Debate:The one, the only, Multiculturalism Debate!

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The largest snarl word on the Internet! Is it moral relativism? Wishful thinking? A Communist plot to create a New World Order where all must submit to Sharia law? Or a rational response to nationalist and racist mentality?


Historical perspective[edit]

What is called "multiculturalism" today is a strange rhetorical synthesis that was largely forged out of attempts to appease a motley crew of ethnic identity groups and communists. The Reds did not oppose racism or ethnic hatred on their own merits — in fact, they exploited them enthusiastically when the opportunity arose, which, i.a., gave rise to the coalition that produced "multiculturalism" — but they did oppose the sort of racism currently in the sights of the "multiculturalists," for a different reason, viz., that they believed it was being used to whip up false consciousness. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 08:21, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Those pesky reds get everywhere AMassiveGay (talk) 08:28, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, sources? We know you're a virulent anti-Communist (nothing wrong with that) but the red-baiting is getting a little too much now. Osaka Sun (talk) 08:30, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
If you did not want "Red-baiting" here, you should not have solicited opinions to the effect that "multiculturalism" is "a Communist plot to create a New World Order where all must submit to Sharia law."
For sources, try the Cloward-Piven strategy to start. That gruesome-twosome thought it would be useful to drum up racial and ethnic hatred in aid of bringing down state governments. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 08:38, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Have you ever heard of something called sarcasm? Osaka Sun (talk) 08:40, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't have a culture[edit]

At least, I don't have a culture I care about or acknowledge, so all of this multicultural shit is fine by with.

Also, people who care that the 'white race' will eventually 'go extinct' are fucking stupid. Fuckertalk to me :D 17:06, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Unweaving webs of ideological bullshit, deframing the frame[edit]

Always gotta do that before you approach anything even vaguely political. On one hand, there's the wingnut bogeyman version of multiculturalism which is just a catch-all for every racial, ethnic, sexual, and religious persecution complex harbored by those who have bought into the ideology of the white patriarchal power structure. On the other hand are the moral relativists (I get the distinct feeling that their numbers have been vastly overblown) who can't live with the paradox of tolerance as Karl Popper wrote about in The Open Society. It is the ethical version of the fallacy of gray. People like neat, clean, totally logically consistent systems that can be universally applied. These obviously don't work in the real world, so their solution is to scrap ethics wholesale. And then the Holocaust and donating $1 million to charity become ethically equivalent. Brilliant! It's a form of naive nihilism that should be left behind in adolescence. (Beware, opposing Nazism makes you a "cultural imperialist"!)

The real problem with multiculturalism is far more insidious. In its more vulgar forms (which are far more widespread than the cultural relativist bogeyman), it encourages a style of thinking that is essentially a repackaging of the 19th century noble savage. It sees culture as a fixed, essential, ahistorical category. Excuse my libertarian, but it's a collectivist approach. It leads to things like teachers singling out minorities and saying, "As an x, what do you think of this?" as if they are supposed to be representatives of ethnic group x. It promotes tired stereotypes in the (Orwellian) name of achieving equality. It's the same mentality that led Oscar Howe to write his infamously scathing letter to the Philbrook when his work was rejected for not being "Native American" enough: "Are we to be held back forever with one phase of Indian painting that is the most common way? Are we to be herded like a bunch of sheep, with no right for individualism, dictated to as the Indian has always been, put on reservations and treated like a child and only the White Man know what is best for him..." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:59, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, it's pretty much an issue of moral relativism. Are you willing to accept a culture that is at its utmost extreme? Osaka Sun (talk) 20:31, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
No it isn't. Try reading the second paragraph again. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:40, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
How is this unweaving anything? It just looks like piling on more ideological bullshit. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:57, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
How so? All it boils down to is that multiculturalism is often just gussied up identity politics in practice. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:06, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
So what's the alternative? WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:08, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Why does there have to be an alternative? In any case, I think identity politics is necessary, but its goal should be Heideggerian destruktion. That is, it should ultimately destroy these "identities," leading to a system of cosmopolitanism. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:20, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
I've never considered myself a cosmopolitan before, but it looks pretty good to me, although a total, strong form would be impossible and probably not even desirable. Cultures are bullshit. Fuckertalk to me :D 21:24, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
But isn't cosmopolitanism in of itself a form of collectivism? Osaka Sun (talk) 21:28, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
That's probably directed at Neb and not me, but I'm a collectivist. Fuckertalk to me :D 21:36, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
True, you could say that it's the most collectivist as there is only one "collective." Replace the word with "segregation by social identity." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:43, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Multiculturalism in Canada[edit]

I already mentioned before about Canuckistan being the first to start the policy on ethnic diversity and I've always been confused about the false dichotomy surrounding it in Europe. For the most part, we've got it to work (something that always gives the Richard Dawkins forums a real headscratcher), but when it was devised here it was never intended to mean pandering to fundamentalist thought. Religious tensions are relatively low, young Muslims (because whenever we talk about multiculturalism, Islam always gets into the equation) are growingly liberal and secular, and it's completely normal to hold a Ukrainian flag (ie. my family) and still consider oneself to be a full-fledged Canuck. Really funny video about it here.

So why is it such a big problem everywhere else? They're going to have to solve this quick because white nationalist groups are popping up all over the European continent like crazy. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:26, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm sure you can find detailed arguments based on demographics, immigration trends, etc. but I don't know about them, so I will speculate. Nationalist tendencies seem to be much more part and parcel of EU politics than Canadian politics. I think that would be one factor, at least. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:49, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

If, by whisky...[edit]

So here's the deal, there are two separate issues, one of them a bullshit straw man and the other real conundrum, but so theoretical that there's nothing that anyone can do about it.

When "multiculturalism" is used as a snarl word, the implication is that there are faceless bureaucrats somewhere deep inside the government who want to systematically demolish all of the things "we" hold dear. In reality, such people obviously do not exist, but there are those who try to make sure that immigrants aren't exploited, that Muslim schoolkids don't get ostracized because of a racist teacher passing out blatantly Islamophobic literature, etc. In short, I've yet to see aggressively multicultural actions by government that cause any sort of measurable harm to society.

As an American living for four years in Europe, I've noticed a second issue, one that is real but difficult to solve. Namely, while multiculturalism is a natural match in the USA, where immigration is part of the national mythos, there are longer-lived cultural values here tied to a sense of place. The cultural studies majors can claim with some justification that this is all just a recent construction, but loads of reasonable people still feel they belong to the soil. So if multiculturalism means respecting every culture's wishes, then this nullifies the wishes of the people who have lived in the same neighborhood for generations. At any rate, there's nothing to be done about this as the world becomes more global. Everywhere is going to lose its character eventually, and the only way that can stop is to have another world war and bomb each other into the stone age. Junggai (talk) 22:40, 29 November 2011 (UTC)


I think, that by exposing ourselves to different viewpoints, cultures, and ways of life, we become more tolerant, by destroying ignorance. Bazer63 (talk) 09:22, 12 July 2014 (UTC)