The Scourge of Multiculturalism
Much has been said and written over the years about the blessings conferred by multiculturalism on the countries that have opened their doors to large numbers of immigrants and refugees. Multiculturalism has, apparently, fostered the (unexplained) virtues of “diversity,” repaid a debt incurred by the colonial West to those it has exploited, led to economic productivity, and contributed to the putative boon of an anti-border globalist world in which national animosities and military strife will become a thing of the past.
This was the idea behind the Schengen policy adopted by the European Union, the Diversity Visa Lottery or “chain migration” program in the U.S., and the hospitality to primarily Muslim immigration in my own country of Canada. Every one of these measures has, by any honest report, proven a failure.
The argument made by immigration and refugee enthusiasts, namely that the Western democracies were founded and settled by immigrants and therefore should continue to welcome newcomers, is valid only to a point. In the course of time the original settlers created a national identity, a sense of communal membership in a common world unified by custom and law. It is that identity that should be preserved. But owing to many factors, including a loss of confidence in the rectitude and worthiness of what came to be regarded as a racist and imperialist civilization, reasonably coherent societies have been gradually transformed into a mosaic of ethnicities.
To my dismay, Canada is no exception. Canadian immigration presumably operates on a merit system, but there is little evidence of it in practice. True to Liberalist form, our feckless Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on record as affirming that Canada has no identity. “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,” Trudeau told The New York Times, proclaiming Canada as “the first post-national state” held together not by a hard-earned tradition but by a shopping list of abstract values -- compassion, respect, openness and the like. Trudeau continued: ‘‘Countries with a strong national identity -- linguistic, religious or cultural -- are finding it a challenge to effectively integrate people from different backgrounds.” This is true if one sees one’s country as a permanent airport terminal or a teeming bazaar, as Trudeau apparently does, viewing Canada as a country defined not by our history or proto-European origins, but by a “pan-cultural heritage.”
As Candice Malcolm, author of Losing True North: Justin Trudeau’s Assault on Canadian Citizenship, writes: “He doesn’t think there is anything special about Canadian history or traditions. Instead, he suggests Canada is nothing but an intellectual construct and a hodgepodge of various people, from various backgrounds, who just happen to live side by side in the territory known as Canada. Trudeau seems embarrassed, even ashamed of, our Western culture and values.”
If there is nothing special about Canada’s traditions, they will surely be supplanted by immigrant traditions. Ricardo Duchesne writes in Canada in Decay -- one of the most important books of our day explaining the emergence of the ideology of immigrant multiculturalism across the West -- that Canada is an extreme though not unique example of impending ethnocide, “promoting its own replacement by foreigners from other races, religions and cultures.” The elites of most Western nations manifest the same lack of loyalty to “[their] ancestors and basic dignified pride.” The same form of national self-deprecation we note in Canada is at work in most Western nations today.
If we accept that the Western democracies are not mere accidental aggregates but nations with a foundational and settled history, we must be wary of admitting new immigrants in great numbers who may have little in common with an already established ethos, especially if they hail from regimes that are alien or hostile to the civics and culture of the host country. Naturally I will be deliberately misunderstood by left-wing ideologues, social justice warriors and the army of bleeding heart liberals who have lost touch with the roots and principles that ground our heritage and for which our ancestors struggled, fought and died. I am not opposed to immigration per se, only to ill-advised and special interest agendas that would weaken and adulterate the stable domestic accords arrived at over many generations.
To say “we are a nation of immigrants,” then, is immaterial. We are now a nation of citizens. Skilled immigrants, properly screened and taking into account real domestic needs, should be part of the country’s future, but not in multiples that threaten to dilute a nation’s internal cohesion, not from backward countries whose inhabitants are all too often uneducated, illiterate and functionally unassimilable, and certainly not from parts of the world -- in particular, the Islamic world -- whose history, culture, theology and politics have ranged it against everything that Western civilization comprises. The plight of European nations like Germany, Sweden, England and France, sinking into a morass of civil unrest, criminal violence and legal subversion, should be an incontrovertible object lesson that multiculturalism is the devil’s gift to a forgetful and undeserving people.
The congeries of welfare recipients bankrupting our fiscal resources, inner-city ghettoes of disaffected and belligerent residents, the array of lawfare plaintiffs, the proliferation of de facto censorship procedures (cf. Canadian federal Bill C-16 and Motion l03 and the various “hate speech” laws) and the consequent erosion of community standards are the poisoned fruit of such unstructured immigration protocols -- a scourge prettified under the term “multiculturalism.” A trenchant analysis of the damage to national coherence caused by multiculturalism may be found in Salim Mansur’s Delectable Lie. (Full disclosure: it is a book I vetted and brokered with Mantua Press; interestingly, Duchesne takes exception to Mansur’s “small l liberal” views.) Mansur, himself a believing Muslim, deals with the incalculable harm that this ideological movement has done to the security and well-being of Canada -- and by extrapolation, to any nation, in particular the U.S., subject to the liberal delusion of universal harmony.
Mansur writes: “[D]espite the lip service proponents of multiculturalism pay to the notion of individual freedom as the founding principle of liberalism, their strident promotion of group-based demands in a liberal democracy has meant diminution of individual rights and freedoms, or abridging them, whenever they are in conflict with collective rights.” Ironically, Mansur seems unaware that his own fervently dogmatic brand of “pure” or “original” Islam is at odds with his deposition, but he remains correct in his assessment. The result, he goes on, is that “liberal democracy begins to lose ground [to] an anti-liberal ideology.” The new multiethnic society begins to resemble not a politically mature country intent on preserving its freedoms and maintaining the bond of solidarity between state and citizenry but a Coca-Cola commercial. No Western country should feel it has to buy the world a Coke. What it ends up buying is civil discord, political disunity, economic insolvency and intermutual ruin. John Lennon’s sappy “Imagine” is no substitute for a national anthem.
The recent media flap over President Trump’s vulgar expression concerning third world sewers from which many immigrants are drawn -- there is no proof one way or another that he uttered the remark -- is merely another sign that the West, or its elites, have denied their own historical exceptionalism. Why they should demean their own civitas is perhaps obvious. It is, or should be, common knowledge that an ascendant and ever-assertive Left is quite willing to turn Western nations into dumpsters in order to procure immigrant votes and advantageous electoral results. These quislings demand, observes Geoffrey Hunt in American Thinker, “that we disembowel Western civilization and instead venerate all non-white, post-colonial cultures,” which is nothing less than an “open invitation for failed states to plant their failed cultures and wretchedness here.” Indeed, if Western civilization were not endowed with superior attributes, why would it be besieged by foreign claimants for its freedoms, perquisites and shelter?
Why this mass exodus from countries whose cultures are equal to or better than ours?
There is no shame in cherishing and defending one’s “old country” patrimony and the values upon which civic and communal life are founded. This has nothing to do with an antecedent “Eurocentrism” that ostensibly degrades other peoples or with the risible canard of “white supremacy,” but with the sense of belonging to, for all its flaws and errors, the greatest civilization ever to appear on earth, a Judeo-Hellenic-Christian civilization that gave us, among innumerable gifts, the Bible and the Greek library, the magna carta, the concept of individual liberty, scientific and medical advances never before seen, and a technological, commercial and industrial infrastructure that has made life easier for untold millions.
To gamble these goods away on the premise of the relativistic equality of all cultures, the toxic nature of “Whiteness,” and the need to “diversify” our institutions and practices is the very height of ignorant folly. As Duchesne sensibly points out, “welcoming the White demographic displacement by other ethnic groups” is a deception and a betrayal by our guilt-ridden and self-hating elites and their credulous votaries. It is a mental disease leading to eventual ethnocide and the forfeiture of the vast store of accomplishments which other peoples and cultures have not scrupled to exploit and from which they have immeasurably benefitted. Such is a kind of parricide, the killing of the Father whose endowments have been ungratefully usurped.
All this got me thinking about Enoch Powell’s controversial “rivers of blood” speech (and revised text) in which, as far back as 1968, he warned of the imminent and future perils of unchecked immigration. Borough life for many was becoming unpleasant and problematic. Native Englishmen were being displaced and marginalized in their own homeland. Of course, he was, and still is, viciously smeared by the liberal press as an unreconstructed racist, although he has proven to be correct. At the time Powell was worried mainly about immigration from the West Indies, which was changing traditional neighborhoods into violent ghettoes, whose first- and second-generation inhabitants were not interested in cultural integration.
I’ve spoken to people who are horrified by his “apocalyptic” prophecy that the Thames would be flowing with blood. Informed people know that Powell was alluding to a passage from Book VI of Virgil’s Aeneid in which the Sibyl prophesizes that the “Tiber would flow with blood” as a classical metaphor for the threat of civil dissension. One can guess what Powell would have thought were he still among us and observing the rapid Islamization of the UK, the spread of Sharia, the Rotherham grooming scandal and the litany of terrorist attacks. He would not have been surprised that London now boasts a Muslim mayor intent on soft-pedaling jihadist violence. And, of course, he would have received the same or worse treatment from the FNM (Fake News Media).
Let’s scratch the “rivers of blood” metaphor, since not everyone is familiar with the classical context, and supply another, more current and well-known metaphor. Let’s say instead that the river that runs through it is a turbulent flood of social division and cultural disorder, from which the subsequent clean-up becomes progressively difficult and ultimately impossible. As mentioned, the disintegration of Europe is a warning to us all. The rapidly fading hope is that the clean-up can be managed, as Roger Ebert writes in a review of the film, with “grace, courage and honesty.” Grace under current circumstances may be hard to achieve, but courage and honesty are indispensable if we are to avoid or at least mitigate on our own shores the European imbroglio and the fate of a dying continent.