Out Of Many, What?

The history of the world is essentially a long, dolorous tale of ethnic and religious animosity and violence. Little has changed in the modern era; president Hu Jintao of China has just left the G-8 summit to address a rising tide of ethnic slaughter in Xinjiang. Now Pat Buchanan reminds us, in a cautionary essay, that the US — where the celebration of diversity for diversity’s sake has become almost a religion of its own — may be ignoring basic human and social realities at its peril. Is he right? Or is the American experiment a unique historical exception?

Read his column here.

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4 Comments

  1. Chris G says

    He is nuts as usual. The great social experiment that is America has worked pretty good for the last couple hundred years. If it turns into a tower of babel … well Ok, it’s had a decent run. Can the social experiment be applied overseas? You find examples of mixed up peoples getting along in other countries all the time. The wars and the gangs are more interesting.

    Posted July 11, 2009 at 11:32 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Chris,

    Not everyone is as blasé about it as you — for many, simply to shrug and say “well OK, it’s had a decent run” is not the optimal approach to a (possibly) preventable cultural extinction.

    Also, to be able to say, from a safe distance, that “the wars and the gangs are more interesting” is a luxury that you will no longer enjoy if the sort of ethnic fracture Buchanan describes becomes prevalent here in the USA. Wars and gangs are far less “interesting”, I think, when they come to your own neighborhood.

    Posted July 11, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  3. Chris G says

    I am shallow and insensitve. I just don’t appreciate “cultural extinction.”

    I say “interesting” from the point of view that they make the news. A peaceful middle eastern family runs a grocery store across the street from me that peacefully sells peaches for $.99/pound and pita bread for $1.79. It will never make the news. My wife’s mom eats at an Indian restaurant in Tokyo. She loves Indian curry. It was not available to her 10 years ago. It’s a non-sexy example of the great social experiment expanding to a country that was completely closed to foreigners not long ago. When the Indian gangs rob her blind that will be on the cover of the newspaper.

    Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    There is no question that a minority culture can co-exist peacefully in many cases, particularly when the host culture has a commanding majority (as in Japan). The ugliness usually begins when the numbers become more equal, and the minority, yearning to transform the ambient culture, starts to exert more cultural and political power.

    Posted July 11, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink