Hard to think of a phrase more over-used than this. But, what does it mean? It powers innumerable “debates”. Goat curry is good? Goat curry is good! Jewish attitudes to work, education and family are pretty wholesome? Yes! Polish Catholics are (often) terrific human beings? – well, many are. Asian family values have much to teach westerners? Amen! Honour killing is OK, likewise female genital mutilation? – I don’t think so. Perceiving some children to be “witches” (as some Nigerian cults do), and torturing and killing them is the way to go? It is not!
Multiculturalism is an excuse to stop thinking. And, because I like thinking, I ain’t havin’ it.
In Britain today multiculturalism only relates to two cultures: our indigenous culture and Islam. No other religo-ethnico group makes the claim that Islam does.
Our indigenous (ie populist) culture is moribund and corrupt. It is materialistic in two ways: philosophic and hedonistic – not good. It accepts (and pays for) the slaughter of countless unborn children (anathema to many Muslims). This is not a “good” society. It is sinking into an abyss of dependency – of the feckless individuals who prefer welfare to work and of corporations who claim to be too big to fail.
You could make a good case for saying that modern Britain is stupid and evil. If Muslims think so, I have no quarrel with them.
Western Christian culture has given us incomparably beneficent ideas: Science and Capitalism, so far so good. It has also given us the idea, pretty well unknown to other cultures, of the value of the individual – and, thence, Democracy, a poisoned chalice. Muslims, at least in practice, and often explicitly, reject Democracy.
Democracy is deeply flawed, but not for the reason that Muslims give. They say that Democracy means man-made law, whereas Islam means God-made law. When theocratic mullahs interpret and enforce God’s law, you get Iranian style tyranny. The “elect” lord it over the rest, just as they do in statist regimes.
You can defend Democracy in more than one way. First, Democracy is the only way so far tried to prevent one group of people lording it over the rest. Second, History shows that, compared with all other systems, Democracy tends to deliver prosperity and liberty. Not such a bad record until recently.
There is a big problem, though. We have got “democratic” institutions in all the wealthiest nations on Earth.
But, our prosperity is in big time decline. Our liberty, likewise. This is not a coincidence.
The bigger problem, as de Tocqueville foresaw, is that for Democracy to flourish the electorate has to have a moral compass. As his compatriot, Bastiat, also predicted, a society in which every man seeks to depend on his neighbours is doomed.
Democracy’s biggest problem is us!
Back to the title: What should every Brit think about multiculturalism? Forget the whole ridiculous concept. It helps not even a little bit in our relationship to Jews, Poles, Jamaicans or Nigerians. This is a hard truth: it’s up to us. Don’t let your anxiety about upsetting Muslims affect your moral compass at all. Family values are good. Honour killings and female genital mutilation are bad.