The Instigator
LaughingRiddle
Pro (for)
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The Contender
jlove2live
Con (against)
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Is it wrong for governments to embrace Multiculturalism?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 851 times Debate No: 52189
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LaughingRiddle

Pro

This debate derives from some very strong arguments that mulicultralism is damaging to the state and government embracing it.

In addition, there seems to be no real strong arguement that demonstrates any tangible net benefit to multiculturalism for the embracing country.

I will take the this position based on the following fact, a government's responsibility and prioirity is to protect the interests of its peoples and the state. And has no responsibility to anyone else when these things conflict.

The only arguement really in favor of multicultralsim is that of equal oppurtunity.

However, this cannot not justify multiculturalism since equal oppurtunity of non-citizens cannot supercede the overridng priorities of the government towards its own already citizen-population.

For this argument to be valid, I must show that multicultralism is damaging to the country's welfare as a whole. There exists arguements and citable evidence for this claim.

1. Multicultralism destroys civic activity and the national society. According to harvard law professor Philip D. Putnam writes:

"We hunker down. We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t even trust people who don't look like us."

Multicultralism causes people to become less active in civic society or their community. Multicultralism by these reasearches has been shown to lower peoples interest in public welfare, ethnologist Frank Salter writes:

"Relatively homogeneous societies invest more in public goods, indicating a higher level of public altruism. For example, the degree of ethnic homogeneity correlates with the government's share of gross domestic product as well as the average wealth of citizens. Case studies of the United States... find that multi-ethnic societies are less charitable and less able to cooperate to develop public infrastructure.... A recent multi-city study of municipal spending on public goods in the United States found that ethnically or racially diverse cities spend a smaller portion of their budgets and less per capita on public services than do the more homogenous cities."

2. Multicultralism has been observed to create 'parallel societies' as evidenced by the nature of culturally and ethincally similar people to congregate poltically and geogrpahically into certain places/positions. Parallel socities create disunity, which causes paralzying effects to a democracy, and can incapacitate the government at crucial moments leading to a country's decline or failure. As even homogenous democratic countries can suffer from a painfully slow democratic provess, adding more differences with multiculralism threatens to make this problem chronic. And at its most extreme, can lead to failure of the democratic process and render democracy unworkable.

Moreover, parallel societies creates 5th columns that can be politically exploited by any potential enemy of the given state.

3. Legal philospher Paul Clituer has rejected all political correctness of multicultralism. He cites that undeniable moral superiority of western culture in things like democracy, human rights, and rules of law are much more important and correct than those of other cultures that place little or no traditonal value in such concepts. He argues multicultralism is a form of cultural relativsm, meaning it is simply accepted in the relevant context but it fundementally wrong in the same way the KKK, Joseph Stalin, and Pol pot were all cultrally accepted at one point as relative to the culture of the time, but are instrinscally wrong. And recognized as such now, but not in the past.

4. Multicultralism is imbalanced and unfair. It allows the people of un-multicultral countries to keep their identity, culture, and ethnicity while eroding those of others. Multiculturalism is either considered a result of, or the cause of, white guilt.

This has lead to double standards that are principally unfair, unjust, and psychologically damaging. The black men can brag they are good dancers, the asians that they are good at studying and grades, but if the whites brag they built succesful civilizations, or are responisble for modern world's wonders, they are racist. In fact, bragging about anyhting attributable to white people is usually called racist. When in reality, is this not a form of racism in itself?


Also, the 'equal oppurunity' of multicultralism does not go both ways. Most countries are not multicultural, welcoming of other ethnicites living permanetly among them, and many make it near impossible to immigrate there. In the global sense, there is no equal opprtunity in multiculturalim until the world accepts multicultralism and now only a few states.

5. A defense of multicultralism often centers of how immigrants group together and fail to assimilate because, as journalist Ed West writes,

"immigrants prefer to stick together because of racism and the fear of racial violence, as well as the bonds of community. This is perfectly reasonable, but if this is the case, why not the same for natives too?

If multiculturalism is right because minorities feel better among themselves with their own culture, why have mass immigration at all? All the arguments for multiculturalism - that people feel safer, more comfortable among people of the same group, and that they need their own cultural identity - are arguments against immigration, since English people must also feel the same way."

Ultimately any defense of the results of a multicultral society goes both ways.

6. In times of social collapse, multicultralism is dangerous.

For an example one only needs to look at Yugoslavia. A very multicultral society that early on made almost no distincitons between different peoples. As the society and ideology that society was based on collapsed, multiculralism became a source of tensions and catalyst for an ethnic conflict/war. This shows that during a time of crises, collapse, chaos, or emergency multicultralsim can manifest into open conflict that disintegrates the nation into bands of tribes.

In light of these arguments against multicultralism, what can a proponent of it say to argue that that multiculralism should be embraced by a government whose overriding responisbility is should be the interest of its own people and country when the risks appear to outwiegh the benefits?

I look forward to a well reasoned and logical debate.
jlove2live

Con

Multiculturalism Definition: The view that the various cultures in a society merit equal respect and scholarly interest. This is the only definition I found repeatedly so it's the one I will be basing my argument on. I will decline to include race as a culture in-of-itself, a man can be black and not associate himself with any African culture. I will include religion as a culture. Based on my definition I will argue in two parts.

1. Respect. The idea that any group or persons of that group do not have the right to equal respect is one of bigotry. That is not to say that specific persons of that group do not merit respect. I respect the German culture and people with a few exceptions and you already know who those are. I respect North Korean culture and people, again with a few exceptions. I argue that all peoples of all cultures deserve respect as humans. What do we get when we see a loss of respect for other cultures? I list a few.

The Holocaust.
The killing of Kurds in Northern Iraq by Saddam Hussein.
The genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda.
The imprisonment of Japanese Americans during WWII.

As you can see I could do this all day, leaving out any civil wars (culturally same groups) and run out of room before I ran out of killings and crimes against a people because of their culture. If my opponent disagrees with me on the matter of respect I would like to know on what grounds.

2. Scholarly Interest. This is even more important than the respect aspect because of what it means for humanity as a whole. Simply put without multiculturalism there are many things that we, as Americans, would not have given the world and that the world would not have given us in return. It was a multicultural team that worked on the Manhattan project that led to the atomic age. Without multiculturalism we also wouldn't have had Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, Mario Andretti, and Madeleine Albright to name a few. We would be without penicillin, gun powder, peanut butter and many other things discovered or invented outside of the US. Also I feel that the only way to combat some cultures (I will agree to the point that some must be combated) is to learn about them. I argue that every culture is worth studying because they all have something to offer to the world stage of humanity.

This was not a refutation of my my opponent's argument but my own argument. If they would like to argue a different definition I would be happy to work within it. I close with a poem that is known to every American, or should be.

By: Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

America was built on this idea of multiculturalism.
Debate Round No. 1
LaughingRiddle

Pro

LaughingRiddle forfeited this round.
jlove2live

Con

jlove2live forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
LaughingRiddle

Pro

LaughingRiddle forfeited this round.
jlove2live

Con

jlove2live forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by LaughingRiddle 2 years ago
LaughingRiddle
Sorry, i've been very busy the past 3 days and could not post.

"This was not a refutation of my my opponent's argument but my own argument. If they would like to argue a different definition I would be happy to work within it. I close with a poem that is known to every American, or should be."

But then I really do not see any reason that I need to post.

As quoted, my opponent admits he did not refute any of my arguments. And if my arguments hold, his do not. They cannot both be true.

Genocide is not in anyway demonstrated as a consequence of what I'm suggesting.

(If anything it is less likely since genocide seems to happen when you have two different groups of people who don't want to live with each other in the same place)

And I refuted equal opportunity and thereby 'respect.' I even provided solid arguments for why cultures that are not as 'moral' as the west do not even deserve respect.

Scholarly interest is not a demonstrated benefit of multiculturalism either. Most of the modern worlds inventions and influential forms of thinking have been accomplished by people of relatively similar race and culture, they were Europeans.

In fact all the people who seem to invent much of anything for the past 500 years seem to all have been educated in a specific western manner of thinking and knowledge. Exchange of ideas also occurs independent of multiculturalism, and has been going on for thousands of years. If this is so, why the need for multiculturalism and the damage it does to a politically and economically cohesive society?

It would seem most of the inventions of the modern day had nothing to do with multiculturalism, but the advent of a specific culture of education that has become common place. Others place that adapt this kind of culture, like Japan, also become centers of advancement. But there is no multiculturalism here.

Thus clearly, multiculturalism is neither needed for any scholarly advancement or of any observable scholarly
Posted by LaughingRiddle 2 years ago
LaughingRiddle
"I looked at multiple sources for definitions of multiculturalism before I posted. None of them made any mention of race. They only mentioned culture, which confirmed my understanding of the term, in that multiculturalism refers specifically to diversity of culture. It is frequently contrasted to the melting pot metaphor."

Putnam study is listed under 'criticisms of multiculturalism,' also the expanded description multiculturalism says,

"Such ideologies or policies vary widely, including country to country,[3] ranging from the advocacy of equal respect to the various cultures in a society, to a policy of promoting the maintenance of cultural diversity, to policies in which people of various ETHNIC and religious groups are addressed by the authorities as defined by the group they belong to."

Fact is people can equally be identified by culture and race. Hispanic is a cultural group but it appears on the US census next to other 'races.' Also high cultural diversity somewhat implies racial diversity.

The line between cultural and racial diversity is blurred firm the ideological standpoint of Multiculturalism. It is implicitly encouraging both it seems. Since restricting what cultures you allow to immigrate to your country would be implying certain limiting races as well, while having no restrictions of 'culture' would mean no restrictions on people.

In the end they are closely enough linked that it makes sense to deal with both.
Posted by Death23 2 years ago
Death23
"both cultural and racial diversity are part of the definition of multiculturalism."

I looked at multiple sources for definitions of multiculturalism before I posted. None of them made any mention of race. They only mentioned culture, which confirmed my understanding of the term, in that multiculturalism refers specifically to diversity of culture. It is frequently contrasted to the melting pot metaphor.

The Putnam study ( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com... ), which you rely on heavily, focused on the impact that racial diversity had on communities. This was because it used census data to determine the degree of diversity for particular communities. (I surmise that census data does not include cultural groups)
Posted by LaughingRiddle 2 years ago
LaughingRiddle
"I please give me time to read through your arguments and comments. I will post my response ASAP. Thank You for your time."

Of course, thank you for accepting and good luck!
Posted by LaughingRiddle 2 years ago
LaughingRiddle
"This debate, as it's framed, seems to confound cultural diversity with racial diversity. Though frequently overlapping, the topics should be recognized as separate in a debate setting"

True.

But both cultural and racial diversity are part of the definition of multiculturalism.

Separating them creates very complex issue, and threatens to get too specific which I prefer to avoid, these are people we are talking about.

By targeting the umbrella ideology of multiculturalism it makes it much neater. Again, the real effect of what I'm arguing is that essentially immigration policy reflect whatever necessary to avoid the problems I attributed to multiculturalism that may have the potential to cause long term harm to the state in question.
Posted by jlove2live 2 years ago
jlove2live
LaughingRiddle

I please give me time to read through your arguments and comments. I will post my response ASAP. Thank You for your time.

Brad
Posted by Death23 2 years ago
Death23
This debate, as it's framed, seems to confound cultural diversity with racial diversity. Though frequently overlapping, the topics should be recognized as separate in a debate setting.
Posted by LaughingRiddle 2 years ago
LaughingRiddle
"You're basically letting stupid racists win. Should we just have an asian state, a white state, a latin state, an african state?"

Well the current reality not that we will have asian states, latin states, african states, but at this rate no white states anymore? Is this not racist and unfair in some fundamental way?

Therefore, what I think is we should hold off until the 'equal opportunity' of multiculturalism is global and not selective to all non-whites. Either there will be all multicultural states, or none. This is the definition of fair. For each and all, or none.

I believe if all countries become all multicultural things like 'china-town', 'little tokyo' wouldn't exist. People essentially congregate like this because it is more like their home countries, if all countries were like this it might mean there is nothing for them to emulate. But they do exist, they create parallel societies, and destroy social unity and cohesiveness and in democracies that has HUGE political consequences. Multiculturalism must be put on hold until this does not happen, or all countries are multicultural.

Or simply immigration must be tailored to avoid this happening no matter whose equal opportunity is trampled on in the interest of the state and people the government is obligated to prioritize above all else.
Posted by Hematite12 2 years ago
Hematite12
So, what exactly do you prefer?

You're basically letting stupid racists win. Should we just have an asian state, a white state, a latin state, an african state?
Posted by LaughingRiddle 2 years ago
LaughingRiddle
Immigration is the way by which non-multicultral become multicultural.

For this to happen, the government must first embrace the 'ideology' of multiculturalism.

Thus, I cannot have a problem with one without the other since they intimately linked in some way.

I guess we could say this of me, I believe immigration policy should reflect the best benefit for the people/citizens of the given country to exclusion of equal opportunity when that opportunity threatens to subvert the wellbeing of the country as a whole. At the end of the day, the government has a duty to prioritize the well being of its citizens and state above all else.

If my arguments successfully shows multiculturalism is against the national interest or well being, then I am arguing for a immigration policy that will not create or encourage multiculturalism. Not against immigration itself.
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