The origin of multiculturalism (a secular/leftist belief system) lies with two Nazis, Martin Heidegger and Paul de Man. National Socialism is also another leftist belief system. Their philosophy became the basis of Deconstructionism, an irrational belief system that rejects facts for feelings. The French philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930 - 2004) introduced the term, but he was influenced by Heidegger.
Mark Steyn, an irrepressible critic and opponent of Islam and champion of the West, noted during a panel discussion:
“You can’t be ‘multicultural’ in Saudi Arabia.”
He might have added: nor in Iran, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Somalia, the Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, Gaza, the West Bank, and Turkey.
What did he mean? He meant that Islam is a head-to-toe political/theological totalitarian ideology that commands universal submission and uniformity in all that it surveys, from one’s diet and personal relationships to one’s political views.
Slowly the peril is sinking into the heads of policymakers and some politicians. German Chancellor Angela Merkel broke ranks last year and declared that multiculturalism was a failure. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain’s David Cameron soon after said, “Me, too.”
Islam, however, is not a child of multiculturalism. It predates Heidegger and multiculturalism by 1,400 years. It is a monster sanctioned by multiculturalism, a nightmarish phenomenon coaxed back to life and into our lives from a chamber of historical horrors, on a par with the reputation of Vlad the Impaler, who, ironically, resisted Ottoman expansionist policies in the 15th century albeit with a barbarity that matched the Turks’ own and 20th and 21st century jihadist depredations. Without the “conditioning” of men’s minds to uncritically accept multiculturalism in the broader culture – in schools, in business, in art, in language, in advertising – Islam, for one, would never have had a chance to become the formidable enemy it has become.
Multiculturalism is the progenitor of political correctness in speech, policy, and action. Political correctness is Orwellian goodthink. Standard English is badthink, if not plain thoughtcrime.
Janet Levy, in her forceful article on the steady course of Western dhimmitude, noted that the phenomenon of self-censorship began, not on 9/11, but as a consequence of the violent reaction to the publication of the Danish Mohammed cartoons in 2005:
Cartoongate ushered in a new standard of behavior that has had a chilling effect on free speech and expression when it comes to all things Muslim. The aftermath of the Mohammed cartoons incident established Muslims as a uniquely protected group to be effectively shielded from all critique and ridicule. Noteworthy is that this new Muslims-only standard mirrors the Islamic doctrine of Shariah that confers superior legal and political status for Muslims in parallel with a subservient status -- dhimmitude -- for non-Muslims. Today, the West all too easily and habitually gives up freedom of speech by avoiding even the merest shadow of negativity when it comes to Muslims and, thus, imposing on itself dhimmitude and enabling our sworn enemies.
I would differ with Janet Levy only on the point that the inaugural stage of American dhimmitude began with President George W. Bush proclaiming that Islam was a religion of “peace” hijacked by “extremists.”
Although freedom of speech was in a tenuous state before 9/11 (e.g., the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law), the orchestrated and violent reaction to the Danish cartoons virtually guaranteed its demise. It has since existed in a kind of post-traumatic stupor of denial. Not criticizing Muslims or Islam serves as the garlic or crucifix intended to ward off the specter of violent recriminations from Islamists. It is a species of Pavlovian conditioning. If a Muslim commits a horrific crime, the first thing modern journalists and critics and policymakers do is not attempt to identify the culprit or his motive, but to evade the task and point fingers in other directions.
Major Nidal Hassan perhaps had a glass of sour orange juice that morning, so he opened fire on American soldiers at Ft. Hood. A Muslim woman had a bad hair day, so she blew herself up in a bus full of Israeli schoolchildren. A mere marital disagreement between “moderate” Muslim Muzzammil Hassan and his wife Aasiya resulted inexplicably in his beheading her. Sure, the MSM will concede, all these instances of violence were gruesome. But they had nothing to do with Islam. And if they did, what business is it of ignorant Westerners? That would be imposing our moral standards on Muslims.
In regards to Islam, multiculturalism fosters a kind of Star Trek–inspired “Prime Directive”: Thou shalt not criticize, look askance at, or mock Islam or Muslims, no matter how primitive, brutal, savage, or backward they may demonstrate themselves to be. Nor even think of interfering with the religious practices or of examining its Mafia-style legal system.
It would be easier to comprehend the phenomenon of the West’s retreat from its once-cherished freedom of speech – in this instance, the freedom to criticize, ridicule, and even condemn Islam and that “silent majority” of Muslims here in the West or abroad who sanction by their muteness terrorism and the jihad – if one understood that the phenomenon is a consequence of the wider and more fundamental corrosive philosophy: multiculturalism.
Multiculturalism has spawned such fashionable but insidious notions as “cultural diversity” and “cultural relativism” which merge into a bewildering kaleidoscope of trivialities, the great and the exceptional rendered equal to the base and the mediocre. “Enshrine mediocrity,” noted one of Ayn Rand’s most pernicious villains, “and the shrines are razed.” Multiculturalism is asserting that the Mexican Hat Dance or a Peruvian folk tune is just as enthralling a piece of music as a Beethoven symphony or the finale of Antonia Salieri’s Axur, re d’Ormus. Or that anything by The Grateful Dead is just as significant as any Rachmaninoff piano concerto. Comparisons that encourage value measurements are discouraged and deemed “elitist” or “judgmental.”
“Cultural relativism” exploits subjectivism or indiscriminate whim-worshipping. Multiculturalism is the haven of those who do not wish their values to be questioned or judged. Multiculturalism says that you don’t have to aspire to be the best you can be, or even look for the best in anything; being best is optional. The stigma of mediocrity is unfair, hurtful, and insensitive, and ought to be abolished.
One could even argue that Islam owes its advances in the West to a multiculturalist interpretation and application of a particular verse in the Bible, from Matthew 7:1: “Judge not, lest you be judged.”
On the whole, and as a consequence, multiculturalism permits the mental excrement of contemporary “artists” and writers to contribute to the raw sewage that is modern culture.
Multiculturalism is the great leveler of values and of the means to measure or gauge them. It is a conscious negation of values, claiming that no culture is superior to another, that no value could be superior to another. In the steady corrosion of actual values in the West, over a period of time, ever since the philosophy was first introduced decades ago, multiculturalism must logically default to the lowest common denominator of cultures. In this instance, it is Islam. That is the inevitable end of multiculturalism. Faced with the threat of Islam – an ideology insulated from criticism – multiculturalists must retreat and keep their minds and mouths shut. It is a monster they defended and touted and claimed as an ally in the name of “tolerance” and “religious freedom.”
Multiculturalism behaves like a Komodo dragon that bites its prey, lets it wander off, and waits until it succumbs to its poisonous saliva and dies. Then it sniffs out the putrefying corpse to feed on it. Islam has been emulating the Komodo dragon’s methods for decades now.
Islam is not “multicultural.” It is totalitarian and brooks no rivalry, competition or disagreement. Come the global caliphate, the first Westerners to be beheaded, censored, or enslaved will be multiculturalists. Then Islam’s putative “reformers.” Then the rest of us.
It is only logical that such a systematic negation would culminate at the lowest common denominator, Islam, itself a system for destroying values. It is an omnibus system of nihilism that mirrors the nature of multiculturalism. And naturally, Islam claims to be superior to all other cultures and creeds, because it requires no thought, no values apart from ready-made ones, unalterable and mandatory. All Islam offers the individual is the “joy” of selflessness and the security of obedience, neither of which asks of the individual any degree of evaluation or intellectual independence. It offers the quietude of living death.
As Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish observed, Islamists and even off-the-rack Muslims are well aware of the inferiority of their ideology – and, by implication, of themselves by choice – and of Islam’s inherent impotence to destroy its cultural and moral superiors without the sanction of the victim. Discussing the stupendous white elephants the Saudis and other embedded medievalists in the Gulf are building with their extorted petrodollars in “The Towers of Barbarism” (see my April 2008 column on the same subject), Greenfield writes:
It is the combination of an inferiority complex and a hatred for non-Muslims, that same combination which causes the left and some on the far-right to urge us to feel ashamed of how badly we must be treating Muslims, for them to feel that way.
He makes a key connection between Muslims’ awareness of their inferiority and their compulsion to prove their superiority by means of nihilistic policies:
Where Western skyscrapers were the natural product of expanding economic and technological frontiers, Muslim skyscrapers are desperate attempts to buy superiority. A product of the same need to be superior to the infidels, that caused Islamic law to ban synagogues and churches from being taller than mosques. And now that they have the money, Muslim rulers are determined to build bigger buildings than the Empire State Building or the Sears Tower, or the World Trade Center, which they destroyed.
But the power comes, not from Islam, but from the philosophy that sanctions its existence by exhorting men to deny its nihilistic nature in the name of tolerance, diversity, and non-judgmentalism.
To concretize the corrosive process, note the tenacious opposition to nuclear power or offshore oil drilling by environmentalists and their ilk, who ultimately envision a savage rubbing two sticks together to make a fire as the preferred state of man (in order to “save the planet”). That is their unstated goal, to reduce man to dependence on the whims of nature. Islam, by the same token, reduces man to dependence on the whims of an unprovable and frankly psychotic deity, and demands that all men submit to that vision, so that no individual is superior or better than any other and so beyond Islam’s control.
In that terrible scenario, only Muslims will be equal to each other in the egalitarian sense. All those who do not submit, must be enslaved or eliminated. Nothing may rise above the ideological minarets of Islam – not minds, not ideas – because anything above or apart from them would be a threat, a reproach, and a repudiation of Islam. Under the iron heel of totalitarianism, the symbiosis between multiculturalism and Islam would perish.
The assertion that the inferior is superior by virtue of being inferior is the brazen premise shared by secular egalitarianism and Islam. Egalitarianism is just another manifestation of multiculturalism.
So, when one sees Muslims demonstrating against the Danish cartoons or an infidel’s critical slip of the tongue and calling for retribution and death, one is witnessing manqués boasting of their unacknowledged but demonstrable inferiority. Theirs is a poignantly felt state of existence that cannot be confessed; it can be expressed only in ugly rage masquerading as victimhood. These are the creatures set free by the multiculturalists, “liberated” from reason, from independence, from pride, from self-esteem, from free will, from volition. From Western civilization.
Muslims are not the only collectivists who have been “liberated” from the responsibilities of individualism and the non-negotiable demands of reason. But they are the most dangerous in terms of their being passive or active vessels of a totalitarian ideology that will destroy by exploiting the corruption instigated by multiculturalists, or by continuing naked violence whose cause the multiculturalists do not wish to examine, because that would be “judgmental.”
Postscript: To briefly expand on the idea of Muslims knowing of their own inferiority, that they are superior by virtue of their inferiority – they claim superiority because their inferiority, in conformance with altruism, requires others to defer to their wishes, to make exceptions for them, and to exempt them from the normal suasions of moral measurement and treatment. They are the lowly, the base, and the degraded; ergo, in accordance with altruist ethics, they are special and their need for deference and exception-making is an automatic claim on others – according to the others’ moral code.
This is in line with the whole altruist/collectivist philosophy that governs our culture. Of course, one should not ascribe to Islamists any kind of genius for exploiting that philosophy. It is merely their feral species of insight that makes it possible.