You are not alone if you are worried about our governments’ obsession with multiculturalism. Most people only know it as different foods, different languages and different music (including a quick dance like Zorba the Greek) but they personally not only reject the unpalatable bits that are patently inconsistent with liberal democratic life. They reject the idea that the neighbours who continue with those ancient practices are encouraged by government policies to do so.
Multiculturalism as a political force has been one of the most virulent left-wing ideological infections ever introduced into Australian politics and, like the ignorance on which it feeds, has been resistant to every attempted cure. One of the reasons has been the political influence that whole suburbs of a multicultural can exercise. As infections go, multiculturalism’s spread has been assisted by federal and state governments refusing to rub their hands of it, which have even created special ministries whose sole task is to metaphorically fertilise and water it, to protect that part of our garden in which it has taken root.
You probably noticed that it was the less skilled in the Australian workforce, the ones who live in the outer suburbs, who rejected the multi-million dollar multiculturalism marketing campaigns of the eighties and nineties by the ALP. Pauline Hanson was the first to identify this aspect and she paid a heavy price including gaol time brought on by the sheer vindictiveness. Controlled immigration was never the issue for ordinary Australians. What was disconcerting was uncontrolled immigration with the outright rejection by the left of any integration. Immigrants and refugees were to do their own thing because we are a multicultural society. Not, mind you, a liberal democracy; just a multicultural society.
In fact, just by calling Australia a multicultural society, they demonstrated that they don’t really understand the genie they were happy to let out of the bottle. Most Australians happily accept different cultural features: different foods, different dances, traditional celebrations, music. A culture, however, is much, much more than that. Theoretically, each people’s culture includes every part of their different ways of life: their arts, aesthetics, food, music, habits of life, their sacred beliefs, household management including their customs and taboos within the family structure and abhorrent practices like female genital mutilation.
As each culture is said to embrace the whole lifestyle of a people, that culture implicitly appeals to an authority to which a people look for justice. In Australia, we look to the law for justice and, as the Americans say, we place our faith in the constitution. But in countries from which many people come, the source of the authority for what is just can be anything from a tribal king, a religious figure, men or my cousin with guns, even the oldest family member – to name just a few. To what, then, will these people look for justice when they live in a foreign land where none of those things are present? Without those traditional figures being present, they will assume that there is no law or at least no law applicable to them; thus, the chant to the police a few days ago: “You can’t touch me.”
If you asked where was the authority when South Sudanese youths were rioting in Melbourne a few days ago, the answer would be back in South Sudan. A spokesman for the South Sudanese Federation was reported in The Weekend Australian as saying that it was ‘the kind of thing that most young people do.’ It possibly is in South Sudan (and now in Melbourne). The police spokesman’s explanation implicitly deferred to the government’s cultural sensitivity by citing a “move-on strategy” with no intention to arrest offenders.
That should have opened Victorians eyes about their socialist government’s bias: when a gang of Sudanese youths go on a rampage, trashing property and cars, threatening residents and throwing stones and bottle at police, the Victorian police will ignore it and move them on to do the same thing in another suburb. If a gang of elderly Christian pensioners were to hold a prayer meeting within 150 metres of a Melbourne abortion clinic (AKA legalised domestic violence clinic), they would be arrested, charged and if convicted, ordered to pay a fine they can’t afford and possibly sent to gaol. They would definitely be sent to gaol, however, if they moved on to do it in a different suburb.
The Victorian government has traded on its cultural and diversity sensitivity credentials for so long that it is impotent when confronted by young Sudanese men who are insensitive to the civilising effects of Australian law. The political problem that ‘culture’ and ‘multiculture’ cause is one that originated in the universities and until that concept has been re-examined in the universities and finally debunked, it will continue to deny governments, if not the power, then the will to act in a practical and just way to both the new arrivals and the rest.
The original meaning of culture is still found in the word, agriculture, where it means cultivation of the soil, the conscious perfection of the soil and its crops in order to realise its natural potential. Culture was always the cultivation of nature, and when applied to human beings, it meant the cultivation of the mind. The current policy of ‘leave them alone to do what they like’ has no beneficial effect either on the new arrivals or the rest of society. Most immigrants come here for a better and more just life, one that only liberal democracy can provide. If they are to be left alone, new arrivals might just as well take matters into their own hands, which is not justice.
The left assumes that the varying cultural practices of different groups are all equal; the culture of those who obey the laws, equal to the culture of those who take to the streets as mob rule. They might have taken a different course, had they known that the idea of culture, through an eighteenth-century German concept, found its full expression in Nazism.
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