David Cameron Jumps on the Bandwagon of anti-Multiculturalism

We need ‘a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism.’

David Cameron has announced that the ‘doctrine of state multiculturalism’ has encouraged different cultures to live separate lives. He went on to say that, while we are quick to condemn white racism (really?), we are ‘too cautious’ when someone who isn’t white holds ‘equally objectionable views’.

Has Cameron been reading Christian Joppke’s Veil: mirror of identity? I presume not. However, both these privileged, white men are making the same argument: it is necessary to be illiberal and to curb the rights of ‘different others’, would be ‘separatists’ and ‘extremists’ in order to protect the greater good of liberalism, or what Cameron called ‘our values’.

He said it himself: we need ‘a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism.’ Adding to the doubts Cameron patronisingly expressed with regards Egyptians’ capacity for democracy this week, his comments on multiculturalism display all the racist assumptions of a ‘Schmittian liberal’ elite fearful of its own demise, yet determined to hold on at all costs to the fiction of their superiority. In that they still holds the reins of power, the news for those on the receiving end of their built-up liberal muscles is not good.


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  • Ben

    February 7, 2011

    This bullshit is so transparently illiberal and racist. It’s like the talk of Mubarak bringing “stability,” which means, “Does what the west wants at the cost of Egyptian lives and liberty.” It’s always been around–see J.S. Mill’s odes to imperialist paternalism–but it’s about time it went away permanently. As an American, I’m inextricably tied up in responsibility for some of the worst of this, and it agonises me.

  • Heather

    February 10, 2011

    I don’t think he tries to force people to do what the west wants them to do. He simply points out that the immigrants who come to live in Britain should obey the rules of this country. Don’t you think that the rules implemented in the Muslim world are much stricter?

  • Heather

    February 10, 2011

    I think he just wanted to point out that the people who come to live in Britain should obey the rules of the country just as you have to obey the rules of the Muslim world while visiting any of the Muslim countries.

  • Alana Lentin

    February 10, 2011

    But the people Cameron is talking about are mainly British, therefore citizens. What happens in the so-called Muslim world (although this is a very large space that takes in a lot of countries) has nothing to do with what happens in the UK between the state and its citizens. If Britain claims to be more liberl and tolerant than other countries, then why is the argument about the illiberalism of the Arab/Muslim world always brought in to the argument. What happens there is clearly irrelevant and surely the point of being liberal (if we ant to take that at face value) is not to be compared to *illiberal* regimes?


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  • Jannik Thorsen

    March 3, 2011

    Alana you are commiting a fallacy. Heather has a fair point.

    Britain is importing people from the muslim world in droves. So additudes in the middle east have very real implications for life in Britain.
    Physically moving people from one part of the world to another, does not make them change additudes or behaviour overnight.
    This takes a long time, because culture changes slowly. And in many cases it does not change in the desired “leftist” direction. Despite all your wishfull thinking.

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