“Multiculturalism,” wrote the British scholar Theodore Dalrymple of the Manhattan Institute, “rests on the supposition—or better, the dishonest pretense—that all cultures are equal.”
So, the argument for multiculturalism goes, no culture is superior to another, and no culture should compete with any other. And if we understand that, we can all get along just fine.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel went along with that idea for years but has recently changed her mind. Earlier this month she dared to tell a meeting of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union party that multiculturalism is a failed experiment that needs to be rejected.
“Starting in the 60s,” she said, “we invited guest-workers to Germany. We kidded ourselves for a while that . . . one day they’d go home. That isn’t what happened. And of course the tendency was to say: let’s be ‘multikulti’ and live next to each other and enjoy being together. [But] this concept has failed, failed utterly.”
By 2002, reported Canada’s Globe and Mail, there were 2.5 million Turks living in Germany, of which fewer than half a million had become German citizens. One study indicates that 80 percent of Turkish parents cannot participate in parent-teacher conferences at their children’s schools because they don’t speak enough German.
Not that Germany or other European nations ever tried to assimilate immigrants the way we do in the United States. Or, I should say, the way we used to do.
As I have said before, multiculturalism is based on postmodern moral and cultural relativism. It begins with the belief that there is no right or wrong, no better or worse. So every culture—German, Turkish, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, secular, gay, or Goth—is equal. The most you can say is that you prefer one to another—if you dare say even that much.
The trouble is, as Merkel discovered, that multiculturalism has to fail because a society needs cultural cohesion to survive—shared language, shared moral standards, a shared work ethic. Multiculturalism provides no cohesion at all.
Chancellor Merkel went on to say, “We feel tied to Christian values . . . Those who don’t accept them don’t have a place here.”
Well again, don’t be surprised if you haven’t read much about this in the secular media. Now I understand that Merkel is a politician and that Germany’s political winds are blowing against immigration. But telling people to pack up and leave is neither just nor loving, and thus it contradicts the Christian values she feels tied to.
Nonetheless, Merkel’s comments are a serious wakeup call to us Americans that multiculturalism is, in the end, unsustainable.
And it flies in the face of our national motto: “e pluribus unum,” or “out of many, one.” That’s because multiculturalism denies the value or need for the “one,” for unity, and in our case, for a shared commitment to the American creed: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
But without that creed, America is no longer America. And the farther American society drifts away from its founding creed, the closer it drifts toward its own demise.