Poverty of Multiculturalism

By Patrick West
September 2005
ISBN: 1903386462
96 pages, 5 ½” x 8 ½”
$27.50 Paper Original

The new orthodoxy of multiculturalism decrees that no culture is superior or inferior to another, so it is impossible to say what is truly right and what is wrong. However, cultural relativists sometimes want it both ways. They simultaneously assert that no culture is better than another, but they will happily go on to say that Western culture is actually inferior, and shy away from celebrating it for fear of causing ‘offence’. Multiculturalism is a sign of the counter-Enlightenment times we live in. Since the Holocaust and Hiroshima, the West has lost faith in its capacity to use reason and science to make our world a better place. Because of their perverse self-loathing, many left-liberals lend their tacit or overt support to oppressive cultures that deny equal rights to its population or condone the killing of homosexuals and the virtual enslavement of women.

By dwelling on problematic aspects of our history, like slavery and colonialism, the denigrators of the West ignore its rich and admirable tradition of social liberalism that says that individuals should be rendered as much freedom as possible in the private sphere. It is time we cherished the tradition of the Enlightenment, with its aspiration that the prizes of liberty, democracy, color-blindness, equality of opportunity and progress can be shared among all. Western culture has spawned the most open, liberal and progressive societies. Thanks to its enlightenment, it has unshackled itself from oppressive and barbarous regimes, creating states in which universal franchise, free speech and democracy are the norm and the expectation. It is time these values were cherished. It is also time to expose the poverty of multiculturalism.


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