Can a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, pluralistic nation possess a common culture such that its citizens, diverse as these may be, share common core values? Can what people have in common as human beings be valued as much as their diversity is to be celebrated? Does multiculturalism serve to break down social cohesion and threaten unity and harmony within a diverse society? When each successive wave of immigrants to such a society is encouraged not to assimilate to the predominant historical cultural norms, does this help to strengthen or to fragment the social fabric of the society?
Multiculturalism and the continual emphasizing of differences among peoples tends to produce a balkanization of a nation state. Ethnic and racial based enclaves exist in a patchwork in cities as so many foreign lands all within one urban area. People are confronted by human differences more than they are reminded of commonalities. Because significant differences of values and mores exist among the various groups, there can be and often is fear and distrust in intergroup interactions.
The 2 images in this post were captured a few weeks ago at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.
The answer to the above questions comes down to whether we have the will, collectively, to look to what binds us together – our common characteristics and common interests. We need to realize that we can do more for the collective good, the common good, by working together rather than constantly bickering with each other. We need to broaden our perspective some and avoid being myopic. Whether people will do this in any meaningful way in time cannot be known. Things seem to be spiraling out of control nowadays. Do not look to the government to solve this for us from the top down. Consider the past several decades with all the failed government approaches to social and economic problems! We have to do this for ourselves from the bottom up, and we can start by individual actions.
other related thoughts and context
Such societies have existed before, but in many instances these were held together by military coercion. An example is the ancient Roman Empire. One might say the Soviet Union was a monoculture with many diverse peoples of various racial and ethnic ancestry. But, we could not say that it was a pluralistic society as conformity and uniformity were enforced by the one party system and its efficient security apparatus.
We have previously written about the challenge for Western Civilization to survive into the future. Here we want to point out that what many on the so-called Right (or alt-right) or in the ranks of so-called White Nationalists are fighting for is not ultimately about race but about culture and values. Blocking out the distortions in the debate caused by racialists, the erosion of traditional values in the US in the past 100 years (since so-called Progressivism came on the scene) and especially the attacks on American culture since the 1960s (from those promoting Cultural Marxism) are of great concern to many individuals, and not just white people. There has been much social upheaval and there are tensions within the society that are not adequately addressed nor even discussed. As noted in our previous post, the harmful effects of the breakdown of the traditional family cannot be ignored nor minimized. (Of course, there is also an economic angle here. Many blue-collar white people have been left behind in an economy that has seen many of its traditional “blue-collar” jobs disappear due to such jobs being sent overseas to countries of cheaper labor costs, and due to excessive governmental regulation (sometimes environmental regulations). Such forgotten workers are understandably frustrated and angry, and some are attracted by white nationalist rhetoric.) The culture, the social fabric was greatly stressed under the reign of error of President Barack Obama. The real economic metrics tell of a period of 8 years when there was virtually no net creation of so-called middle class jobs. True unemployment and underemployment reached levels not seen in the US since the late 1930s. With his racialist attorney general, Eric Holder, race relations in the country were set back 50 years. “Stick it to whitey” may have felt good for many, but it did not help to solve the seemingly intractable racial tensions within US society. Is White Nationalism a response to the Cultural Marxism that has grown so strong (in academia, in journalism and the media, in the legal profession, in government) since the 1960s?
Black Africans were brought to the New World as a cheap source of manual labor. The terrible and dehumanizing institution of slavery is about cheap labor and stealing the fruits of others’ labor. Blacks were taken to 3 principal areas: the Caribbean, Brasil and the southern areas of the British American colonies (later known as the southern states of the US). Towards the end of the Civil War (also known as The War Between the States, and as The War of Northern Aggression), Lincoln approved work on a transcontinental railroad. Chinese workers (“coolies”) were allowed to come to the US to work on the railroads. (Some even worked on the Southern Pacific some years later and a present day traveler finds a small Chinese community in El Paso, TX as a result.) Mexican farm laborers had been allowed into the US Southwest to work on farms and ranches as a cheap source of manual labor. Freed black slaves suffered resentment and discrimination (Jim Crow laws) for decades in the Old South. The Chinese were discriminated against in the western states where they settled and unconstitutional laws and practices deprived them of their rights. Mexicans are not thought highly of (even despised) by some people in the Southwest. It is as though these people were effectively told that they were good enough to be brought to, or allowed into the country to supply cheap labor, but they were not otherwise wanted. My point here is that the white people (at least many of them) in the US were okay with bringing non-whites into the US for the purpose of supplying cheap labor for white owned enterprises.
The debate about curbing current illegal entry into the US and about reducing the level of legal immigration now and in the future does not change nor reverse the history. White folks encouraged and permitted entrance into the US by non-white peoples in the past. There are large populations of various ethnic/racial groups in the country. These groups of citizens are not going away. There is an irony here for white nationalists. White Americans, and even earlier colonists of European ancestry, made the choice to make the country multi-racial and multi-ethnic. (Let us not overlook that there were other peoples already living in various parts of the future US when the British colonizers arrived. Native Americans and Spanish Americans come to mind.) More recently, in 1965, the federal immigration laws were changed and the new emphasis was for non-European immigration into the US. (The Congress of the time composed mostly of white people passed this bill.) Like it or not, the US is a multi-racial country and is going to stay that way. It is hoped that some reason will be applied to resolving or reducing these tensions within the society so that in time more amicable relations among the various, diverse groups can be achieved.
Here, though, we must say that there are powerful forces at work to keep us divided. This divide and conquer strategy has Americans fighting against each other over various issues. Americans are thus distracted from the growing threat to our freedoms and our personal security. Old wounds are purposely not allowed to heal as a more unified people would be harder to control. We also see much reverse racism that is fueled by a hatred of white people by not a few non-white citizens. (Gasp! But, we make this politically incorrect statement based on personal experiences and thus we know it to be true albeit unpleasant.)
One may question why the Europeans allowed immigration from non-Western nations in the past several decades. The ancient home of the various white peoples is now multi-racial. With higher birth rates among immigrant populations and continued immigration and acceptance of refugees, by the end of the century Europe may be largely non-white. The problem is not race per se for the white Europeans. The problem is that the newcomers do not desire assimilation, do not want to adopt the cultural norms and mores of their new home countries. If this is upsetting to some white folks, it must be pointed out that the Europeans chose this. Their elected governments did this. (A side note is that any nationalist movement in Europe today and in the future that is based on race will have some very tough going.) It may well be (and we believe it is the case) that Europe was so demoralized after the Second World War that it no longer had the will to resist the assault on European culture and values that cultural Marxism posed.
If people, young people, are now toppling statues of Confederate Civil War figures (as in Durham, North Carolina the other day), will a future target for vandalism be Jewish cemeteries? We may be called “anti-Semitic” for pointing out that the African slave trade to the New World was financed in no small part by ethnic Jews who also owned many of the slave ships. Where does it stop? Can the rage be stopped? Can a tormented, fractured body politic heal?
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