The Myth of Diversity


One of the mantras of our time is "diversity" or, in other words, the urge to transform a homogenous society through governmental interference into an indefinable mixture.

Ethnic homogeneity is considered by the politically correct main-stream as deeply repugnant and dangerous, and is considered synonymous with "isolation," "parochialism," "racism," "superiority," "regression," among others terms. For the so-called opinion-formers, people who normally live in multicultural cities, homogeneity is outright offensive. A mixed couple, or a party with people of different races and creeds, is what makes opinion-formers and most journalists feel good. A community that lives according to its traditions creates immediate distrust, especially if it is a white community (in the case of traditional African tribes or Indian communities, lesser condemnation applies).

In South Africa the eternal call of governmental policy is for more "representation." This works obviously only for one goal, which is the total control of the ANC (African National Congress) over every single aspect of society. Because the goal of total control of society does not sound nice, the harmless sounding buzzword "diversity" is used instead, gladly repeated by naive white opinion-formers. Naturally, diversity only works one way: nobody ever complained about an all-black soccer team, the "Black Business Association" or an ethnically pure Xhosa or Zulu village.

While in South Africa the motivation for diversity is obviously the total control over a racially divided society by a quasi-socialist party and therefore makes total sense from their viewpoint, the urge for diversity in countries that have a white majority, or that are greatly homogenous, is difficult to understand and often does not even make any sense for the fighters for diversity.

In the USA and in Europe, diversity became a slogan from the 1960s onwards, and today is practically something that cannot be questioned, a type of supreme command. Societies that were traditionally homogenous (more than 90% belonging to the same people) nowadays aim with all their strength to become as multicultural and diverse as possible.

If a society is multicultural due to its history of diverse immigration (like the USA, Australia, Brazil) and is formed by people from several culturally different motherlands that were sent to unpopulated or sparsely populated places, and where the leaders try to accommodate the differences in order to avoid conflict and friction, there is nothing wrong with that. In the USA, the policy of inclusive patriotism was practiced to transform within a few generations Englishmen, Irishmen, Germans, French, Spaniards, etc. into Americans, who accepted each other as equals. After the civil rights movement erupted in the 1960’s, affirmative action became policy in the 1980s, in the beginning to (unsuccessfully) wipe out the huge economic differences between black and white, but more and more, the argument of diversity as a supreme value became the guiding principle of affirmative action. A predominantly white university, even without any discriminatory measures (except for academic performance), is considered a problem. White students, so the argument goes, would miss out a big deal if they are not always in contact with students from others cultures.

In Europe, the pressure for diversity is even more recent and artificial. Once homogeneous countries like Sweden, Germany, Denmark, etc. now want to get rid of their ethnic identity and become multicultural societies. In contrast to countries formed by immigrants, like the USA or Brazil, Europeans do not have any necessity to become multicultural.

The argument is normally that multicultural societies are better than homogenous societies, because they are more dynamic, they offer more opportunities for talented people, and they are more attractive to live in. For this reason, every relatively homogenous society has an obligation to become as heterogeneous as possible.

But does this argument hold any water? Only as far as a country has an immigration policy that attracts skilled people who are not available locally does this make sense. But even in this case it would obviously be better to invest in good education and to create your own skilled citizens, who have the added advantage of fitting into their own society. Another point that makes the argument for immigration nonsensical is the fact that the present pro-immigration policy does not bring skilled people, but unemployed and refugees who come looking for a better life, and rarely make meaningful contributions. There is nothing more dynamic about an unemployed Pakistani than an unemployed Englishman, with the exception that the last has the right of being in the country of his birth, while the former only brings additional problems.

The argument that multicultural societies offer valuable cultural influences is also often a hollow expression. What value does a mosque or a Hindu temple bring to a Christian country? Most of the time, it brings just provocation. If you are interested in knowing other cultures, it is easier to take a plane and fly to exotic countries. And is the convenience of having a lot of exotic foreign restaurants and shops really worth all the daily trouble with un-adaptable people? And what magic is there in traveling if you have the whole world in your city?

The promised personal cultural enrichment through the maximum contact with other cultures is also often a misconception. People that are interested in other cultures, even those living in relatively homogenous countries, have ample opportunities to learn about them. In multicultural societies with high numbers of foreign people exactly the opposite of enriching contact happens: due to distrust and a feeling of intimidation (not always unfounded), different people form their ghettos and it is dangerous for somebody from another culture to linger around there. In my own country South Africa, homogenous communities normally overflow with hospitality, while people from multicultural cities do not care at all about others cultures. Crime is one of the reasons, but when you are forced into daily contact with people of different cultures and everywhere irritation arises, you have no desire to socialize with them after hours, which is sad since some of them really could be good and enriching friends.

Conflicts are also more abundant in heterogonous societies and there is very often an ethnic element in almost any group conflict anywhere. Why societies that are safe, peaceful and prosperous want to take the risk of changing their condition through mass-immigration, goes beyond my imagination.

The costs of a multicultural society should also be taken into account. More unemployed must have social subsidizes and won’t give back much in return. Much money is spent on conferences and seminars on diversity, not to mention the government departments that have to administer the effects of multiculturalism. A problem is created, which then needs to be addressed, instead of stating form the beginning that the benefits of a multicultural society are smaller than the disadvantages. The people who propagate the multicultural society are normally also the ones who administer it, like public services and all the agents of "integration" and "transformation" that every university and big company must nowadays have and who would otherwise be unemployed.

The major irony of this issue is that nobody really benefits from the multicultural society: immigrants feel inferior because they live on social grants and feel alienated from their host country. The indigenous people aren’t happy either, because they feel threatened by the foreign presence.

It is high time that those who draw attention to the multi-cultural farce are no longer labeled racist hotheads who must be ignored or stereotyped. That only makes the problem worse. Build your community instead of throwing money into the bottomless pit of a doubtful ideology that has already proven to be impractical.

This article was originally posted on oraniablog.co.za in Afrikaans.