Sherry Listgarten
Thu, 18 Oct 2001 21:43:50 -0700

> Well yes, and you've hit on the greatest weakness in my position,
> namely that I am so complete in my distaste for multiculturalism, and
> so tropic towards rootless cosmopolitanism, there will never be a
> country where my views will be tested. I would love to see a WTO for
> immigration barriers instead of trade barriers, but I suspect I will
> go to my grave never witnessing an industrialized nation that drops
> all immigration controls.

What is multiculturalism? I believe that a plurality of cultures *increases*
diversity, and is therefore a "good thing"; that individuals in different
cultures tend to differ due to variant memes, and therefore one can
(probabilistically) infer things about individuals based on their culture;
and that based on upbringing/temperament/experience/genetics, different
individuals will gravitate to specific cultures (assuming they have the
choice). Does that make me a (distasteful) multiculturalist?

This would imply that the person who wrote "people don't kill people, men
kill people" is a (distasteful) sexist, so I'm guessing you mean something

Or is a multiculturalist someone who believes in the superiority of a
specific  culture? If so, then it seems at least a little cynical to
maintain that immigration barriers are erected because of this. Maybe it's
just to ensure adequate "digestion". For example, schools in California have
had substantial adjustments to make in order to serve a bilingual (make that
multilingual) population. Same with newspapers, public organizations
(hospitals, libraries), etc. And in other cases, perhaps it's an attempt to
preserve culture. This doesn't imply a position that one culture is
preferable to another; just that a coherent culture is preferable to a more
diluted one.

There's actually been a colossal battle regarding houses in Palo Alto, with
some residents tearing down small older houses to build new "monster" homes.
Some claim that the monster houses are ruining the culture, and others claim
that culture must evolve. Seems kind of similar to me.

-- Sherry.