Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Learning Experience", or Anti-Americanism?

Western culture has been under attack for about 200 years, or from shortly after America’s founding. That attack is in large part rooted in collectivism, the antipode of the principle of individualism that forms the foundation of the Enlightenment ideas that gave rise to our nation. Collectivism holds that the group…any group, whether society, the race, the nation, the family…is the standard of value, to which its individual members are merely subordinate. Individualism holds that each person is an autonomous entity, possessing the power of reason and volition, as well as the power to determine the course of his own life and, thus, is the ultimate standard of value.

Peter Schwartz, in his essay Multicultural Nihilism, describes one such threat:

“The characteristics by which they (multiculturalists) group people-e.g., race, language, ancestry-are ones that can be important only to the crudest, most primitive, tribal mentality. To any rational individual, these characteristics are insignificant-which, again, is exactly why they are selected.

The multiculturalist designates the unchosen as the core of your identity. Concomitantly, he belittles that which actually shapes your character and values: the volitional-which means, fundamentally: your faculty of thinking. Individual thought is a myth… Your ideas are simply part of your unchosen ethnic makeup.” Return of the Primitive(, page 256-257)

Keep the above in mind, when you read this article by Ana M. Alaya of the Star-Ledger. Commenting on a supposedly uplifting fact, she writes;

“With no racial group claiming a majority, Rutgers-Newark once again has been dubbed by U.S. News & World Report as the most diverse campus in the country.”

An institution of higher learning is supposed to be preparing young men and women for a productive career, which means to become self-sufficient and independent. Why, then, is it important at all whether or not the particular characteristics which one shares with a certain number of others, but which one has no control over, places him in a group that cannot “claim a majority”? No answer is given.

Now don’t get me wrong. Diversity, in regards to such things as foods, recreation and even dress, can be a rewarding thing. My wife and I enjoy a variety of ethnic foods. But what is one to make of the following?

“When an Indian student brought her new husband to Sherri-Ann Butterfield's sociology class at Rutgers-Newark, their arranged marriage became the lesson of the day.

‘It was a powerful moment,’ Butterfield said -- the kind of ‘unscripted’ moment she hopes other faculty members will embrace on a campus where the students come from 81 countries and those born in the United States are largely from minority and immigrant households.”

We are not to question the practice of parents imposing on children their choice with regards to so fundamentally important a decision as the choice of a spouse…a decision that has life-long significance. We are not to proudly uphold Western culture for casting off this hideous, primitive custom. According to multiculturalism, that would be “intolerant”. The values of one culture are just as good as the next. What multiculturalism attacks is value and moral judgements, as such. Yet, making judgements as to right and wrong is a fundamental requirement of man’s life. Without judgements as to the value of specific cultural practices, no advancement in the human condition would ever have been possible.

Yet multiculturalism itself is a judgement…on Western Culture. What is the great achievement represented by Western Culture…and, specifically, the United States of America? The primacy of the individual. By elevating group identity into primary significance, multiculturalism denies that principle and, thus, Western Culture and, consequently, America. It establishes primitive tribalism (collectivism)…specifically, racism…as the supreme standard of value. Far from being all-inclusive, multiculturalism…or “diversity”…is a declaration that all cultures are to be tolerated…except American culture. That is because America, and Western Civilization, represents the fundamental negation of precisely that which the multiculturalists are seeking to establish…the primacy of the tribe. The multicultural attack on America is just another manifestation of the age-old battle between individualism and collectivism.

America represents individualism. Multiculturalism represents collectivism. The two are mutually exclusive. Multiculturalism is the repudiation of America.

Undoubtedly, many Rutgers personnel, and students, miss the sinister purpose behind multiculturalism. This may be both good and bad. Many of the students may enjoy the camaraderie of meeting people with interesting new customs and heritages, and see it as an educational experience. But the insidious message is there, just under the surface. Don’t judge people as individuals, but by insignificant similarities attributed to the group…the culture…to which he “belongs”. Don’t make value or moral distinctions between different cultural groups. Forcing a marriage on one’s children is just as valid as preparing one’s child to make his own informed choice in marriage based upon his own values.

Rutgers itself seems to be confused. Chancellor Steven Diner said, "This is an extraordinary learning tool if faculty know how to use it”. How a teacher seeking to educate his students…a uniquely individual undertaking for the student, since no one can do the thinking for him…within the context of a tribal premise makes it understandable that the teachers wouldn’t “know how to use it”.

Sociology teacher Sherri-Ann Butterfield also wonders where to go from here. "But we haven't figured out, once we get diverse, what to do. How do you go from a representational diversity to a transformational diversity?" That a question like that could even be asked by a professor on an American college campus demonstrates the corruptive nature of multicultural ideology. The proper question to ask is: Why is racial “diversity” desirable to begin with?

The results of Rutger’s diversity goals seem to be having the logical effect on campus.

“Jonathan Blandino, a junior who heads a student Hispanic organization, still sees a problem on campus: black students hanging out with black students, Latinos with Latinos, Asians with Asians, and so on.

‘To be honest, as diverse as it is, it is segregated,’ Blandino said. ‘Everyone sticks to their groups.’ ”

What would one expect, after extolling the virtues of group identity? The implied premise of multicultural diversity is that reason, volition, value judgements, ideas, intellectual independence…all attributes of the individual mind…are irrelevant. What’s left are all of the traits that one has no control over or that are essentially irrelevant to individual character…skin color, national origin, language, the cultural practices of past generations. Once you’ve convinced people that their own minds are second to the collective, is it any wonder that they will gravitate toward the safety of the group?

Only Western culture offers the antidote to the “problem” Mr. Blandino cites. Western culture’s focus on the individual as the unit of value casts off all of the historical baggage of tribalism and racism. The belief in each person as a unique entity possessing volition, the capacity for reason, and a self-made soul runs completely contrary to the goals of the multiculturalists.

Opposition to multiculturalism should not be confused with xenophobia, the fear of “foreigners” or “strange others” that feeds the anti-immigrant fervor that penetrates part of American culture. Both xenophobia and multiculturalism are based upon the same collectivist premise. The multiculturalists see themselves as anti-xenophobes, but, in actuality, the only answer to both is Western Culture’s core Enlightenment values of individualism. Multiculturalism and xenophobia are two sides of the same collectivist coin.

It’s a shame that young people have to put up with such intellectual garbage as multiculturalism in order to attain the higher educational skills necessary to their future. The best advice to give is to just “grin and bear it”, get the most out of college while discarding this anti-American nonsense, and always remember that each person one meets is an individual first and always. And, above all, never never never fail to pass moral judgement on ideas that one encounters. All cultures are not equal, and neither are all people, morally speaking. People possess volition and the capacity for reason, and should be held accountable for the ideas they accept, good or bad. Better ideas and, thus, a better world, cannot triumph in a climate of moral agnosticism.

And neither can America.

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