Thursday, July 24, 2014

Kristallnacht All Over Again

A Parisian suburb known for its multiculturalism exploded in antisemitic hatred the other day.

It's interesting that news reports emphasize that the suburb was a multicultural oasis. Multiculturalism is just a feel-good euphemism for tribalism. Wherever disparate cultures are thrown together they either assimilate or they eventually wind up at each others' throats. The concept of a mosaic of cultures living together in harmony is a liberal fantasy rooted more in an unfounded belief in the inherent goodness of human beings than in empirical historical precedent.

People will only tolerate each other if they share a common core culture - particularly language and values. The more differences there are between people the more they are seen as "other" and the more friction there'll be between them. If there's a history of conflict and bloodshed between them in the countries of origin then the hope that they will get along in their adopted multicultural environment is almost certain to be dashed. This is why celebrations of differences among cultures living together is ill-conceived. What we should celebrate are the things that make us alike. We only encourage resentment and conflict by celebrating our differences and treating others as outsiders. Nations with large minority populations should strive to be cultural melting pots, not mosaics.

Lest we think that an apparent reprise of 1938 in Paris is limited to Europe and the effete French, the same sort of hatred for Jews is simmering in American cities. Boston saw a series of protests in recent days not just against Israel, but against Jews. Antisemitic insults were hurled and police had to extract several Jewish demonstrators from a crowd of pro-Palestinian leftist demonstrators who shouted for Jews to be killed and/or sent back to extermination camps.

The last time the Jews were targeted for murder it was by extremist socialists like the Nazis. This time it's socialists simpliciter. The Left and other Palestinian sympathizers, frustrated by their inability to harm Jews living in Israel, threaten to take out their hatreds on Jews living in supposedly enlightened Europe. Of course, "enlightenment" means little when it comes to tribal hatreds. Germany in 1938 was the most enlightened place in the world. Europeans, just like all human beings, have the heart of a beast covered by a thin patina of civilization. It doesn't take much to dissolve the patina away. Antisemitism seems to be an acid that dissolves that patina more quickly than just about anything else.