Engaging Culture

Why a Distinctive Culture Matters

In a “multicultural” world, it’s not politically correct to actually stand up for your own culture – unless of course you’re a 3rd world country, or perhaps Muslim.  The ascendency of the West fell out of fashion long ago, and it’s tough to find many who would actually defend a “Christian” culture.  However, in the January Issue of “Books & Culture” Leah Seppanen Anderson reviews Christopher Caldwell’s book: “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe:  Immigration, Islam and the West” and takes a different view.  In her review she points out a fascinating assessment of Europe’s immigration problem – according to Caldwell.  As she states:

“Caldwell’s grim assessment rests in large part on his understanding of the two communities he sees in conflict. In his view, Europeans are weak. They are weak culturally because they no longer have a coherent, defensible culture. Appeals to “European values” are meaningless: “you cannot defend what you cannot define. There is no consensus, not even the beginning of a consensus, about what European values are. A united Europe would have nothing to fear from Islam, but Europe is not united.”
Moreover, Europeans are politically weak, explains Caldwell, because their leaders have capitulated to political correctness and ideals of diversity, which render them unable to criticize any aspect of Islam. Rather than critically engaging with the Islamic culture of many immigrants, Europe has “bent over backward” to accommodate Islam: “For the first time in modern history, European societies were taking pains to allow residents—and, increasingly, citizens—to lead their entire lives in a foreign culture.”

After reading this, my first thought was – How far is the United States from this situation?

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  1. Right on Phil,

    See http://www.brusselsjournal.com for conservative thought regarding the multi-culti war from Brussels.

    See this piece: http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4308 regarding how a visionary of the 1960’s said that liberal or progressive efforts are 1) destructive to Western Enlightenment and 2) never satisfied with destruction and 3) never reach utopia because 4) man’s nature doesn’t change to make such utopias work because 5) the world and humans are God’s creation.

    Interesting ideas. The visionary: Eric Voegelin, from an article by Thomas F. Bertonneau.

    Voegelin said that a mature person had “openness to Divine Ground.” Whereas nasty liberals were intolerant and required strict adherence to dogma.

    Voegelin always pointed to Western Enlightenments plasticity within limits, i.e. we agree to a flexible orthodoxy, but that orthodoxy, by definition, has limits that must not be crossed.

    Liberalism’s totalitarian PC goal is to destroy Western Enlightenment’s orthodoxy. And what is that orthodoxy? Greek-Jewish-Christian traditions.

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