Fat Steve's Blatherings

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Another Steyn Goody

      Mark in The Australian:
      That's the great thing about multiculturalism: it doesn't involve knowing anything about other cultures - like, say, the capital of Bhutan or the principal exports of Malaysia, the sort of stuff the old imperialist wallahs used to be well up on.  Instead, it just involves feeling warm and fluffy, making bliss out of ignorance.  And one notices a subtle evolution in multicultural pieties since the Islamists came along.  It was most explicitly addressed by the eminent British lawyer Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, QC, who thought that it was too easy to disparage "Islamic fundamentalists".  "We as western liberals too often are fundamentalist ourselves. We don't look at our own fundamentalisms."

      And what exactly would those western liberal fundamentalisms be?  "One of the things that we are too ready to insist upon is that we are the tolerant people and that the intolerance is something that belongs to other countries like Islam. And I'm not sure that's true."

      Hmm.  Kennedy appears to be arguing that our tolerance of our own tolerance is making us intolerant of other people's intolerance, which is intolerable.  Thus the lop-sided valse macabre of our times: the more the Islamists step on our toes, the more we waltz them gaily round the room.  I would like to think that the newly fortified Age columnists are representative of the culture's mood, but, if I had to bet, I'd put my money on Kennedy: anyone can be tolerant of the tolerant, but tolerance of intolerance gives an even more intense frisson of pleasure to the multiculti masochists.  Australia's old cultural cringe had a certain market rationality; the new multicultural cringe is pure nihilism.

      Go read and enjoy.



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