Angela Merkel isn’t perfect. What politician is? But she seems a bit more forthright than most heads of state these days. Not long ago, the German chancellor was taking Obama to task for his spend-happy approach to economics. Now she is being brutally honest about “multiculturalism,” saying that mangy euphemism had “failed utterly.”
I’d go Merkel one better and call multiculturalism “inherently reactionary.” But more of that in a moment.
Meanwhile, the times are indeed a-changing in Old Europe, where the populace appears to be awakening to the results of decades of unrestrained immigration from cultures with little or no intention of assimilating into their own. The French have banned the burqa, but nowhere is this new resistance so evident than the Netherlands, where the trial of their MP Geert Wilders is currently underway. In a surprising turn of events the prosecution in the trial called for Wilders to be acquitted of all charges against him, most of which stem from his outspoken opposition to radical Islam, indeed to the ideology of Islam itself.
Wilders’ partial victory — the trial isn’t over until the judges rule in early November — could so far be construed as a victory of free speech over multiculturalism. (As Bruce Bawer reminds us on this website, the European democracies have no First Amendment.) MC has always been a masquerade or polite social term for “cultural relativism,” the doctrine that asserts all cultures and ideologies are equal. Everything is relative.