Sunday, July 24, 2005

Steyn On Multiculturalism

I quote Steyn so much that I ought to to find some permanent link to all his essays. Like this one, from which comes the following:

That's the great thing about multiculturalism: it doesn't involve knowing anything about other cultures - like, say, the capital of Bhutan or the principal exports of Malaysia, the sort of stuff the old imperialist wallahs used to be well up on. Instead, it just involves feeling warm and fluffy, making bliss out of ignorance. And one notices a subtle evolution in multicultural pieties since the Islamists came along. It was most explicitly addressed by the eminent British lawyer Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, QC, who thought that it was too easy to disparage "Islamic fundamentalists". "We as western liberals too often are fundamentalist ourselves. We don't look at our own fundamentalisms."

And what exactly would those western liberal fundamentalisms be? "One of the things that we are too ready to insist upon is that we are the tolerant people and that the intolerance is something that belongs to other countries like Islam. And I'm not sure that's true."

Hmm. Kennedy appears to be arguing that our tolerance of our own tolerance is making us intolerant of other people's intolerance, which is intolerable. Thus the lop-sided valse macabre of our times: the more the Islamists step on our toes, the more we waltz them gaily round the room.

Thank you, Mark.

Multiculturalism is dealt with this way in schools, too. Unfortunately.


Phyllis S said...

I think my brain just imploded from the dread curse of solipsism.

When does school take back in for y'all, by the way?

Darren said...

I *always* have to look up the word "solipsism". You'd think I'd remember its meaning by now!

I'm not sure when school starts! I think the kids start on the 22nd, but I don't know when I have to go back. Probably the 17th, three working days before. I'll find out for sure when I get the annual "this is when you report back for some fantastic in-service!" letter from the principal.