Cultural Diversity and Unity

Cultural Diversity and Unity, by Claes Ryn.

One problem with immigration into the United States today is that, at current levels, it complicates assimilation. The number of foreign-born residents is higher than at any time in American history. Over 40 percent of the residents of New York City speak a foreign language at home. In Miami the figure is 75 percent. At the same time, many immigrants resist integration into a common national culture; some groups pursue separate ethnic or racial identities.

The impact of mass immigration and separatism cannot be assessed without considering the ever-present need to balance unity and diversity. It is important to ask whether American culture still has sufficient centripetal and harmonizing pull to avert social fragmentation. Whatever other problems may attend multiculturalism and immigration, they are straining an increasingly fragile social fabric. The question arises whether there are sources of order in American society, actual or potential, that can moderate and balance the centrifugal influences. Or does the strain on society need to be reduced? …

The moral vanity of the PC troops:

Today the virtue of moral self-discipline and effort is being replaced by the ever more brazen self-gratification of individuals and groups. People who shy away from the rigors of the old virtue of character but who still would like to think of themselves as moral have available to them new conceptions of “virtue.” These have the convenience of not demanding any difficult improvement of self.

It is now possible to qualify as virtuous either by emoting sweet benevolence or by keeping the right ideas in one’s head. These modes of morality often blend in one and the same person. The more sentimental virtue is altruistic sympathy, tearful “compassion” for favored suffering groups. The more rationalistic form consists of incessant talk about “justice” and “rights.” Both forms evade the need to shape character and thus neglect the most basic requirement of civilized life. …

Culture matters:

It would seem highly relevant to immigration policy that the United States is an extension of European and especially English civilization. The form of government that the Framers set up was indistinguishable from the unwritten constitution, including the virtue of character. Although that ethos overlaps in some respects with non-Western civilizations, America’s political institutions and other traditions connect the United States primarily with Europe. The longterm effect of large-scale immigration from societies that are largely untouched by traditional Western civilization is unclear.

hat-tip Stephen Neil