Sunday, April 30, 2006

A genuine "multiculturalist"

Mark Steyn reviewing Oriana Fallaci's The Force of Reason spends too little time on the book in question, but makes up for it with a few bons mots.

Mr. Tayler, a minor civil servant in Bengal, was a genuine "multiculturalist." That's to say, although he regarded his own culture as superior, he was engaged enough by the ways of others to study the differences between them. By contrast, contemporary multiculturalism absolves one from knowing anything about other cultures as long as one feels warm and fluffy toward them. After all, if it's grossly judgmental to say one culture's better than another, why bother learning about the differences? "Celebrate diversity" with a uniformity of ignorance.
It is interesting how often writers searching for an alternative for the purblind multiculturalism of today end up citing British administrators of India.

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