Repost-Gathered Over The Years: Some Quotes On Multiculturalism

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Salman Rushdie at about minute 57:00:  ‘This idea of separate treatment for separate cultures…I think essentially if we follow that to its conclusion…destroys our ability to have a really moral framework for society.’

From Theodore Dalrymple:

‘The doctrine of multiculturalism arose, at least in Holland, as a response to the immigration influx, believed initially to be temporary. The original purpose of multiculturalism was to preserve the culture of European “guest workers” so that when they returned home, having completed their labor contracts, they would not feel dislocated by their time away. The doctrine became a shibboleth of the Left, a useful tool of cultural dismantlement, only after family reunion in the name of humanitarianism became normal policy during the 1960s and the guest workers transformed into permanent residents.’

Full interview here with Simon Blackburn.

“Nigel: Has relativism had its day as an influential philosophical position?

Simon: No – and I don’t think it should ever die. The danger is that it gets replaced by some kind of complacent dogmatism, which is at least equally unhealthy. The Greek sceptics thought that confronting a plurality of perspectives is the beginning of wisdom, and I think they were right. It is certainly the beginning of historiography and anthropology, and if we think, for instance, of the Copernican revolution, of self-conscious science. The trick is to benefit from an imaginative awareness of diversity, without falling into a kind of “anything goes” wishy-washy nihilism or scepticism….”

Click through for some of Eugene Volokh’s thoughts. He finishes with the following:

It’s a mistake, I think, to condemn multiculturalism in general, just as it’s a mistake to praise multiculturalism in general. Rather, we should think about which forms of toleration, accommodation, and embrace of differing cultural values and behaviors are good for America — in the light of American legal and social traditions — and which are bad.

Here’s a quote from a previous post, at the request of a friend:

“As Strauss understood it, the principle of liberal democracy in the natural freedom and equality of all human beings, and the bond of liberal society is a universal morality that links human beings regardless of religion. Liberalism understands religion to be a primary source of divisiveness in society, but it also regards liberty of religious worship to be a fundamental expression of the autonomy of the individual. To safeguard religion and to safeguard society from conflicts over religion, liberalism pushes religion to the private sphere where it is protected by law. The liberal state also strictly prohibits public laws that discriminate on the basis of religion. What the liberal state cannot do without ceasing to be liberal is to use the law to root out and entirely eliminate discrimination, religious and otherwise, on the part of private individuals and groups.”

A matter of deep debate.

See Also On This Site:  Can you maintain the virtues of religion without the church…?:  From The City Journal: Roger Scruton On “Forgiveness And Irony”…Are we going soft and “European”… do we need to protect our religious idealism enshrined in the Constitution….with the social sciences?…Charles Murray Lecture At AEI: The Happiness Of People

Kenan Malik In The Spiked Review Of Books: ‘Twenty Years On: Internalizing The Fatwa’-Salman Rushdie

Also On This Site:  Morality away from a transcendent God, but back toward Hume through the cognitive sciences?: Franz De Waal At The NY Times 10/17/10: ‘Morals Without God?’

Maybe if you’re defending religion, Nietzsche is a problematic reference: Dinesh D’Souza And Daniel Dennett at Tufts University: Nietzsche’s Prophesy…

Repost-From Virtual Philosophy: A Brief Interview With Simon BlackburnFrom The Harvard Educational Review-A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’

Repost-From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’

Full post here.

Let’s not forget how badly some folks have acted in the Middle-East and in the West:

‘The posting on Revolutionmuslim.com says: “We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.’

No, I wouldn’t take that as a threat at all…

Update:  Did Comedy Central censor the potentially offensive parts…as a result of the ‘threats’?  What is insidious about a terroristic threat is how much it works.  Also, how much (if there is a causal connection) of the decision might be fear of legal action, loss of revenue, pc related?

Comedy Central, by most accounts, doesn’t want to re-air the episode.

Related On This Site:   From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’

Is Islam incompatibile with freedom as we define it here in the West, or is this a false choice?:  From YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & Atheism

Ayan Hirsi Ali has used the ideals of the West (especially women’s rights) to potentially confront Islam; which has served her politically as well:  Repost-Ayan Hirsi Ali At The CSM: ‘Swiss Ban On Minarets Was A Vote For Tolerance And Inclusion’ Certainly, excessive relativism can create ghettoes of un-integrated Muslims in European society, and turn out more violence and threats of violence.

See Also:  If you thought the cartoons were bad, more on the Fitna movie here.  Libertarians stand firm on this issue:  Repost-A Canadian Libertarian Making Noise: Ezra Levant

Christopher Hitchens At Slate: Yale SurrendersYale concluded that the risk of violence and the potential consequences that stemmed from their decision to publish a scholarly work about the Mohammed cartoons (reprinting those cartoons) was not worth the risk.

From Volokh: ‘Bloggers = Media for First Amendment Libel Law Purposes’

Full post here.

A protected class of journalists doesn’t sound like a great idea for a free and open society:

Volokh quoting the Ninth Circuit ruling:

‘The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings, or tried to get both sides of a story. As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable: “With the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media … the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.” Citizens United, 558 U.S. at 352. In defamation cases, the public-figure status of a plaintiff and the public importance of the statement at issue — not the identity of the speaker — provide the First Amendment touchstones.’

It may just be me, but I think we can do better than an institutionalized class of journalists formed around a guild structure, agreeing generally upon a basic worldview while following around our political class and generally quoting the ‘proper’ public intellectuals.

Of course, a lot of people say this until they get in the majority, or have their ideas and interests in power or in favor.

Classic Yellow Journalism by malik2moon

Remember The Maine! The good old days…by malik2moon

Related On This SiteFrom io9 Via An Emailer: ‘Viral journalism And The Valley Of Ambiguity’

From The Nieman Lab:-An Oral History Of The Epic Collision Between Journalism & Digital Technology, From 1980 To The Present.

A Few Thoughts On NPR And Current Liberal Establishment Thinking Under Obama

Charlie Martin At PJ Media: ‘Could Amazon and Jeff Bezos Make the Washington Post Profitable?’…‘Sorry, Jeff Bezos, the News Bundle Isn’t Coming Back

Michael Kinsley At The New Republic Via Althouse: ‘A Q & A With Jill Abramson’

From Slate: “Newsweek Has Fallen And Can’t Get Up”

You’re Free Now-From The Volokh Conspiracy: ‘Your Side Tries to Impose Its Beliefs — My Side Seeks Justice’

Full post here.

Volokh reacts to a U.S. News & World Report article with ‘justice’ on its side.

No, that’s not parody.

Volokh:

‘The focus on Big Bad Catholics when many of the phenomena discussed in the article — e.g., the “campaign [in] the statehouse” by “the forces arrayed against women’s right to self-determination, which I take it refers to restrictions on abortion — stem more from the views of non-Catholics as well as the Catholics. The lack of acknowledgment that about half of women don’t share the views on abortion that the author thinks the “sisterhood” shares.’

Maybe we’re a bit out-of-whack in our public discourse these days.

On that note, there was a recent NPR story about a young man overcoming the religious strictures of the Jehovah’s witnesses to become part of a ‘nomadic’ hipsterish-folk duo (to be fair, they have some talent):

‘During a recent conversation on Morning Edition, Berube talks about how what he found in Wisconsin and with Beaupre would challenge his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness — and change the course of his life. The two now live a nomadic lifestyle and say they’re excited about their chosen homelessness’

Chosen homelessness!

Pastor Terry Jones and a few Westboro Baptist church stragglers should be happy to hear the news:  A mere head-dunking into the river of secular humanism and they could be washed clean.  Perhaps they can find salvation in the afterglow of love, music, and another day on the open road, the faces of Woody Guthrie and/or Pete Seeger faintly visible in the Northern sky, offering some small comfort.

My theory (it must be true) runs that besides staying relevant to a younger audience, some folks at NPR actually need the blood of young hipsters and English majors on which to feed.

All kidding aside, who needs a good economy when you’ve got justice, history and progress on your side?

Did the 60’s counter-culture and the conservative counter-counter culture both win, in a sense?

Christopher Hitchens, William F. Buckley and Peter Robinson discuss below:

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Related On This Site:  What about black people held in bondage by the laws..the liberation theology of Rev Wright…the progressive vision and the folks over at the Nation gathered piously around John Brown’s body?: Milton Friedman Via Youtube: ‘Responsibility To The Poor’……Robert George And Cornel West At Bloggingheads: “The Scandal Of The Cross”

I’m drafting on Charles Murray: The Hoover Institution Via Youtube: Charles Murray On ‘Coming Apart’

Free speech and Muslimst From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’… Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’…  Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks HeadbuttedDuring Lecture’From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’… More From Spiegel Online After The Westergaard Attacks Via A & L Daily: ‘The West Is Choked By Fear’

A Few Thoughts On NPR And Current Liberal Establishment Thinking Under Obama

From FIRE.org-’Federal Government Mandates Unconstitutional Speech Codes At Colleges And Universities Nationwide’

Greg Lukianoff At FIRE.Org: ‘Emily Bazelon And The Danger Of Bringing “Anti-Bullying” Laws To Campus’

From The Volokh Conspiracy: ‘CAP’s Glass House’

Full post here.

That’s the Center For American Progress.

‘The Center for American Progress and its affiliated 501(c)(4) Center for American Progress Action Fund often attack conservative and libertarian organizations for as tools of corporate interests.  The latter’s Think Progress blog, for instance, has often suggested corporate donations undermine the credibility of CAP’s ideological adversaries.  This makes a recent report andfollow-up in The Nation on CAP’s own corporate support quite interesting.  CAP claims to not be influenced by its receipt of corporate money.  That may well be true, but it would be easier to credit such claims were CAP and its affiliates more willing to give others the same benefit of the doubt.’

But it’s the glass house of the People!

Many will think that David Horowitz, red-diaper baby and (Former Leftist cum anti-Leftist) crusader is a bridge too far, but making foundations and constantly agitating is what he knows how to do.

He has a new book out entitled: ‘The New Leviathan, How The Left Wing Money-Machine Shapes American Politics And Threatens America’s Future

Horowitz argues that such foundations as Ford (which donates to NPR) have become vehicles for the interests of political activists, always portraying the matter of as a fight between capitalism/anti-capitalism and/or socialism.  He mentions the Tides foundation here.  They are big money, he points out, and Obama’s political career was largely made possible by activist political organization, and the money and manpower behind them:

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There’s the narrower progressive/Leftist problem, and the broader changes going on in our society, like the steady growth of government and the cultural drift towards multiculturalism, for better or worse.

I’ll let Ira Stoll, formerly of Reason and currently of the Smarter Times and the Future Of Capitalism have the last word:

‘Indeed, if there is a single fact that sums up the state of American political economy at the present moment, it is this: the Boston office building once home to Inc. Magazine and Fast Company, which chronicled and celebrated small and fast-growing businesses, is now the headquarters of a publication called “Compliance Week.”’

Race And Free Speech-From Volokh: ‘Philadelphia Mayor Suggests Magazine Article on Race Relations Isn’t Protected by the First Amendment’

Full post here.

From Bob Huber’s piece, Being White In Philly:

‘Fifty years after the height of the civil rights movement, more than 25 years after electing its first African-American mayor, Philadelphia remains a largely segregated city, with uneasy boundaries in culture and understanding. And also in well-being. There is a black middle class, certainly, and blacks are well-represented in our power structure, but there remains a vast and seemingly permanent black underclass. Thirty-one percent of Philadelphia’s more than 600,000 black residents live below the poverty line. Blacks are more likely than whites to be victims of a crime or commit one, to drop out of school and to be unemployed’

Following below is a quote from Mayor Nutter’s letter to the Philadephia Human Relations Commision after he read the piece:

‘Finally, I ask that the commission consider specifically whether Philadelpia Magazine and the writer, Bob Huber are appropriate for rebuke by the Commission in light of the potentially inflammatory effect and the reckless endangerment to Philadelphia’s racial relations possibly caused by the essay’s unsubstantiated assertions.’

As Eugene Volokh points out:

‘But the Mayor’s rationale wasn’t just, “this speech is constitutionally protected but so is our response.” Rather, the Mayor expressly suggested that the speech in the article was unprotected, and therefore punishable outright and not just worthy of public disapproval.’

A public and well-made response by Nutter, say, offered in the same publication, might have actually persuaded a few people.

Fortunately, we have stronger traditions of free speech in our country then the rest of the Western world, but this blog maintains that the logic inherent in 60’s political activism and Civil Rights organization will inevitably lead to future strains upon those traditions.  The Human Relations Council is a natural outgrowth of the same political activism, generally under the same Left-Of-Center secular humanism.

This is probably why Obama is trying to set up his legacy of permanent activism through Organizing For Action, as what he doesn’t achieve through legislation, he will do through other means:

‘Organizing for Action will support the legislative agenda we voted on, train the next generation of grassroots organizers and leaders, and organize around local issues in our communities’

In other words:  Good for some, especially those who get political power and who organize, but not for all.  The common good has to be defined on the activist’s terms, and through the activist’s ideals and through his political coalitions.

It’s easy to see how the limits of this vision lead to greater contentiousness in our politics, making it a kind of sad theater and a street-fight for resources. While both parties can share in the blame, and other forces are at work in our society, it’s hard to see how more Americans will be united under such a vision, and persuaded to actually work together, especially when they disagree.

This is where the logic can lead:

Up in Canada, both Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant found out the hard way that Human Rights Commissions can align with intolerant Muslims to place the costs of free speech upon citizens who speak up:

Levant was fighting what he saw as an infringement upon his freedom of speech by the Human Rights Commission of Alberta.  As editor of the Western Standard, Levant published the Danish cartoons of Mohammed, and found himself investigated by, in his words, ”a kangaroo court.”

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Here’s Mark Steyn discussing complaints brought against Macleans, Canada’s largest publication, by the President of the Canadian Islamic Congress (who sent three representatives) to TVOntario.   They were upset at the pieces Steyn had published there.  The complaints went through the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for alleged “Islamophobia” and “promoting hate:”

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Rolled under the EuroLeft is where Lars Hedegaard found himself, as founder of Denmark’s Free Press Society.   He’s had to bear court costs to defend himself from charges of racism.

Here he is in his own words describing what he thinks are the failures of multicultural policies (addition: and why Islam is different).  Agree or disagree, he is threatened with his life for airing his views.  The public ought to support the right not to be murdered:

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Also As Sent In:  Martin Luther King’s intellectual development came mainly through theology and seminary, social gospel (addressing social injustices), but also depended on various other sources, including Gandhi’s non-violent resistance (not acquiescence) to displace the force of the laws used against blacks for centuries.  He welcomed a broad definition of rights enacted into law to include black folks, and a vast involvement of Federal authority…that libertarians have trouble with philosophically:

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Related On This Site:  Sunday Quotation: Edmund Burke On The French Revolution

What about black people held in bondage by the laws..the liberation theology of Rev Wright…the progressive vision and the folks over at the Nation gathered piously around John Brown’s body?: Milton Friedman Via Youtube: ‘Responsibility To The Poor’……Robert George And Cornel West At Bloggingheads: “The Scandal Of The Cross”

Repost-Eugene Volokh At The National Review: ‘Multiculturalism: For or Against?’

Full post here.

How to save multiculturalism from the multiculturalists?  Has the term become vague…a Trojan Horse for Continental Leftism?  Volokh suggests the following manifestations, or perhaps signposts, of and for multiculturalism as he sees it:

1Federalism

2Religious Freedom

3Free Speech And Economic Liberty

4. Parental Rights

Click through for explanations and four corresponding goals associated with the above definitions.  He finishes with the following:

It’s a mistake, I think, to condemn multiculturalism in general, just as it’s a mistake to praise multiculturalism in general. Rather, we should think about which forms of toleration, accommodation, and embrace of differing cultural values and behaviors are good for America — in the light of American legal and social traditions — and which are bad.

Here’s a quote from a previous post, at the request of a friend:

“As Strauss understood it, the principle of liberal democracy in the natural freedom and equality of all human beings, and the bond of liberal society is a universal morality that links human beings regardless of religion. Liberalism understands religion to be a primary source of divisiveness in society, but it also regards liberty of religious worship to be a fundamental expression of the autonomy of the individual. To safeguard religion and to safeguard society from conflicts over religion, liberalism pushes religion to the private sphere where it is protected by law. The liberal state also strictly prohibits public laws that discriminate on the basis of religion. What the liberal state cannot do without ceasing to be liberal is to use the law to root out and entirely eliminate discrimination, religious and otherwise, on the part of private individuals and groups.”

That’s a matter of deep debate.

Also On This Site:  Morality away from a transcendent God, but back toward Hume through the cognitive sciences?: Franz De Waal At The NY Times 10/17/10: ‘Morals Without God?’…Jesse Prinz defends cultural relativism and weaves Nietzsche in as well:  Jesse Prinz Discusses “The Emotional Construction Of Morals” On Bloggingheads.

Maybe if you’re defending religion, Nietzsche is a problematic reference: Dinesh D’Souza And Daniel Dennett at Tufts University: Nietzsche’s Prophesy…

Repost-From Virtual Philosophy: A Brief Interview With Simon BlackburnFrom The Harvard Educational Review-A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’

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Ilya Somin At Volokh: ‘Of Silver Linings And Clouds’

Full post here.

‘Obviously, losing the mandate case was a significant setback. But if we had to lose at all, better this way than almost any other. Whether the positive effects of the decision predominate over the negative ones in the long run remains to be seen. It depends on future events such as the identity of the next few Supreme Court appointments, and whether or not Obama’s health care law can be repealed or modified’

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Ilya Somin At Volokh: ‘Nonlegal Arguments for Upholding the Individual Mandate’

Full post here.

Somin takes on a few of the claims by supporters of the individual mandate.  Such is politics, of course, and perhaps more so as of late:

‘Both parties give short shrift to constitutional limits on federal power because judicial deference has created a political culture in which almost anything goes. More careful judicial scrutiny of Congress’ handiwork might lead Congress to start taking the Constitution seriously again. That result that should be welcomed by conservatives, libertarians, and liberals alike.’

Perhaps.  Comments are worth a read.

Related On This Site: Charles Fried and Randy Barnett among others, testify as to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (Nearly 3 hrs, but likely worth your time.  You can skip to the parts you’d like)……Randy Barnett At Volokh: ‘My Answers to Questions Posed by Senators Durbin and Sessions’…Wasn’t it the executive branch with too much power…not the legislative?: Eric Posner At Volokh Replies To Comments The Straussians are not too happy with that view, as the comments suggest:  From Volokh: Harvey Mansfield Reviews ‘The Executive Unbound’

From The New England Journal Of Medicine Via CATO: ‘The Constitutionality of the Individual Mandate’From If-Then Knots: Health Care Is Not A Right…But Then Neither Is Property?… From The New Yorker: Atul Gawande On Health Care-”The Cost Conundrum”Sally Pipes At Forbes: ‘A Plan That Leads Health Care To Nowhere’From AEI: ‘Study: ‘Obama Healthcare Reform Raising Costs, Forcing Workers Out Of Existing Plans’

Originalism vs the ‘living constitution?” George Will Via The Jewish World Review: ‘True Self-Government’A Few Thoughts On Robert Bork’s “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”

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Via The Volokh Conspiracy: “Police Are Entitled to Evict Occupy Boston”

Full post here.

‘The city’s content-neutral ban on overnight sleeping in parks is consistent with the First Amendment.’

Cities with leaders who trend democratic (Oakland, Seattle, L.A. Boston especially) have tolerated a lot of illegal behavior at their respective Occupy movements.  At their best, they sought to allow a pressure release valve for the terrible economy, high unemployment rate, bailouts etc. At their worst,  they sought to co-opt the sentiment found therein into potential political gain while endangering some people and some private property in the process.

Related On This SiteKenneth Anderson At Volokh: ‘The Fragmenting of the New Class Elites, Or, Downward Mobility’

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