The false ideology of multiculturalism or plural monoculturalism

Here are some extracts from a presentation on the subject of multiculturalism by Kenan Malik.

Great insight into one of the banes of modern western societies, the false ideology of multicultarlism.

Some quotes.

“What multicultural policies do is not empower minority communities, but empower so-called community leaders, who achieve power not because they represent their community, but because they have a relationship with the state,” Malik said.

“Once political power and financial resources become allocated by ethnicity, then people begin to identify themselves in terms of those ethnicities, and only those ethnicities,” 

Over time, however, you come to see yourself in those terms, not just because those identities provide you with access to power, influence, and resources, but also because those identities possess a social reality through constant affirmation and confirmation. It is how you are seen, so it is how you come to see yourself.”

“The consequence is what the great Indian-born economist Amartya Sen has called plural monoculturalism—a policy driven by the myth that societies are made up of a series of distinct, homogenous cultures that dance around each other.”


11 comments on “The false ideology of multiculturalism or plural monoculturalism

I agree that integration is far better than having isolated communities with their own separate culture and language, that generally works out better for everyone in the long run, plus I don’t know of any such communities that have lasted beyond a generation or two, everyone eventually has to integrate with their adopted country and culture, it’s just an issue of "how painful would you like to make this?"I wouldn’t force integration, though I would encourage it, but I would require some degree of competency in the native language of the country before a permanent visa would be issued or, in the case of refugees, I’d require a certain level of competency within X amount of time of arrival (say, 2 years or so) if they’re going to stay permanently.What do you think, Steve?Cheers,Andrew

Steve Kaufmann

I am not in favour of forcing integration or forcing anything. I am just opposed to the ideology of multiculturalism which says that "diversity" is good, implying that a lack of diversity is bad. The ideology of multiculturalism is phoney because it values the dominant cultures of China, India, or whatever in their home countries, but denigrates the dominant cultures of the West. I am favour of letting people do what they want. If we see that certain people are more interested in colonizing us than integrating, we may want to slow down immigration from that source in order to avoid future problems.Cheers.

Steve,Ok, right, gotcha. I agree generally, particularly with the point about denigrating Western culture out of what is, in my opinion, something a lot of people call "white guilt" or something very similar to that. The West dominates the world and got to that position by doing some pretty horrible damned things and I think that even though most of things were done by people who are long dead there’s still, among certain people, this pervasive guilt that makes them unconsciously prejudiced <i>against</i> their own cultures. No culture is ‘better’ than another, that’s far too subjective a thing to try to judge objectively like that.I know what you’re talking about, and I especially see it in Western Europe and it really disappoints me, plus they seem to be having a lot of problems making it work. I don’t think any one country ever has <i>any</i> obligation to allow <i>anyone</i> to immigrate there, it’s entirely up to them to decide who and how many and what criteria must be met. I also think that criteria should be based on what would benefit the host country the most, e.g. you can only come here if you have a clean criminal record and X level of higher education and X income and speak the language at X level of competency, basically you have to contribute more to the country than you would take.Cheers,Andrew

Steve Kaufmann

I agree Andrew, and the Europeans were not the only ones who went around conquering in history, Arabs, Turks, Mongols and others come to mind. Nor were the consequences of European civilization all bad. I am interested in all cultures and histories but also feel that countries have the right to protect their own cultural heritage in their own country.

Un Canadien errant

Some people think that Pierre Elliot Trudeau (the former Prime minister of Canada) is the inventor of multiculturalism. This is absolutely untrue. The true inventor of multiculturalism is in fact God himself. And it wasn’t for the benefit of humanity that the Lord created multiculturalism as such. On the contrary, it was, above all, a way to put humanity back into its place (or maybe, it was just some kind of a joke on his part). Anyway, as the "Good old book" says, the arrogance of those Babblers (the inhabitants of the city of Babel) just made Him furious, so God decided to teach them a lesson.


I can’t agree with the comment by Andrew that all cultures are equal. I don’t think that’s true. The culture of a society influences everything about the society. It influences the productivity of its citizens through their attitudes towards work, it influences the accumulation of knowledge by citizens attitudes towards epistemology, it influences life expectancy through the attitudes of citizens towards medical research, importance of public or private funding, and of course, those all important lifestyle factors. And the list goes on.So if you want to live in a happy, healthy, prosperous society where famine and disease are unknown, then not all cultures are equal. Each culture delivers these in different amounts, and so far, the western cultures have the longest track records in delivering these.I agree with the article itself as well. Multiculturalism isn’t really possible. It tends to create isolated societies within societies (I live in Sydney, and this is definitely prevalent). This is exacerbated when communities utilise a language other than the language of the overall community, which acts as a barrier to the ‘outside’ or wider society.I think there is a sense of growing frustration in the west with multiculturalism. Too often we’ve been asked to accept the unacceptable (say, forced marriages, female genital mutilation, etc) on the basis of it being simply an expression of another culture. It isn’t equal guys – I simply don’t accept that barbarism can be accepted as equal!

Robert Wargas

One of the problems with multiculturalism is the problem of equivocation. Its proponents take advantage of the equivocal nature of natural language to fool onlookers. The word "multiculturalism" literally means many cultures. Now who could be against that? None of us is against that. But that’s not what the *ideology* of multiculturalism actually is. In practice (as opposed to theory), multiculturalism is the set of ideas and practices that denigrates and degrades the West by promoting non-Western supremacism.That’s what multiculturalists believe. If you criticize that, however, they revert back to the literal definition of the term and claim you are "against other cultures." THey rely on equivocation and guilt to advance their goals.To give another example: It’s like thinking up an ideology called "Goodism," which, in theory, only believes in good things. In practice, however, its proponents do all sorts of bad things-murder and theft, for instance. When you call them out on their bad things, they get all defensive and claim you are criticizing them because you’re against good things. The syllogism is: I believe in good things. You are criticizing me. Therefore, you don’t believe in good things. It’s just another empty language game.

Un Canadien errant

As the world’s complexity increases, the multicultural nature of the world becomes a challenge for people who are used to living in monocultural and monolingual environments. This is true for everyone everywhere, even for the Amazon indians who used to live in tribes and the Chinese workers assembling computers in factories. The Babel story just explains an aspect inherent to the world in which we live. People better get used to it because the world won’t change. The only thing people can change is their point of view.


America has never been much of a place for multiculturalism – except for teaching English in the public schools, there wasn’t much effort to integrate anybody who didn’t want to be integrated, and if it took a generation or so, what was the rush. Since kids want to talk to their friends more than to ancient relatives, it seems to work.A recent discussion of the disappearance of self-identified Serbs in the "diaspora" from foreign censuses (censi?) identified another aspect to the problem – the home countries of immigrants wanting to retain some kind of tie with, if not control, over, their former citizens. (Serbia has a law on the diaspora that has as one goal using the diaspora to support the home country’s national goals. Without breaking any local laws, of course.) Importing all the animosities of the world as part of their cultures would seem to be the last thing any sensible country would want to do. People move to a new country because in some way their own country doesn’t work. Reproducing those shortcomings in a new setting hardly seems to make sense. Bring along your cuisines and your folk dances, but please leave the ancient ethnic hatreds behind. We have enough problems as it is.

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