Rebirth of Reason


Russian Dolls
by Kernon Gibes

I returned from Bangkok, Thailand about a month ago, an interesting experience. Whenever one travels, especially to a non-Western nation, one is exposed to a number of cultural differences --- forms of greeting (no handshaking there), food (hot!) -- the list goes on. You can't help but think about cultural differences while in Thailand, whether on a roaring loud tuc tuc or gliding through what's left of their canal system. Such thoughts, in turn, are carried along by the current to very muddy waters indeed ---murky multiculturalism and its many undertows. 

I have to agree with the multiculturalists on some things. I really don't think one can argue for the objective, moral superiority of, say, a Russian doll over Barbie. Granted, Russian dolls have certain aesthetic advantages over Barbie (unless you are overly influenced by the female figure), but my daughter plays equally well with either. 

Where I, and (I trust) a goodly portion of reasoning adults part company with the multiculturalists is over individual rights. Whether or not a woman should be legally barred from holding a job is not merely a matter of taste. It is very hard for me to believe that the majority of Americans are indifferent on the more salient matters of rights. And yet the multiculturalists do appear to hold sway with public opinion. So, what gives? 

Like Russian dolls, the tenets of multiculturalism have many layers. A number of people are "victims" (in the post-modernist sense) of the anti-conceptual educational system, and tend to view things as a series of concretes, missing the wider abstractions. They only see the outer-most Russian doll --- the vague and broad generality that there is no "right" or "wrong" culture. They take "culture" to mean things like cuisine, or whether one shakes hands or bow slightly as a form of greeting. That these sorts of things can't be ordered on an ethical metric of any kind seems sensible to them. And they're right--- it's a matter of taste. There will be some who see more deeply, and understand that the next smallest Russian doll inside implies still further types of equality beyond just matters of taste.

But to get all the way to the core, the innermost Russian doll, requires seeing the fundamental principle at work. 

At the core is a rabid equalitarianism that must do away with judgment entirely. The animating principle isn't that there is no "right" kind of food. That's merely a particular, and a minor, non-arguable one at that. The guiding light --I should say concealing darkness-- is to do away with all levels of discrimination --- to abandon judgment on principle. It is to squash the good and prop up evil in order to achieve its "level" playing field. And why must life's heights and pitfalls be leveled? The motives vary, and are not always important. Ayn Rand once wrote not to bother examining a folly, but to ask what it accomplishes. And what does multiculturalism accomplish? Left unchecked, it would obliterate the moral difference between the U.S.A. and Nazi Germany, between murderers and people who act in self-defense, and between health and prosperity versus disease and hunger.

Those who never open up this Russian doll to look inside are in for a rude awakening. Let's just hope they wake up in time.

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