The subjects covered in this blog include Slavoj Žižek, IQ tests, Chomsky, Tony Blair, Baudrillard, global warming, sociobiology, Islam, Islamism, Marx, Foucault, National/International Socialism, economics, the Frankfurt School, philosophy, anti-racism, etc... I've had articles published in The Conservative Online, American Thinker, Intellectual Conservative, Human Events, Faith Freedom, Brenner Brief (Broadside News), New English Review, etc... (Paul Austin Murphy's Philosophy can be found here.)
This blog once bore the name 'EDL Extra'. I supported the EDL until 2012. As the reader will see, the last post which supports the EDL dates back to 2012. This blog, nonetheless, retains the former web address.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Multiculturalism and Political Correctness [by Spiro Meliora]
Multiculturalism and Political Correctness – twin ideological partners in crime
I decided to write this essay to try and counter the endless negativity and criticisms levelled against ordinary working class people who are constantly run down and described as “racist” by middle class, university-educated Left-wing and liberal functionaries employed in UK’s multi-million pound Race Relations industry, who occupy comfortable well equipped offices all paid for by the tax payer.
Time after time we are told by these pampered, politically correct paper shufflers that it is “racist” attitudes of English speaking, white people that is the cause of race relations problems and the lack of integration by Asian ethnic minorities here in the UK.
The post-war period
Learning the lessons of the First World War when a massive, punitive reparations debt was imposed on Germany under the Versailles Treaty of 1919 for “war damage” and fearing that revolutionary struggles would break out as they did in Russia (1917) and Germany (1918), the victorious British and American governments agreed to establish the International Monetary Fund and World Bank at the Bretton Woods conference in 1944 as a means of rebuilding devastated war-torn economies around the world, and particularly in Europe. It was also recognised that working class people, having sacrificed so much, would not allow themselves to be driven back to pre-war depression conditions, as had been the case following World War One, when Lloyd George’s “homes fit for heroes” pledge was quietly forgotten, and so a new welfare state would have to be created to alleviate poverty and hardship.
Labour won the 1945 General Election with a landslide victory and with funds from the US under the Marshall Plan the new welfare state was created. Along with the nationalisation of basic industries and the creation of the National Health Service (1948), a programme of slum clearance and council house building was put into action. But problems with the British economy persisted and food rationing continued until the 1950s.
In 1951 Labour lost power and the Conservatives were elected, and Labour didn’t win another general election again until 1964. The Conservative government of Harold Macmillan is probably one of the greatest in modern times, particularly in terms of its council house building programme. In 1955 for example Macmillan pledged to build a staggering 300,000 new homes. Many of those council housing estates still stand and some are popular to this very day.
After the Allies defeat of Nazi Germany and the Axis powers in World War Two, Britons were proud of their country and proud to be British, understandably so. But the cost of this victory in human lives had been high, with 300,000 armed service personnel, 60,000 civilians and 35,000 members of the merchant navy losing their lives. So when large-scale immigration began in the late 1940s and people with coloured skins were dumped in local neighbourhoods, it is surely easy enough to understand why some resentment was felt. Some may have asked themselves why they had sacrificed so very much during the war to stop the Nazi invasion, only to see their neighbourhoods then invaded by coloured skinned immigrants. But then, as now, people were never consulted about the matter. Politicians only understood there was a shortage of labour.
The first wave of immigrants to make the long journey to Britain after the war were Afro-Caribbeans, famously known as the ‘Windrush generation’ having been shipped here on HMS Windrush in 1948. As British passport holders from member states of the Commonwealth they were, of course, entitled to come to Britain. It must to be said here that racist attitudes could be found amongst some white people and discrimination against the immigrants was real. Many faced racism in terms of housing, employment and at places of social gatherings such as dance halls and public houses etc. All too often they were excluded and barred just because of the colour of their skin.
It was also commonplace to hear racist language with such names as “niggers, coons and darkies” used without even a second thought. This cannot have been a pleasant experience for those early Afro-Caribbean migrants, many of whom were devout Christians.
As time passed by however many of the new immigrants settled into regular work and largely integrated into British society, although some didn’t and indulged in drugs use, as they had in the Caribbean.
In 1953 there were more than 53 million people living in Britain. Within a short time the new consumer society began to take hold, with demands for new household appliances such as TVs, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and refrigerators. Over time and as home luxury appliances became more and more sophisticated, family structures began to break up and splinter. With home entertainment items such as TVs, DVDs hi-fis and computers, people stopped visiting relatives as often as they used to, and contact maintained mostly by telephone, email or even text. Home entertainment is also the reason why so very many people don’t socialise and meet friends and family at the local pub as used to be the case. The local church was another place where people came together to enjoy social events such as dances, stage plays and many other events such as jumble sales, etc.
The Left in the post-war period
The realisation that the working class internationally were not interested in a revolutionary socialist struggle against their capitalist exploiters led a group of European Marxist revisionists to re-think their strategy in the post-war period on how to undermine capitalist society. They came up with something that came to be known as Political Correctness (PC). The origins of PC go back to 1923 when a Marxist sympathiser founded the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. In 1930 Max Horkheimer joined the Institute and he formulated something he named “Critical Theory” To quote from a paper produced by American academic Bill Lind, he elaborates on Horkheimer’s theory explaining that “Critical Theory is about simply CRITICISING. It calls for the most destructive criticism possible, in every possible way, designed to bring the current order down.”
The Second World War interrupted the work of the Frankfurt School, as it became known, and when Hitler came to power in 1933, leading members of the school fled to America and New York City where they set up a “think tank” to continue their work. By the 1960s Marxist revisionist Herbert Marcuse had also joined the school and he looked again at Horkheimer’s Critical Theory. America was then in the throes of massive student anti-Vietnam War protests. It was then that Marcuse saw the potential for using Critical Theory in practice when he added another aspect, which he called “Liberating Tolerance” which he defined as “INTOLERANCE for anything coming from the Right and TOLERANCE for anything coming from the Left.” Thus because the Left saw feminists, lesbians, gays, blacks as “victims” within capitalist society, then “liberating tolerance” (or Political Correctness as it is now) must be utilised to aid these designated “victim” groups. Please note that although women are included on the prioritised list of “victims” worthy of PC support, men aren’t unless they are elderly and infirm, disabled or are “challenged” in some way, but non-white males or those from some ethnic minority are included by virtue of the fact that they face “racism”. (All quotes above are taken from ‘The origins of Political Correctness’ by Bill Lind.)
Political Correctness has now been stripped of all its Marxist terminology – indeed it was Marcuse himself who did this in the 1960s. Posing as a belief system encouraging “respect, understanding and compassion” for designated “victims”, Political Correctness has now been adopted by many local councils across the UK and is used by Left-liberal council officials to promote and offer support for such “victims” as ethnic minorities on the one hand whilst at the same time browbeating critics of their policies by branding them “racist”. Essentially this is the very same “liberating tolerance” theory as developed by Marcuse, namely “INTOLERANCE for anything coming from the Right and TOLERANCE for anything coming from the Left.”
Likewise, if anyone should criticise or oppose council funds being given to gay and lesbian groups, they are branded “homophobic”, while those who are critical of funds granted to women’s groups are dismissed as “sexist”. “Intolerance for anything coming from the Right and tolerance for anything coming from the Left.” Moreover this is used as a means of closing debate, revealing the real INTOLERANT nature of Political Correctness.
Political correctness essentially spawned multiculturalism, described by journalist Kenneth Minogue as a “dictatorship of virtue”. He writes as follows: “In the last half century, millions of Asians and Africans have migrated to Europe. This has posed considerable problems of social adjustment both for the newcomers and for the existing population. These problems are relatively minor, however, compared to something else that grew out of these migrations. I refer to the fact that the doctrine of multiculturalism has imposed nothing less than a dictatorship of virtue upon a previously free people. And this is a doctrine emanating not from migrants but from the heart of our civilisation itself...
The doctrine is that we must on pain of committing discriminatory racism, regard every individual, and every culture in which individuals participate, as being equally valuable. Indeed, as the doctrine develops, we must not only share this opinion. We must regard people of all cultures with equal affection, employ them, make friends with them, promote them and include them in everything we do...
Virtually everybody in Britain believes, and rightly, that whatever the shallowness and injustices of European life, it is superior to that of most other cultures. This conviction results not merely from the fact that it happens to be the way of life with which we are familiar. It also arises because we regard our apparatus of rights and the rule of law as better than the Islamic Sharia, for example.
The cutting edge of multiculturalism is to be found in its insistence that the Anglo-Saxons and Celts of Britain must not think their language, religion, laws and customs in any way superior to those who want to come and live here rather than stay home. The implication has in practice been that in any conflict between the migrants and local custom, local custom should give way. The migrants have had to be supplied with official materials in their own languages rather than being required to understand English...
One result of multiculturalism was that schools with an ethnic intake began to exclude Christmas festivities, including Jesus in the crib surrounded by wise men, while sundry local authorities banned the term ‘Christmas’ from their seasonal cards and replaced it with anodyne words such as (in Birmingham) something called ‘Winterval’.
...the remarkable thing is that British people have a lot less trouble accommodating peoples of other faiths and cultures than they do in tolerating their own home-grown multiculturists. These local enthusiasts are way ahead of the spokesmen for ethnic minorities in discovering possible sources of ethnic offence, forever sniffing out racism and xenophobia among the natives. It is these people rather than actual immigrants who continually describe Britain as a ‘racist society’ and make a big play with the marvellously muddled idea of ‘institutional racism’.
It is this aspect of multiculturalism that grates upon the average Briton, who resents the idea that whatever any ethnic group might find offensive must be changed...” (‘Multiculturalism: A dictatorship of virtue’ by Kenneth Minogue.) Here again we can see the pernicious sub-plot of “INTOLERANCE for anything coming from the Right and TOLERANCE for anything coming from the Left”, and the insistence that Political Correctness must favour designated “victims” – in this instance ethnic minorities.
A new wave of immigration
In the late 1950s another wave of immigration began, involving this time Asians from the Indian sub-continent. In terms of their religious faith they were mainly Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. Unlike the mainly Christian Afro-Caribbeans, the faiths of the new immigrants were largely alien to Britain and over time this was to cause problems, the faith of Islam especially so.
As before with the Afro-Caribbeans, the new Asian immigrants were called names, such as “wog”. And as before it was commonplace to hear such racist name calling. Once again, this cannot have been a pleasant experience but it was widespread and most people thought nothing of it. But many people found some of the Asian customs very strange. For example the practice of Asian women walking several steps behind the man they were with, along with the ‘Arab-like’ clothing they wore.
Unlike the Afro-Caribbeans, Asians tended to be much more enterprising and they soon began running their own local shops and “curry houses”, as they are known here in Bradford. Many other Asians found employment in local textile mills working night shifts because many Bradfordians didn’t want night working employment. This was because night shifts didn’t suit their social lifestyle of going out to the pub in the evening, etc.
Once again, ordinary Britons weren’t consulted about all this immigration and immigrants were just dumped in local communities all around the UK. This policy certainly suited the needs of employers but not ordinary people who had to live with the consequences of these changes – unlike the politicians who initiated this policy on behalf of British capitalists who were benefitting from the immigrants.
After allowing so many immigrants to enter Britain and seeing how this caused resentment in some areas, some of it justified, MPs then passed legislation to protect immigrants from racial discrimination. There’s been three major pieces of legislation, as far as I am aware; the Race Relations Acts of 1965, 1968 and 1976, which “prohibit both indirect and indirect discrimination on the grounds of colour, race, nationality or ethnic origin”. The Commission for Racial Equality was also created. Significantly, all of these acts were placed on the statute book by Labour governments – the Wilson government of 1964-70, and the Callaghan administration of 1974-79.
Following the ‘winter of discontent’ of 1979 when the Callaghan government fell, Labour was out of office for eighteen years. Prior to the election victory in May 1997, a group of anti-working class MPs under the leadership of Tony Blair set about ‘renewing’ the party under the slogan ‘New Labour’. The removal of Clause Four from the Labour Party constitution by Blair and his New Labour cronies in the 1990s not only brought about the demise of ‘Old Labour’ but created a vacuum which was filled by political correctness that was very quickly adopted by the Left, particularly after the defeat of the Miners’ Strike (1984-85). The defeat of the miners was crucial in that it strengthened the Right in the Labour Party and trade union movement, but it severely weakened the Left. In the shift away from working class politics, political correctness (PC) was the saviour of the left as it gave them a number of other causes to champion, such as the promotion of gay and lesbian rights, multiculturalism, immigration, ethnic minorities and asylum seekers. In reality the left had been involved in these sorts of issues before the defeat of the miners but having turned their backs on working class politics they now embraced them with even more zeal than before.
The Bradford riots, 7 July 2001
Quoting from BBC news reports on the Bradford riots, “up to 1,000 youths hurled bricks, bottles and petrol bombs at police”, resulting in “more than £7 million damage, 300 police officers injured and 200 people jailed totalling 604 years.” Around “1,000 police officers and support staff were involved on the night of the violence. It came after weeks of tension between Asians and members of the National Front and the BNP.”
Tensions rose earlier in the day of the riot “amid reports that members of the National Front still planned to demonstrate. The Anti-Nazi League held a counter demonstration in Centenary Square attended by about 500 people, mainly Asian men.” One of the worst aspects of the rioting was the petrol bomb attack on Manningham Labour Club, with 23 people trapped inside the building. “Police described the incident afterwards as the single most serious incident of the riots.” The man responsible was Mohammed Ilyas, 48, father of six, who was found guilty at Bradford Crown Court and jailed for 12 years. “Ilyas was captured on police cameras wearing an Afro-style wig and throwing burning cardboard through a broken window of the club while 23 people were inside. The club was burned to the ground after petrol bombs were thrown by a group of Asian youths” (All the above quotes are taken from BBC news reports on the riots from 8 July 2001 to 21 December 2007.)
There are many articles and books that could be quoted from to show the anti-British nature of the ideologues of multiculturalism and political correctness operating in the UK race relations industry, but here is one from Arun Kundnani, a regular contributor to the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) website, who, writing about the riots that broke out in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford in 2001, tell his readers: “The fires that burned across Lancashire and Yorkshire through the summer of 2001 signalled the rage of young Pakistanis and Bangladeshis of the second and third generations, deprived of futures, hemmed in on all sides by racism, failed by their own leaders and representatives and unwilling to stand by as, first fascists, and then police officers, invaded their streets.” (‘From Oldham to Bradford: the violence of the violated’, Arun Kundnani, October 2001.) It is interesting to note Kundnani referring to the rioters as defending “their streets”, as if they should perhaps be recognised as no-go areas for non-Muslims and the police!
And within these areas and “their streets”, Asian youths are “hemmed in on all sides by racism”, Kundnani asserts. What arrant nonsense. And since there is no questioning the “rage” of the rioters, who in Bradford alone caused more than £7 million of damage, it appears that Kundnani absolves them of any blame. And of all the riots mentioned by Kundnani, Bradford was by far the worst, causing far more damage.
Identifying some of the problems
Kundnani is right about one thing when he describes the segregated areas he refers to as “their streets” because that’s just how they see it. Their areas, segregated from the rest of the local population. And therein lies the problem – the fact that these young Pakistanis and Bangladeshis have been raised in segregated areas dominated by the local Mosque and Islam and isolated from mainstream society.
As youngsters they attended schools and may have been taught alongside other non-Muslim youngsters. But many Muslim children are hampered by the fact that they are brought up in non-English speaking homes and so have to be taught the language at Primary school, thereby leaving them at a disadvantage compared to English speaking children. Some liberal educationists deny this but I fail to see how a child not able to speak English can learn at the same pace as a child who does speak English.
On top of this is the requirement that Muslim youngsters attend the local Madrassa to learn how to recite passages from the Koran, and about Islam. Now standards may well vary from one Madrassa to another but if there are any like the one attended by Muslim author and campaigner Irshad Manji, it is no wonder there are problems with Muslims finding it difficult to integrate. (See Irshad Manji’s excellent book ‘The trouble with Islam today’.) Raised in Canada Manji basically had to re-educate herself with special tutoring to learn the truth about the Koran and Islam. In realising that what she had been taught as a youngster at the Madrassa was at odds with what she had learned in adulthood, Manji deepened her studies into the Koran, as well as studying teachings by many other Muslim scholars from the history of Islam. In doing this she discovered “Itjihad” (not to be confused with “jihad”) which is the Muslim methodology of critical reasoning, debate and dissent, all of which were encouraged in Islam from the 8th to the 12th century when it was suddenly shut down and a more rigid interpretation of Islam was introduced.
Irshad Manji concluded that a “Reformation” in Islam is required whereby many passages from the Koran could be updated and reinterpreted, as was the case under Itjihad. She has backed all this up with many quotes from the Koran and many well respected Muslim scholars from the history of Islam, including the great Muslim scholar ibn Rushd who was largely responsible for Itjihad.
Christianity experienced its own Reformation in the 16th century, led by the great Martin Luther, founder of the Protestant faith. Effectively the reformation transformed Christianity from a medieval faith to a more enlightened one which accepted democracy against Vatican absolute rule by an “infallible” pope in Rome. In Britain the reformation was ushered in by King Henry VIII when he showed two fingers to the pope and confiscated Roman Catholic lands and churches, making a nice little profit out of the deal. Irshad Manji argues that a similar Reformation is required in Islam, albeit one without the bloodshed that accompanied the 16th century reformation!
Returning to Arum Kundnani’s assessment of the riots of 2001, that “the fires that burned across Lancashire and Yorkshire through the summer of 2001 signalled the rage of young Pakistanis and Bangladeshis...” One would think from reading this that racism towards Asians in the UK was rampant. And yet, in an excellent and well researched report by the influential Policy Exchange think-tank published in 2007, entitled ‘Living apart together’ by Munira Mirza, Abi Senthilkumaran and Zein Ja’far (citing hereafter just the main author Munira Mirza for brevity purposes), it states that around 82-84 percent of Muslims questioned in a specially commissioned opinion poll said “they had been treated fairly in this society, regardless of my religious beliefs”; and 56 percent of respondents said they had “not experienced any hostility in the past year.” The number of Muslims questioned in this Populus opinion poll was 1,300. Compare the findings of this poll to the opinions of Arum Kundnani who provides absolutely no facts, figures or statistics in his article. Put another way, if an opinion poll of 1,300 Muslims shows that 82-84 percent feel they are treated fairly in this society, how is it Kundnani can claim that Muslims in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford are “hemmed in on all sides by racism”. Since 82-84 percent of Muslims feel they are treated fairly here in the UK, how can Kundnani claim their “rage” was justified?
Racism is a two-way street
Of course there is racism here in UK, just as there is in any country anywhere around the world. It must also be said that racism is a two-way street. Yes, there are problems here in the UK but this is a tolerant country and most people are quite relaxed about race and immigration issues.
The same cannot be said for many Muslim countries around the world. There are now more than two million Muslims living here in the UK. Now just imagine two million Britons emigrating to Pakistan and setting up enclaves there with public houses, non-Halal butchers shops selling pork cuts of meat, and fish & chip shops dotted around the English-speaking neighbourhoods. Does anyone think for one minute the government of Pakistan or senior Muslim clerics would put up with that. Not a chance! Yet we are expected to accept Muslim, Urdu speaking, Mosque/Islam-dominated enclaves here in the UK. And to utter any criticism of this is to run the risk of being branded “racist” by PC race relations zealots and their apologists in the Labour Party, which is not to suggest that Liberal Democrats or some Tories aren’t as bad because they are.
Arun Kundnani ends his article saying that as a result of the riots in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford, a generation of Asians has “found its voice – but is yet to be heard.” Those like Kundnani who have great sympathy for those riotous Muslims then have the audacity to condemn white, indigenous people who, repulsed by such criminal behaviour, voted for the British National Party (BNP) at subsequent local council elections, arguing this shows “racism” is on the increase among white people! The fact of the matter is, in voting BNP as many thousands did in the local elections across the UK following the riots of 2001, they did so to show their exasperation and anger about this sort of behaviour, as well as sending a message to the government that the time has now come to call a halt to mass immigration here into the UK – a well known BNP policy. Thus, likewise, many Britons “found their voice – but it is yet to be heard.”