The one huge problem with multiculturalism, by Stephen Chavura.
Foundational to multiculturalism is the plausible premise that culture matters to personal identity and self-respect. But multiculturalists then advocate the adjustment of pre-existing national cultures to suit the cultural needs of migrant communities so that they don’t feel alienated from the host nation. The problem is that multiculturalism forgets that the pre-existing national culture means something to its citizens too—surprisingly, to multiculturalists at least, it isn’t just cultural minorities who love their culture.
Multiculturalism produces nations of cultural homelessness: natives feel alienated from their rapidly-changing communities and become critical of immigrants, and many immigrants consequently feel as if they are in an alien and hostile land. Nobody wins except for the multicultural industry, which thrives on the very cultural tensions created by multiculturalism that are then used to justify more funding for their divisive programmes.
The trick of multiculturalists in terms of deflecting criticism has always been to transmogrify culture into race. Worried about Islamic immigration? Racist. Don’t like how your community has turned from English speaking to Chinese, Vietnamese, or Arabic? Racist. Worried that our immigration system is eroding all that remains of the Anglo-European aesthetic of Australian communities? Racist.
Multiculturalism was imposed on Australia. As if any nation would ever vote to kill its own culture. It was a policy that in the 1970s breezily swept aside the normative significance of the still largely British nature of the Australian nation and simply declared that we had no culture but multiculturalism. Australians were never asked whether they were happy for Australian culture to be radically changed over a generation through high levels of non-Anglo-European immigration without an emphasis on assimilation. Young Australians ever since have merely been taught to recite the creed: ‘There is no Australian culture but multiculturalism.’ It became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
A bigger problem is how do you tolerate intolerant cultures within a multicultural society? Islam is the extreme example. Islam is a very strong culture — the penalty for leaving, for instance, is death. Islam is totalitarian, supremacist, and intolerant of all other cultures. The Islamic holy books make it quite clear that treating non-Muslims poorly is ok or even encouraged.
What we really want is one culture in a multiethnic society. That culture is a essentially the one that only arose in Britain — free speech, freedom of association, rule of law that applies to everyone, democracy, private property, meritocracy, cultural tolerance, presumption of innocence, and favoring the individual rather than the collective. That recipe uniquely gave the world prosperity, for the first time ever hauling the world out of living on the Malthusian limit — all in the last three hundred years.
Our media and ruling class deliberately conflate multicultural with multiethnic. But in their confusion they have allowed our culture to be overly diluted, thereby trashing our uniquely successful cultural heritage.