|The Absurdities of Multiculturalism Celebrated by Ralph S Musgrave. Note: The URL of this site was www.multiculturalbunk.com till recently.|
Three Nobel Prize laureates and others on multiculturalism:Multiculturalists...have opened a new front in their assault on rationality. - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Literature Nobel laureate)
England is a cesspit. England is a breeding ground of fundamentalist Muslims. - Wole Soyinka (Literature nobel laureate)
What do they call it - multi culti - its all absurd. " - V S Naipaul (Literature Nobel laureate)
Multiculturalists are not interested in culture. - Prof. Alvin J.Schmidt.
The multicultural movement .. has so far failed to throw up a coherent philosophical statement of its central principles. - Prof. Bhikhu Parekh. Some (multicultural) conflicts are intractable, even when the disputants are motivated by a sense of fairness and tolerance, which all too often is lacking. - Prof. Will Kymlicka.
Asking for a definition of multiculturalism is somewhat naive. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said, one of the purposes of multiculturalism is to keep well paid windbags employed. And the latter do not care for definitions. Definitions lead to clarity, logic and the truth, and we dont want that do we ? But, enough sarcasm.
The definition adopted here is much the same as the Oxford or Chambers dictionary definitions. That is the word refers to the mixing of people of different races, nations, religions and cultures. It can be argued that virtually all countries have always been multicultural in the sense that the inhabitants of almost all countries have always had a variety of different cultural pursuits. For example citizens of the UK before WWII enjoyed a wide variety of cultural pursuits and as to religion, some were Catholic, some Protestant and some atheist or agnostic. If used in this broad sense, the word multicultural becomes almost meaningless, and indeed this is not the sense in which it is normally used. Normal usage refers roughly speaking to a situation where a significant proportion of a country's inhabitants are immigrants, first, second, or third generation. For example the UK is normally seen as not multicultural pre-WWII, while with the arrival of large numbers of coloured folk post WWII it did become multicultural.
Other Definitions. Other definitions include, first the idea that the above different groups should be afforded equal respect. (So we respect the cultures that do female genital mutilation ?)
Second there is the idea the different groups within a country should be kept separate so as to preserve their culture (so why not have them all stay in their original countries - that'll "preserve their cultures" even better !). Ironically when this form of multiculturalism was prevalent in South Africa under the guise of "apartheid" the political left was up in arms. It might be argued that apartheid was different in that it involved force. But against this, multiculturalism has been forced on the UK population: the latter were never asked if they wanted multiculturalism in any of its guises. Of course apartheid involved the subjudigation of a race, whereas multiculturalism on this second definition does not. Nevertheless the political left is not free of hypocrisy: feigning disapproval the use of force under apartheid.
Third: the idea that no culture is superior to any other ( I.e. Saddam
Hussein's "anyone-who-disagrees-with-me-gets-shot" culture is
in not inferior to other cultures. )
Given the above variety of meanings, one might expect those writing on the subject to take care with definitions. But type "multiculturalism" into a search engine and see if you can find a definition. It's a needles and haystacks scenario. For a taste of the confusion surrounding this word, and the self-contradictions by its advocates, see section 25. below.
The word culture is used here in a broad sense, that is to refer to virtually everything human beings do other than performing basic bodily functions like eating, sleeping, walking, etc. That is, the word refers to literature, music, language, dance, science, etc. The phrase "a culture" refers to the people of a particular nation, race, geographical area, religion, etc, and the knowledge, activities, habits, etc they tend to have in common.
Cartoon reproduced by kind permission of D.T.Devareaux.
Given the self-contradictions coming from multiculturalists (see section 25 below) it is not clear what the central merits of multiculturalism are supposed to be. But Parekh is one of the UK's most authoritative academic advocates of multiculturalism and he claims (p. 167) that the main merit is that enables different cultures to learn from each other. (Astute readers will notice that this contradicts the quote from Parekh just under the main heading above. But flagrant self-contradiction has never been a bar to promotion in the academic world, particularly in the social sciences.)
This claim that cultures can learn from each other is not greatly different from the popular claim that immigrants "enrich" the host country, a claim dealt with in section 4 below.
Another authority, who has written more than Parekh, but is non-committal on whether multiculturalism is desirable, is Kymlicka. He cites, but does not endorse the idea that multiculturalism leads to a richer cultural environment(Ch 6,3). And Burke and Cairncross claim immigrants bring new ideas and ways of doing things. In short multiculturalism supposedly facilitates access to foreign culture. This claim is completely absurd, and for the following reasons.
Three hundred years ago the average European could not read. Today the average European can read and has access to at least a million books, including any number of books on other countries and cultures. Five hundred years ago the best the average person heard by way of music on a typical day was the Mrs next door singing out of tune. Today the average person has access at the press of a button to the World's best musicians playing any one of a million pieces of music. Plus they have access every day to a hundred different plays, films, documentaries and so on on television, a significant proportion of which deal with other cultures. Plus people on average incomes can now go for foreign holidays to explore other countries.
This million fold improvement in access to culture is all thanks to technology. Compared to technology, the cultural benefits of multiculturalism are a piddling irrelevance. And, of course, this technology enables direct access to the best that other cultures have to offer: German classical music, the ideas of Confucius and so on.
This point alone destroys the basic claim of multiculturalism. In other words, given the astronomic improvement in access to culture that technology gives, it is a nonsense to then claim that the relatively small cultural benefits of multiculturalism are anything to shout about. It is a bit like claiming a billionaire would be better off with an extra ten thousand.
Incidentally, I don't want to give the impression that it's only the ADVOCATES of mulitculturalism that produce hot air. Christopher Caldwell's book "Reflections on the revolution in Europe" employes about 130,000 words to reach the conclusion that mass migration of Muslims to Europe will Islamify Europe. Well done Chris: the least intelligent building site labourer worked that one out decades ago.
Multiculturalists welcome technology ?
ostensible concern with culture, you would expect
them to jump for joy at the enormous increased availability of culture
brought by technology.
But of course the silence is deafening.
Partially this is because multiculturalists' concern for culture is a sham,
and there is more evidence on this below.
Plus - since technology makes multiculturalism look irrelevant, there is much
to be said from multiculturalists' perspective, for keeping quiet about
A nice example of the distorted view multiculturalists give of technology, with a view to bolstering the case for multiculturalism, is Parekh's patronising claim (p.168) that "What creative writers do at a sophisticated level, ordinary men and women do unselfconsciously in their daily encounters." So "unsophisticated" ordinary men and women dont read books on other cultures? If this were the case, publishing such books would be uneconomic !
The Evidence. Evidence as to the time people spend learning about other cultures via technology as compared to direct contact with members of other cultures is hard to come by, so the author did his own research. See http://www.ethnic.ndo.co.uk
This research studied two UK cities, the first of which was Bradford which has a 16% ethnic minority population (mainly Muslim). The second was Carlisle which has a 0.2% ethnic minority population. As far as white Anglo-Saxons' knowledge of Islam goes, there seems to be little difference between the two cities. That is, Muslim culture does not seem to rub off onto local whites to any great extent. (This research is not claimed to be desperately high standard, but it is better than the non existent research done by multiculturalists)
The time white Anglo-Saxons spent on serious cultural acquisition from direct contact with local ethnic minorities, and the time they spent on such acquisition via technology was also studied. "Technology" refers, as above, to books, TV, newspapers, foreign holidays, colleges, etc. It seems people spend about eight times as much time acquiring culture the technological way as compared to the direct contact way.
Returning for a moment to the time people spend reading books about other cultures, the above research indicated this is around an hour a week - almost certainly an over-estimate caused by too small a sample size. But a hundred people were interviewed, so the sample was not statistically totally insignificant.
"It is important to mention that the principle of democracy defined as the majority ruling is not approved in Islam." - Introducing Islam to non-Muslims, section 1.6.6, by Ahmad Hussein Sakr and Hussein Khalid Al-Hussein.
Up to around 1990, "diversity" was defined in the Oxford Dictionary as "varied" or "of different kinds". "Diversity" then started to be used as a synonym for multicultural. And the fact that diversity in this new sense is a straight synonym for multicultural proves this alteration to the English language was totally unnecessary. This is an instance of a "euphemism" in the worst possible sense of the word. It is pure linguistic subterfuge. The use of important sounding and unnecessary synonyms is strong evidence that a facade is being erected to hide the emptiness within.
Moreover, in making the word diversity ambiguous, the English language is degraded. That is, culture is degraded. And this from the very people, multiculturalists, who claim to be concerned about culture ! So to summarise so far, we have a mixture of subterfuge and hypocrisy. Well, you can't get much lower can you?
Another motive for the above ambiguity is that ambiguity is always a good debating ploy. No experienced politician makes a statement unless it has about three different meanings. When politicians are successfully challenged on one meaning they escape by claiming they meant something else !
As to the constant repetition of "diverse" this is explained by the fact that multiculturalism is near to being a religion: it is part of religion ( at its worst ) to trot out the same words over and over. And there is more evidence below on the essentially religious nature of multiculturalism (e.g. section 22).
And "diverse" is far from the only fatuous euphemism employed by multiculturalists, or more generally the politically correct. In fact the politically correct are into euphemisms big time (strong evidence that their underlying arguments are no good). "Differently abled" instead of "disabled" is just one of the many examples.
Partially, the euphemisms are explained by the fact that the politically correct cannot call a spade a spade, when it comes to race: because of the less than flattering overtones of the word race ( i.e. racism, race riots, etc ).
Perhaps the most absurd instance of this is the phrase "African American" instead of black or negro. Using seven syllables instead of one or two should result in a more accurate description of the subject matter. But "African American" is less precise because a substantial proportion of Africans are Arab, not Negro. If the politically correct had their way, communication between human beings would become no more efficient than communication between gorillas.
Whats the advantage of diversity ? Given that we have been told to "celebrate diversity" about a trillion trillion times, presumably multiculturalists think diversity in both senses has merits. Or is it in just one sense of the word? We are rarely told. Ambiguity again.
As to whether diversity in the original sense has any merits, it doesnt.
Diversity is only desirable in that it consists of merits or desiderata: a population half of which had one arm or leg missing would be more diverse than a more normal population. So having limbs missing is a good idea ?
Hey, perhaps this really is a good idea. Perhaps multiculturalists can be persuaded to cut their own heads off in the name of diversity !
But seriously, diversity is no more a merit than its opposite, uniformity. I.e. advocating diversity is just plain thick. But its amazing how many multiculturalists think diversity ( in its original sense ) is a merit in itself ( e.g. Berry, p 57 ). Conclusion: either they're all thick, or as Solzhenitsyn claimed, their aim in life is to exude wind at the taxpayer's expense.
A multiculturalist might answer the above by claiming that at least diversity is desirable in that it consists of merits.
But the answer is that so is uniformity. And if you're going to advocate the desirable in the diverse and the desirable in the uniform, then the average amoeba could work out that what you are advocating is the desirable. So multiculturalists' slogan really ought to be "We desire the desirable". Ever heard anything so inane ? You have ? Bet its not as inane as some of the stuff below.
Another nonsensical aspect of "diversity" and its alleged merits is that it directly contradicts another cardinal principle of liberalism, namely that all cultures are equally valuable. But wait a moment: it's also a cardinal rule of liberalism that multicultural cultures are superior to monocultural cultures! Got to laugh, havent you?
Other fashionable words. Of course, apart from "diverse" there are other fashionable, or compulsory words in the world of multiculturalism. These include "enrich", "vibrant", "dynamic". Another category of word you must use if you aspire to multicultural high priesthood is multi-syllabic words which in the context are near meaningless. For example instead of saying "our society", you need to say something like "our post-modernist, multidimensional, sociopsychologically attuned, economically interdependent society." Anyone can churn out this sort of stuff after a bit of practice.
And just to prove the degree to which waffle pervades the social "sciences" a physicist in the US about ten years ago wrote a deliberately and totally meaningless article and had it accepted by and published in a respectable social science journal ! (Footnote 3)
And the beauty of writing near meaningless drivel is, to repeat the point, that it is difficult to challenge: you can spend hours arguing about what a single sentence means, or whether it means anything at all. This is in contrast to the paragraphs you are now reading which, of course, are models of simplicity, clarity, and every other possible virtue.
For examples of some of the above near meaningless waffle see Parekh, Alibhai-Brown or Berry. (In contrast, if you want a waffle-free book on multiculturalism, see Kymlicka)
The immigrant advocates of multiculturalism. Notice the preponderance of non English surnames and dark skins amongst the more vociferous advocates of multiculturalism ? There are two in the above paragraph, but there are several others. The motivation is pathetically obvious: they are keen to justify their presence in the UK. Thus asking immigrants their views on multiculturalism is as fatuous as asking prison inmates their views on early release from prison: in both cases the answer is almost entirely predictable. Prison inmates are guaranteed to be in favour of their own early release. As to migrants, a Pakistani is hardly likely to migrate to England and then deplore Pakistanis and Anglo-Saxons living in the same country !
So are coloured folk all saintly multiculturalists and internationalists ? Far from it. According to the International Organisation for Migration (2003, p.213), most Asian countries have far more restrictive immigration policies than the West, with one or two of them banning permanent immigration altogether (other than for relatives of existing nationals).
Racial diversity. Does multiculturalism increase racial diversity? Not in the long run it wont. When different races have spent long enough interbreeding, the World will no longer have any racial diversity ! As to multiculturalism in the strictly cultural sense, when the World's cultures have been merged long enough there will then no longer be any cultural diversity. So in the long run multiculturalism in both senses destroys itself - must be a good idea then. Almost as good as a "wont start" car, or a book with blank pages ( Actually, there is a book that consists entirely of blank pages: "The Wit of Spiro Agnew" )
The above lack of interest in the long term ( or inability to see it ) is common amongst multiculturalists. There are numerous examples of this, both in this site and the companion site on the economics of migration (footnote 31).
Phoenix (Arizona) looks a nice place to live. Or it was. Unfortunately it is now the kidnapping capital of the U.S. thanks to immigrants from just across the border in Mexico. Source: Los Angeles Times. The wonders of multiculturalism!
Politically correct fundamentalists have been trying to persuade us for years that the mixing of cultures results in their mutual "enrichment", to use a near compulsory bit of multicultural jargon. This idea is flatly contradicted by history and by common sense. Seven hundred years ago, the British Isles had at least four languages: French, Latin, Anglo-Saxon and Gaelic. As is entirely predictable, these four merged. They merged into present day English, or rather Anglo-Saxon predominated, with large numbers of words borrowed from the other languages. Latin, French and Gaelic on the British Isles were not "enriched": they were destroyed.
It is obvious that adding a cultural item to a country will in the short term increase the diversity of its culture. For example add a word to a language and the language is "enriched". (Of course this assumes the new word is worthwhile addition - many new words are not.)
However the long term effect of additions to a culture are somewhat different. (And this is just one of several examples of multiculturalists failing to see long term.)
Human memories and brains are limited. People cannot memorise an infinite number of words or an infinite number of anything else.
In short, add a cultural item to a country, and sooner or later some other cultural item will be dropped. Worse still, as pointed out above, entire languages get destroyed. Planet Earth is losing one language per week (see "When Languages Die" by David Harrison). French restaurateurs feel threatened by McDonalds. About 99% of immigrants to the USA over the last two centuries or their descendants have lost about 99% of the "old country" culture they arrived with (recent immigrants apart). They now engage in English speaking, baseball watching US culture. You'd think the self-appointed sophisticates who advocate multiculturalism would be aware of these blindingly obvious facts of history; but apparently not.
The extent to which culture is destroyed when cultures mix, and the extent to which the new hybrid culture is richer than the original cultures no doubt depends on the sophistication of the originals. For example merge two tribes in the jungle of Papua New Guinea each of which had a language with only a thousand words, and one might get a new hybrid language of two thousand words, or thereabouts, since human beings of average intelligence can memorise well over two thousand words.
But merge any culture with a present day European culture, and the resulting hybrid will in the long run not be much richer than the original cultures.
Other things being equal.
Of course the claim that "additions to a culture do
not expand that culture" needs qualifying with the "other things being equal" proviso.
Increased spending on education or technological improvements will expand or enrich a
But assuming technology and other things are constant, then
a rule can be formulated about the merging of cultures which goes something like
"additions to a reasonably sophisticated culture will not greatly enrich or expand that culture
The rate of cultural destruction. When two cultures merge, obviously the rate at which different aspects of each culture are destroyed varies greatly. Europeans migrating to the US have over the last century lost their native tongues within a couple of generations. In contrast, some migrant groups cling tenaciously to their religion for centuries.
Multiculturalists might answer the above point about cultural destruction by claiming that although importing foreign culture will not add to the total number of items making up that culture, nevertheless, the fact of the added item being foreign will mean increased variety for the culture. The answer to this is that the latter point would be true if people were already acquainted with a sizeable proportion of their own culture. For example if you already know three quarters of Elvis Presley's songs, there is a good chance you will get more musical variety by getting to grips with another artist than by learning yet another Elvis song. But of course, the average say English person has not got to grips with more than one percent of English culture. Thus the proposition that the average Brit will be more "enriched" by studying say Buddhism rather than Shakespeare is nonsense - which is not to say Brits shouldnt study Buddhism if they want.
Worldwide cultural destruction. As pointed out above, additions to a culture will not normally enrich the culture a vast amount in the long term. Moreover if each country is absorbing cultural items from abroad and discarding say one native cultural item for every 2 cultural items imported, then the World as a whole will steadily lose the bulk of its cultural heritage. This is just another way of saying we are moving towards a boring, pan-World mono-culture !
Some cultures are plain incompatible. A final reason for the cultural destruction that takes place when cultures merge is the plain incompatibility of some cultures. For example a culture which involves compulsory attendance at religious ceremonies cannot merge with a culture where attendance is voluntary without one or both cultures making compromises, that is, losing some of their original characteristics: attendance at religious ceremonies cannot be both compulsory and voluntary.
A recent example of cultural destruction arising from this incompatibility is the effect of Islam on the UK. Christmas is no longer celebrated in some public institutions or places ostensibly for fear of offending Muslims, Hindus, etc. Though the real reason has more to do with white politically correct Brits trying to prove themselves holier than thou, than with any real offence caused to other religious groups.
And the large influx of Mexicans into the southern U.S. has brought a truely wondrous cultural import: kidnapping is a favourite Mexican pastime, and Phoenix Arizona is now the kidnapping capital of the U.S.
Another example of culture destroyed by multiculturalism is the diluting of the UK's fundamental civil liberties that has occurred as a result of multiculturalism, and there is more on this in 10 below.
The umteenth illustration of the political left's contrived disapproval of the "far right". Ken Livingstone, the avowedly left wing former mayor of London invited the extremist Muslim cleric Sheikh Dr Yousef Al-Qaradhawi to London and embraced him on arrival.
Most European countries enjoyed a wide variety of cultural pursuits long before the arrival of non-Europeans in large numbers post World War II. European countries have for centuries adopted a thousand and one aspects of other countries' cultures. Eight hundred years ago, England had three different languages. Two hundred years ago non-German European countries enjoyed German classical music.
This means that when the word multicultural was first introduced, which was around 1990, it was a bit of a nonsense, because European countries already were multicultural in the sense of enjoying a wide variety of cultural pursuits, far wider than the countries from which immigrants came. In other words the word multicultural when it first appeared was code for "multi-racial".
But the word "race" is a trifle iffy: it suggests "racism", "race riots" and so on. So in the bizarre Alice in Wonderland world of political correctness, where a spade is never called a spade, where truth becomes untruth and vice-versa, and where culture is generally undermined, "multiracial" becomes "multicultural". Sounds o-o-o-h so much better, doesnt it ?
Goebbles, approved of this sort of sly linguistic subterfuge.
The arrival of large numbers of East Europeans in the UK after European enlargement in 2004 has changed things. Purely be default rather than by design, the word multicultural has become a more appropriate word because East Europeans are racially very similar to Anglo-Saxon and Celtic UK citizens. Nevertheless, the word multicultural at its inception and for most of its existence has involved more dishonesty than honesty.
As pointed out above, one of the central claims for multiculturalism seems to be that it improves access to other countries' and races' culture. A major flaw in this argument is that worthwhile culture travels on its own, that is without the need for migration. This is especially true with today's ultra efficient means of communication. But even a century ago, the point was valid.
Books written in one language were being translated by the hundred into other languages a century ago. Music travels with the same ease - without migrants. Mozart and Beethoven's music was doing this two hundred years ago - news to multiculturalists, presumably.
Worthwhile scientific or technical ideas created in one country are snapped up all round the world.
Thus it is the remainder, the near useless culture that comes with migrants. Put another way, multicultural culture is low grade culture.
Consider the culture the UK has acquired from mainland Europe, the US and more recently Japan without any significant migration to the UK from these destinations. This "self propelled" culture includes most of the scientific advances mankind has made which has doubled our standing of living, plus the bulk of classical music, plus most pop music, plus a thousand different wines, plus, plus, plus.
Compared to the above "non migrant" culture, multicultural culture is a hopeless irrelevance.
Indeed two of the countries supplying the UK with large numbers of immigrants are spectacularly uncultured: Pakistan and Turkey. Is there a single piece of music or book produced by these countries that has proved popular in the UK? Even in the area where immigrants have done best, ethnic cuisine, Indian restaurants exist on every high street in the UK, whereas Pakistani restaurants are almost unheard of. The tribes-people of Papua New Guinea have produced no literature, no music and have made not one contribution to science. But if they arrived in large numbers in the UK, the politically correct would be jumping for joy at the non existent contribution to British culture.
Another spectacularly uncultured group that forms a large proportion of immigrants to Britain are Arabs. According to a Muslim physicist, Pervez Hoodbhoy, half of Arab women cannot read or write. And the number of books translated in the Arab world in the last thousand years equals the number translated in Spain in one year (Observer, p.25, 4.2.07).
And what do the above three groups, Turks, Pakistanis and Arabs have in common? Islam is what they have in common. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (a Muslim) deals with the cultural failures of the Muslim world in The Independent, 24th September 2007. The deliberate assasination of teachers, doctors and other intellectuals in Iraq by Muslim fundamentalists is further evidence of a fundamentally uncivilised element in Islam.
Should technology be counted as culture ?
First, multiculturalists claim a very large variety of merits in multiculturalism i.e. they use the word cultural in a very broad sense, when it suits (e.g. sections 11,12,13,17,26,27 & 29).
Second, much the biggest cultural influence of immigrants in the UK is ethnic cuisine. Meals are a manufactured product. If we count that as a cultural product, then we count all manufactured products as cultural products.
Third, even if one does go with a relatively narrow definition of culture ( e.g. Parekh's ) most of the central weaknesses in multiculturalism pointed out here apply to the same extent as they do to broader definitions.
Fourth, Parekh himself cites the West's skill with technology as an aspect of its culture that differentiates it from other cultures.
Of course not every worthwhile cultural item automatically flows to every country in the World the moment it is created. Some races or countries do not take to specific cultural items, or the authorities in some countries may try to bar the import of specific items of culture, and so on. But certainly the tendency will always be for worthwhile culture to travel on its own.
There is a phrase for which Goebbels (Hitler's propaganda minister) is famous: "Never tell a small lie". What he meant was as follows. If you make a statement which contains one small error ( deliberate or otherwise ) the error will probably be noticed, and your argument collapses. Thus a better strategy can be to make a statement in which the lie is so enormous that the audience "cannot see the wood for the trees", to use the old expression. Or as George Orwell put it, "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."
Now the flaws in multiculturalism are glaringly obvious. For example, the point made in 2. above, namely that multiculturalism is irrelevant compared to technology is obvious enough. But if one keeps quite about this obvious point, and repeats at nausiam the alleged benefits of multiculturalism (or anything else), then the mugs who make up the human race will soon come to believe the benefits of multiculturalism (or anything else). (See footnote 7 for the extent of deception going on here.)
There is of course a risk in telling a monster untruth: you make a monster fool of
yourself if the untruth is exposed.
But the mere fact of making the untruth a monster, is itself some sort of guarantee
you wont be exposed: its a bit like raising the stakes in poker.
You force the opposition to accuse you of being not just mistaken, but totally
out of touch with reality.
And this is a serious accusation to make.
Most people are reluctant to make it.
With a view to bolstering the impression that the speaker is not totally out of touch with reality it helps, of course, to use moderately scientific sounding words: words starting with "multi" are good, as are words ending with "ism". And including the word "culture" makes one sound cultured. And if you can combine all three, then thats just brilliant. "Diverse" and "enrich" are two more moderately sophisticated sounding words.
A further ploy is simply to keep repeating the lie. To quote Goebbles: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
Moreover, the flaw or flaws in a blatantly obvious lie are, almost by definition, obvious, boring and prosaic. If the liar can use pseudo-sophisticated terminology, well that beats anything boring or prosaic in the eyes of at least half the population.
Goebbles had a degree in psychology and knew what he was doing. For more details on Goebbles's ideas on lies, see http://www.article8.org/ docs/gay_strategies/ the_big_lie.htm
One of the central claims of multiculturalism, to illustrate by way of an example, is that having five thousand Muslims in a UK city helps white UK citizens learn about the wonders of Islam. Yet the same claim is never made in respect of other forms of learning ! For example multiculturalists never claim it is necessary to have an astronomer or biologist living withing half a mile if one wants to learn about astronomy or biology (never mind hoards of astronomers or biologists).
The irrelevance of close physical proximity to a member of another culture when learning about the latter is nicely illustrated by schools. ( And for the benefit of multiculturalists who do not know what schools are, they are institutions devoted to instilling culture in children, much of it foreign culture.)
Most UK schools teach French. But do schools employ French people for the purpose ? About ninety seven percent of the time the answer is no !
About ten percent of schools in the UK are within 100 miles of France ! But in these schools hour after hour, pupils learn French with not a French person in sight ! And who knows more about teaching: teachers and the education authorities, or multiculturalists ? No prizes for the right answer. ( As to any die-hard multiculturalists who want to claim that having French nationals teach French is nevertheless desirable where possible, see footnote 8 )
One or two Mosques per city is enough.
The above is not to argue that Buddhist temples and Islamic Mosques should be banned
from the UK.
It is just possible there is a small amount of merit in the
"close physical proximity" argument.
Thus if the fundamental claim of multiculturalism
is to be met ( facilitating learning about other cultures ) about one
or two Mosques per city would be enough to assist native Brits wanting to worship
in the Muslim way.
By the same token, choose any academic course you want and there
is a sporting chance ( but no guarantee ) you will find a university
or college in your city that caters for your needs.
But it is transparently obvious that multiculturalists' objective is not to assist anyone learn anything: the objective is to flood the country with immigrants. The "learning" bit is the rationalisation.
Of course, given the choice between Buddhist temples and Mosques, the former would be vastly preferable, since Buddhists do not make a habit of killing those who disagree with them, or of flying airliners into skyscrapers. Buddhists dont even believe in killing animals !
Even the high priests of multiculturalism have not grasped the "physical proximity" point.
The inability to distinguish between culture acquired via multiculturalism and culture acquired through other means, seems to extend right into the brains of multiculturalism's high priests. The first illustration Prof. Parekh gives of the benefits of multiculturalism after setting out the latter's basic theoretical merit ( Ch 5, p.167 ) is that awareness of native societies gives us a different slant or angle on our own society ( obvious to the average teenager ). But wait a minute: how do we know about native societies ? Are there any cave-men in London ? Nop. Are there any African bushmen herding cattle and warding off lions in Liverpool ? Nop. So how come most people know something about native cultures ? Well, its thanks to TV, books, newspapers and so on; in short it is thanks to technology, not multiculturalism.
To summarise, the UK's leading academic proponent of multiculturalism does not seem to have grasped the difference between learning "multicultural-style" and learning by other means.
For evidence on the actual amount of time people spend on serious cultural intake from TV, books etc see the appendix of http://www.ethnic.ndo.co.uk
The idea, popular with multiculturalists, that no culture is superior to any other is rather contradicted by migrants themselves: the large numbers from various parts of the world trying to get into Western Europe and North America. Certainly in the case of the UK they are not coming for the weather. They are coming for the UK's culture in the broadest sense of the word, that is the UK's economic system, educational system (chronic as it is), the UK's political system, health system, and so on. Moreover, a successful economy is largely dependent on a number of factors which are essentially cultural: decent education, political stability, the rule of law, and so on.
This is not to say that European culture does not owe a great deal to Arab, Chinese and other cultures. Nor is this to suggest other cultures are grossly inferior to European culture. Nor is this to suggest European culture is better in all respects than other cultures. But there is no denying migrants are voting with their feet just at the moment.
The central idea behind multiculturalism, namely that different cultures, when mixed will learn from each other, rests on the naive assumption that they will adopt each others best aspects. This assumption is nonsense. The more traditional or fundamentalist Muslims in the UK are horrified at the "degenerate" habits their children pick up from the UK. Perhaps these traditionalists are right. Saddam Hussein was an admirer of Stalin: an example of one culture picking up utterly deplorable characteristics from another. Of course Saddam's mimicking Stalin was "learning at a distance" rather than multicultural learning; nevertheless it still illustrates that cultures can copy each other's worst traits.
The fact is that civilisations rise and fall, and often it is because they destroy their own best characteristics. Or as Arnold Toynbee put it, "Civilisations die from suicide, not by murder". Indeed, it is precisely multiculturalists with their insistence that "new = good" who are amongst those most likely to do the chucking. The UK government's recent attempts to discard of some of the UK's most fundamental civil liberties is a nice example. There was the "religious hatred" bill which very very nearly became law in 2006, and which would have prevented us mocking religion. Identity cards are probably coming. And we have had people arrested under "prevention of terrorism" legislation because they heckled at political meetings (Walter Wolfgang). Plus we have had the arrest of the government's political opponents - leaders of the British National Party. Without multiculturalism, none of the above would have occurred.
This claim is made by a Canadian government web site (footnote 11).
If the word multiculturalism is being used here to mean "affording respect to each racial group", then obviously affording respect to each group results in respect for each group. This is a tautology.
On the other hand if the word is being used to mean the mixing of racial groups, there is not much evidence from history that multiculturalism in this sense results in different groups respecting each other. Germans and Jews "grew up together" for a long time, then we had the holocaust didnt we ?
And Jews and Arabs in Palestine/Israel intermingle and they're are getting on just fine. Saddam Hussein, an Arab, gassed Kurds. The list of multiracial catastrophes goes on and on. Moreover, growing up separately from another culture does not normally cause lack of respect for that culture: only a small fraction of one percent of Japanese "grow up with" Europeans ( and vice versa ) but the Japanese respect and enjoy Western music and anyone with a bit of common sense in Europe respects Japanese achievements in science and technology ( though perhaps multiculturalists dont ).
The idea that multiculturalism makes us vibrant and dynamic is not supported by history: between a hundred and two hundred years ago Britain was racially purer than nowadays, and lead the biggest revolution in human history so far as raising living standards goes, the industrial revolution. It was the most powerful ( both economically and militarily ) nation on Earth. Of course the British Empire had serious faults. But the British, at that time, were hardly lacking in “dynamism” and “vibrancy” ( if these words mean anything ).
Japan has enjoyed astronomic rates of economic growth over the last century despite being racially pure, plus Japan has produced a large number of inventions, technical innovations, and so on.
Note that a country’s economic performance can be measured: those who are concerned with the truth concentrate on the measurable or verifiable, while in contrast the multiculturalists concentrate on the vague and near meaningless - “dynamism” “vibrancy” and so on.
The more popular claims as to the economic benefits of immigration are dealt with, for the most part, on a companion site (footnote 31).
The US Visa Lottery has been re-named the Diversity Lottery so it probably wont be long before McDonalds becomes McDiversity, and we are all going there for diversity colas and diversity burgers.
The word monocultural is used here as an antonym of multicultural. The latter is used to refer to the mixing of people of different national or racial backgrounds. The word monocultural refers to minimising the extent of this mixing.
The potential advantage of monoculturalism is that countries can choose what aspects of other cultures to adopt. For example, for centuries prior to when multiculturalism arrived in the UK big time (i.e. post WWII), the UK had no difficulty importing the culinary products, literature and music of other countries it wanted. Likewise the country and no difficulty ignoring the culture it did not want.
In contrast, import a hundred thousand Muslims, and one gets the undesirable
aspects of Islam (Jihadists, suicide bombers and aversion to free speech) along with its desirable
Of course monoculturalism involves a finite loss of access to other cultures. For example had the UK not taken large numbers of immigrants from the Middle East and far East post WWII, the average UK citizen's access to ethnic cuisine would be reduced. On the other hand as pointed out in 26 above, the minimum and sub-minimum wages paid in ethnic food outlets are evidence that UK citizens do not value ethnic restaurants all that highly. Moreover, ethnic cuisine is not rocket science: in the absence of immigrants, any white Anglo-Saxon wanting to set up a restaurant specialising in ethnic dishes could easily do so.
Of course, the absence of oriental faces in an "oriental restaurant" would not look quite right. But this is just part of a well known phenomenon, namely that restaurants are all about ambience, with the actual quality of the food coming a long way second. Does the now widespread practice of describing Black Pudding as "Boudin Noir" equal some sort of cultural advance ? Anyone who thinks it does needs their head examining. In other words ambience is hog-wash.
And finally, as pointed out in section 6, really worthwhile culture travels without migrants. Thus a monocultural country will not lose much, culture-wise.
The economist John Maynard Keynes on monoculturalism:
"...we should encourage small political and cultural units. It would be a fine thing to have thirty or fourty capital cities in Europe, each the center of a self-governing country entirely free from national minorities (who would be dealt with my migrations where necessary).
Well that was pretty un-PC! Source: I haven't found the ultimate source but that passage is quoted in "Where Keynes Went Wrong" by Hunter Lewis, p.316. He got it from "John Maynard Keynes" by Robert Skidelsky (vol3) p.218.
When this site was first set up in 2003, it was claimed that multiculturalism was essentially a fashion accessory for the chattering classes and that this particular accessory would lose its appeal at some stage. As of 2007, it is a delight to see this prediction coming true. That it takes bombs on the London Tube and blatant racism and bigotry amongst Muslims to knock some sense into the politically correct is a pity, but entirely predictable.
The words multiculturalism, diversity, vibrant, celebrate and so on were fashionable up to around 2005, but they are now losing their appeal. The word diversity has been fashionable in multicultural circles since the mid 1990s, whereas "multicultural" first became popular slightly earlier: around 1990. Any of these words may disappear from the dictionary of political correctness at any time. For example Alibhai-Brown ( having spent years extolling the wonders of multiculturalism ) now claims the word is no longer relevant, by which she actually means fashionable.
But when multiculturalism becomes truly dated, its advocates will then switch to other types of nonsense like tea leaf reading, astrology, or it may be "circles-arent-roundism".
There will always be a proportion of the human race that wants to attract attention to itself, and cannot do so by doing anything constructive. The solution they adopt to their problem is easy: do something totally daft or positively destructive.
The moral of this is "Dont go out in a boat with a multiculturalist". They'll try drilling a hole in the bottom of the boat with a view to attracting attention to themselves, and creating a bit of "diversity".
Some claim it does (footnote 17). But the evidence to back the claim isnt persuasive. For example Japan is racially very pure and has many Nobel Prizes; it is technically highly competent.
And how about those Negro only universities in the US - should they be closed down or forced to become " diverse " ? Now there's a quandary for the politically correct.
Even better - why not have everyone speak their own language, then no one will understand anyone else ? The above absurdity has got a foothold in the US, but has been repulsed so far in the UK. As to the idea that there is no limit to the number of languages people can learn, the multiculturalist academic who claims this (footnote 18) needs some advice about languages from someone who knows more about languages then he does - any old drunk or labourer would do.
The latter could inform the former that the less talented half of the population have difficulty learning one language other than their mother tongue. As to the most gifted or talented one percent of the population, these lucky people would have difficulty learning ten languages in ten years up to degree level.
Only joking. This idea has not been advocated by multiculturalists - yet.
A bizarre aspect of multiculturalism is the deathly hush surrounding the subject of mono-cultural societies. That is, given the manifold benefits of multiculturalism, mono-cultural societies must be seriously deprived; yet there is no mention of this deprivation.
As it happens, the mono-cultural countries include the largest in the world, population-wise: China, Japan, and India.
Of course no country is entirely mono or multi-cultural. People practice more than one religion ( and athiesm ) in each of the above three countries. And India and China each have more than one language. But in the race or nation sense, these countries are highly "monocultural" compared to say the US or UK. And the amount of immigration to these countries over say the last three centuries has been a fraction of one percent that of the numbers arriving in the US and UK ( relative to the size of their populations ).
Moreover multiculturalism in the race sense is one of the most important aspects of multiculturalism for its adherents, if not the most important aspect. Suggest to a multiculturalist that Europe should be racially purer, and you'll get an explosion of righteous indignation enough to give the multiculturalist concerned several multiple orgasms.
The Paradox. Now it is precisely a monocultural country that stands to benefit most from more multiculturalism. But do multiculturalists make any effort to persuade such countries of the wonders of multiculturalism ? Not on your nelly ( whatever a nelly is ). Multiculturalists dont lift a finger. A trifle odd, wouldnt you say ?
But it gets even odder. One can understand people not making any active effort to help those in need ( e.g. starving Africans, or the multiculturalism deprived ). This is because active effort requires self-sacrifice. Similarly people are reluctant to give money to starving Africans, because people would rather spend their money on beer, holidays, cars, and so on.
But the odd thing is this. There are plenty of articles in the press portraying the miseries of starving Africans. But do you ever see an article portraying the miseries of the multiculturalism deprived Chinese or Japanese ? The author has never seen one.
Of course this is not to suggest that being deprived of multiculturalism is as
serious as starving.
But you expect the number of articles appearing in the press on each topic to be
in rough proportion to the importance or interest of the topic.
So how do the number of articles on each topic stack up ?
Well there are far more articles on weighty matters like the best color for your
spare cork screw than there are on the "multiculturalism deprived".
In fact if mathematicians are looking for a new definition of the word "zero", they wouldnt be far out with "Number of articles published commiserating with the Chinese on their racial purity".
So what is the explanation ? Well it isnt too difficult. The Chinese and Japanese are not the slightest deprived on account of their lack of multiculturalism, as indeed the politically correct know perfectly well in their heart of hearts.
So what do you do when you know your philosophy is nonsense, and that statement X would draw attention to the fact ? Well the answer is easy: dont make statement X - just keep very quiet . And thats why those articles commiserating with China and Japan about the latter's racial purity never appear !
The Chinese Reaction. The politically correct face two more serious dilemmas were they to make efforts to get China or Japan to become more multicultural.
First if they were to suggest to the Chinese that China ought to import sufficient Indians ( and Arabs, Africans, etc ) to give China the same racial mix as the UK ( thats about 50 million Indians etc, ) the Chinese would tell multiculturalists exactly what to do with the suggestion. And so would Indians and Japanese if told similar.
But this would make the Chinese xenophobic racists ! Now that's impossible, isnt it, because its a fundamental politically correct belief that coloured ethnic groups are warm, cuddly and can do no wrong ? Worse still, the above reaction by the Chinese would suggest they had similar views on immigration to the "odious" British National Party or Tory Party. The possibility is too awful to contemplate. Best draw a quick veil over this one. (UK citizens will get the innuendo behind the above "odious"; others, see footnote 20.1, if interested)
The second dilemma is that it is easy to advocate migration from less developed to more developed counties in that there are obvious benefits for the migrants. In contrast, to make the case for mass migration between two equally developed countries one has to prove the benefits of multiculturalism as such. This is more difficult. These "benefits", as shown here, are almost non existent.
Given these dilemmas, is it any wonder the more vociferous multiculturalists keep very quite about the severe deprivation suffered by mono-cultural countries ?
At least one British and one Australian government web site make much of the fact that immigrants bring "new" ways of doing things, "new" customs etc, as do Burke and Cairncross. That something is new, doesnt mean its any good. But half the population are suckers for anything new. Thats why Tony Blair used the words new and modern about twice per sentence when he was prime minister.
Moreover if anyone thinks up a really worthwhile "new" way of doing something they take a patent out on it. The rest, in particular the "customs" are, by comparison, near irrelevant.
One Arab custom is to belch after a meal to show one's appreciation of it. Perhaps they fart after a meal as well, but who cares ? Sorry - forgot - multiculturalists care. So Arabs really want to avoid having a meal with a multiculturalist, because after the meal the latter are likely to run round the table in raptures sampling the farts and belches.
And no doubt Arabs think some UK customs are stupid - they're probably right.
"New mediocrity is preferred to traditional excellence." - Baltasar Gracian (1647)
It might sound odd to claim that multiculturalists dont believe in multiculturalism. But its common for moralists not to believe in their moralising. After all, the main attraction of moralising can be the moralising itself: the feeling of superiority over those preached to. Many Communists in the final decades of Communism in Eastern Europe didnt believe in Communism. And there are more than a few ostensibly religious people who dont believe in their religion, and certainly do not adhere to its teachings. (See Lileks for an article on the religious nature of multiculturalism).
The evidence that multiculturalists dont believe in multiculturalism is as follows.
Multiculturalists are normally keen to see their own country more multicultural. But as pointed out under No 20 above, they have virtually no interest in seeing relatively monocultural countries like China enjoy its manifold benefits ( despite the fact that it is monocultural countries like China which have most to benefit from multiculturalism ).
Various explanations for this self-contradictory behaviour were given in No 20 above. But there is an additional explanation, as follows. Suppose someone in a developed country made a big song and dance about the need to ensure everyone in their own country was properly fed, but didnt give a toss for the starving millions in less developed countries. The conclusion might be they were out to attract attention to themselves in their own back yard, rather do any significant amount of good for the World.
Much the same goes for multiculturalists. The song and dance they make about the benefits of multiculturalism in their own back yard, combined with their indifference to its spread to the "multiculturalism deprived" means that the fundamental motive is to attract attention to themselves in their own back yard.
The immigrant advocates of multiculturalism.
Immigrants, understandably do not want to admit they owe the host country much.
Thus immigrants are likely to be
amongst the most voluble proponents of multiculturalism: the suggestion
being that they have done the host country a favour by migrating to it.
Certainly three of the advocates ( or ex-advocates ) of multiculturalism
cited here are immigrants: Parekh, Alibhai-Brown and Trevor Phillips.
And these advocates of multiculturalism, having made a song and dance about the wonders of multiculturalism, have achieved their objective. As to China, well sod China. Why should they bother with it ?
But the immigrant advocates of multiculturalism have an obvious problem: they know perfectly well it is not in their interests to let in further floods of immigrants. (Just as they know perfectly well the host country didnt benefit much from their own migration to it.) So, surprise, surprise, with passing years, their views on multiculturalism and immigration change. They begin to find flaws in the multiculturalist philosophy.
Note the enormous contrast between the complete indifference on the part of multiculturalists to spreading their philosophy to China, Japan, etc and the large number of missionaries who went there in the 1800s. The latter clearly believed what they preached. The same cannot be said of multiculturalists.
Of course a possible excuse for not lecturing China or Japan on the wonders of multiculturalism is a reluctance to tell these countries what to do. But this excuse wont wash. The US tells China in no uncertain terms what to do: keep its hands off Taiwan, for example. Also the idea that the politically correct are reluctant to sermonise is laughable. Sermonising and lecturing are part and parcel of political correctness.
Much is made on the internet by the Australian and Canadian government about the wonders of multiculturalism. Clearly this is because they have decided to expand their populations and certainly the World as a whole gains if sparsely populated countries take people from more densely populated countries.
This argument is valid. But somehow this cold economic argument is not quite as colourful as the idea that Western nations should absorb large numbers of quaint third world people, complete with native costumes, native dances, strange religious ceremonies and so on.
The latter argument is nonsense, but its colourful, and appearances are everything, especially if you want to fool a multicuturalist.
Also, while Canada and Australia are doing the World a favour by sharing a portion of their land with the World, this policy primarily benefits the World, rather than Australia or Canada. With a view to selling multiculturalism to their populations, these two governments obviously need to keep quiet about who the main beneficiaries are.
Half of them are trying to escape multiculturalism gone wrong ! If its not Kurds trying to escape the disastrous effects of Arabs and Kurds living in the same country, then its Croats, Albanians, or Serbs fleeing the disastrous effects of their occupying the same space: former Yugoslavia.
The other half are escaping the cultural poverty of their homelands: lack of democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech, and decent educational or health systems.
The self-contradictions and anomalies produced by muliculturalists are endless. Here are a few examples.
1. The UK's most pro immigration "quality" newspaper, The Independent (4.8.05), told us that "the main goal of multiculturalism was always to help migrant communities maintain their heritage". (This is as daft as claiming that the aim of mixing sand and cement is to enable both to maintain their individual characteristics, rather than produce mortar; but never mind.)
The important point is that above article is contradicted by another article the next day (occupying half of page 35) which claims the opposite, namely that the purpose of multiculturalism should be to merge different cultures!
2. Trevor Phillips, chairman of the UK's Commission for Racial Equality, having
described those with doubts about multiculturalism as "racists" and "xenophobes"
(Guardian, 16.2.04 ) suddenly decided two months later that multiculturalism is
finished (The Times, 3.4.04).
But talking self contradictory clap-trap never disqualified anyone from being
one of multiculturalim's leading lights: indeed, the former is
one of the main qualifications for the role.
( Incidentally, Trevor Phillips may well have been using the word multiculturalism
in a sense other than that adopted on this site.
But the self-contradiction is still there.)
3. According to an Australian Ethnic Affairs Council publication, "Australia as a Multicultural Society", p.7, "Even the advocates of this policy talk of the different concepts of multiculturalism and admit to difficulties in defining..... multiculturalism". But that's nothing: Alibhai-Brown gives us ELEVEN types of multiculturalism (Ch 4). Hey, the word means whatever you want it to, folks. Let's apply the same principle to all words in the English language and reduce it to gibberish.
4. It is fashionable in liberal circles to support Tibet's right to defend its culture against the Chinese at the same time as criticising Denmark (or, more generally, Europe) for doing much the same, i.e. defending its culture by restricting immigration.
There might appear to be a difference between Tibet and Europe: the Chinese are imposing their culture by force on Tibet, whereas immigrants to Europe (at least in the eyes of liberals) do not use force.
However this alleged difference is not as clear cut as it might seem. First, a significant proportion of immigrants are illegal, that is they are forcing themselves on the host community. Also, Muslim and Hindu support for the Religious Hatred Bill in 2006 amounts to an attempt to force people to abstain from various forms of criticism of these religions.
Second, since the introduction of a foreign culture to a country is an unquestionable merit according to multiculturalists, they really cannot object too strongly when China introduces its culture to Tibet by force.
5. The Danish cartoons fiasco in early 2006 produced a string of truly delicious self-contradictions by multiculturalists. Much the same goes for the bill outlawing incitement of religious hatred which very nearly became law in the UK at much the same time. The self contradiction is thus. Multiculturalists have spend decades sniggering at cartoons and TV clips that take the piss out of Christianity. They never objected to the scene in the Blackadder TV series where a Christian priest has kinky sex and sticks a red hot poker up someone's arse. Nor did they object to the scene where a Christian priest ate an effigy of an erect penis. Then as soon as Muslims complain about insults, multiculturalists are up in arms. The best self contradiction was the Independent leading article (4th Jan 06) which claimed "there is no merit in causing gratuitous offence, as these (Danish) cartoons undoubtedly do" while on the opposite page The Independent had a cartoon depicting god in the nude smoking a cigar and uttering string of four letter words ! The cartoon was based on Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam", thus the god is presumably Christian which makes the insult acceptable, since denigrating one's own culture is a cardinal virtue in the eyes of the politically correct.
So we derive huge benefits from ethnic cuisine? We'd benefit more from eating more fruit and veg. But seriously - well that was a serious point - we would benefit more from eating more fruit and veg.
Secondly, the vast majority of the improvement in cuisine over the last sixty years or so has come from the sheer increase in real incomes over that period. Another factor has been the introduction of supermarkets: almost unheard of sixty years ago. The increase the in variety of food available in modern supermarkets compared to the average greengrocers sixty years ago is astronomic, and much of the food in supermarkets is "ethnic", or of foreign origin. Moreover, at least ninety five percent of meals are consumed at home (with the ingredients originating in supermarkets) or are consumed on employer's premises. Ethnic restaurants take a minute share of the market.
Another point that casts doubt on the value of ethnic cuisine are the sub-minimum wage levels in many ethnic food outlets (See Ram). If people are not prepared to pay much for something, they dont value it all that highly. Moreover the poor wages in ethnic food outlets mean that this employment is not so much a permanent contribution to UK culture, as a stop-over for immigrants until they (or their children) get qualified for better paid "bog standard" UK jobs (lawyers, plumbers, etc). See The Times (p.24 9th Jan 2006) for more on this.
As for the idea that curry arrived in the UK post WWII, this is nonsense. Curry has been widely consumed in the UK for well over a century. Moreover, there is evidence that both the word curry and the spices that make it up were in use in England in the 1300s (footnote 28). The big change since the 1300s, 1700s or the 1930s is improved living standards, which means these spices ( and a huge range of other foodstuffs ) are no longer confined to royalty, the aristocracy and so on.
Quantifying the benefits of ethnic cuisine.
As already pointed out, quantification and measurement are ideas that do not normally concern multiculturalists. In contrast a bit of quantification will be attempted here. The extent of the benefit we derive from ethnic cuisine can be quantified as follows. Average household spending on cafes and restaurants in the UK in 2000 averaged £10.40 a week out of a disposable income of £390 a week (See "Family Spending",2000-1, HMSO, Sect. 1.3). Household disposable income accounts for roughly half GNP. Obviously ethnic cuisine influences food preparation in places other than restaurants (e.g. ready made tikka masalas in supermarkets). On the other hand not all restaurants and cafes are ethnic. Let's assume these two cancel out. "Ethnic consumption" thus comes to 10.40 x 0.5 / 390 = 1.3% of GNP. Now assume immigrants have doubled or trebbled the efficiency of or pleasure derived from restaurants, etc. This means we have gained a 1.3 or 2.6% increase in GNP per head since about WWII from ethnic restaurants: a complete irrelevance.
This 1.3 / 2.6% is clearly negligible compared to the benefits we derive from other forms of "self propelled culture": the approximate doubling or of GNP that has occurred in the last fifty years mainly as a result of technical advances the UK has gleaned from other countries. Of course, and to repeat, this is a very rough "back of the envelope" calculation. But it is a vast improvement on the ramblings of multiculturalists most of whom do not bother with quantification of any type.
Multiculturalists might object to the above on the grounds that
the worth of cultural items cannot be measured in the same way as other goods
and services: that is, measurement by what the customer is prepared to pay for the
However this argument destroys the pro multiculturalism argument as much as
it destroys the opposing argument.
The truth is that if two things are to be compared, some unit of measurement
or comparison has to be found, however defective.
And economists do not need lectures from multiculturalists on the debatable merits
of measuring the worth of things by what the customer is prepared to pay.
Economists are well aware of the less than perfect nature of this method of
This is a common claim. It was made for example by Robin Cook (former UK foreign minister) in his 2001 "Tikka Masala" speech. Tony Blair in a speech to the CBI in 2004 claimed immigrants make a "huge" contribution.
The average immigrant's standard of living increases by anything up to three hundred percent as a result of migration. In contrast, according to George Borjas, one of America's leading experts on migration, the above migration results in a near enough zero percent rise in living standards for natives of developed countries. In the light of this, to even talk about the benefits immigrants bring indicates a lack of contact with reality, to put it politely.
Another answer to the claim that immigrants make an "enormous" contribution is this: people with red or blonde hair make an "enormous" contribution as well dont they ? The PC advocates of immigration cannot answer in the negative, because to do so is racist. Thus words like "enormous" or "huge" in the above context do not distinguish one lot of people from another ! The words are hot air.
Come to think of it, concrete and cement make an "enormous" contribution to our society, as does wood, water, grass, you name it. Like virtually everything that comes out of the mouths of the pro-immigration lobby, the words "enormous" and "huge" are pure garbage.
More useful than these meaningless words are the attempts to measure the economic contribution of immigrants ( e.g. the above mentioned studies by Borjas and others ).
Solzhenitsyn claimed that multiculturalism kept large numbers of windbags employed in academia in the US. The picture in the UK seems to be slightly different. In the "Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies" (published in the UK) in the six years or so up to the time of writing, of the 200 or so papers, none dealt with multiculturalism in general, and none mentioned the term in their titles. There were plenty of articles on specific racial groups in specific locations, but that's it. And a search through a similar number of paper titles in other likely looking journals in the author's local university library yielded nothing.
As to the companion site to this one, which deals with the economic effects of migration, all references are to journalists, not academics. Admittedly, this "economic" site concentrates on the press, but none of the relevant newspaper articles throw up references to decent quality academic material (apart from the ones mentioned here).
Also, of the twenty or so books in the author's local bookshop on sociology that mention multiculturalism or similar in their index, none are greatly in favour of it ( or against it ). In short, the advocates of multiculturalism in the UK seem for the most part to be society's loudmouths: journalists and politicians. This lends support to the general thrust of this web site, namely that the arguments behind multiculturalism are low grade, poor quality, and easily demolished.
Finally, the only two full size books written by academics on multiculturalism cited here are a long way from wildly enthusiastic about it. One of these, Parekh, does favour multiculturalism, but concedes that mono-cultural societies have their merits. And Kymlicka is even more impartial on the pro versus anti-multiculturalism argument.
It is not really necessary to highlight to poor quantity and quality of the culture that comes with migrants, since the advocates of multiculturalism do a nice job of highlighting it themselves: the British government's publication "Strength In Diversity" in scratching around for some sort of benefit that migrants bring, points to the music and "new clothes" they bring. (footnote 29)
As to music, it is obvious, even to the mentally impaired, that music is a highly international affair. Multiculturalists have evidently not tumbled to the fact, but we transmit music across the globe, as pointed out above, via radio, the internet, CDs, sheet music, etc. No doubt a finite amount of music comes via migration but the reality is that if we had had no immigration whatsoever since WWII, we would still be awash with a thousand different forms of music, and a million different individual pieces of music.
As to clothes, "new clothes" in the form of say turbans hardly rank with a Mozart symphony, Einstein's theory of relativity, computers, the UK public library system, the internet, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
And do we really need a greater variety of clothes ? Five hundred years ago Shakespeare complained that "fashion wore out the apparel". Two thousand years ago Jesus admonished people for indulging in an excessive consumption of worldly goods. As to the situation nowadays, with the average Westerner having twenty changes of clothes and as many pairs of shoes, the human race has arguably gone mad.
Moreover, contrast the song and dance made about turbans, with the total silence
that has always existed over indigenous UK headgear.
Working class men in the North of England up to about fifty years ago often wore
Middle class bureaucrats in London used to wear bowler hats.
But no one ever claimed these forms of headgear constituted some sort of
profound cultural gift to civilisation.
Indeed had you gone up to the average working man fifty years ago ( especially if he'd had a few pints of beer ) and told him his cap constituted an invaluable cultural gift to humanity, he'd have punched your teeth punched down your throat, and quite right. As to suggesting to baseball cap wearers that their caps are a gift to civilisation, make sure they dont have their baseball bats handy.
Also there was never any attempt made to encourage Scotsmen to come and live in England because there was a chance they might wear kilts. And the politically correct make no effort whatsoever to have cloth caps or bowler hats re-introduced.
Conclusion: multiculturalists are not interested in increasing the variety of headgear, or clothes generally. The carry on about immigrant clothes is an excuse for taking third world immigrants. If immigrants all arrived hopping on one leg and sporting tartan umbrellas, you can bet your bottom dollar the liberal elite would be in raptures about the infinite benefits of hopping while carrying a tartan umbrella. The real reason for advocating this immigration is simply that it is fashionable or politically correct. Why anyone bothers manufacturing robots for car production lines is a mystery: there is a plentiful supply of robots amongst the ranks of the liberal elite.
A claim often made by multiculturalists is along the lines that "all countries are multicultural nowadays". For example Berry (p.1) claims “There are no longer any societies that can claim to be homogeneous with respect to objective cultural markets (such as ethnic origin, language, religion.....)”. See also Parekh, Ch 11, 1st sentence.
One probable motive for this idea is that if it can be claimed that all countries are multicultural, this reduces the effort needed to set out a convincing case for multiculturalism.
So, are "all countries multicultural"? As to multiculturalism in the race sense, China and Japan on any common sense definition of “ethnic purity” are about 99% ethnically pure. And given the combined population of these two countries, this is something of dent in the claim that "all countries are multicultural now". The response of multiculturalists might be to claim that these countries contain numerous ethnic sub groups, and/or that they have a sprinkling of Europeans, Negroes, etc and are thus not ethnically pure. True. But this truth also obtained a hundred and a thousand years ago. To be more accurate, Europeans and Negroes as a proportion of China's population will have risen over the last century from about 0.00001% to about 0.001%. That hardly makes China a full blown multicultural society.
Moreover, the above minuscule racial change makes a nonsense of the word "now" in
the statement "every country is multiracial now", since the word now implies a change
from "not now", i.e. the past.
India is another billion plus country where the change in racial make up over the
last century has be minuscule.
The claim is also pretty much of a nonsense as regards another "cultural marker": language. What proportion of Japanese or Chinese are talking Russian, French or German to each other ? Virtually none. Of course English is far more widely used in Japan now than a century ago, but this is to enable the Japanese to take part in the globalised World we now live in. The Japanese do not speak English to each other over a meal.
A much bigger change has occurred over the last century in these countries in the amount of foreign culture they enjoy ( particularly music, literature and television ). Thus it could be argued that in this sense of the word multiculturalism, things have changed. But this is an unusual sense of the word, and for good reason: since virtually no one objects to multiculturalism in this sense of the word, why bother with it ? There is precious little to discuss.
Not even the British National Party objects to the British listening to Elvis Presley or Beethoven on the grounds that these two musicians were not British.
Conclusion: the statement "all countries are multicultural now" like much else that comes out of the mouths of multiculturalists is very wide of the mark.
For multiculturalists, the mixing of cultures is a merit in itself. The actual content of cultures is of little interest. No matter how deplorable a culture, if large numbers of its adherents arrive in the UK, that is an unquestionable benefit (especially if they have coloured faces). A third of young Muslims in the UK believe that anyone joining another faith should be killed, which puts young Muslims in much the same league as the Hitler youth. The widespread belief amongst Muslims that authors and film producers who criticise Islam should be killed is more than adequate justification for the term "Islamofascism".
If only Hitler had had a brown face, worn strange headgear, and worshipped a non-Christian god, British liberals would have been in raptures about him. They probably wouldnt even have been too bothered about his Jew gassing policies. They certainly werent too bothered about the King Fahd Academy in Acton in west London which in 2006 was found to be teaching its Muslims pupils that Jews were "pigs" and Christians "vermin".
For mulitculturalists, the fact that a religion is popular in the UK proves its merits. In contrast, for those genuinely interested in culture, the number of adherents to a particular movement is of little relevance: all religions and philosophies merit examination. For every hundred newspaper articles that witters on about the pros and cons of multiculturalism you'll scarcely see one on Confucius, Lao tzu, or Existentialism. In contrast, The International Thesaurus of Quotations (editor: Rhoda Tripp) has 25,000 quotations, with about 600 from ancient Greece, Rome and China; and....wait for it....just one from the Koran.
To be more exact, you will never see an article on existentialism because the latter's main proponent, Jean Paul Sartre had a white face, and for multicultural inverted racists that is a damning indictment. The reality is that modern philosophers, like Sartre, are much more instructive that self styled prophets and messengers from God living two thousand years ago. This is first because there is far greater incentive for modern writers to present logical, coherent arguments: otherwise they get torn to shreds by their peers. Second, the creation and re-production of the written word is far easier now than two thousand years ago. The Koran is obviously a jumbled collection of someone's writing - presumably Mohammad's. The chaotic nature of the Koran is not entirely the fault of early Muslims: they couldnt cut and paste.
Moreover, if you dont look at every philosophy, you dont know what you might be missing (a very existential proposition).
Why attach importance to a movement purely because of the number of its adherents? This is as daft as claiming that trash romantic novels are good literature because they sell by the million. Indeed, the very fact that a movement is popular is good evidence that it is nonsense, in just the same way a trash novels are nonsense.
Another reason for allying oneself with popular movements is "safety in numbers", to put it politely, or to "kick ass" to put it impolitely The young men who form gangs in deprived inner city areas have much in common with multiculturalists, who in turn are not entirely dissimilar to goose stepping Nazi storm-troopers.
Prof Parekh, author of "Rethinking Multiculturalism", said with commendable honesty that "the multicultural movement ..... has so far failed to throw up a coherent philosophical statement of its central principles". It is good to see a sociologist aware of the need for "central principles" or "general theories": second nature to physicists and chemists.
To help plug this gap, the remaining paragraphs of this site are an attempt to set out the "central principles" of multiculturalism, or rather the absurdity of multiculturalism. Numbers refer to relevant sections above.
2. Over the last three hundred years or so, technology has brought a million fold improvement in access to culture, both native and foreign culture. The average person now has instant access to a million pieces of music played by the World's top musicians, a million books, several billion web sites, a hundred different plays, documentaries etc every night on television, and so on. Compared to this, multiculturalism is irrelevant.
3. The word "diversity" as an euphemism for multicultural is devious alteration to the English language. Its main purpose is as a semi technical sounding word designed to impress.
4. When two or more cultures merge, the enrichment that takes place tends to be temporary because human memories are limited. For example the average person uses around five thousand words, thus merging two languages will ultimately lead to a new hybrid language, which has no more words that the two originals: five thousand. The new hybrid culture may or may not be an improvement on the originals - depending on the extent to which the hybrid adopts the best of the two originals. Even if the hybrid is an improvement, it is debatable as to whether the World as a whole has been culturally enriched, since one or more cultures have been lost in order to create the hybrid.
6. Worthwhile or valuable culture travels on its own, that is without the need for migrants. Thus the culture that comes with migrants is low grade culture. In other words multicultural culture is low grade culture.
7. The advocates of multiculturalism have learned from Goebbles's dictum: "Never tell a small lie."
8. One of the fundamental ideas behind multiculturalism is that physical proximity to members of another culture is needed to learn from them. This is unmitigated nonsense: even the advocates of multiculturalism dont make this claim in respect of types of culture other than multicultural culture.
9. The idea that no culture is better than any other culture is a strange one: migrants obviously don’t agree with this.
10. Cultures are as likely to adopt each other's worst aspects as to adopt each
other's best aspects.
12. The popular claim that multiculturalism makes us "vibrant" and "dynamic" is not supported by history or the evidence generally. There are plenty of examples of racially pure, yet successful countries.
20 & 22. There is a wealth of evidence that the advocates of multiculturalism do not really believe in it: they advocate it because it is fashionable or politically correct. For example Western advocates of multiculturalism advocate it for the West, but are indifferent to the gross lack of multiculturalism in various large Asian countries. They claim to be concerned about culture, but gloss over the fact that technology has given us a vastly greater access to culture than multiculturalism.(2)
21. Multiculturalists tend to believe that new = good. That combined with their tendency to see the short term but not the long term makes multiculturalists a banal, naïve bunch of folk.
25. The self contradictions by multiculturalists make it difficult to know what the central merits of multiculturalism are supposed to be.
26. Ethnic cuisine is much the largest cultural effect of post WWII immigrants to the UK. Quantifying this is difficult, but if one goes on the purely economic effects, the economic benefits of ethnic cuisine are a total irrelevance compared to another piece of cultural transfer: the adoption of Western technology by China and India. Moreover, the latter occurs largely without multiculturalism, that is, without migration from Europe or the US to China or India.
28. The most vociferous advocates of multiculturalism are society's loudmouths: journalists and politicians. In contrast, academics are relatively non-committal on the subject.
29. The claim by multiculturalists that the variety of clothing introduced to the country by immigrants represents some sort of benefit is suspicious: they never mourned the loss of the bowler hat or the Northern working man's cloth cap.
30. We are often told that "every country is multicultural now". This is nonsense in the case of China and to a lesser extent Japan and India.
Ultimate conclusion: The claims made for multiculturalism do not stand inspection. Multiculturalism is an irrelevance.
3. see http://www.drizzle.com/~jwalsh/sokal/articles/erich.html
7. In Parek's work (170,000 words) there only around 20 sentences mentioning the ease with which information now flows round the globe (towards the bottom of pages 8, 163 and 193). These inevitably contradict the main thrust of the book. For example as one para puts it (p.8) these "external influences are so...deep" that "the idea of national culture makes little sense". Well, good point. And this detracts from the cultural benefits of migrants moving en masse round the globe. But this little self contradiction does not really matter. If one devotes 170,000 words to making a point, amongst which there are two hundred which in an oblique way contradict the point, few people will notice.
8. In the first two or three months of 2005 there was about an hour a week of terrestrial television in the UK devoted to people living in primitive / jungle conditions. This was watched by around a million viewers. For more research (done by the author) on the time people spend on serious acquisition of foreign culture from books, TV, newspapers, colleges, etc. see http://www.ethnic.ndo.co.uk
8.1. The problem with having French nationals teach French to English kids is that the former's command of English will almost certainly be less than perfect. As to having English nationals teach French, their command of French will be less than perfect. There is not much to choose between the two forms of imperfection.
11. See http://www.geocities. com/s_sonia415/multi4.html. This Canadian government web site contains some truly inspiring passages which have all the appearance of having been authored by George W Bush, for example "Canada is multicultural today due to all its immigrants". (See http://www.geocities.com/s_sonia415/multi3.html) To add insult to injury, this particular sentence is not the only example of this web site slipping from one definition of multiculturalism to another. The basic definition is something like "catering for the needs of minority cultures". But the latter "George Bush" sentence is pretty obviously using the word in the sense defined at the outset of this site.
17. Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine thinks its "pre-eminence depends on maintaining a culturally diverse workplace" . (http://peds.wustl.edu/residency/diversity.html)
18. Berry. Note: Berry does not go as far as some multiculturalists, and claim that people living in English speaking countries shouldnt learn English, but he does claim there are no limits to the number of languages a person can learn (p.68).
20.1 The political left in the UK has long described the political right and many of its policies as "odious". But having described Margaret Thatcher and her policies as "odious", the Labour Party once in power copied just about all these policies. Most recently it has gone even further in this direction, that is gone half way to adopting the FAR RIGHT policy of the BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY, namely banning all asylum seekers. (Tony Blair said in February 2003 he would halve the number). Calling people rude names is normal in politics, but calling people rude names at the same time as copying them shows a loss of direction, to put it politely.
21. See Burke and Cairncross.
28. See http://www.menumagazine.co.uk/book/curryhistory.html
29. Para 1.5
31. Companion site: http:// www.guardiancockups.com
ALIBHAI-BROWN, Yasmin After Multiculturalism 2000 Foreign Policy Centre London.
BERRY John W. (2000) Sociopsychological Costs and Benefits of Multiculturalism Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Stockholm University, Occasional Paper No 3.
BLAIR, Tony, 2004 Speech to CBI, 27th April, "Fact No.4", see http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page5708.asp
BORJAS, G. (2001) Heavens Door Princeton University Press.
BURKE, Anna, http://www.annaburke.com/speeches/speech13.htm
CAIRNCROSS Francis, The Economist, London 2.11.02
COOK, nbsp; Robin. The text of Robin Cooks’s “tikka masala” speech is easily obtained by typing “Robin Cook” and “tikka masala” into a search engine, but try http://www.guardian.co.uk/racism/Story/0,2763,477023,00.html
GIDDENS, A. Sociology Polity Press 4th edition, p257.
HARRISON, David, When Languages Die Oxford Univerty Press, 2007.
INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION FOR MIGRATION, (2003), http://www.iom.int/iomwebsite/Publication/ServletSearchPublication?event=detail&id=2111
KYMLICKA, Will (1995) Multicultural Citizenship Oxford University Press.
LILEKS , James, "England's Other State Religion, Multiculturalism." Christian Index, 8th Dec, 2005.
MC KENZIE, Cameron, “The Menace of Multiculturalism” copies available from "Rallying Point Information Service", POBox N291,Grosvenor Place 1220, Australia. also at http://members.ozemail.com. au/~natinfo/mc3.htm
NAIPAUL V S See article by John Elliot in The Sunday Times, London, 5.9.04. Or see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1247801,00.html
PAREKH, Bhikhu (2000) Rethinking Multiculturalism Palgrave. There is a paper / article written by Parekh which is pretty much the same, word for word, as the "Conclusion" chapter of the above book. Its at: http://www.india-seminar.com/1999/484/484%20parekh.htm
RAM, Monder, Paul Edwards & Trevor Jones Employers and Illegal Migrant Workers in the Clothing and Restaurant Sectors , Leicester Business School, http://www.dti.gov.uk/illegal/illegals-report.pdf
SCHMIDT, Alvin, J. The Menace of Multiculturalism 1997 Praeger/Greenwood United States.
SIXTH COLUMN AGAINST JIHAD http://www.6thcolumnagainstjihad.com
SOLZHENITSYN , Aleksandr New Criterion, 11-01-1995, Vol. 14, pp 1. Also at http://www.suomensisu.fi/kukkiakriittisille/solzhenitsyn.html
Contact author: ralph at fram dot ndo dot co dot uk
This site was first published in Spring 2003 under the heading "Multicultural FAQs", and has been periodically revised since then.
The author's blogs: 1. On workfare. 2. Let's cut the national debt AND expand the stimulus. 3. On government debt.