Saturday, July 03, 2010

Salim Mansur on multiculturalism

An excellent piece on multiculturalism and Sir Wilfred Laurier. Would that today's grits remember what this great Canadian stood for.

Laurier’s vision expressed in a speech to the Ottawa Canadian Club in January 1904 has since been cited frequently. He viewed the country’s history as heroic and claimed, “It is Canada that shall fill the 20th century.”

Yet more importantly, and perhaps more critically relevant in 2010 than in 1910, was Laurier’s insistence immigrants to Canada become Canadians and assimilate its deeply embedded culture of individual freedom and respect for tradition as handed down by Britain.

Given his origin, Laurier was uniquely situated to speak of a united Canada as he had, according to the historian Michael Bliss, “transcended his ethnic and cultural roots.” Laurier was, as his biographer Joseph Schull called him, “the first Canadian.”

Laurier belonged to an age not too long ago when a people could readily, as Scott did a century earlier, unashamedly express love for the country that was their home.

But in the period since Canada’s centennial year in 1967, the politics of multiculturalism joined with Lennon’s sentiments have contributed to widening ethnic divisions in a country of immigrants that Laurier devoted his political life to reconciling.


been around the block said...

I was very impressed by Mansur's article, but just a little astonished that he managed to talk about parasitic and toxic multiculturalism without once mentioning Pierre Elliott Trudeau!

Here's a comment I cross-posted at SDA this morning:

From Salim Mansur's excellent article cited above, "Multiculturalism has undermined unity":

"The worm inside the doctrine of multiculturalism is the lie that all cultures are equally embracing of individual freedom and democracy. The concerted assault by Islamists on the West and its values is proof of this lie."

I'd suggest that another proof of this lie is that the stream of immigration is almost exclusively FROM illiberal countries, where human rights are constantly at risk and undermined, TO the West and not the other way around. How it is that supposedly intelligent apologists for the "all cultures are equal" kant are unable to recognize this salient fact is beyond me. It can only be explained by invincible ignorance on their part: I know what I believe/imagine, don't confuse me with the facts.

dizzy said...

Well, it's a better Canada-day effort than Coren's.
But his second Laurier quote, not referenced, could be supplemented by others --

"We may not assimilate, we may not blend, but for all that we are the component parts of the same country." To the Toronto Young Men's Liberal Club December 10, 1886
Coimmenting on this, JOHN MACLACHLAN GRAY -- "Laurier's definition of a Canadian refers not to a past legacy but to aims and purposes, providing unity to what we now recognize as multiculturalism: the idea that in pursuing shared objectives it's possible for Canadian citizens to possess more than one cultural identity, without diminishing any of them."

& this, elaborating on the meaning of Canadian --

"Those who come at the 11th hour will receive as fair treatment as those who have been in the fold for a long time. . . . We do not anticipate, and we do not want, that any individuals should forget the land of their origin or their ancestors. Let them look to the past, but let them also look to the future: Let them look to the land of their ancestors but let them also look to the land of their children. Let them become Canadians . . ." To Albertans in 1905 on the inauguration of that province.

Note that the idea that political systems have to take account of differences goes way back in our "Judaeo-Christian" culture --
// there is a point at which a polis, by advancing in unity, will cease to be a polis: there is another point, short of that, at which it will still remain a polis, but will nonetheless come near to losing is essence, and will thus be a worse Polis.
It is as if you were to turn harmony into mere unison, or reduce a theme to a single beat. The truth is that the polis is an aggreagate of many members.// Aristotle, Politics.

As for Walter Scott's imputed "rebuke of such wretched individuals who have little or no love for their country" remember Keat's warning that ""the worst are full of passionate intensity."
And isn't there a lament about what people can do for love of country?
Yes there is -- Liam Clancy - The Patriot Game 3:48

I Support Lord Black