Insty linked to this article by Johann Hari
which provides a profoundly interesting look into the gapping depths of the liberal mind, and especially at the deep distress that it is suffering right now as it tries to protect itself from reality after the ideologically-shaking London bombings.
There is a strand of the right - from Robert Kilroy-Silk to Richard Littlejohn to the Broadmoor Wing of the Tory party - that attacks multiculturalism as a proxy for attacking immigrants and refugees. It is their way of expressing nostalgia for a monocultural, all-white England without being openly racist. The conservative bromides have a not-so-subtle subtext: Why is everyone so different these days? Can't we go back to how it was? And, implicitly - why are there so many black and brown faces?
That's why many of us feel jittery when we hear multiculturalism criticised, as the Tory leader-in-waiting David Davis did in a speech this week. Even if some of the points sound reasonable, it's hard to shake off the thought: what is he signalling? Who is he appealing to? But in among the bad reasons for opposing multiculturalism - hinted at by Davis - there are some good reasons, and it is time we overcame our nervousness and heard them.
Hari demonstrate the degree to which liberals have largely backed themselves into a corner regarding multiculturalism. Even as it has become an absolute failure, they are still traumatized, one might even say paranoid, by the thought that anyone criticizing it is might be doing so out of a racist motive. More broadly however, to the degree that the left has manipulated the issue of race, they find themselves in an incredibly awkward position when forced to confront the issue.
In the summer of 2001, Bradford, Burnley and Oldham ignited into some of the worst rioting in recent British history. Streets were trashed, shops were looted, cars exploded after being set on fire, and clashes between Asian and white youths went on for days. In the aftermath, the Home Office commissioned the distinguished academic Ted Cantle to investigate what had happened. He discovered "shockingly divided communities", where ethnic groups lived "parallel" and "polarised" lives, never mixing, never meeting each other, living in "almost complete segregation" based on race.
But there is another dysfunctional aspect to multiculturalism. In practice, it acts as though immigrant cultures are unchanging and should be preserved in aspic. This forces multiculturalists into alliance with the most conservative and unpleasant parts of immigrant communities.
All this time, we could have been helping women and gay people from immigrant communities to enjoy the fruits of a free society. This would have created interesting and more progressive versions of Islam that would fight back against jihadism far more effectively than a thousand government initiatives or police raids. Instead, we have been inadvertently helping the conservative men who want to keep these groups in a subordinate position.
A couple things are interesting here. First, Hari is making the rather obvious observation (no doubt novel for a liberal though) that multiculturalism is similar in certain respects to segregation. The other interesting point is how he attempts to tie this multiculturalism/segregationalism to the conservatives (note he even said "conservative men" ). Naturally, with his world view, one can not expect that he would be capable of assessing history accurately.
The above is especially reveling when one compares it to the excellent series at the ShrinkWrapped blog, "PC & Defects in Reality Testing"
When Howard describes the projection of all the bad aspects and projecting (attributing) them onto the father, he is pointing out that when splitting occurs, there is always an idealized object, and a corresponding devalued object. In the case of Political Correctness, the "oppressive white male" is the repository of all the bad that exists, while all the goodness in life belongs to the primitive, all loving mother. Since the process of splitting is unconscous, the recognition of its defensive distance from reality is lost. The most interesting aspect of splitting is that even when a person can recognize, intellectually, that it is impossible for anyone to be "all good" or "all bad", emotionally the distinction is unavailable.
Thus, Hari seems to have given the game away with his "conservative men who want to keep these groups in a subordinate position" statement.
But multiculturalism binds the hands of those who want cultural change in immigrant communities by demanding tolerance and respect for reactionary traditions. At a time when there is a battle within British Islam whose outcome will affect us all, is it wise to continue like this?
It is not too late to unpick the dysfunctional logic of multiculturalism. We can actively promote dialogue, meeting-places and inter-breeding. No more funding of divisive faith schools. No more separate community centres.
Britain has the highest rate of mixed-race partnerships anywhere in the world, largely due to sexual relationships between white and black people in London. This - not multiculturalism - is the British tradition to promote. No more bland "tolerance": let's have rows and laughs and sex. Our future lies in this glorious mixing of races, not in separating them out and hermetically sealing them off in their own outdated "cultures".
Multiculturalism is dead; long live miscegenation.
In a certain respect, Hari (and I suspect many other liberals are starting to think along similar lines) is like a small child, who when told that it is time for bed, tries to achieve a negotiated surrender, or perhaps he hopes, a negotiated victory. The child in the example may "agree" to get in bed, but only if the lights are left on and he can still play with his toys. The liberals in this case are trying to hold back the course of history, hoping that if they might admit just a few of their improprieties, the masses will agree to give them a second chance.
We were wrong, Hari says, but give us another go. We were wrong to try to preserve parallel cultures, but don't worry, we have a backup plan. Now you see, rather than telling the ethnic minorities they should be proud of their race as we did in the past, we will just get rid of the whole race thing altogether. What, you don't trust us? When have we ever let you down?
This is, however, such a predictable liberal response to a problem that I am surprised we did not all predict it. Just as the USSR demonstrated "solving" religious disagreements and violence by getting rid of religion, so the too Hari proposes solving the multicultural problem. I am only surprised that he did not suggest in the same breath that we also get rid of the multi-party state, thereby preventing political disagreements and those pesky elections. The fact that Hari sees the very act of procreation as a mere tool for political and social engineering revels the ruthless totalitarian beast that prowls in the shadow of liberalism.
Perhaps the best response to demonstrate the patent foolishness of Hari's miscegenation proposal is that even at the height of multicultural tolerance, political correctness brainwashing, and moral and cultural equivalence, most individuals followed their biological instincts in being attracted to people who were similar to themselves. Does he actually suppose that (baring state coercion, a thought never far from the liberal mind) Britons will now give their daughters to Muslims in marriage, even as busses are blowing up in the street?
As I wrote in a previous post titled Assimilation
...is the general failure in recent decades of many immigrants to assimilate a result of the policies of multiculturalism, or has the popularity of multiculturalism been a result of the failure of these groups to assimilate--even the self-evident inability of these groups to assimilate?
I will repose this question, because I think that it is certainly worth thinking about. The fact that a liberal like Hari can find no better solution to multiculturalism that the rather Goering-like "Our future lies in this glorious mixing of races" hyperbole suggests that there are no easy answers to the question.