Let’s Not Get Bogged Down In Multiculturalism Versus Progressivism

The Federalist | 4/25/2019 | John Daniel Davidson
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In his reply to an essay by Ryan P. Williams of the Claremont Institute calling for a defense of America against multiculturalism, my Federalist colleague David Marcus misreads Williams’ core argument, which is that America’s most vital virtue is an insistence that its citizens and potential citizens “assimilate to a certain view of justice embodied in the Declaration of Independence and safeguarded by our state and national political institutions, first and foremost the U.S. Constitution” (emphasis mine).

Marcus avers that Williams is “demanding, especially of potential citizens that they assimilate into American culture,” and goes on to argue that Williams’s fundamental error “is the focus on culture.” Williams’s focus is not on culture, but justice. That’s why, despite Marcus’ claims, he doesn’t demand that citizens and potential citizens assimilate into American culture—a phrase that never appears in his essay.

View - Justice - Founders - Men - Creator

Rather, he is concerned with the uniquely American view of justice that insists, with the Founders, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. The safeguarding of those individual rights is the purpose of just government, and of the American regime properly understood.

That is, the object of American government is, or should be, justice, which, as Williams writes, “meant the equal protection of equal rights rooted in a common understanding of human nature.”

Law - View - Nature - Politics - Multiculturalism

Against this natural law view of human nature and politics, multiculturalism posits that there is no basis for individual rights, only collective rights rooted in historical grievances and adjudicated through sheer force. Williams’ key paragraph on what he means by multiculturalism is worth quoting in full:

Unlike Americanism, properly understood, multiculturalism defines and defends the rights of groups rather than individuals and denies the possibility of any natural standard from which to assess the goodness of political or moral arrangements. By rejecting this natural...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Federalist
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