Is it wrong for governments to embrace Multiculturalism?
Debate Rounds (3)
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.
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 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.
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