Monday, August 22, 2005

Post-modernism, Multiculturalism and the War on Liberty

It seems to me a libertarian state could only arise in a situation where the masses accept the fundamental values necessary for a free society. Although the early United States was fairly close to a libertarian society it was eventually torn by its contradictions (on such issues as slavery or religion). For a truly free societies to exist a certain type of culture must develop, that respects individual rights and regards liberty as the highest of political values. It's a mixed situation today, where those values exist but are undermined by competiting value systems. As Daniel Pipes points out in The End of Treason, people today have no loyalty towards their place of birth and hence have rejected the ideology that underlines their government. Just ask any ordinary person what they think of 'Patriotism' and you'll see he means.

The notion of loyalty has fundamentally changed. Traditionally, a person was assumed faithful to his natal community. A Spaniard or Swede was loyal to his monarch, a Frenchman to his republic, an American to his constitution.
That assumption is now obsolete, replaced by a loyalty to one’s political community – socialism, liberalism, conservatism, or Islamism, to name some options. Geographical and social ties matter much less than of old.

In the West this means many reject our cultural heritage (which may include bogus values but nevertheless embraces freedom, reason, and science). Ordinary people begin to dispute the basic assumptions behind their governments or at least regard the claims of others as having equal validity. I think this has been going on for a while, ever since post-modernism became the dominant ideology. It has promoted the notion of multiculturalism which allows multiple cultural groups to exist and prevents assimilation by idealising the dinstictions between groups (For example, treating Maori culture like it has intrinsic worth thus worthy of teaching in public schools). It holds that diversity of cultures is desirable and natural thus accepting the racist premise that one's values are determined by race. This form of racism holds that people must be proud of one's traditions whether or not they are objective. Thus pathetically primitive cultures become a source of respect while Western culture is denigrated.
No integration, as Europe demonstrates with its Muslim population, leads to conflict as groups have less and less in common with each other. These groups become the focus of people's loyalty instead of their government. Maori radicals, just like Muslim radicals, have no loyalty to the basic values underlying our government. They see it fundamentally as an obstacle to their goals. To them it based on fundamental errors (Treaty of Waitangi or Secularism). The effects of this are everywhere:
- The complaints of Muslims in France over the wearing of the Hijab (veil ) demonstrates their skepticism over the strong secularism that French institutions embody.
- In Britain, Netherlands, and Germany multiculturalism has failed as governments have conceded too much ground to Muslims. Respect and protection of tribal values has led to a surge of honor killings. This is what happens when a culture of individualism does not develop. See this, and this.
- Post-modernism has led some Middle Eastern scholars to portray Islam as a peaceful religion by emphasizing an alternative definition of Jihad so that the meaning 'war against unbelievers' becomes an exception to history (It is not).
- In the realm of foreign policy, America concedes ground to Islamists. Iraq
will most likely now adopt Secular and Islamic courts. 1,800+ Americans died so that Iraq could be at best be called marginally free (which court has precedence in divorse cases where the husband preferred the Islamic court while the wife wanted the case heard in a secular court was left unanswered.)
- The best example though comes from our country. Some Maori's blamed taniwha for the high death rate along part of the road straddling the Waikato river and construction of the road was held up to investigate these claims and to accommodate any taniwha. Hence we became the laughing stock of the civilized world. The journalist sums up my frustrations of a "primitive culture" being allowed to halt development because politically correct Pakeha are too afraid to tell Maori to get real, get over it or get lost". Yet no substantive analysis follows and the complaint is treated as if it were a prejudice against a poor misunderstood culture. Later on the article informs us that the Maori's "resent it being foisted on them without their views being respected". And by respect they mean treated as if it were true. Hence we find ourselves in a situation where Maori mysticism is has equality with science and reason.
A free culture will never develop when the West, freedom's best hope, is engaged in self-sabotage and appeasement of it's enemies. This situation must end.
For further reading I suggest Ayn Rand's non-fiction (All of it). Wikipedia sums up her case against multiculturalism:

One of the most forceful critics of multiculturalism was Ayn Rand, who condemned the world-wide ethnic revival of the late 1960s as a manifestation of tribalization that would lead to an ethnic Balkanization destructive to modern industrial societies. Her philosophy considers multiculturalism to be based on the same premise as monoculturalism; this premise being culturally determinist collectivism (i.e., that individual human beings have no free choice in how they act and are conditioned irreversibly by society). Philosophically, Rand rejected this form of collectivism on the grounds that:
1) it undermines the concept of free will, and
2) the human mind (according to her philosophy) is a tabula rasa at birth. Combining these two premises, she concludes that we all can modify our actions volitionally, assuming we modify the premises we hold to support those actions (which is also volitional). Since this thinking was also her basis for rejecting racism, Objectivists and Neo-Objectivists/Post-Objectivists consider multiculturalism to be akin to racism


At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is crap. I feel sorry for you. Perspective of a young, middle-class NZ European?

At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Phil said...

"Although the early United States was fairly close to a libertarian society"

Idiot. Not for native Americans it wasn't.

"Perspective of a young, middle-class NZ European?"

Sounds like it, and not particularly worldly, either, as the post reeks of fear of the unknown.

At 12:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tee hee, nice how both of you kind of prove his point though.

At 11:37 AM, Blogger James said...

Please argue, because I really don't know what to write in response to petty abuse. Calling me ignorant (whether true or not) does nothing to refute my argument.

"Although the early United States was fairly close to a libertarian society"

obviously not for Natives or for African-Americans who were denied individual. But thats not the point. Every libertarian scholar will agree that the early United States was almost libertarian, hence why libertarians everywhere admire and cherish the US constitution.

Oh, and I'm very worldly (I reject all superstition and mysticism). I plan to visit Turkey early next year. Good example their of how they are rejecting multiculturalism:

- Kurds can now learn their own language at public schools. Most are choosing not to do so, despite fighting a 15 year war for those basic rights. Why? because Turkish alone is outdated, English is what most Turks want to learn in order to succeed in this world. Language is only important in so far as being a communication tool.

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Language is only important in so far as being a communication tool."

That's laughable! Instead of Turkey, I think your first trip abroad needs to be a small village with a distinctive language somewhere - ask them what is tied up in their language and what they would become if it died and English was all.

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