Sunday, 8 July 2007

Multiculturalism, Political Correctness, and the Need for Laws

To Philip Atkinson,

On your website you criticize multiculturalism, saying that different cultures will inevitably conflict and conflict is something the state should minimize. However, you also criticize political correctness, saying that political correctness is "a spontaneous declaration that particular ideas, expressions and behaviour, which were then legal, should be forbidden by law, and people who transgressed should be punished." Your definition of political correctness, that people behave a certain way, i.e. behave politically correct, sounds like the definition of monoculturalism. The government assimilates citizens to behave with one culture. Therefore, by criticizing political correctness you are criticizing monoculturalism, which means you support multiculturalism, yet also criticize multiculturalism on another website. Isn't this a contradiction?

Something else I'd like to point out is that you say that one of the problems with multiculturalism is that different cultures conflict. Different cultures have different morals, e.g. culture A may value private property while culture B may not. When you say that one culture needs to be upheld, you suggest that it be Western Culture. However, even among people who may casually be described as Westerners do you not agree that there may be cultural conflict because each individual has different individual values? For example, person A, a Westerner, may believe that private property is sacred. Person B, also a Westerner, may believe that private property is not sacred, and so he works as a thief who robs person A. Since in a large population there is a tendency for individual values to differ then the legal system exists to resolve differences in values and attitudes, i.e. cultural differences. If we lives in a truly monocultural society then we would all have the same values and therefore there would be no conflict and therefore there would be no need for laws. A monocultural society therefore would be a anarchic society (that is, no there is no government). Would you agree?

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