Multiculturalism, Equal Opportunities, and all that Bollocks

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daniel
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Jun 1 2007 19:38

I'm not calling multiculturalists fascists, I'm calling (some) fascists multiculturalists!
Now, whatever the opinion of a few BNP members, the fact is - they are dedicated to a program of multiculturalism. Hence wanting to "resettle" non-Bretons back to their place of "ethnic origin". They're arguing that culture makes the person whilst liberals are doing the same as well. Liberal multiculturalism is one sided - non-whites are the good guys and the anti-Islamic cartoons from Sweden should be censored, housing, schooling, etc. should be segregated because whites and non-whites can "never get along." Fascists are a bit fairer - if Indians and West Indians and African people should have their cultures "respected" than so should the culture of Nordic, Anglo, Breton, English, white, Aryan, whatever you wanna call white people. Liberals set the stage for fascism - but multiculturalism is the bottom line.
Multicultural families? - I think we're talking two different ways here, multiculturalism is opposed in principle to interracial families or couples!

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Jun 1 2007 19:42

Oh yeah, and what's the matter with Red Action? I disagree with their support of the IRA and Republicanism, but they done a good fucking job smashing fascism and keeping a revolutionary non-lefty hardline. From all accounts I've heard they were a good bunch of people in the 80s, but I don't know what they're up to now. the IWCA or something?

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Jun 1 2007 19:47
Joseph K. wrote:
the kenan malik bit in bold above ("equality no longer meant treating everybody equally despite their racial, cultural, ethnic or religious differences but treating people differently because of them") is where multiculturalism meets contemporary fascism.

Yeah, bang on - that's what (in my confused, meandering way) I've been trying to say. Dead right.

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Jun 1 2007 19:49

I don't remember anyone in the US saying those cartoons should be censored.

You're setting up a strawman "liberal multiculturalism" if you're defining it as opposed to interracial relationships. Or at least you're describing a very different "liberal multiculturalism" than the US version.

Liberal multiculturalism is vacuous, and hardly worth commenting on. If you're complaining about some kind of specific European phenomenon, fine. But don't assume that this terminology is used in the Americas the same as it is over there, and shoot your mouth off about how things are here on that basis.

daniel wrote:
I've never really bothered to read anything on race
daniel wrote:
I've never really bothered to read anything on race
daniel wrote:
I've never really bothered to read anything on race
daniel wrote:
I've never really bothered to read anything on race
daniel wrote:
I've never really bothered to read anything on race
Flint
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Jun 1 2007 20:08
daniel wrote:
Now, whatever the opinion of a few BNP members, the fact is - they are dedicated to a program of multiculturalism.

THEIR FUCKING PARTY 2005 ELECTORAL PLATFORM SPECIFICALLY CALLS FOR ABOLISHING MULTICULTURALISM!

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Jun 1 2007 20:53

Stop it Flint, the guy's trying to get all his straw men in a line.

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Jun 2 2007 18:05

Its like all the problems with libcom in on easy step: 'it doesn't matter if the BNP call for abolishing multiculturalism, the fact is - they are dedicated to a program of multiculturalism.'

I get what the problem with 'multiculturalism' as Jospeph K. is using it is, but the term is clearly being used in a counter intuitive manner.

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Jun 2 2007 19:27
Joseph K wrote:
that doesn't mean ignoring racist divisions, it means not entrenching them by instead making need the basis of demands, not skin colour. obviously somewhere like the US this would likely mean ethnic minorities would get disproportionate resources because of historic racism etc, but in asserting demands based on need we lay the basis for class solidarity, and eliminate the risk carried by AA of simply handing resources to the savvy upwardly mobile 'community representatives' set

AA is an outcome of the struggles of the 60s and 70s where demands were both made and met - recuperated - in a way that allowed and encouraged 'the savvy upwardly mobile 'community representatives'' to rise.

AL Reed Jr wrote:
Now, the social order legitimates itself by integrating potentially antagonistic forces into a logic of centralized administration. Once integrated, these forces regulate domination and prevent disruptive excess. Furthermore, when these internal regulatory mechanisms do not exist, the system must create them. [...]
Although the number of blacks elected or appointed to public office has risen by leaps and bounds since the middle 1960s, that increase has not demonstrably improved life in the black community.

The problem is one of focus. The "gains of the sixties" thesis seems to hold only as long as the "black community" is seen as a monolithic social aggregation. Although black life as a whole has not improved considerably beyond the elimination of racial segregation, in the 1970s certain strata within the black community have actually benefited. This development is a direct outcome of the 1960s activism: of the interplay of the "movement" and the integrative logic of administrative capitalism. And this "gains of the sixties" interpretation cannot spell out what "satisfaction" is because it is itself the ideology of precisely those strata which have benefited from the events of the 1960s within the black community. These "leadership" strata tend to generalize their own interests since they see their legitimacy and integrity tied to a monolithic conceptualization of black life. Indeed, this conceptualization appeared in the Unitarian mythology of late 1960s black nationalism. The representation of the black community as a collective subject neatly concealed the system of hierarchy which mediated the relation of the "leaders" and the "led". http://libcom.org/library/black-particularity-reconsidered-adolph-l-reed-jr

Inequalities demanded being rectified, including needs based on exclusion by colour. Reform gets institutionalised via its administration - administration of an artificially induced scarcity of resources, i.e. private property in class society. So while conceding, burueacracy will always make/administrate scarcity through allocation, by it's nature - queues, rationing, deferment of satisfaction, eligibility criteria, contract etc. And therefore make division through competition. I don't see any way you can make demands on the state so that won't happen. All tendencies in the opposite direction take power away from the state and force it to resist and co-opt. The 'community leaderism' is integral to conceding the reform. So, JK, I don't think we can "eliminate the risk" of professional recuperation. All that we can do (this side of the revolution) is try to expose this process and maintain pressure to make access to resources as wide as possible.

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Jun 2 2007 19:39
georgestapleton wrote:
Its like all the problems with libcom in on easy step: 'it doesn't matter if the BNP call for abolishing multiculturalism, the fact is - they are dedicated to a program of multiculturalism.'

I get what the problem with 'multiculturalism' as Jospeph K. is using it is, but the term is clearly being used in a counter intuitive manner.

read the malik link, he charts it's emergence as a state policy; the 'intuitive' meaning - i guess this means 'a mixed race society' - isn't what multiculturalist ideology is about (neither am i sure why it would be intuitive to assume different 'race' = different culture, except perhaps for first generation immigrants). i mean, most people would think our definition of anarchism is counter-intuitive (peaceful and organised you say?), that doesn't mean it isn't closer to what anarchist ideology/theory actually entails. like i said before, malik made a documentary where he interviewed a ford uk 'equal opportunities officer' or similar and then nick griffin, and the exact same arguments and assumptions recurred.

lem
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Jun 2 2007 20:44

like 'the melting pot'.

revolutionrugger
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Jun 3 2007 01:41

How Multi-culturalism effects my life:

Kindergarten: Got to eat tacos on the fifth of may and learned to say, "hello how are you" to my friend Alexandro's dad.

Elementary School: Got to go to a Davali celebration in school. Delicious indian food.

Middle School: Winter holiday concert: got to play jewish, christian, and indian music which, as a percussionist meant lots of cool wierd drums for me to bang on.

Highschool: encouraged repeatedly to learn spanish by guidance counselors, teachers, and parents. Was stupid and took german. History class got amazingly close to Zinn's book, while still preparing me for standardize tests.

Adult: Gays get money from the city to have parade. Get to go to various ethnic neighborhood celebrations which are similarly funded, Really need to learn spanish.

This is the some total way in which Multi-culturalism has effected my life. Are you guys really that pissed about it? i haven't noticed any genital mutilation. May be i was absent from school or the gay pride organizers meeting that day. I

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Jun 3 2007 05:56

fuck off nazi scum!

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Jun 3 2007 10:26

nobody's said multiculturalism involves genital mutilation, i mentioned that to counter the idea that "the maintenance and celebration of particular cultural practices seems like something that no anarchist should have problem with" - i was just pointing out there are plenty of 'particular cultural practices' which anarchists should have a problem with, and we should avoid relativism. RR, i quoted this earlier:

Kenan Malik wrote:
Multiculturalism as a lived experience enriches our lives. But multiculturalism as a political ideology has helped create a tribal Britain with no political or moral centre.

MJ, no-one's claiming that as has been spelled out repeatedly, without response except screaming 'the BNP are opposed to multiculturalism' - the point is

Kenan Malik wrote:
equality no longer meant treating everybody equally despite their racial, cultural, ethnic or religious differences but treating people differently because of them

which is where multiculturalists and fascists agree - different ethnicities are basically different and should be treated differently

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Jun 4 2007 07:39

I think some of the criticisms of multiculturalism are lost on some people, it can be a by-word for a state policy of racial/cultural segregation among other things and when the far-right talk about its abolition they are in practice supporting it but not as an official state ideology to be maintained.

Like in Oldham the BNP proposed segregated communities represented by community leaders but divided by walls, obviously this is a more speeded up version of what the state actually does.

Steggsie
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Jun 4 2007 09:00
Joseph K. wrote:
which is where multiculturalists and fascists agree - different ethnicities are basically different and should be treated differently

Yes, always with the proviso that this promotion of 'difference' stops at practices which conflict with capitalism, of course (obvious, but worth re-emphasizing given the discussion hitherto). I mean, good luck to you if you don't believe in paying interest on your loans as a result of a religious injunction against usury. In this sense, multi-culturalism is not really relativist.

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Jun 4 2007 09:07
Steggsie wrote:
In this sense, multi-culturalism is not really relativist.

relativist within the univeralism of the law of value. or something. tongue

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Jun 4 2007 09:23

affirmative action riots in india
an example of how dividing up positions of capitalist power along ethnic lines reinforces ethnic identities against class.

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Jun 4 2007 13:38

Yeah, this thread is a bit of a mess. It hasn't been helped by a huge number of meaningless posts from lem.

I think a bit part of the disagreements are due to differences in use of words. Outlined well by Malik:

Quote:
Kenan Malik wrote:

Multiculturalism as a lived experience enriches our lives. But multiculturalism as a political ideology has helped create a tribal Britain with no political or moral centre.

The key point here is that multiculturalism - as in people of different cultures living together, is good, but the state policy of "multiculturalism" - encouraging difference and stating as a basic premise that people of different ethnicities are inherently different.

These policies see various different ethnic groups get their own "community leaders," their own ethnic community groups, and they all compete against each other for resources. This sows the seeds of ethnic conflict and racism. Particularly as white people aren't a "community" and can't have their own groups as that would be "racist." This is the niche the BNP are trying to fit in, and doing quite well.

Another example of these policies is that in some London boroughs... Tower Hamlets being one I think, IIRC the council has increased funding for Bengali lessons to £5m, while slashing funding for English lessons for non-native speakers to under £1m.

daniel wrote:
Oh yeah, and what's the matter with Red Action? I disagree with their support of the IRA and Republicanism, but they done a good fucking job smashing fascism and keeping a revolutionary non-lefty hardline. From all accounts I've heard they were a good bunch of people in the 80s, but I don't know what they're up to now. the IWCA or something?

Yeah I'd be wary of sucking up to red action. I don't see how they're "non-lefty," they're completely "lefty." They do the IWCA now, which has its good points, but plenty of bad ones too. They didn't just "support of the IRA," RA members carried out bomb attacks for it, planting the Harrods bomb and a bomb on a commuter train, neither of which thankfully killed any workers, but the Harrods bomb injured four.
http://libcom.org/library/red-action-ira-london-bombs-independent

They did a lot to fight fascists in the UK, yes, but the enemy of your enemy isn't always your friend.

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Jun 5 2007 09:44
Joseph K. wrote:
* note i don't at all like how malik talks of 'british values,' 'identifying with britain' etc, but there's no reason why universal values need be national, they could just as easily be the values of the international workers' movement for example so his arguments stand imho.

right on cue, just to illustrate this:

The BBC wrote:
A national day to promote a stronger sense of British identity, and prevent communities from becoming more divided, has been suggested by two ministers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6721239.stm

obviously old fashioned one-nation nationalism is reactionary too (and malik probably agrees), but the arguments are still valid as there's no need for political struggles to be oriented around 'britishness' as opposed to say class interests. ironically, liberal multiculturalists tend to see class politics as 'artificially divisive' roll eyes

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Jun 5 2007 12:28
Quote:
Socialist economics, critical theory, and progressive loyalties have produced the worst atrocities, the most horrific suffering, the most crushing oppression, and the greatest misery in all human history. But not for a moment, in the nearly 10 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, has the Left begun to face its failure, or confront its deeds, or figure out what happened to its impossible dreams. It has simply moved on to another trench in its permanent war against the West -- the English and Comp Lit departments of American universities. And in the course of this move, it has degenerated from a Stalinist universalism to a neo-fascist tribalism, which is what multiculturalism is really about.

There is a historical precedent for this post-modern devolution. At the time of the First World War, it had also become apparent to socialists like Lenin and Mussolini that something was awry in their totalist perspectives. A funny thing had happened on the way to the war. The proletarian international was supposed to heed Marx's reminder that the workers of the world had no country and to unite in opposition to the inter-imperialist conflict. Instead, the socialist parties of Germany and France decided they had more to lose than their chains and voted to support their national bourgeoisies and the war budgets that made the conflict possible. The socialist idea had collapsed.

In response to this debacle of Marxist theory, the Left of course did not decide to do the honorable thing and pack up its bags and go home. It wanted to continue its own war against the capitalist democracies of the West. Two paths lay before it. Lenin decided that conspiratorial vanguards were necessary to make sure that next time the working classes behaved as they were supposed to -- in conformity with socialist theory. Lenin created the Communist International to crack the whip of theory over the huddled proletarian masses. But the human components of this institution also stubbornly obeyed the dictates of reality rather than theory and, instead of acting as an international vanguard, quickly became an organization of frontier guards for the Soviet Union.

Mussolini chose the other course. He decided that the true revolutionary agency was not an international class without property, but the nation itself. Fascism, in fact, was a socialism of the People, spelled with a capital P, or, if you happened to live in Germany, with a V for Volk. This is the real intellectual heritage of today's post-modern, politically correct, and multicultural Left.

tastypudding
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Jun 5 2007 12:35
John. wrote:

The key point here is that multiculturalism - as in people of different cultures living together, is good, but the state policy of "multiculturalism" - encouraging difference and stating as a basic premise that people of different ethnicities are inherently different.

i don´t think that ethnicity is on the base of multiculturalism i´m of course not aware of the details of the policies enacted in britain, but if there were, let´s say two different religious beliefs within one ethnic group certainly both could get funding from the state?

Quote:
Particularly as white people aren't a "community" and can't have their own groups as that would be "racist." This is the niche the BNP are trying to fit in, and doing quite well.

i have my doubts as to how influental multicultural policies actually are in that regard. they sure may get the bnp a few more votes from people with racist views and a victim mentality. but if people get actually involved with fascist organisations it has more to do with thier psychological dispositions than with a dislike for some policies. after all, what fascista believe has fuck all to do with reality. for example, in germany there are no such policies in place, yet lots of fascists believe that the state gives immigrants jobs as soon as they arrive, pays for their appartments etc., zionist occupied government and such.

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Jun 5 2007 12:36
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A Norwegian newspaper exposed the fact that the largest "anti-racist" organization in the country, SOS Rasisme, was heavily infiltrated by Communists and extreme Leftists in the late 1980s and early '90s, in other words, during the downfall of Communism in Eastern Europe. They went directly from Communism to Multiculturalism, which should indicate that at least some of them viewed Multiculturalism as the continuation of Communism by other means. French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut has stated that anti-racism will be for the 21st century what Communism was for the 20th century: A source of violence. I think
he's right.

Besides, Muslim immigrants vote overwhelmingly for Leftist parties. In Norway, I believe about 85% of them voted for left-leaning parties during our recent national elections. This trend is remarkably similar throughout Western Europe. At the beginning of the 21st century, Leftist parties in Europe are electing a new people. Perhaps their greatest idea after the Cold War was to re-invent themselves as Multicultural immigration parties and start importing voters from abroad. In addition to this, they have managed to denounce the opposition as racists, bigots and extremists. In Europe, Muslim immigration could turn democracy into a self-defeating system that will eventually break down because native Europeans no longer feel that it serves their interests.

Leftists and Muslims have a mutual short-term interest in keeping the Leftist parties in power, and a mutual long-term interest in weakening the traditional culture of Europe. During this third Islamic Jihad, the third Islamic attempt to conquer and subdue the West, Leftists all over Europe seem to be opening the gates of Europe from within. "You want to conquer Europe? That's ok. Just vote for us and help us get rid of capitalism and eradicate the Christian heritage of Europe, and we'll let you in. In the meantime, you can enjoy some welfare goodies, and we will ban opposition to this undertaking as racism and hate speech."

Still, as much as I dislike Leftists, it is wrong to think that they are the alone in this madness. The Project - for it is a deliberate, organized project which I'm sure Bat Ye'or will talk more about – to dissolve the nation states of Europe is a coalition of several groups: Leftists, who hate the West in general and are suspicious of the nation state.

However, there are also centrist and even so-called conservative groups participating in this. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the author of the awful EU Constitution, is considered a conservative politician, who however has an enormous contempt for ordinary people.

You have another group who are convinced that the nation state is the cause only of wars and trouble. I suspect former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, for instance, belongs to this group. And finally, we have perhaps the largest group: Opportunists who follow the lead of the three other groups. They have good jobs on an international basis and no longer feel any close attachment to the nation states they are supposed to represent, anyway.

I call them The New Marie Antoinettes. The old Marie Antoinette was famous for the quote ""If they have no bread, then let them eat cake." In Eurabia today, the New Marie Antoinettes would probably have said "Let them eat kebab." They think cries for national sovereignty is an old superstition among the common people, and are actively dismantling their own societies through massive immigration, Multiculturalism and supranational institutions, primarily the EU.

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Jun 5 2007 12:37

MJ, what are all these quotes?

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Jun 5 2007 12:40

That's ideas.

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Jun 5 2007 12:44

sounds like fash musings, second one in particular. you're not really following this discussion are you?

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Jun 5 2007 12:50

I am following this discussion. I thought it was being argued that fascists embrace multiculturalism?

Why would the first one have been written by a fascist? It pretty much denounces multiculturalism by arguing that Fascism was the first example of it?

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Jun 5 2007 12:53

Anyway, the first one was written by an American Trotskyist turned neoconservative, and the second was written by a Norwegian conservative in a symposium hosted by a journal the first author founded.

tastypudding
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Jun 5 2007 12:54

part of my reply to john that mysteiously disappeared in the other post.

John. wrote:
I think a bit part of the disagreements are due to differences in use of words.

certainly, but these differences are important. multiculturalism and ethnopluralism are different theories with a different theoretical base and different objectives. to cling on to the term multiculturalism in ragrds to fascists like it´s a leaving lover not only renders the term meaningless, it leads to dodgy analysis.
the red action articles uoted in the op misuse the term, either because the authors have little knowledge about the theories of the far right, or because they´re trying to get attention by making the most extreme (mis)interpretation of a theory

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Jun 5 2007 12:55

yeah i'd only scanned it, the second one sounded fash. it is being argued that

Joseph K. wrote:
Kenan Malik wrote:
equality no longer meant treating everybody equally despite their racial, cultural, ethnic or religious differences but treating people differently because of them

which is where multiculturalists and fascists agree - different ethnicities are basically different and should be treated differently

John. wrote:
These policies see various different ethnic groups get their own "community leaders," their own ethnic community groups, and they all compete against each other for resources. This sows the seeds of ethnic conflict and racism. Particularly as white people aren't a "community" and can't have their own groups as that would be "racist." This is the niche the BNP are trying to fit in, and doing quite well.

in addition daniel has pointed out that some fascists - third positionists - embrace the logic of multiculturalism (as in preserving separate ethnic identities). it's probably easier to discuss if you quote people you're responding to rather than just c/p'ing big chunks with no comments at all aimed at some amalgam argument ...

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Jun 5 2007 13:14
tastypudding wrote:
if people get actually involved with fascist organisations it has more to do with thier psychological dispositions than with a dislike for some policies.

you don't think there's any social-material basis? haven't read reich so i don't know how he supports those kind of claims, but there are very real (class) issues which are channelled into support for fascism by the old scapegoating trick (which is mostly bollocks, asylum seekers live in severe poverty much of the time etc).