Tuesday, April 10, 2007

For Easter: Multicultural Cuckoo's Eggs (III)

Having established what means what, let's have a look at Jesco Delorme's contribution on the side of the multiculturalists in the debate on Signandsight, under the crushing title: "Multiculturalism isn't cultural relativism".

Delorme starts out by declaring that "all the participants in the debate so far have explicitly affirmed belief in certain universal values; not one of them takes a position of genuine cultural relativism". So the accusation is unfounded, Delorme indignantly exclaims!

Allow me to venture a guess why Messrs Buruma, Garton Ash and Sim are being accused of relativism: could that - apart from their own confessions - perhaps be, because it is impossible to separate multiculturalism from its basis: relativism (compare definitions 1. and 2.: see part II)? Let me spell that out: without relativism you cannot maintain that there is no objective truth, and hold the subjective view that all cultures are equally valid, not one being more superior than another?

I suggest the reason why Delorme is denying the obvious and the self-confessed, is that - when maintaining the dogma that there is no "eternal truth" - you not only deny the possibility of the existence of God, Allah and all the other foundations of belief systems, as well as all the other tenets of whatever ism - be they Liberalism, Socialism or any other - but more importantly, you deny the universal value of human rights. Also it is impossible to maintain the propaganda ploy that multiculturalism is "all about individual freedom and a sheer fest of individual equality."

Since that unhappy realisation, multiculturalism is on the look-out for another basis, but that cannot be done without destroying its own very basic principle that everything and everyone is the same and 'there is no longer any eternal truth - the belief that stems from naive ethnocentrism'. Contrary to the proud relativists Sim c.s., it is to the credit of Delorme that he doesn't consider relativism a commendable ideology. He's right in that: it is the most regrettable load of rubbish ever produced in the history of ideas.

At this point any serious philosopher or ideologue worth his weight, would take stock, take a step back, saying: "well, either we stick to our guns - universality of human rights, individual equality and freedom be damned! - Or, we concede that our thesis isn't tenable".

Not so the multiculturalist. They stick to their guns, refuse to admit defeat, still congratulating themselves on the vast consequences of their truth trickery. Instead they turn to the neighbours, steal a new founding principle from them declaring it is all "in keeping" with their principles, while sticking a new label on the toxic potion: 'liberal culturalism'! Voila!

To get an idea of the depth of this absurdity, compare it to a phrenologist who posits that his ideas are still valid but that in future he'll base his claims on scientific brain research, re-baptizing it 'scientific phrenology'; or the astrologer who insists on the correctness of his astro charts based on NASA's latest Mars images, relabeling his work 'astronomical zodiac reading'! It's a bizarre fallacy.

So instead Delorme proposes to borrow the Classical Liberal or Libertarian universally valid 'eternal truths' of individual freedom, individual equality and hands-off government, and apply them only to certain 'unequal' groups. He maintains that Liberalism justifies granting certain special rights to unequal minorities. Well, not under the objective universality of Libertarianism it doesn't!

So at this point we make the transition as indicated on Dr Pat's chart (see part II) from Libertarianism to Left Liberalism, which is actually free-market socialism with a bent for special minority rights, of which we'll come to speak later. At the same time we loose the relativist basis that states that all is the same and truth does not exist. Thus robbed, we can no longer speak of the concept of multiculturalism. We're back on planet Earth, back to reality, truth and morals ... Goodbye to vertigo ...

Under Delorme's proposal however we're still very much on subjective territory; Christianity and Western civilization get a break for once, but that's probably due to an oversight on the part of Mr Delorme: we're still presented with that illiberal principle by which white males are uniquely and inherently bad: "the liberal order until now has borne the stamp of the white, middle aged, heterosexual male with no disabilities". Yak! I don't know out of which book this is a leaf, but singling out one group for vilification sounds to me pretty ominous and morally reprehensible!

I think Mr Delorme's case is increasingly non-existent, as not all that different from the current, unsatisfactory status quo.

~ In the next instalment we'll have a look at the problems and consequences of Left Liberalism and why it doesn't solve today's problems. To do that, let's crush a few taboos in the process ... ~

1 comment:

james higham said...

Whilst being lightyears apart in our actual views, we seem to be close in spirit:

...could that - apart from their own confessions - perhaps be, because it is impossible to separate multiculturalism from its basis: relativism...

Very much.