Thursday, July 3, 2008

“Dhimmi life under Islam” and “PC life in a multicultural world”

We’re All Children Now?
An adolescent culture.
Diana West interview

I would describe PC life in a multiculti world as being marked in part by self-censorship based in fear — fear of professional failure, opprobrium or social ostracism. I would also describe this same self-censorship as a form of childishness. During one lecture on The Death of the Grown-Up, I took a question from a man who wondered, in a rather agitated way, if I were actually saying that multiculturalism is juvenile. I hadn’t phrased things that way, but, on quick reflection, I told him that, yes, that was indeed what I was saying. The fact is, buying into multiculturalism — the outlook that sees all cultures as being of equal value (except the West, which is essentially vile) — requires us to repress our faculties of logic, and this in itself is an infantilizing act. I mean, it’s patently illogical to accept and teach our children the notion that a culture that has brought liberty and penicillin to the masses is of no greater value than others that haven’t. In accepting the multicultural worldview, we deceive ourselves into inhabiting a world of pretend where certain truths are out of bounds and remain unspoken — even verboten.

Our adoption of PC norms and multicultural speech codes, of course, came about independently of the historical conditions of the dhimmi, who, as Jews and Christians living under Islamic law, developed cultures of self-censorship and self-denial at a far remove from anything going on in the United States. But that doesn’t negate the comparison between what may be regarded as two cultures of self-censorship. Indeed, it helps explain the terrifying compatibility between the conditions historian Bat Ye’or has chronicled as “dhimmitude” and the multicultural mindset that flourishes in a post-grown-up world.

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