Saturday, March 25, 2017

Rudyard Kipling’s “The Stranger” and the Multicultural Society

A poem by Rudyard Kipling:
“The Stranger within my gate,
He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk—
I cannot feel his mind.
I see the face and the eyes and the mouth,
But not the soul behind.

The men of my own stock,
They may do ill or well,
But they tell the lies I am wanted to,
They are used to the lies I tell;
And we do not need interpreters
When we go to buy or sell.

The Stranger within my gates,
He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control—
What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.

The men of my own stock,
Bitter bad they may be,
But, at least, they hear the things I hear,
And see the things I see;
And whatever I think of them and their likes
They think of the likes of me.

This was my father’s belief
And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf—
And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children’s teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.”
That is an apt poem for our times.

We have forgotten what our ancestors understood: people are generally tribal by nature, whether it’s their own tribe, ethnic group, religion, or nation; and they tend to seek, and be happier with, their own people.

Multiculturalism is a colossal experiment against human nature.

If we look at the past, we can see that the truly multicultural states tended to be authoritarian empires: e.g., the Roman empire, the Byzantine empire, the Arab empire, the Mongol Khanate, the Ottoman empire, the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Russian empire, etc.

The evidence suggests that multicultural societies have required harsh and even brutal authoritarian governments to keep people in line and to prevent ethnic and cultural conflict. And even in these empires and states, different groups tended to self-segregate anyway.

Even in Europe, multicultural states like Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia proved unworkable. A major reason why the Soviet Union – which, territorially speaking, was just a continuation of the old Russian empire – fell apart was that non-Russian nationalist ethnic groups wanted their own cultural and national independence.

And even in the West our experiment with increasing diversity has resulted in a massive surveillance state, quasi-authoritarianism, and increasingly draconian attacks on free speech: largely because one particular imported culture (and we all know which one) breeds a violent extremism.

Finally, there is also another important point to mull over: the kind of class-based politics so beloved by the Left is only really possible in a homogenous society. When everyone or most people are the same it is easy to focus people’s attention on class issues and issues of economic injustice.

But a multicultural society destroys that kind of politics and instead focuses people’s attention on different issues: issues of (alleged) discrimination, racism, ethnic and cultural conflict, and increasingly a tribal concern for your own ethnic/cultural group as opposed to other competing ethnic/cultural groups.

In the end, politics in the truly multicultural society will just transform the West into a fragmented, dysfunctional, corrupt version of much of the Third World, where politics is essentially all about ethno-tribal conflict to seize control of government and push the interests of one ethnic/cultural group at the expense of others.

There was a time – in the early 20th century – when even Liberals would have understood this. This is why towards the end of the First World War and afterwards Liberals supported national self-determination and independence: e.g., this is why the American Liberal left under Woodrow Wilson supported the break-up of the failed multi-cultural, multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian empire, and separate nations for different ethnic groups.

But today European Neoliberal elites are working to create mini-multicultural empires within the borders of each West European state. How will this end?

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