MULTICULTURALISM: AN UTTER FAILURE October 19, 2010Posted by wmmbb in Multiculturalism.
Once multiculturalism was a concept that was not code for the integration of Muslim “guest workers” into a Christian culture, as illustrated by the post-war migration to Australia.
Chancellor Merkel has declared multiculturalism has utterly failed, and explicitly that failure was the fault of the immigrant rather than the host community. She alleges that the immigrants are not learning how to speak good German. Worst still, and I don’t think it was mentioned that now significant numbers of highly skilled Turks are now going back to Turkey.
All of which raises the question, what accounts for the relative success of migration in Australia, and for that matter, the United States? There are multiple factors, it seems to me, such as economic conditions, a tradition of tolerance (otherwise liberalism), the urgency of “populate or perish”, but also required a theory of multiculturalism embraced by government. Multiculturalism presumably requires the acceptance of other cultures, even if they spring from different religious templates, have value. Seen in this light, for example, the Germans and the British, share a common cultural heritage that sees hierarchical religious structures and state institutions as separate with implications for jurisprudence. While there are linguistic adjustments: it is not like driving on a different side of the road.
The larger question about multiculturalism is not about Germany or Australia it is about global society and solving planetary problems. In this respect, I think, the settler societies in the South West Pacific, that I just happened to be born into, have an important contribution to illustrate that multiculturalism is possible and practical. Although we would do well to reflect that among other ingredients we are outcome of Imperialism, which has been so detrimental to the development of the Islamic World.
John Quggin reviews the prospects for “Cosmopolitan Social Democracy” in the face of the ideology of market liberalism and tribalism, illustrated inconsistently by the Tea Party Movement. The odd thing is that the original Tea Party players dressed up as Indigenous Americans.
At Spiegel, Jan Fleischhauer suggest “the integration debate is making us dumber”.