Thursday, January 14, 2016

Extreme Multiculturalism versus Liberal Nationalism

Liberal nationalism wins every time.

Liberal nationalism is an outgrowth of the French revolution and the liberalism of the 19th century: it holds that all people living in a state should have equal citizenship rights and only one system of law for everybody. Liberal nationalism supports multiracialism. It does not matter what skin colour you have: you can still be, for example, a full French citizen or American citizen. Being a citizen of a liberal national state is open to people from different races, ethnic groups or religions, provided that you integrate and accept its core values and legal system.

Liberal nationalism demands a secular state, secular legal system and a universal system of education for its citizens. Liberal nationalism encourages a melting pot view of society – and not, for example, segregated communities.

Under liberal nationalism, there is a common language and common national identity, and a mainstream culture. Old ethnic, religious and sectarian conflicts and tensions tend to be broken down and overcome, and so a better, more cohesive society is created.

Moreover, liberal nationalism has no problem with people keeping their original ethnic and cultural traditions alive (or even languages) – as long as people integrate in the sense above and their cultural beliefs and practices do not radically conflict with core values of their new nation.

Now contrast liberal nationalism with extreme multiculturalism, certainly in the European Union today with its open borders and mass immigration.

Under extreme multiculturalism in Europe and unfortunately in some other parts of the West, we are seeing parallel legal systems and segregated communities spring up.

In Britain, for example, more and more people do not even speak English (see here and here). There are more and more segregated communities in the UK cut off from one another (see here).

Extreme multiculturalism severely undermines the principle of one legal system for everybody, because it encourages blatant double standards in the treatment of people with different, minority cultures (see here). In Britain, extreme multiculturalism and the crippling culture of political correctness are major reasons why the Rotherham abuse scandal could happen, and authorities refused to enforce the law.

Extreme multiculturalism undermines an effective secular and universal education system (which breaks down differences and helps to create citizens with a common language and shared values), because extreme multiculturalism tends to create a segregated education system too, often based on religious fundamentalism (see here).

Liberal nationalism was, and is, one of the most important and successful civilising forces in human history: it has created successful nations in Europe like France and the UK, and nations like America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, where people came to settle from astonishingly diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.

But extreme multiculturalism is severely undermining this achievement and causing havoc in the Western world – and, above all, in Europe.

It is being enabled and promoted by a left infected with ideas from Postmodernism and extremist multiculturalism, which, bizarrely, often infects the mainstream right as well.

It is turning parts of the Western world back to the Middle Ages right before our eyes: we are going back to a world of ethnic and religious segregation, parallel legal systems and increasing tensions between communities, and the destruction of the national identities and even common languages that are absolutely necessary for any successful modern society to function properly.

Hopefully, more and more people on the left will wake up and defend the virtues of liberal nationalism before it is undermined in even more catastrophic ways.

Even worse, some people on the left cannot even comprehend the difference between (1) extreme multiculturalism and (2) the liberal “melting pot” view of nationalism. Instead, they conflate them and, in their sheer incompetence and stupidity, actually leave it to certain people on the conservative right to defend liberal nationalism, a state of affairs which proves how unbelievably useless the modern left has become.

Have we got to the stage where it is only people on the right and sometimes even neoconservative right who will defend the secular, liberal view of nationalism?

Addendum: In Praise of Secular Public Education
A commentator below complains that the emphasis on secular public education is “too French.” I disagree. In most Western countries, the government or public schools tend to be, at the very least, nominally secular, even in America. This is a very good thing indeed.

Let Superintendent Chalmers explain.


  1. The strange thing about people in England not speaking English is that English is now an international standard language, and everyone is expected to be moderately literate it in it.

    Looking at the news article, the fact that there are Polish neighbourhoods in England where no one speaks English is bizarre; most educated Polish people know English and very good English.

    So these would have to be the least skilled and educated migrants from their respective countries, not the most. Very troubling.

  2. I think we have to make a distinction between the ideology of multiculturalism and the state of simply having multiple cultures living in a place. The ideology of multiculturalism maintains a positive right(as in host states duty)to protect, maintain and reinforce different community identities, as separate. Arising from the idea of cultural relativism (who can criticise it's all subjective after all). I don't think that the prefix 'extreme' needs to be added to multiculturalism in this sense. It is by definition extreme. Liberal 'multiculturalism' needs a different name something like polyculturalism perhaps. The conflation and confusion in the public mind has only benefited the loonies.

    Also what you call Liberal Nationalism comes across as a bit too French to me, with it's emphasis in uniformity and secularism in education. I think the two may be a false dichotomy.

    1. "Also what you call Liberal Nationalism comes across as a bit too French to me, with it's emphasis in uniformity and secularism in education."

      Hmm.. you seem to be exaggerating here a bit. Even America -- for all its religion -- has nominally secular public schools.

  3. Brian Barry set out very well the inconsistency between extreme multicultural politics and social democracy in his book Culture & Equality.

  4. I am generally anti religious. It is I suppose the Nationalism in "Liberal Nationalism" that I oppose. Forcing schools into unified 'shared national values' or even curriculum should be avoided just as multiculturalism should. Public schools are a relic of the 19th century, while a state may fund schools it does not have to run them. I suspect you disagree. But that disagreement would seem to be about liberal means rather then ultimate ends at least.

    "Even America -- for all its religion -- has nominally secular public schools"

    My perspective is British we do have state funded religious schools. And it is in that context that I meant too French. French Liberalism as it emerged after the French revolution and from it's final ascendancy in the Third Republic was dogmatic, statist and rabidly anti clerical. That is compared to the more peace meal Burkean liberalism of England.

  5. You should read some Roger Scruton on this topic. You'd like what you find and he makes some very profound points on just this very notion of liberal nationalism, though he doesn't use that name.

    Excellent post; you are channeling me this week. Keep up the good work :)