Monday, 13 December 2010

The Silly Art of Anti Multicultural Rants

With the news constantly reminding me of the growth of the EDL and respect for my fellow human beings hampered by the number of far right trolls clogging up the web, I though I'd take to time to write down my take on multiculturalism and some of the silliness of the opposing arguments. 

It strikes me that the vast amount of arguments and debates over multiculturalism comes from confused definitions. In fact I'd say all the main far right arguments you seem to hear are totally dependent on confusion and misunderstanding in regard to conflicting definitions.

Some would say its the terrible picture of things to come.....

I should start by clarifying my definition of term 'multiculturalism'. 'Multiculturalism' for me is about accepting different cultures whilst staying within the framework of human rights. That is to say keeping within the confines of human rights there should be room for the freedom to have your own culture and to be a individual. People shouldn't be made to conform to someone else's idea of what their identity should be. I believe this to be pretty much the traditional definition of 'multiculturalism' and will refer to it as the 'traditional definition'. Believe it or not there is a moderate argument against multiculturalism, typified by, columnist for the independent, Johann Hari. However these arguments involve a massive redefining of term 'multiculturalism'. To Hari its about active promotion of cultural separation by government and is therefore easy for a moderate to attack.

I don't object to Hari's political views. In the main he has sound left wing opinions. I do object to his attempt at redefining the word 'multiculturalism'. I'll illustrate the differences with an example. We both don't believe their should be faith schools. I however don't consider them multicultural, I consider them monocultural. He would blame active promotion of cultures for faith schools and thus blame it on 'Multiculturalism' as he defines the term.

The alternative to multiculturalism (Traditional definition) is monoculturalism and thus any opposition to this definition of multiculturalism is fundamentally anti-liberty. The alternative to Hari's multiculturalism could be monoculturalism but it could also easily be multiculturalism (Traditional definition). Hari explains how he hoped to change the nature of the debate though redefining the language, however to my mind it seems likely that its been counter productive to his left wing goals.

Now to the basic argument that seems to occur repeatedly with various far right ranters. Its simple, really. They attack multiculturalism via one definition, then draw a conclusions based off anther definition. Any moderate person could attack multiculturalism via Hari's definition, however the far right then take that conclusion to mean that we should have monoculturalism. This is of course silly.

Johann Hari: Rowan Williams has shown us one thing - why multiculturalism must be abandoned 2008

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