Multiculturalism: Something Rotten in the States of Europe and America

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Tue, Dec 15 - 6:55 pm EDT | 1 year ago by
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    German Chancellor Merkel took a brave step forward for Europe today when she declared, “Whoever seeks refuge with Germany must respect our laws and traditions and learn our language. Multiculturalism leads to parallel societies and therefore remains a living lie.” These are wise words, and we agree with them. But multiculturalism is more than just a living lie. It is an acid eating away at the foundation of Western civilization. It is the rot in the roots of our heartwood.

    German Chancellor and Chairwoman of the German Christian Democrats (CDU) Angela Merkel
    Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

    Since the Paris atrocities last month, the Right has been urgently warning that open borders are an invitation to terrorists. We are warned that thousands, if not tens of thousands, of the refugees crossing from nation-state to nation-state are not refugees at all, but warriors of the Jihad, ready to bring terror to the infidel.

    This is almost certainly true, despite the strident denialism of the Left. Even so, the cautionary voices of the Right are still understating the problem; or rather, they are confusing the effects of a corrosive acid with the acid itself. The acid is multiculturalism; terrorism is merely one of its results, alongside ethnic violence, civil unrest, and more.

    Before we proceed, some definitions are in order. The words country, nation, and state are bandied about in uninformed usage as if they were synonyms, but they are not. A country is a geographic region. While states are frequently countries, countries need not be states, being potentially either larger or smaller. One may properly speak of the West Country of England, the Pays de Bray of France, or the Coal Country of the United States.

    A nation is a cultural community of people, of which there are two types. The first is the ethnic nation, which refers to collective of people associated by their common ancestry, language, history, and traditions. The German nation of the early 20th century and the Japanese, Chinese, and South Korean nations of today are examples of ethnic nations. The second is the civic nation, which refers to a collective of people associated by their common commitment to a particular expression of citizenship and individual rights. The French and American nations are the preeminent civic nations of the world.

    A state is an organized political community under a single system of government. There are many types of states, typically named for their system of government, such as republics, commonwealths, and monarchies. States are often, though not always, founded by or for nations.

    Thus a nation-state is an organized political community (a state) composed of an ethnic or civic community (a nation) within a geographical area (a country).

    Similarly, a multistate nation is one in which a single nation exists across several states. For instance, the Kurdish people are currently divided between the states of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, and lack a state (Kurdistan) of their own. Multistate nations often attempt to found nation-states.

    Conversely, a multinational state is one in which multiple nations exist within one state. These can exist in varying combinations, most of limited historical duration. At best, a multinational state might consist of multiple ethnic nations ostensibly united by a civic nation, but without patriotism sufficient to maintain cohesion. A classic example is the U.S.S.R, which consisted of various ethnic nations (Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian, Estonian, etc.) ostensibly united by Communism. When the common commitment to communism eroded, the state collapsed.

    Even less stable is a multinational state consisting of multiple ethnic nations without a civic nation at all. The mid-20th century Yugoslavian state incorporated many Slavic ethnic nations (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, etc.). The 19th century Austro-Hungarian Empire state incorporated the entirety of the Hungarian ethnic nation and part of the German ethnic nation. All such states are maintained essentially by force, from above.

    Rarely, a multinational state might even consist of a single ethnic nation but multiple civic nations. The Antebellum United States serves as an example here, as slavery divided the European-Americans of the time into two distinct civic nations that remained (for a time) united in one state.

    Finally, there can be multinational states consisting of multiple ethnic and civic nations. This is the least stable of all configurations. The Holy Roman Empire is one example of such a state; the contemporary United Kingdom, riven with separatist movements, might be approaching this as well.

    Historically, the nation-state has been the most stable configuration, while multinational states have been less stable. Why might this be? A decade long study by Harvard professor of political science Robert D. Putnam has conclusively demonstrated that the more ethnically diverse a community is, the lower its social capital.1 James Coleman and Putnam have shown that low social capital leads to less trust, less charity, more hate, more crime, and more corruption.2 Worse, it leads to more war. As Marta Reynal-Querol explains, “Faith and family, blood and beliefs are the aspects with which people identify themselves, the characteristics for which they fight and die.”3

    In the short-term, the injuries inflicted by diversity are unavoidable. In the long term, the wounds can be healed, but it requires the integration of the disparate nations by means of “shared values”4 – which is to say, the creation of a civic nation to unite the ethnic nations.

    It makes sense, then, that most stable states have historically been founded by and on ethnic nations. It also makes sense that when a multiethnic state has flourished, it is because the state has had strong civic nationalism (patriotism). A civic nation-state can be sustained when – and only so long as – its peoples’ unitary civic nationalism takes precedence over their diverse ethnic nationalisms. The preeminent example is the United States, which has one civic nation (the American nation) but many ethnic nations (Mexican-American, African-American, European-American, and so on).5 A much older example is the Roman Empire, a state which began with one ethnic nation (Roman) but eventually incorporated many ethnic nations (Arab, Berber, Gaul, Greek, German, Italian, Thracian) guided by one civic nation (Roman).6

    But of course Rome fell, and so too might America, and if it does happen, the blame will almost surely lie on the altar of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is formally defined as the “acceptance or promotion of multiple cultural traditions within a single jurisdiction.”7 In practice, multiculturalism presents itself as a harmless commitment to tolerance that all well-intentioned people should share.

    But in fact multiculturalism is an acid that dissolves nation-states. This is its purpose. Multiculturalism arose in the aftermath of the Second World War, a war launched by two ultranationalist states (National Socialist Germany and Imperial Japan) and characterized by the genocide of whole nations. The politicians and intellectuals of the post war era swore to never allow this to happen again, and multiculturalism was their solution. By promoting multiculturalism they hoped to destroy that which gave rise to total war. To save Western civilization, it was necessary to destroy it. Or so they believed.

    How does multiculturalism destroy ethnic nation-state? We have already shown that an ethnic nation-state relies on its people’s common ancestry, language, and traditions – its unity – to provide social cohesion to its state. Multiculturalism erodes all three, by diversifying the ancestry, languages, and traditions. Where once stood a people united now stands a people divided. With the loss of unity go the social stability and social capital that unit brought and diversity destroys.

    A civic nation relies on a particular expression of citizenship and individual rights, and as such seems like it would be protected from the acidic effects of multiculturalism. But from what source does a civic nation derive its particular expression of citizenship and rights? There are only two: from its religion or from its political philosophy. But both of these are deeply rooted in a people’s culture, language and tradition. Consider the difference between American and Chinese views on good governance. The former is rooted in Locke, Montesquieu, Jefferson, Madison and the theory of social contract. The latter is rooted in Confucius, Han Fei, Mozi, and the theory of Heaven’s Mandate. The former idealizes republican democracy; the latter idealizes benevolent monarchy. Multiculturalism insists that a Chinese immigrant can maintain the cultural traditions of Chinese Legalism while still being an American; but Chinese Legalism is incompatible with republican democracy. If being an American does not mean sharing the values upon which America was founded – what does it mean? A state can, for a time, survive a diversity of values. But a civic nation cannot.

    This, then, is the state of things. Ethnic nation-states are unified and therefore enjoy high social capital and stability. Multiethnic states are diverse and their diversity destroys social capital. Shared values in the form of civic nationalism can in time restore social capital and stability by creating a civic nationalism that trumps ethnicity. But multiculturalism is ruinous of both, adding more ethnic diversity and weakening civic unity.

    Many will argue that ethnic diversity is inevitable in today’s global society and therefore that multiculturalism is necessary. This is a lie. It is worse than a lie: It is offering up poison when medicine is at hand. The right way to overcome ethnic diversity already exists. Civic nationalism, characterized by the American melting pot, has proven effective for centuries, as had the Roman melting pot of antiquity. The genius of civic nationalism is that it replaces the genetic with the memetic. In this way, a Gaul became a Roman, and a Swede became an American, because Roman-ness and American-ness were divorced from ethnicity. But civic nationalism must be allowed to replicate. Memes can die, just like genes. To replicate, civic nationalism must be instilled in each new generation by those who are its stewards. If a nation’s own citizens do not love their shared civic values enough to demand that immigrants adopt them, it is a surety that the immigrants will look at that nation with contempt.

    How long would Rome have lasted had it allowed its Greek, Gaulish, German, or Thracian members to say “we denounce Rome for displacing the indigenous populations of the lands it occupies, we do not accept Roman traditions, we refuse to learn Latin, we believe the entire corpus of Roman law is corrupt, and we refuse to serve in the imperial legion. We nevertheless expect all the rights of Roman citizens, with bread and circuses at your expense, and if you do not give us these things, we will riot.”

    Yet is this not the America and Europe of today? In too many places, it is.

    Today Chancellor Merkel has taken a brave step towards creating a German civic nationalism that can replace its failed experiment with multiculturalism. Let us pray that the rest of the West follows suit.

    __________

    1 Putnam, Robert D., “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century — The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize,” Scandinavian Political Studies 30 (2), June 2007

    2 Coleman, James. (1988). “Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital”. American Journal of Sociology Supplement 94: S95-S120. Putnam, Robert. (2000), “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community” (Simon and Schuster).

    3 Reynal-Querol, Marta. “Ethnicity, Political Systems and Wars.” Journal of Conflict Studies 2002, p. 31.

    4 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12802663

    5 Technically the United States is a multi-state union made up of numerous independent states, collectively informed by civic American nationalism, with numerous ethnic nations spread across the states.

    6 Technically the Roman Empire was a multi-state empire with numerous ethnic nations united by one civic nation. Unlike American civic nationalism, which arose simultaneously with the United States, the rise of civic Roman nationalism occurred slowly through the process of Romanization and the gradual spread of citizenship to the Empire’s subjects.

    7 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiculturalism

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      • Philalethes

        The German nation of the early 20th century and the Japanese, Chinese, and South Korean nations of today are examples of ethnic nations.

        True of Japan and Korea, yes, but not so true of China, which is a multi-ethnic empire. Roughly 50% of the Chinese state’s territory is ethnically Chinese, while the rest (Inner Mongolia, East Turkestan [aka Xinjiang], Tibet, various tiny tribal reserves) is thinly populated by non-Chinese, many of whom are not at all happy about their forced assimilation into the “Motherland”. There are more Mongols in Inner Mongolia than in Mongolia proper to the north – but there are more Chinese than Mongols in Inner Mongolia. The same situation is being manufactured in Xinjiang (tr. “New Frontier” – how the Chinese see it) and Tibet (aka Xizang or “Western Treasury”, which indicates part of why the Chinese are determined to keep it).

        As a “meme” I recently saw on Twitter put it: “Massive immigration and forced assimilation is GENOCIDE when it happens to Tibetans; and it’s GENOCIDE when it happens to whites.”

        The Chinese have been at this, actually, since the third century BCE, when Mao’s idol, the mad genius Qin Shi Huang conquered his Yellow River neighbors and created the first Chinese Empire. (Qin pronounced “Chin”, where we get the name “China”.) In the next half-millennium the Empire gradually moved south to the Yangtze River, then beyond, conquering and assimilating the various then-tribal peoples living in those territories – most related to the Chinese, but they didn’t think of themselves as Chinese until they’d been clasped to the bosom of the Motherland for a while. There is still perennial tension between the North (Beijing and environs) and the South (Guangdong/Canton, et al.); China may again break up as it has numerous times in its history. The Chinese language is written the same (mostly) over the whole country, but consists of numerous spoken languages as different as French, Spanish and Romanian.

        The Chinese are a very pragmatic people. They make a big fuss about China being a multi-ethnic Big Happy Family, but in reality the empire of the Hong (Red) Dynasty is what you term a multinational state, “ostensibly united” by love of the Motherland, but actually by force and the simple fact that ethnic Chinese comprise over 90% of the total population, though their real “homeland” covers less than half of contemporary “China”.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/MarcusCMarcellus?feature=mhee The Night Porter

        Civic nationalism is a one-way road to multiculturalism. Ethnic groups have a right to self-determination. To become an American is to become nothing at all. This is why Amercians to this day know deep down that being an American is a form of nothingness. They always ask you “but WHAT are you?” German-American, Irish-American, etc. The hyphenated American is the only American. Like it or not, this IS a country of immigrants. The US, as its non-name and initials reveal, was the first USSR.

        The current state of affairs was baked into the cake the moment that demi-god of yours, Jefferson, penned the inane Declaration of Independence. Talk about the banality of evil!

        • WhereDidMyLibertyGo?

          We are descendants of New England and New York patriots. There were never hyphens in our line. Not since before 1620.

          If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we have been well flattered for the past century.

        • rabidfox2

          I am approaching my 80th birthday and I have never had anyone or heard anyone asking “but WHAT are you?” My name is obviously ethnic but it isn’t clear which ethnicity it is but at the most I get is “What kind of name is that?” No one assumes I’m anything but American, which is what it should be.

          As for being a form of nothingness deep down, get over yourself. We have 220+ years of history as a unique country, founded on unique ideas, leavened by ideas from other cultures that we accept as good. We have a deep and varied culture and one that is worth protecting.

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/MarcusCMarcellus?feature=mhee The Night Porter

          Ideas do not make a country. Your “culture” is nothing but Hollywood and baseball.

      • Lentenlands

        You need to understand the Bible to understand multiculturalism. It was the national sovereignty dissolving tool of the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians. Guess who their modern day cousins are?

        • Ezra Pound

          Jews. The highest “holy” book of the Jewish religion is called “Babylonian Talmud”. Coincidence? No. The post-Christian, anti-Biblical religion known as Judaism was invented by the pharisees in Babylon around the year 600AD. The religion of the Israelites, Torah, became what we today call “Christianity.”

      • 2573366

        Too little. Too late.

      • Corvinus123

        “It is an acid eating away at the foundation of Western civilization.”

        Assuming that Western Civilization is the end all and be all.

        “We are warned that thousands, if not tens of thousands, of the refugees crossing from nation-state to nation-state are not refugees at all, but warriors of the Jihad, ready to bring terror to the infidel.”

        I’ll wait for the movie to come out.

        “Rarely, a multinational state might even consist of a single ethnic nation but multiple civic nations.”

        Undeniably, the United States, consisting of several racial and ethnic groups, has been a nation with one identity assumed by its citizens as a whole and another identity of their own.

        “A decade long study by Harvard professor of political science Robert D. Putnam has conclusively demonstrated that the more ethnically diverse a community is, the lower its social capital”

        He presented an argument, assuredly, but stating unequivocally that it was “conclusively demonstrated” is a stretch.

        epubs.surrey.ac.uk/15382/2/Sturgis(2011) Does ethnic diversity erode trust.pdf

        “Which is why people tend to see China as an “ethnic nation” – which is what the Chinese intend it to be as soon as they can manage it, by any means necessary.”

        America has never been a singular ethnic nation. Europeans founded it, certainly, but the English, French, Spanish, and Dutch at that time viewed one another with suspicion, each inferior to one another, and dare I say characterized by “alien” behaviors.

        “As a “meme” I recently saw on Twitter put it: “Massive immigration and forced assimilation is GENOCIDE when it happens to Tibetans; and it’s GENOCIDE when it happens to whites.””

        Pro-race is code for anti-humanity.

        “To become an American is to become nothing at all.”

        That is observably false. Read the work of Alexis de Tocqueville.

        • WhereDidMyLibertyGo?

          Propaganda. New England was never intended or contemplated to merge with New France, New Netherland, New Sweden, New This or New That. To the extent they were integrated into the American nation it was by force of arms and later close kinship. How do you tell a Dutchman from an East Anglian? You don’t. They are first cousins.

          To compare a Voodoo Mestizo with a Dutch Calvinist is an abuse of scholarship and perhaps fraudulent. To further the comparison with various African or Arabian tribesmen is asinine.

        • Corvinus

          “New England was never intended or contemplated to merge with New France, New Netherland, New Sweden, New This or New That.”

          Originally, yes. But “settlers” from various countries of Europe arrived, set up communities, and interacted with one another. As a result, a “new” country was borne, a blend of old and new ideals.

          “How do you tell a Dutchman from an East Anglian? You don’t. They are first cousins.”

          You are trying to use a specific example as a broad generalization. The Germans and English were not “first cousins”. They were European, but they viewed one another with contempt. There was not this shared identity of continentalism and nationalism as “Europeans”.

          Now, Dutch speakers had a profound influence on the morphology of East Anglian English, considering that Norwich, the capital of East Anglia, was replete with…refugees from the Netherlands and Belgium. That influence, however, was indirect, and established through mechanisms of linguistic change linked to language contact. Religious persecution was particularly sharp in the Low Countries, which had been under the auspices of the Spanish (Catholics). The inhabitants (Calvinists) fled, WELCOMED by governments anxious to import their skills. In a similar vein, several Puritan sects emigrated to Holland, where there was greater religious tolerance. In both instances, they (the Dutch and the English Puritans) settled into areas, practiced their customs, and became part of the host country. Certainly, they were viewed by native East Anglians and native Dutch with revulsion…because the newcomers were from a “foreign land”. But despite protests, these groups became a fixture of the country, exactly the process by which the Irish, the Chinese, Italians, the Assyrians, the Vietnamese, etc. in America underwent and overcame.

          “To compare a Voodoo Mestizo with a Dutch Calvinist is an abuse of scholarship and perhaps fraudulent.”

          You ought to familiarize yourself with American and world history before you make such allegations. Do you want to know more, citizen?

          “We are descendants of New England and New York patriots.”

          That is observably false. When you use the term “we”, you are inferring all American citizens whose ancestors originated from a wide range of places.

          “There were never hyphens in our line. Not since before 1620.”

          As a result of numerous groups invading, I mean settling, the North American continent, they intermingled and intermarried on a level never witnessed before. Recall Europeans at that point in time referred to one another as “different races”. In what became known as the United States, “one race” was created, that being “American”. Of course, “race” in that context meant “nationality”.

          “In reality, politically-correct multiculturalism has its roots in the cultural Marxist Frankfurt School (specifically, the Institute for Social Research at Goethe University Frankfurt), which originated in Germany after the Great War.”

          Talk about propaganda!

          “A nation is a nation – those born to a common ancestor with a common legacy and a common future.”

          America’s common ancestor was indeed European on a macro level. But at the micro level, it was several groups of “foreigners” who found common ground and built a society called the United States.

          “Anything else is just a country club with widely divergent membership requirements.”

          Also observably false. Elected representatives, taking into consideration their constituents, have developed criteria as what constitutes the political aspect of “American”. It is the social criteria that has evolved amongst the interactions of its population individually and collectively, with those standards being fiercely contested.

        • bob

          “Assuming that Western Civilization is the end all and be all.”
          You mean we’re not perfect??? I agree, but I haven’t found anything better. And there are countless examples of your way being much worse.

      • WhereDidMyLibertyGo?

        You say memetic can replace genetic. Yes, for the span of one generation that may be plausible.

        Who will guarantee that Immigrant X’s son Y will maintain X’s civic nationalist meme? Indeed, Why ought he?

        Ideas and ideals, commitments and “to die for”s change without notice, often many times over the course of a man’s life.

        Blood is forever. And blood is certainly thicker than water.

        A Civic nation is a fraudulent term. A nation is a nation – those born to a common ancestor with a common legacy and a common future.

        Anything else is just a country club with widely divergent membership requirements.

      • Georgiaboy61

        This is an outstanding article at any number of levels, but the author – Maurice Montaigne – is mistaken about the origins of multiculturalism when he places its beginning in the post-Second World War world. In reality, politically-correct multiculturalism has its roots in the cultural Marxist Frankfurt School (specifically, the Institute for Social Research at Goethe University Frankfurt), which originated in Germany after the Great War. The Frankfurt School, so-called, spawned dozens of influential theorists and authors who spread the catechism of cultural Marxism near-and-far – including, fatefully, to the United States. The Frankfurt theorists were amongst the earliest advocates of what we now term multiculturalism.

        • GL

          I think this is what Hayek was pointing out in the late 1930s… Hitler was a reaction to multicultural egalitarianism he grew up in in the Hapsburg empire. Mein Kampf is full of spleen directed at the intermingling of cultures.

      • Ezra Pound

        This was a mostly good article except for the blatant lie that Germany and Japan started World War 2. Jews who controlled both the British and American governments started World War 2. Re: Japan, if America had been blockaded by a nation who refused to allow food, steel or fuel into America, we would have attacked and destroyed that nation’s navy, in a sneak attack if necessary. Any rational, self-interested nation would have reacted to the American blockage exactly as the Japanese reacted. Re: Germany, Hitler tired for YEARS to avert the war and it was the Judeo-Masonic British that goaded Poland into attacking German citizens which precipitated the invasion of Poland. The US should have helped our German brothers exterminate Communism and remove the threat of Judaism from Europe by deporting the Jews. The world would be a much better place today if Germany had won the war. But instead the US chose to make the world safe for Communism.

        Multiculturalism was invented by the Jewish Frankfurt School of Social Research.

        • Ed  

          Eep. You might want to loosen the tin foil just a bit.

        • Jim Ryan

          You’ll grow hair on your palms if you keep doing that.

      • Indiana Mike

        Just Merkel spewing taqiyya. She wants to destroy Western Civilization as much as does Obama.

      • tps

        <>

        Who among you really believe this woman has “changed” her mind? Hmm? Speak up? She has just vomited up pablum. It is nonsense. Saying such things does not make it so. And when you bring in 100s of thousands more . . . and they don’t respect your laws? They don’t respect your traditions? What then?

        Have Muslims from the 7th century of the Third World ever–EVER–done so? No.

        Has she fundamentally changed her actions? Is she deporting? Is she building a wall? Is her military sealing the borders?

        BS, completely.

      • JJS_FLA

        Together the two Congo Republics can boast a 21st Century total of 4000 km of paved roads.

        https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2085.html

        The ancient Romans had over 80,000 km of paved roads by about the 1st Century AD.

        http://www.crystalinks.com/romeroads.html

        Yet it is claimed that each of these two cultures is equally successful and valid

      • Misanthrope

        Merkel’s just playing politics. It is obvious she doesn’t believe a word of what she said, because it is completely at odds with her actions. She’s as intent as ever on destroying German culture and nationalism.

      • razajac

        This guy blows off the power of Chinese Republicanism (both the original Nationalist form, now in Taipei, as well as in its mutated–but still essentially republican–form in Beijing). This way, way overshadows the Ancients he cites, trust me. In fact, a fitting reverse-analogy would be for a Chinese polemic-writer to suggest that present-day U.S. social philosophy is guided by the Divine Right of Kings.

        民族!!!

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