Paul Gottfried and Robert Weissberg on multiculturalism in America


OCALA, Fla., January 22, 2014 — What does it mean to be a country?

Is nationhood just about a set of manmade, and often invisible, boundaries created for political purposes? Does the concept derive definition from economic prospects and nothing more? Are a country’s people in fact random jumbles with shared geographic space alone?

Many would say “yes,” and with great enthusiasm. These men and women, who hail from every walk of life, are multiculturalists.

The term “multiculturalism” is thrown around quite often. Despite beginning in academic settings, it and carries increasing weight throughout the West’s political theatre. How and why is a story in itself; not a story of one ethnic group or nation, but an ideology that has come to define our age.

Dr. Paul Gottfried is one of today’s most outspoken paleoconservative intellectuals. A recently retired professor at Elizabethtown College, his observations of the human condition have generated both accolades and animosity.

He tells Communities Digital News that “the spread of multicultural ideology has led to far more problems than it has solved.  I should point out that my books on the subject are typically read in translation by Eastern Europeans who, now liberated from the Soviet yoke, are hesitant about falling into the problems produced by a multicultural society.

“Although it has been argued on the old right as well as by Marxists that the importation of ethnically diverse minorities from the Third World and the liberation of women at home from traditional gender roles serve the interest of corporate capitalists, I think this argument has been overworked. It seems to me that big business, including agribusiness, could function quite well in a less turbulent society, with lower crime rates and fewer ethnic conflicts. It would also be possible to bring to the US cheap Hispanic labor, as was done in the past, for seasonal farm work without having to push multicultural ideology—and even without granting guest workers citizenship.” 

One of the few public intellectuals who has found more controversy than Dr. Gottfried is Dr. Robert Weissberg. For decades on end, the University of Illionis, Urbana emeritus professor was a popular columnist and public speaker. Despite having been fired by the National Review for his opinions, he continues to write about sociocultural relations, among other matters.

“Deadly conflict between racial/ethnic/religious groups is an indisputable reality, part of human nature and therefore inevitable,” Dr. Weissberg explains to CDN. “Just look at Africa or the Middle East. Or prisons and schoolyards in California. Celebrating multiculturalism is what Plato called a Golden Lie, deceptions to make people feel good about themselves and, hopefully, keep the peace.

“There are myriad ways to manage racial/ethnic conflict; celebrating multiculturalism is perhaps the worst.  Far better is physical separation of hostile parties but this is unthinkable (and illegal) in today’s America though it may come to pass voluntarily. Actually, there are already signs of it happening. Read Charles Murray’s Coming Apart.”

Specifically in terms of American life, many claim that multiculturalism is strongly beneficial. Whether or not this standpoint is supported by historical fact remains in question.

“I see no reason to believe that multiculturalism has generally benefited any Western country,” Dr. Gottfried says. “It has resulted not only in ethnic and religious conflicts but in the destruction of historic freedoms for the majority population. In England in 2011 there were 55,000 successful prosecutions for hate speech. All the plaintiffs were thereafter scarred with criminal records.

“Recently English police began encouraging eavesdropping on telephone conversations by private citizens who are urged to report criminal speech to the proper authorities. In Germany and in other continental countries, as I’ve documented in my books, the state of civil liberties is even more parlous because of the prosecution of hate speech—which is often characterized as rightwing, extremist language.”

Dr. Weissberg states that “(h)eterogeneity is nearly always a problem to be managed, not an asset. Smart people who deny this obvious reality are primarily opportunists seeking personal advancement: college administrators or political candidates, even generals—they are pandering to certain minorities to gain their endorsement and move up the career ladder. Very Orwellian: diversity is our strength; war is peace; and white is black.”

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