Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Steyn on multiculturalism

The video is a few years old, but useful as a reminder. Mark Steyn’s take on multiculturalism is as amusing as one would expect, but there is an important point embedded in it. Multiculturalism is essentially lazy, it absolves the believer from understanding cultures and avoids the intellectually and politically difficult task of comparing one with another.

In politics, easy mantras usually beat the tedium of nuanced analysis. Successful politicians know it and maybe that is the appeal of multiculturalism – it seems to simplify an impossibly sensitive and complex issue. Once a simplifying mantra takes hold there is no way back because the mantra is no longer a conclusion but a starting point. If indeed it ever was a conclusion – probably not.

There are sinister possibilities buried in all this, as if we are being dragged along by a miasma of political mantras which appear to simplify complex realities but do no such thing. As if we are at war with complexity but complexity is winning and we don’t yet know it.


Sam Vega said...

Not seen anything by him before, but blimey - he's good! I like the way he treats multiculturalism as a branch of relativism. Having given up on standards of truth and falsehood, people are vulnerable to any mental contagion. My one reservation here is whether that flight from facts to mere opinion is logically necessary - that is, whether we have as a culture justifiably or of necessity argued ourselves out of the old certainties - or whether it is an aberration or type of cultural sickness from which we can recover.

Demetrius said...

I recall the multi culturalism of the 1940's in Liverpool when the Proddidog McDonnell's fought the Catlicker McDonnell's, both of Ireland, in the streets watched in wonder by the workers in the local Chinese laundry.

A K Haart said...

Sam - he is good isn't he? I suspect we can't recover without tackling complexity and we won't do that because we are already tackling it via our flight from facts. I don't see how that can be halted by anything but a hard landing.

Demetrius - sounds like good material for a book.