Europe is really starting to get it. After decades of running around with their heads up…well, with their heads full of liberal rubbish, they are finally starting to face the fact that liberalism is nothing but a bunch of feel-good ideas that just don’t work in the real world.
Case in point is multiculturalism, or the idea that a people, a society can hang onto radically different beliefs and values and still be “on the same team.”
Geert Wilders of the Netherlands got it several years ago…and he has been vilified for it.
Then German Chancellor Angela Merkel got it, and she was demonized.
Now British Prime Minister David Cameron has got it, and he shared it a few days ago at the Munich Security Conference.
Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.
We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong.
We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values.
So when a white person holds objectionable views – racism, for example – we rightly condemn them.
But when equally unacceptable views or practices have come from someone who isn’t white, we’ve been too cautious, frankly even fearful, to stand up to them.
The failure of some to confront the horrors of forced marriage the practice where some young girls are bullied and sometimes taken abroad to marry someone they don’t want to is a case in point.
This hands-off tolerance has only served to reinforce the sense that not enough is shared.
You can see an excerpt of this speech and a discussion about it from Fox News in the first video below. Or you can watch the entire speech in the last two videos below.
Unfortunately our own nation, thanks to the Leftists in our midst and the quiet acquiescence of those who know better, has done down this fantasy path. America was once the great “melting pot” where people from around the world came to become one people with one set of uniquely American values. Immigrants worked to assimilate, learn our language and adopt our values. That put all Americans “on the same team.
Unfortunately, as we have heeded the siren call of liberalism, we have fallen victim to the fantasy that some Americans can work for this set of goals and other Americans can work for a contradictory set of goals, and that everything will just be wonderful, that we will still accomplish something meaningful. What’s worse, we have fallen for that liberal lie that some Americans can adopt a set of values that directly contradict American values, and that’s okay, too. We won’t reject those anti-American values. We won’t condemn them when they attack the foundations of everything that makes this nation great and free. We won’t reject them even when they are evil.
That has very nearly destroyed Europe, and it is well on its way to eroding the foundations of America. Thankfully, Europe is beginning to wake up to this reality, and as evidenced by the Tea Party movement in America over the past two years, so is our own country.
Cameron also points out some of the attitude and behavior changes that are necessary on behalf of the host culture. Keep in mind that when Cameron talks of “liberalism” and a “liberal country,” he is talking about classical liberalism, NOT modern liberalism–which is exactly the mindless philosophy that has brought on so many of these problems.
Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism.
A passively tolerant society says to its citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.
It stands neutral between different values. A genuinely liberal country does much more.
It believes in certain values and actively promotes them.
Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law. Equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality.
It says to its citizens: this is what defines us as a society.
To belong here is to believe in these things.
Each of us in our own countries must be unambiguous and hard-nosed about this defence of our liberty.
There are practical things we can do as well.
That includes making sure immigrants speak the language of their new home.
And ensuring that people are educated in elements of a common culture and curriculum.
Absolutely. A healthy society embraces a certain set of values (Americas are found in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and many of the statements of the founders), and isn’t ashamed of them but actively promotes them. It tells those who live within its borders that “These are the things we believe” and expects those who live here long-term to embrace these things as well. To put it simply, if you’re going to sit in the home-team stands, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for you to cheer for the home team.
Now I must point out that Cameron falls short of fully getting it. He still tries to make a distinction between “Islam” and “radical Islam” as if key tenets of Islamic doctrine were not at the heart of Islamic radicalism. As was pointed out in a seminar a couple of weeks ago, Islam is at its heart a political ideology–an ideology cloaked in a religion, and its political implications are inseparable from the religion itself.
The unfortunate truth is that the only moderate Muslims we see are Muslims who don’t take their faith and their doctrine seriously. Yes, many of these moderate Muslims still observe the pillars of Islam in some form or another, but in more watered-down forms, and while ignoring some of the central tenets of their religion such as the domination of Islam, how infidels are to be treated, the call to jihad, and more.
Until all Muslims are the watered-down “moderate” type (which isn’t going to happen any time soon), we in the West cannot ignore that core doctrines of Islam are completely incompatible with Western values of freedom, respect for all innocent human life, property rights, God-given liberties, free will and so forth. Further, we receive our Western values from our Western legacy of Christianity, as articulated by the American founders in the Declaration of Independence.
Hopefully Cameron will continue on this journey of discovery until he fully “gets it.” Just waking up to the bankruptcy of multiculturalism in general is a huge, commendable step.
We in America must also continue our growing rejection of multiculturalism as well. We cannot allow our country to be balkanized and divided as the Left so desperately wants. We must stop concentrating on “diversity” and what makes us different, and start concentrating on the American values that not only make us a unique people, but have made us the most free and prosperous people in human history.