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condemning multiculturalism « Previous | |Next »
July 25, 2005

I've mentioned here about the way the conservative discourse around national security is targeting multiculturalism. I've been keeping my eye out for more. An example by Joel Kotkin downloaded from the New American Foundation into the op.ed. pages of the Sydney Morning Herald.

I know very little about the New American Foundation other than this, so I am just working off the op.ed. Kotkin's big argument is failure to deal with security leads to urban decline:

Though the fashion is to blame energy, food and water shortages for urban decline, far more cities have fallen due to a breakdown in security. Whether the menace is internal disorder or external threat, history shows that once a city can no longer protect its inhabitants, they inevitably flee, and it slides into decline and even extinction. While modern cities are a long way from extinction, it's only by acknowledging the primacy of security--and addressing it aggressively---that they will be able to survive and thrive.

That is reasonable, especially in the global city of Sydney. We do not want the city to be shrouded in fear and a growing sense of dread from being unable to deal with a concerted campaign to wreck havoc and destablize everyday life.

Then Kotkin slips in something else and it jarrs.

We have this:

Sadly, many metropolitan leaders seem less than prepared to meet the terrorist threat head-on, in part due to the trendy multiculturalism that now characterises so many Western cities.If cities are to survive in Europe or elsewhere, they will have to face up to the need for sometimes harsh measures, such as tighter immigration laws, preventive detention and widespread surveillance of suspected terrorists, to protect the urban future.

The twilight zone of lurking danger is connected to multiculturalism. Presumably protecting the urban future requires that trendy multiculturalism is dumped, ethnic communities are to be targeted for surveillance and assimilation (integration) becomes the governing order of the day.

Why so? The conservative message is that Australians are way too soft when it comes to tolerating other cultures in their cities. Australians are all about feeling warm and fluffy, making bliss out of ignorance, and so lost in their reveries that they forget that cultural diversity means Sydney gang rapes, German honour killings and suicide bombers. So argues Mark Steyne in an op ed in Murdoch's The Australian.

Tis time the multiculturalists faced reality.

Update: 26th July
A defence of multiculturalism in The Age by Petro Georgiou, the federal Liberal MP for Kooyong.As he observes:

Multiculturalism's embrace of cultural diversity built on Australia's liberal democratic traditions. The policy was never without limits. Multiculturalism has always explicitly expected all Australians, new and old, to make a commitment to Australia and Australia's interests, to the basic structures and principles of Australian society - the constitution and rule of law, parliamentary democracy, tolerance and equality, freedom of speech and religion and English as the national language.

So the attack on multiculturalism can be interpreted as an attack on liberalism.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:17 AM | | Comments (5)


This is completely off topic - feel free not to post it but please email me the answer at least.

Now I hope I have the right blog - fairly sure I do.

Can you point me to your post where you say the proposed IR reforms and fair dismissal laws for enterprises of 100 or less constitutes 90% of business and thats enough to make businesses with higher to palm them off as contractors, etc - effectively making it all businesses - Thank you

is it this one?

Gary, There was a similar article to the one published on the newamerica website in Sunday's Outlook section of the Washington Post. It argued that cities required security to be viable. They didnt argue trust like Andrew Leigh is exploring, but instead security.

So the national security state is being extended to the city too.

the national security state is trigger happy in the city with the police having a shoot to kill policy.

The illustration of this is Jean Charles de Menezes, the man shot dead at point-blank range on the Stockwell tube in London last Saturday. He was a Brazilian electrician who had no links whatever to terrorism.

De Menezes was not asked for his identity papers before a handgun was fired into his skull. He was shot because he overdressed on a warm day; because he ran away from men he noticed stalking him; because he ran and fell over and he might have had a bomb. He had no bomb.

Yet De Menezes was shot five times at point blank range just because he was acting suspiciously and because a lawfully armed policeman was afraid he might be a terrorist.

Tis a licence to kill for those who seem suspicious---Islamist bomber---to a spooked policeman man with a gun.

This indicates that if you are different then you are suspicious.

No its not I saw that one in my search - guess it wasn't your blog after all. Anyway I've since found the info I needed.