From The Gathering Storm Blog

A lot has been written about the disaster called multiculturalism and how not only does it balkanize and divide the culture of a nation but also places in the hands of the enemies of our civilization a potent weapon that they use to dominate us.

Lawrence E. Harrison wrote, what I think, is properly the most accurate description of the danger of multiculturalism and what it has done to our society. He brings into stark relief that the US is a melting pot of pluralism and not a salad bowl of multiculturalism and how it has even diminished the positive effects of our foreign policy.

Here are some excerpts from his excellent article.

Future generations may look back on Iraq and immigration as the two great disasters of the Bush presidency. Ironically, for a conservative administration, both of these policy initiatives were rooted in a multicultural view of the world.

Since the 1960s, multiculturalism has become a dominant feature of the political and intellectual landscape of the West. But multiculturalism rests on a frail foundation: cultural relativism, the notion that no culture is better or worse than any other – it is merely different.

When it comes to democratic continuity, social justice, and prosperity, some cultures do far better than others.

Extensive data suggest that the champions of progress are the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden – where, for example, universal literacy was a substantial reality in the 19th century. By contrast, no Arab country today is democratic, and female illiteracy in some Arab countries exceeds 50 percent.

Culture isn’t about genes or race; it’s about values, beliefs, and attitudes. Culture matters because it influences a society’s receptivity to democracy, justice, entrepreneurship, and free-market institutions.

OK. But what are the implications on our foreign policy? Why is it so difficult to translate the tenets of
multiculturalism based on the doctrine that “These values of freedom are right and true for every person, in every society”?

The Bush administration has staked huge human, financial, diplomatic, and prestige resources on this doctrine’s applicability in Iraq. It is now apparent that the doctrine is fallacious.

Now this is where Harrison hits the nail on the head and I haven’t seen this argument pursued anywhere else. He talks of trust

A key component of a successful democratic transition is trust, a particularly important cultural factor for social justice and prosperity. Trust in others reduces the cost of economic transactions, and democratic stability depends on it.

Trust is periodically measured in 80-odd countries by the World Values Survey. The Nordic countries enjoy very high levels of trust: 58 to67 percent of respondents in four of these countries believe that most people can be trusted, compared with 11 percent of Algerians and 3 percent of Brazilians.

The high levels of identification and trust in Nordic societies reflect their homogeneity; common Lutheran antecedents, including a rigorous ethical code and heavy emphasis on education; and a consequent sense of the nation as one big family imbued with the golden rule.

Again, culture matters – race doesn’t. The ethnic roots of both Haiti and Barbados lie in the Dahomey region of West Africa. The history of Haiti, independent in 1804 in the wake of a slave uprising against the French colonists, is one of corrupt, incompetent leadership; illiteracy; and poverty. Barbados, which gained its independence from the British in 1966, is today a prosperous democracy of “Afro-Saxons.”

Afro-Saxson! Now that phrase tells you more than just Afro-American because it designates a common value system
. There is no Black experience. No White experience and no Hispanic experience as the Liberals try to shove down out throats. We are an Anglo-Saxon, Judeo-Christian society and hold the same pluralistic values that have made this country free and remain a beacon and destination for everyone and anyone in the world.

Samuel Huntington was on the mark when he wrote in his latest book “Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity”: “Would America be the America it is today if it had been settled not by British Protestants but by French, Spanish, or Portuguese Catholics? The answer is no. It would not be America; it would be Quebec, Mexico, or Brazil.”

In “The Americano Dream,” Mexican-American Lionel Sosa argues that the value system that has retarded progress in Latin America is an impediment to upward mobility of Latino immigrants. So does former US Rep. Herman Badillo, a Puerto Rican whose book, “One Nation, One Standard,” indicts Latino undervaluing of education and calls for cultural change.

The progress of Hispanic immigrants, not to mention harmony in the broader society, depends on their acculturation to mainstream US values. Efforts – for example, long-term bilingual education – to perpetuate “old country” values in a multicultural salad bowl undermine acculturation to the mainstream and are likely to result in continuing underachievement, poverty, resentment, and divisiveness. So, too, does the willy-nilly emergence of bilingualism in the US. No language in American history has ever before competed with English to the point where one daily hears, on the telephone, “If you want to speak English, press one; Si quiere hablar en español, oprima el botón número dos.”


So what do we do? Harrison has some suggestions.

We must calibrate the flow of immigrants into the US to the needs of the economy, mindful that immigration has adversely affected low-income American citizens, disproportionately African-American and Hispanic, as Barbara Jordan stressed as chair of the 1990s Immigration Reform Commission. But the flow must also be calibrated to the country’s capacity to assure acculturation of the immigrants.

We must be a melting pot, not a salad bowl. The melting pot, the essence of which is the Anglo-Protestant cultural tradition, is our way of creating the homogeneity that has contributed so much to the trust and mutual identification – and progress – of the Nordic societies.

As with immigration flows of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, an extensive program of activities designed to facilitate acculturation, including mastery of English, should be mounted. A law declaring English to be the national language would be helpful.

What he has written should be heeded by all Americans – especially our political leaders.

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