Polish last names, and Englishmen with Dutch, French, German, or Scotish/Irish names. The point is that a strong nation forces outsiders to assimilate and discourages unasimilables from ever taking hold. The death of national will leads to all outsiders being unassimilable because their is no social force or pressure that requires them to assimilate.

Of course, the fact that there is an increasing focus on economic globalisation is closely linked to multiculturalism. From a purely economic point of view, it doesn't matter what the race or creed is of the manufacturer of a trinket or of its consumer. Hence, multiculturalism is entirely compatible with a purely economic plane of existence, which in a sense was as true of the last centuries of the Roman empire as it is of the last century or so of Western history. Perhaps to a large part the weakening of national identity is due to an increasing emphasis on purely material values for which culture, history, and nation are irrelevant. It is in such a climate that multiculturalism, the doctrine of anti-culture and anti-nation, can thrive.


All too often, multiculturalism is portrayed as some type of necessary corollary of having a heterogeneous ethnic composition. This is not necessarily true, because a strong national will, as characterised post-Civil War America, can overcome considerable "culture shock" to assimilate outsiders. The same was true, to a lesser extent, in many European nations that assimilated outsiders into their own fabric, with no trace of their "foreigness" but their last names. However, in the absence of a shared idea and culture, the ethnicities that were once integrated start to disentegrate, because their self-identity and self-organisation becomes stronger than the fabric they are woven into. Furthermore, those who would have under different circumstances been not permitted to enter at all are welcome with open arms in the name of "multiculturalism" and "diversity."

1 Posted on 08/15/2000 17:12:35 PDT by Gecko
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To: Gecko

This is a great article. Well written, too.

This is why I call for religions to come together and display their common set of moral values, so that all the people of America may have a common ideal to look to and try to achieve. Their will always be divisions amongst the populace, but common values and norms are necessary for a culture to exist, such as an American, a Roman, or a French culture.

4 Posted on 08/15/2000 17:21:14 PDT by hammach
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To: Gecko

Culture, et cetera
THE WASHINGTON TIMES, June 22, 1999
Soviet America

"Britain and America are two of the most tolerant societies in history, having demonstrated that tolerance by welcoming refugees and immigrants from all parts of the world and then turning them into British and American citizens by inducting them into the national community. These immigrants learned our language and adopted our history as their own. Such cultural inclusion is, in fact, the only way to achieve a successful multi-ethnic society. . . .

"The concept of multiculturalism threatens to unravel all that good work. Here is a genuinely utopian enterprise, more utopian indeed than the Tower of Babel. . . . The U.S. is moving toward a system in which the government presides over a number of different social groups, some of which have their own language and type of education. This approach undermines social unity and allows construction of a multicultural society, which is the very opposite of America's previous practice. The government aims to supervise these different groups and keep the peace by redistributing income from one to another.

"Thus the utopia of multiculturalism involves a bureaucratic class presiding over a nation divided into a variety of ethnic nationalities. That, of course, looks awfully like the old Soviet Union. Such a system cannot work, and its failure is likely to inflict great damage on the people, their traditions, and their liberties."

-- Lady Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister, writing on "Resisting the Utopian Impulse" in the spring issue of American Outlook

6 Posted on 08/15/2000 17:38:08 PDT by donna (Great minds.)
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To: Gecko

Multiculturalism is a disease - it is spread by self-hating, guilty white liberal leftists from Hell.

It is spread by race-baiting, America-hating, race pimps who seek advantages based on their ethnic-socio-religious background, without having any right to such demands or such assistance other than by playing to an abstract "group victimization" angle, and to the "white-guilt" of the aforementioned self-hating, guilty, white liberal leftists from Hell.

10 Posted on 08/15/2000 17:43:44 PDT by Yosemite Scott
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To: donna

"Thus the utopia of multiculturalism involves a bureaucratic class presiding over a nation divided into a variety of ethnic nationalities.

Divide and Conquer = bureaucratic control by multiculturalism.

For those of us who believe that America has a special place in the history of mankind and a special relationship with G_d, multiculturalism is a Trojan Horse. Multiculturalism has become a side step around team building and nation building. Diversity has become a code word for opting out enfranshisement through A SINGLE group identity.

13 Posted on 08/15/2000 18:06:34 PDT by kcpl8r
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To: Gecko

This is such a great post, I bookmarked it. I really believe that multiculturism is another form of racism, because it divides people that should be of one shared history and culture, into seperate pools of people that share no common American virtues. Thanks for this post.

14 Posted on 08/15/2000 18:19:36 PDT by Lasher
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To: Gecko

"Multiculturalism" is a racist political philosophy that intends to make second-class citizens of white males in America and eventually Europe. It demonizes any organized self-awareness on the part of whites (white student unions anybody?) and encourages non-white organized self-awareness. Basically, it is the political theory of fascism-of-color with feminist and homosexual auxiliaries. Its pernicious influence is everywhere, like Germanic tribes spilling forth into the Roman Empire. With even old warriors like William Buckley jr. groveling publicly with statements like, Somehow it no longer feels quite right to feel internally, let alone to stress publicly, pride in ethnic background -- if you are white.

It is pathetic and even more so are all the hetero-sexual Christian white males who would rather not think, let alone talk, about it.

21 Posted on 08/16/2000 12:34:33 PDT by Uprise
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To: Freedom Wins

You realise of course that the Rand cultists attack multiculturalism for entirely different reasons than I do. The Social Darwinists, with their cult of the individual, want to eliminate all cultural allegiances within a society. They are opposed to the imposition of a dominant ("host") culture just as they are opposed to the cultures of the "guest" populations. What I advocating is that the guests (the few which are allowed to come and stay) assimilate to the dominant culture. The Rand cultists don't want their to be a dominant culture for the "guests" to assimilate to, nor do they want the guests to see themselves as an independent culture, for the simple reason that any type of national allegiances run counter to their atomistic view of society, where everyone is an ahistorical unit of consumption and production.

23 Posted on 08/16/2000 17:32:23 PDT by Gecko
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To: Uprise, gecko

It demonizes any organized self-awareness on the part of whites (white student unions anybody?) and encourages non-white organized self-awareness. Basically, it is the political theory of fascism-of-color with feminist and homosexual auxiliaries.

I struggled a little bit to find the right words to describe adequately the reining political creed, "the diversity of multiculturalism". But you hit it pretty much on the head. It is first off a fraud, because it does not tolerate real diversity i.e., groups of the political, religious, and cultural right (with the economic right recently admitted through the back door if the denounce the other three a la libertarianism), it is not truly multiethnic, and is not even really about real culture. The best word to describe it would actually be heterogenous racialism, as opposed to the homogenous racialism of the old fascism.

Historically its antecedents are actually quite clear. It involves the war of radical peripherial groups against the ethnic and cultural center, organized by Bolshevism. Russia was the first target of this, where Russian Christians, not only those of the elite with western roots but all Russians, were (as they still are today) disproportionately persecuted by the internationalist elite , where synogogues were encouraged and mosques tlerated while Churches were being dynamited. Later the phenomenon wa repeated in central Europe, where the vital German speaking class was expelled from Czechoslokokia, Poland and Hungary to pave the way for the red takeover. So its Marxist origin is clear, although it adapts itself somewhat cleverly to weakneses in the American system.

24 Posted on 08/17/2000 08:59:59 PDT by Okiereddust
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