OCALA, Fla., January 24, 2014 — Over the last few decades, a new craze has swept across Western society.
It is not a musical band or clothing design, but an ideology. This ideology calls for nationhood to be nothing more than a set of man made, and often invisible, boundaries created for political purposes.
It holds that a country is defined by economic prospects and nothing more. A nation’s people are considered random jumbles with only shared geographic space.
The name of said ideology is “multiculturalism”. Despite offering so few prospects, why has it found untold millions of fans?
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 “(t)here are several reasons that multiculturalism has gained ground in recent years. Democracy has come less and less to do with long existing nations and more and more to do with bureaucratic control. Bureaucracies, especially in modern democracies, have always been eager to pulverize opposition to their ‘scientific’ management.
“Multicultural ideology uncouples democratic government from peoples and popular rule, that is, from those forces that stand in the way of what Max Weber called ‘rationalized rule.’”
There’s more to the story, however. Dr. Gottfried says that “(m)ulticultural policy also predictably creates conflict situations which bureaucrats claim the right and power to mediate and manage. Moreover, multiculturalism successfully appeals to the specifically democratic ideal of equality. Western countries have already tried socialized economies as a means of creating economic equality (a scheme that hasn’t worked well).
“Multiculturalism is an even more ambitious form of leveling that seeks to remove any gender, sexual or ethnic hierarchy. Then one has to understand the necessary link between pluralistic democracy and the rise of multiculturalism. The latter is an attempt to provide for expanded equality in a pluralistic setting, and an undertaking that has the additional moral advantage of aiming at equality of esteem in intergroup relations.”
Interestingly enough, Dr. Gottfried believes that multiculturalism has a religious component: “I would stress the Christian (particularly Protestant Christian) component in multiculturalism. Although I think multiculturalism represents a heretical form of Christianity, nonetheless it has been able to build on certain Christian residues, like concern for the downtrodden and an emphasis on universality. These do not represent the totality of Christian belief, but given other determining factors in a society that wishes to see itself as multicultural, certain decontextualized Christian concepts and sentiments fit nicely into the ideological mix.”
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.
Dr. Weissberg explains to CDN that multiculturalism “is a rational top-down reaction to failed affirmative action. After a half century of effort, blacks still cannot achieve equality of outcome in any merit based situation be it universities, the military or business. The solution menu is exhausted. But, political reality demands some semblance of proportionality, so the problem is ‘fixed’ by insisting that tacit quotas benefit everybody, including whites and Asians who are hurt by these policies.
“‘Diversity is our strength’ is a slogan unsupported by scientific evidence and it is even impermissible to demand such evidence. The cliché thus puts an acceptable gloss on the politically-driven rejection of the merit principle and the embrace of reverse discrimination. A rational policy in the sense is that it mitigates social strife and thus may be cheaper than ethnic civil war.”
Left-leaning support for multiculturalism is a hallmark of contemporary global politics. Why, though, are left-of-center politics so popular among American minorities?
“Minorities de ceteris paribus gravitate toward multicultural ideology because they think of themselves as marginalized and even victimized by an “in-class” or majority culture,” Dr. Gottfried claims. “This of course has reached the point of utter absurdity when groups like Jews and Japanese view themselves as being excluded by WASPs. Incidentally, white Catholics in the US are generally doing better socio-economically than Episcopalians or Presbyterians.
“Of course the Irish Catholics I meet still talk about WASPs keeping their grandparents or ancestors out of jobs and country cubs. This has to do with bitter and sometimes garbled memories rather than realities but I’ve no idea how one can neutralize these resentments, which are remarkably durable. Blacks hate Republicans because Republicans are overwhelmingly white, and so it goes.”
Dr. Weissberg states that “(t)here are varied reasons for different “minorities” and it depends on who, exactly, is considered a ‘minority.’ Do you include Jews and gays in Hollywood? I think you mean so-called minorities ‘of color’ and in the case of blacks and Hispanics, I’d guess that support flows from the promise of government-supplied benefits given as a matter of ancestry. Avarice not ideology drives the clamor.
“I have yet to figure out why many Asians vote Democratic other than their inclination to go along with the majority regardless of policy. It’s a ‘safe’ strategy. As for Jews, this would require a book”.