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The deep Crisis of the West

Musical genius - less talented in certain other areas

29.05.2014. On Friday 16 May, my wife and I attended a concert with the Greek artist Yanni, held in Grand Concert Hall Oktyabrskiy, Saint Petersburg.

All in all it was a great evening, but I admit to being quite disappointed when between songs Yanni mentioned an astronaut who had looked down on earth and made the 'profound' observation that the borders between our countries are not visible from space, and then continued with remarks to the effect that borders represent (more or less) arbitrary and unnecessary limitations on our freedom.

According to Wikipedia, Yanni's music is said to reflect his «one world, one people» philosophy, so with that in mind there was no reason to be surprised. Even so, it is a bit astonishing that such a gifted man would use such a pathetic 'argument' to help promote his message.

Being in favor of peace and love and everything else that is nice, and being against war and hatred and everything else that is bad, is all good and well. But utopian visions of a future that does not take human nature into account, is bound to fail, and are therefore also bound to exacerbate our situation rather than resolve our challenges and problems.

Now, Yanni may not be inclined to listen to advice from a conservative and theistic commentator like yours truly. However, perhaps he would be more willing to listen to a liberal and atheistic psychologist who has become world famous for his groundbreaking work in understanding the human mind and its so-called moral matrix?

My recommendation to Yanni is that when his currently ongoing world tour comes to an end, and he again has time to reflect on important issues, he should sit down and read Jonathan Haidt's book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion.

Actually, if Yanni wonders whether or not this is a reasonable recommendation, he could ask some of his friends in PBS, and they will almost certainly be able to point him in the direction of one or more interviews with Haidt, which could wet his appetite for said book.

For my own part, if I get a chance to attend some future Yanni concert, I will be carefully listening for any signs of philosophical sophistication exceeding the level recently demonstrated in Saint Petersburg.


«Multiculturalism is part of a larger human rights revolution involving ethnic and racial diversity»

07.05.2014. Karl Mannheim’s concept of free-floating intellectuals engaged in the production of knowledge unconcerned with personal motives and interests has long attracted liberal academics uncomfortable with Karl Marx’s argument that knowledge is ultimately a reflection of one’s class interest, because it offered an image of themselves as self-sacrificing men pursuing truth objectively for the sake of humanity. Will Kymlicka, the most influential advocate of the “exceptional” Canadian model of “immigrant multiculturalism,” is generally seen in this light, an academic who produces research for the benefit of everyone in the world. Thus writes Ricardo Duchesne in his article Will Kymlicka and the disappearing Dominion. He continues (boldface emphasis added, italics in original):

Kymlicka is not an original thinker in the manner of John Rawls, Eric Voegelin, or Jurgen Habermas, but his research is relied upon by all the mainstream political parties, universities, and NGOs. He is a most trusted intellectual ostensibly standing above petty motives and crass interests. He is arguably the best connected and best funded academic in Canada, regularly producing papers commissioned by government agencies and corporations, including Forum of Federations, ICCS, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Transatlantic Council on Migration.

Mainstream readers have criticized him from the left as a centrist who defends liberal institutions, and from the right as a collectivist who advocates special rights for minorities. He is the man in the middle. In this essay, I will show that Kymlicka is in truth an advocate of the overthrow of the traditional European-centred culture of Canada, of mass immigration and of racially mixed states across the Western world.

Kymlicka holds, currently, the Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy at Queen’s University in Kingston. Best known for the elaboration of a liberal theory of minority rights, with particular reference to Canada, he has been tremendously effective in this endeavour. Since the mid-1980s when he was a grad student, he has received, every single year without interruption, highly lucrative grants and awards, including the Premier’s Discovery Award in 2009 ($250,000), the Trudeau Foundation Fellowship in 2005-2008 ($225,000), and the Killam Prize in Social Sciences in 2004 ($100,000). He has held visiting professorships and fellowships outside Canada every year since coming to Kingston in 1998. Around the world his books have been accepted as part of the official consensus on multiculturalism in Canada, translated into 32 languages. While portraying himself as an outsider fighting the dominant Eurocentric discourse, he is best viewed as Canada’s government-sanctioned ideologue of multicultural citizenship.


This last commissioned report by Kymlicka is interesting in that it exhibits some efforts on his part to address the growing discontent in Europe over immigration. He announces in the opening pages: “Multiculturalism is part of a larger human rights revolution involving ethnic and racial diversity”. The “racially biased immigration and citizenship policies” of the past cannot be allowed as a matter of ultimate belief. The goal is to “challenge the legacies of earlier ethnic and racial hierarchies.” The “explicitly” racist immigration policies of the past “ceased by the 1960s and 1970s,” but “ethnic and racial hierarchies persist” in the West. As long as ethnic Europeans remain dominant demographically and culturally in their countries, these racial hierarchies will not be transcended. The final goal is the “equality of the races and peoples” inside European lands. (25)


The implicit logic is that, since Europeans believe in freedom of choice and expression, it follows that they prefer more cultures inside their nations to improve the “quality and richness” of their choices. I say “implicit” because Kymlicka does not debate whether the choices of Europeans will continuously improve as their culture is overwhelmed by diversity and forced to relinquish their “deep bond” to their heritage. He does not differentiate either the “deep diversity” he wants (in which Europeans will be reduced, in his words, to “a constantly shrinking minority”) and the diversity Canadians already enjoyed in 1971 when multiculturalism was announced as an official policy, when the ethnic distribution of the country was: British (44.6%), French (28.7%), German (6.1%), Italian (3.4%), Ukrainian (2.7%), Dutch (2.0% ), Scandinavian (1.8% ), Polish (1.5), Jewish (1.4%),), Other Europe (4.2%), Asian (1.3%), and Aboriginal (1.3). (27) All Canadians in 1971, regardless of ethnicity and religious affiliation, enjoyed the same liberal rights. What was it about this diversity that was lacking in quality and choices? Kymlicka never asks this simple question in his voluminous writings, opining that:

…It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that much of the backlash against multiculturalism arises from a racist or xenophobic fear of these new immigrant groups (1995: 179).

The vast majority of Canadians would never have endorsed policies that target them as oppressors to be dispossessed if the ultimate intentions of this ideology were presented to them by critics with equal access to the public space and without fear of demonization and loss of livelihood. Kymlicka only offers idealized versions of an imagined future. (28), but in between the lines one can detect the mind of someone intent on destroying Canada’s Christian European heritage. [...] In other words, he is anticipating a point in Canada’s history when the entire “societal culture” will be neutered and neutralized away from any Eurocentric characteristic. In this vein, he endorses as well the rewriting of Canada’s history in order to give an equal voice to diverse ethnicities in the making of Canada.

Never again,” Kymlicka demands, should Canada be viewed as a “white country … as a British country.” (29) Today, one in five Canadians is foreign-born, and Kymlicka is still encouraging more immigration and diversity. Major newspapers, academic and corporate elites alike, are calling for a doubling of Canada’s intake of immigrants from 250,000 to 500,000, with the goal of raising the population from 35 to 100 million by the end of the century. Kymlicka and liberal elites generally believe that immigrant multiculturalism is the final stage in the march towards racial equality. This equality is obviously illusionary. White-created nations are the only ones experimenting with this ideology. What is not illusionary is that Canada is steadily becoming a nation overwhelmed by diverse cultures. A majority (70.2%) of the foreign-born population in 2006 reported a mother tongue other than English or French. The Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist faiths amounted to 33 per cent of those immigrants who arrived between 2001 and 2011. Canada’s visible minority population is projected to make up one third of the population by the year 2031. Toronto and Vancouver are projected to become “majority-minority” cities in 2031, with the non-European ethnic population at 63 and 59 percent respectively. Similar massive increases are anticipated in all of Canada’s major cities. As it is, aboriginals are expected to become between 21 and 24 per cent of the population of the province of Saskatchewan, and between 18 and 21 percent of the population of Manitoba by 2031.

The end of European Canada is now an impending reality. It is high time Kymlicka offered an explanation to native Canadians why they should accept policies that are fast reducing them to a minority within their own homelands. Given that humans by nature have a “very deep bond” to their ethnic and cultural identity, why should European Canadians be precluded from having a vital stake in retaining their culture, traditions and ethnic identity, the same stake Kymlicka attributes to non-Europeans? Kymlicka needs to address this question, otherwise his life’s work and career is submerged by contradictions, whose only coherency is its animus to Canada’s founding peoples.

Ricardo Duchesne is Professor of Sociology at the University of New Brunswick, and the author of The Uniqueness of Western Civilization.

Read the entire article in Quarterly Review.



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HonestThinking is dedicated and committed to the art of thinking honestly. Yet honest thinking is not the same as true thinking, for it is possible to think honestly, but be mistaken. For the same reason, honest thinking is not identical with objective thinking either. Honest thinking is striving to get things right. This involves being truthful about whatever one publishes, but just as importantly, it involves an uncompromising dedication never to suppress relevant data, even when data collides with dearly held prejudices. Such an approach may sometimes cause hurtful revisions in one’s belief system. That’s what HonestThinking is all about! Read the entire manifesto.

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The current European immigration and integration policy is profoundly disrespectful of both Muslims and Islam, because it is built on the tacit assumption that the Muslims will become like us. One claims to have respect for Islam and for Muslims, but one also expects Muslims to give up their orthodox faith when they come here. At the same time one is assuming that Islam will be reformed and modernized as soon as the Muslims become integrated and understand and appreciate how superior our Western culture is compared to their own. This is cultural shauvinism and arrogance indeed! The unspoken premise for this scenario is that Western socities are superior to Islam. Read more.




Human rights and democracy are under pressure. One threat comes from the Western world, in the form of lack of or dishonest thinking. There exists a peculiar Western "tolerance" which is so "tolerant" that it even tolerates totalitarian or anti-democratic ideologies. A tacit assumption underlying such an attitude is that all cultures, world views, and religions are really equally good. As a consequence of this assumption one is cut off from the possibility of critically examining the above mentioned ideologies. Read more.