Multiculturalism’s Marxist Roots

Multiculturalism … is clearly an outgrowth of Marxist thinking, with ethnic groups replacing economic classes as the primary actors in the conflict that defines modern societies.

While most thoughtful observers were well aware of the malfunctioning of the Soviet Union, its collapse made glaringly clear the utopian nature of Marxism as applied to the economic sphere. People simply could not be made to work as hard for the good of all as they would for themselves and their own families. People who could not, because of communist rules, benefit themselves by harder work, simply did not work very hard.

In time the Soviet Union fell further and further behind the West in productiv­ity and wealth. Furthermore, the predicted withering away of the state under communism did not, in fact, transpire. Rather, all Communist states required massive, and often brutal, repression of their people and nowhere tolerated democracy or freedom of expression.

No one should be deluded, however, into thinking that the failure of Communism as an economic and political system has discredited Marxist thinking among its former sympathizers. It has certainly not done so among a great many of the intellectuals in America or Europe‘s dominant political class. Multiculturalism, for instance, is clearly an outgrowth of Marxist thinking, with ethnic groups replacing economic classes as the primary actors in the conflict that defines modern societies. Whites of European stock are the oppressor class, and the various less fortunate racial and ethnic groups are the exploited classes. Another important product of Marxist thinking is its disparagement of nationalism and its promotion of global internationalism. It is, perhaps, the driving idea behind the formation of a political European Union, as opposed to a merely economic common market. And it certainly explains the faith of the left in world organizations such as the UN and the World Court. It also explains the left’s embrace of large-scale third-world immigration to the industrial democracies, which serves to dilute white European influence and to reduce distinctions among nation states.81

According to Daniel Mahoney, many of these ideas originated with the writings of influential French left-wing thinkers such as Foucault, Derrida, and Lacan who sought to “subvert—to deconstruct—tradi­tional wisdom and established social institutions. Egalitarian moralism coexisted with a fanatical repudiation of the idea of the Truth…”

Further, these ideas created a “new authoritarianism…more illiberal than anything found in the old order since it showed limitless contempt for habits, practices and judgments that had long served to support civilized human existence.” Mahoney quotes Dominique Schnapper, writing in the French journal Commentaire which was founded by her illustrious father, Raymond Aron. According to Schnapper such thinking has transformed “the democratic principle of human and civic equality…into a passion for equality that perceives every distinction…as discriminatory, every difference as inegalitarian, every inequality as inequitable.”83 This reflects Aristotle’s assertion that the corruption of democracy results when people falsely believe that people “who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal.”

The attachment of the many intellectuals to this view explains their support for programs of international multiculturalism that deny any difference between people and culture. It also explains their concern for the world’s oppressed minorities, a concern that trumps their concern for their own countrymen. To favor one’s own over others is viewed as a base chauvinism. Therefore, the inconsistency of sup­porting mass immigration while at the same time claiming a concern for the working poor disappears if one defines the working poor in international terms, rather than in chauvinistic, national ones. Put in other terms, a true Marxist should show a concern for all the strug­gling masses of mankind; to be more concerned for your own working classes is a retrograde nationalism, best eschewed. This change of focus explains, in large measure, the left’s abandonment of the workingman and joining with corporate interests on the issue of immigration. It is, of course, also the case that the parties of the left increase their power by importing third-world immigrants who overwhelmingly become constituents of those parties. The net result is that people who oppose massive immigration have no place to turn for support on either the right or the left of the political spectrum

The Perils of Diversity(Book Review)