A Twitter exchange recently threw out some good ideas and great reading recommendations. Here’s my quick summary.
Janet Wilberg suggested that “assimilation to Western civilisation's civic values is more complicated than just immigration itself…” Which is true. Very true. She argues that Multi-culturalism, i.e., the idea that all cultures however barbaric are equal, is “balkanising” America and causing serious assimilation problems simply because Multi-culturalism offers immigrants no reason at all to assimilate, and every reason not to.
Especially so when modern “identity politics” stresses so-called “group identity” over the individualism on which Western culture is actually based – the pressure-group warfare encouraged by the mixed economy being turbocharged into virtual tribal pressure-group warfare by the stale stew of collectivist “identity politics” – the biggest loser from this being the culture of individualism itself which so many immigrants have actively come to enjoy, and in which the had hoped to flourish!
Equally, it’s easy to see which cultures gain the most when all cultures are held to be equal to each other, no matter how barbaric they are or were – “no coincidence then that multi-culti/PC universities put Islam on pedestal,” and Muslim clitorectomy clinicians and Maori baby batterers are given a virtual free pass.
It is in this sense then that she sees less of a threat, if any, from immigration, but a serious long-term threat from Multi-culturalism/Political Correctness & the political special interest groups it encourages.
She observes in this respect a difference between patriotism as seen in America (which at its best is subscribing to a set of values) with nationalism as experience in the likes of Europe. The latter is simpe tribalism,
As she says, “I'm not so concerned about Mexicans and a wall. We need to restore our ideological/civic ‘walls’.” In a similar sense and for similar reasons as it’s better to build a wall around welfare instead of around a country.
Where she caught my eye too was by her recommending the very best reading/listening on this topic, with which I strongly concur – both by Ayn Rand, both unique in their viewpoint, and both well ahead of their time. I suggest you take time out this weekend to settle back, and listen and digest (while savouring Rand’s rich Russian accent!):
- ‘Global Balkanisation’
The lecture lasts 54 minutes, followed by a 35-minute Q&A.
A version of the talk appears as an essay in the book The Voice of Reason.
- ‘A Nation’s Unity’
The lecture is 58 minutes long.
An edited version is available in The Ayn Rand Letter, a
biweekly newsletter published by Rand between 1971 and 1976.