Is Multiculturalism Possible?



First, we must understand what is, or makes up, a culture.  A culture is complicated, because there is no such thing as a “pure” culture.  All cultures have been influence over the millennia by other cultures.  You might say that all cultures are mongrels to some extent.  Society is a collection of people formed for the purpose of protection, economic exchanges, growing and protecting families.  The mantra that there is “Strength in Diversity” is a ruse.  If everyone is on a different page, then nobody will agree and be united.  People who are divided are weak – not “strong”!  The root of the word diversity shows division.  If it is political or moral, you’ve got a problem in your culture.

Nonetheless, there must be some defining aspects to a culture.  Typically, a common language is necessary to have a culture.  Without the ability to communicate, people will isolate themselves so they are surrounded only by those with whom they can talk and communicate effectively – ergo south Miami where you see signs on stores that say “No Ingles habla aqui.” which means no English is spoken here.  A more subtle implication of that signage is Yankee stay out.  Language allows you to find a meaningful job and work with others effectively, to go to the store and buy a product, a restaurant to order a meal, go to school and understand the teacher, talk to a mechanic and tell him/her the problem with your car, or a doctor and tell him/her your ailment.  Hopefully this is a sufficient and general example of the need for a common language in order to efficiently and effectively function in a society.

The next, and slightly more difficult and complex aspect to a culture is the ability to function and adjudicate any activities that might include criminal and civil actions.  Of course, you can always use a gun, billy club or fist to settle differences and/or get rid of some miscreant who has done you or someone for whom you care some sort of harm.  Historically, no matter who’s been involved, societies end up establishing moral and civil law systems that deal with differences in a more peaceful, just, less subjective and more effective method.

The real rub comes when you try to determine the basis for how to adjudicate differences.  In Islamic countries, a thief will have his hand cut off, or a woman who doesn’t cover her face in public may have her head cut off (I’ve seen videos of this happening in Saudi Arabia).  In America, this would be abhorrent to the vast majority of people, and in particular, the liberals would gnash their teeth and wring their hands over this kind of application of the law.  Liberals can’t stand the sight of a homeless dog or cat.

So, a common law system and a respect for law enforcement and the laws they enforce is an integral and necessary part of any culture – agreed?  This is not to say that every law is ideal and just, nor that every enforcer of the law is ideal or perfect – only that it is necessary to have those ingredients for a smooth functioning society.  Now, upon what basis, as a culture, do you establish your laws?  Historically, America has operated under many aspects of Biblical law such as a recognition of the right to private property, the right to move and speak freely, to be secure in your life from persecution and criminal activity as defined in statutory law, and other things like, parapet walls on roofs, private voluntary charity, and so on.

Whatever culture you live in, there will ultimately be some standard that is set and by which everyone is at least loosely connected and in agreement.  The alternative is anarchy and chaos, and some strong man will come out of that to bring order, at which point freedom will be lost – possibly forever.  There are those in cultures other than America who have a very low regard for individual freedom and they prefer a powerful state which takes care of their needs and wants.  This is contrary to America’s founding culture, but its current culture is rapidly gravitating towards this end which is commonly referred to as Socialism.

Lesser, but still important, and intriguing and very acceptable, for the most part, are things like food, types of liquors, wines, and beers, clothing, idioms, traditions, festivals, courtesies, mannerisms, art, music, jewelry, make up, hair styles etc.  These are the intriguing areas where there is and should be plenty of room  for the “multi” aspect of multiculturalism, because these things do not compel people.  Nobody, except maybe your parents, make you go to a Mexican restaurant, or a Chinese restaurant.  The Chinese new year has fascinating and fun pageantry.  I love Indian (east Indian) clothing.  The traditional greeting of “Aloha” is always nice.  Southwest Indian jewelry is some of the finest in America.  Mariachi music is my favorite ethnic music, and I never get tired of it.  A slight bow when you first greet someone is a nice touch.  Unknown to many is how the cultural aspect of a hand shake or a wave came about.  A wave is from a distance, and said, at one time, I come in peace, and I have no weapon in my hand.  A handshake confirmed no weapon.  The aspects of culture mentioned in this paragraph make for an interesting and diverse culture with no real divisiveness, and this kind of multiculturalism is not only workable, but is attractive to live in and enjoy its many nuances.

When you shove something down somebody’s throat against their will and contrary to the culture in which they have grown and become comfortable, then you excite anger and violence as well as segregation/isolation.  Multiculturalism must be understood and pursued in light of peace and prosperity which means there is no compelling of fundamental functions and operations of a society’s culture.  Forced culture would be allowing the cutting off of a hand for a thief, pedophilia, polygamy, stealing (some cultures pride themselves in their success in stealing and hanging on to what they steal). These are some, certainly not all, things that reflect a fundamental moral aspect to a culture.  Some standard has to prevail.  It can be the Koran (Qur’an), the Bible, the Humanest Manifesto, Communism (known as scientific atheism), and many other possibilities.  One will rise to the top and dominate.  It is up to the people who comprise the society, and subsequently culture, to make this decision.  Ultimately, the majority will likely rule, although we can see in America some extremely wealthy forces trying to have a disproportionate influence.  At one time in America, objective law from the Bible ruled.  That is changing fast, and in the transition, we have no clue how things will end up.  Violence in the streets with Antifa, and BLM (Black Lives Matter) have manifested themselves, and people have been injured and/or died as a result.

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