Governments Should Actively Promote Multiculturalism
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Governments refers to all the all governing bodies of all states of the world but especially of liberal democracies since being a liberal democracy often serves as an essential prerequisite for a stable and accepting society.
Multiculturalism refers to a state of communal diversity inside the territory of a state when people of various races, ethnicities, religious and cultural backgrounds live, work and trade together, participate in political life and are otherwise engaged in social and cultural interactions within the society while the the society remains aware and fully accepting of the different backgrounds and cultures of all the members of the society. Multiculturalism in this sense is contrasted to the concept of a nation-state or an assimilated state (a homogenous state) where the inhabitants of the country naturally share or are assimilated into sharing their racial, cultural and religious backgrounds.
Active promotion refers to two kinds of measures. First, measures facilitating imigration such as less strict border control, initial economic and social support for immigrants and the creation of various opportunities to enter the state such as green card lotteries, advertisement of different work, study and business programmes, etc. Second, measures encouraging respect for multiculturalism and directed towards the whole of the society such as formal education about different cultures, legislation prohibiting discrimination, introduction of television programmes in various languages within the society as illustrated by the Special Broadcasting Service in Australia, allowing foreign festivals and holidays (e.g. Saint Patrick's Day in Argentina), supporting all kinds of artistic or cultural expression from ethnic groups and undertaking other similar actions in order to spread multiculturalism.
Before moving on to our reasons for negation, we would like to emphasize that we are not against the concept of global multiculturalism- a practice that embraces the different cultures that exist on a world scale. However, what we are against is multiculturalism on a national level. What we see with national multiculturalism is people moving out of the haven in which their cultures are safely preserved- the plan that the proposition is promoting in this round.
We would like to also emphasize the fact that current multiculturalism is failing in some countries such as UK, Australia, France, and Germany. We will prove to you that the most ideal way of viewing multiculturalism- having a multitude of different preserved cultures living peacefully together- is impossible to achieve in real life further on in our first contention.
In our second contention, we will talk about how we should focus on integration rather than multiculturalism that which leads to assmiliation, and we will explain why assimilation is bad.
Lastly, we will explain why multiculturalism will eventually result in a loss of diversity as it represses cultures than expressing cultures.
Multiculturalism greatly facilitates advancement and progress by advancing cultural exchange in both products and ideas.
This happens because multiculturalism renders the various features of different cultures accessible to the whole population of the state. Since people are living close by, they are often strongly economically and socially incentivized to fill empty niches in the market by introducing features of their own cultures into the market.
This enables the people to interchange various elements of their cultures and in turn it renders them capable to get services that they enjoy and would not otherwise be able to get: The Eastern cultures can avail of the Western medicine, modern technology and scholarship while the Western cultures are able to make use of the Eastern food, arts and literature, for example.
Moreover, this import extends to the academia and ideas too since the scholars of different cultures are able to due to their knowledge of the cultures and incentivized by means of sense of achievement, scholarly recognition and economic motives to introduce different concepts from their cultures to the academic debate. This is very beneficial in light of the fact in man's search for truth an exposure to as a wide a range of ideas as possible is essential. Multiculturalism provides just the right conditions for that to happen and often these ideas have immense consequences for science, politics and society.
For example, the introduction of Western democratic values has greatly influenced the politics of the Eastern countries. On the other hand, the West has been able to make use of Eastern philosophies such as Taoism and Buddhism as well as of their spiritual practices.
In summary therefore, multiculturalism greatly facilitates the exchange of ideas and products between cultures due to economic, social and other incentives that this introduction entails and this has positive consequences to the state and its people.
Workplaces in multicultural nations have been greatly negatively impacted. Diversity can lead to increased misunderstanding, conflict, and decreased productivity. First of all, language barrier can be a significant problem in increased conflicts and decreased in productivity. It is inevitable that these migrants will struggle with trying to communicate in their workplaces since majority of the migrants speak in different languages and are not fluent in the host nation’s language. Mecklenburg Schools reports that over 84 languages are now spoken within the international student population. Because of this language barrier, the work system will be slowed down. Migrant workers will be working in a new environment, language, and cultures. They will not be able to work efficiently and productivity will be decreased. If the productivity in the base of the workers’ pyramid falls, the entire economic system will become chaotic.
Multiculturalism leads to discrimination at the workplace and slow down the productivity level. Muslims, like other minority groups, often experience discrimination on the job, such as the termination or denial of employment because of religious appearance, the refusal to accommodate religious practices on the job, or biased behavior by co-workers or supervisors. Such actions are commonly due to misconceptions or ignorance about Islam’s religious practices, rather than intentional prejudice. This means that merely putting all these different people together won’t make them understand each other. If we merely view everyone as equals and not understand the differences between these people, we will be increasing the discrimination, and decrease significantly the productivity for these workers.
Multiculturalism promotes more tolerant societies
We believe that almost all conflicts within the multicultural communities emerge because of misunderstanding, suspicion and lack of confidence. Lots of people with different cultural backgrounds tend to misinterpret or do not realize the essence of foreign traditions, religious beliefs and attitude towards various things. Often, what is considered to be perfectly normal in one culture, may be seen as completely ridicilous or even offensive in another. For example, critizining religion can be fully understandable in Europe but completely innapropriate in the Islamic world- controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was supposed to be a Danish political joke, however for Muslims it was humiliation of their faith and they way to discredit their communities. As the result, it creates a social precipice which takes away most of the possibilities to live and cooperate peacefully and leads to automatic violence, anger and tension. For example, a suicide bomber inspired by other insulting drawings of Muhammad attacked a busy shopping street in Stockholm and a court in Copenhagen sentenced a Somali man to nine years in prison for attempting to kill Kurt Westergaard.
We argue that sustainable multiculturalism policy is specifically aimed at helping people with different cultural backgrounds to understand that their cultures do not contradict but contribute to each other by encouraging them to interact and get involved into various cultural activities, perceive the origins of their local values and traditions. We see it as a starting point of shaping a critical thinking and creating an open- mindedness society since it gives people the incentive to question widely accepted prejudices, search for reasons and get a lot more diversed experience. For example, in Canada the multiculturalism policy was adopted in 1971 and is thought to be successful - it recognizes Aboriginal rights, minority rights and equality rights regardless of color, religion and culture.
Multiculturalism is morally justified
Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution." However, UDHR does not state that there are obligations for well-developed countries to provide one. Country willing to accept refugees encounters at least many economic problems like provision of food and shelter, financing integration programmes, etc. Yet, there are countries still willing to do so. Let’s take the examples of Georgia or Libya. People from all over the world were scared of events happening in those countries and trying to help suffering people living there by providing food, medication, even coming themselves as volunteers to the hot spots. It comes quite naturally that people tend to do things that brings them pleasure and benefits to themselves. In this case, providing humanitarian aid or even accepting people from different culture comes easier since people doing “a good job” are proud of themselves and tend to accept new culture easier than in any other circumstances. In addition, people are not unfamiliar with mixing of cultures. From the ancient times, it was acceptable to get married with another person from a royal family or to run away from war in your home land. Even in middle ages it was morally accepted to leave your land and ask for asylum in a church. To sum up, many refugees were accepted to the countries meaning one thing: people tend to help others in pain and suffering no matter what their religion, education, and skin colour is. Therefore, this type of multiculturalism is common and morally acceptable.
We have no argument to make against the contention the people should help others in pain. Let us be clear that we are not advocating closed borders, especially to refugees. In fact, it is because we want to promote human rights that we cannot accept that all cultures are morally equal and deserve equal acceptance.
We believe Team Lithuania has the best of intentions, but this alone does not add up to moral might. The Proposition looks at multiculturalism as an abstract idea rather than a concrete one with a real-world context with consequences and entailments.
Promoting multiculturalism is much more than simply helping out the deprived. The morality this argument rests on is not a new concept. It exists in the status quo. Many states currently welcome refugees without actively promoting multiculturalism.
Beyond this, we would argue that multiculturalism is in reality not always morally justified. If "helping people in need" is the moral value, we don't see that introducing cultures into a Turkish bazaar of cultures will in fact help them. Even if the Proposition's brand of multiculturalism affords special rights to individual or minority cultural groups, this just pits one against another. Instead of serving to balance the inequalities that exist, it entrenches attitudes of competition within rather than between nations, and discourages integration and cooperation.
Furthermore, we submit that the rule of law and human rights are concepts that are inherently superior and should be protected regardless of opposing cultural values. Multiculturalism asks us to accept both cultural and moral relativism, because morals are rooted in cultural perspectives. If we accept them all as equally valuable, then we are forced to go along with cultural practices like infanticide, genital mutilation, the oppression of women, even retributive murder. This is incompatible with morality as both the Proposition and we present it.
Multiculturalism promotes healthier new generations
Every human being has unique appearance. However, we all have genetically encoded features such as as skin, hair, eye color, etc. Furthermore, in a certain region a certain gene pool is shared between the individuals. Therefore, we can easily identify if a person is African, Asian or European just by looking at their features. For example, only approximately 1 to 2% of the human population has red hair while about 40% of Scottish carries the recessive redhead gene. This is so because this population has lived in the same region for a long time and has not mixed with other races a lot, so they have kept this gene.
The issue here is that we not only share features but we also share inheritable diseases that are influenced by genes, as well. For instance, 44% of Japanese adults have Myopia (an inherited eyesight defect). And if both: the father and the mother have this Myopia gene there is a ¾ probability that their children will have the same eyesight defect. However, if a person that carries this gene has children with a person that does not, the chance that a child will have Myopia is reduced to 1/4. The put this very simply, the ‘good’ gene acts like a backup, effectively preventing disease the ‘bad’ gene might have caused. And the chances of a ‘bad’ gene meeting a ‘bad’ gene increases along with the amount of time it has spent circulating the gene pool of a certain region.
To sum up, the more diverse the genes of the father and the mother are, the healthier the child will be. And the multicultural society is the best possible medium for such marriages of two individuals with the completely different sets of genes to appear, resulting healthier new generations.
The proposition has built this argument over a major assumption- that multiculturalism will lead to harmony. The idea is attractive. What could be more harmonious than marriage? However the reality is somewhat different. Inter-ethnic marriages did little to lessen conflicts in Rwanda, Ireland, and the former Czechoslovakia. In European nations such as France and UK, the clash of values and the promotion of differences through multiculturalism have drastically increased right-wing sentiment, evident in the rise of populist governments led by politicians like Le Pen.
We would like to point out the fact that the proposition has provided why genetic diversity is good, but has not given a link to multiculturalism, further than that it facilitates the proximity necessary for cross-breeding. Cultures themselves are not genetically encoded, and will not automatically be passed on. In fact, we argue that the likelihood is a mass assimilation into pop culture, and a blurring of cultural lines as they fail to be passed on. Will the child of an intercultural marriage be expected to maintain both cultures in any sort of depth? How about the grandchild whose parents are both of mixed ethnic descent? What we have seen in North America and Australia is that by the 3rd and 4th generations, cultural heritage, heroes, and perspectives have been subjugated to an almost tyrannical pop culture. Many have mourned the loss of a sense of community and traditions. Sure, it’s fun to walk down the street in Vancouver with a samosa in one hand and sushi cone in the other, but cultural symbols like these can hardly replace the richness of perspective, history, and shared experience they represent, nor can the reality of such cultures be appreciated by the casual consumer. We beg the Proposition to make it clear whether they are advocating for genetic diversity or cultural diversity, as the likelihood of multiculturalism bringing about both seems naïve.
The main contention of the proposition in this debate is that multiculturalism is a very succesful policy because it promotes the well-being of a society by facilitating advancement and progress by advancing cultural exchange in both products and ideas, by increasing the tolerance in societies and by promoting healthy new generations.
The opposition stated that problems of discrimination or language barriers will be the basic obstacles to implement such policy. However, we believe that discrimination level at work depends on how much people educated and tolerant are and the problem of language barrier is not sufficient enough to reject all the benefits that we get. Multiculturalism policy is exactly aimed at reducing discrimination and promoting open-mindness thinking.
The opposition stated that multiculturalism is fundamentally incompatible with the idea of liberal democracies. However, we tackle this argument by stating quite the opposite: multiculturalism is in fact essential for the development of a liberal democracy because it makes people constantly question, adapt and change their values as well as accept new values which is what the definition of a liberal democracy entails in the first place.
While we acknowledge that there might be a clash of different values, we say that this clash is fundamentally solvable because as members of different cultures interact with the society, they also tend to change shift some of their own values and adapt new ones.
Finally, the opposition stated that if this happens, it is a bad things because cultural values are universal and they should be preserved but we do not agree with this contention. We submit that all cultural values are means to an end and while cultural values might not be "universally bad", cultures might outgrow some of their own values and change them and if this happens, this is a positive thing.
Multiculturalism is antithetical to liberal democracy.
Multiculturalism as a policy is founded on an impossibility, since in making space for all values, it provides support for none, including those behind multiculturalism itself. Prop has pointed to liberal democracies as the focus of their argument for multiculturalist policies. Ironically, the reality of multiculturalism is antithetical to the principles of liberal democracy, in that providing support for all cultures to operate freely in the same framework entails a tacit acceptance of oppressive practices such as genital mutilation, the suppression of women’s rights, even child abuse. These stand in direct opposition to liberal ideologies. Britain, with its ethnic pluralism and openness to different religions, provides us with a good example of the naivete of multiculturalist policies. The London bombings of 7 July, and the abortive bombings of 21 July testify that truly open and egalitarian policies are overly optimistic. “In particular, the fact that most of the individuals involved were born and/or brought up in Britain – a country that had given them or their parents a refuge from persecution, fear or poverty and a guarantee of freedom of worship – has led many analysts, observers, intellectuals and opinion-formers to conclude that multiculturalism has failed; even worse, that it can be blamed for the bombings.” [[(http://www.futureislam.com/20051101/insight/tariqmadood/remaking_multiculturalism_prn.asp)]]
The unfortunate fact is that multiculturalism in its most desirable form – that is, distinct cultures existing side by side and yet interacting and influencing each other – is a pipe dream. We all think some cultures are better than others. We might value them because they are more favorable to progress, more just and free. Globally, there is room for these differences, and room for people to make choices, and room for ideas to compete. Within a single nation, there is not. Laws have to be based on a set of ideologies that are at the very least
The opposition asserts that liberal democracies cannot co-exist with multiculturalism because they have completely incompatible values and that Britain is a good example of how multiculturalism is a failing policy.
First, it is not true that liberal democracies and the cultures of the world have completely incompatible values. There is a certain basis of values that all of the cultures share. For example, murder, slavery or theft are universally prohibited everywhere and they are part of the core of the liberal democratic values too.
Second, even if there is some point of conflict between the values of a liberal democracy and the values of different cultures, this conflict is not a bad thing because it enables the liberal democracy to constantly reinforce and adapt their values, and it helps the cultures mitigate and reconcile some of theirs.
Multiculturalism is essential in strengthening liberal democracies because it makes people constantly question, tolerate and accept new values which is equal to reinforcing the values of a liberal democracy itself. Otherwise certain ideas would become dominant and this is contrary to the point of liberal democracy itself.
Second, multiculturalism allows people to reconcile their own values to adapt to those of the liberal democracy. E.g. most of the African immigrants in Europe do not follow traditional practices of female genital population not because these are banned by law but because the immigrants themselves have a mindset change. People from different cultures are exposed to the values of multiculturalism such as freedom of speech, religion, physical integrity, etc. and it helps them reconcile their traditional cultural practices with those of a liberal democracy to make the two more compatible with each other.
The multiculturalism policy in Britain is but a bad example because Britain undertook separation and not multiculturalism as they encouraged different cultures to live separate lives.
Multiculturalism doesn't create diverse societies; it creates politically correct societies.
The idea behind multiculturalism is that it will result in a rainbow of skin hues, native fabrics, and foreign foods. It all looks very promising on paper, but the reality is somewhat less picturesque. Canada’s introduction of aggressive multicultural policies thirty years ago continues to be what is considered a highly successful experiment, and we are proud of that. So why wouldn’t we want the whole world to turn into one big Canada? We’ll try to explain why not. First of all, everybody would end up speaking English, even if French or other minority language laws were enacted. A few generations of children would simply be unable to communicate with their grandparents; later generations would lose their heritage languages completely. Second, cultural traditions would be suppressed in order to avoid conflict. In Toronto’s York region, school Christmas concerts and some Hallowe’en activities have been banned. Other examples of this trend can be seen throughout Europe as some countries ban the wearing of religious symbols in public. Laws like these are sometimes necessary in order to help diverse societies avoid conflict, but they don’t encourage expression or diversity.
With multiculturalism, as with most things, we are forced to choose. Do we want people to live in the same society and become similar, or do we want them to form individual societies and maintain the uniqueness of their cultures? We say the latter, or when the current rate of globalisation makes that impossible, then cultures should be integrated – that is, people in a national community should be encouraged to place the core values of that community before those of their ethnic or individual cultures. People who live in liberal democracies should be encouraged, as much as possible, to share liberal, democratic values, including respect for difference. Overall, this is what we see happening in the status quo. It is not perfect; humanity is messy - but it is preferable to universal multi
The opposition's argument suggests that cultures would lose their diversity and that this is necessarily a bad thing. Both of these premises are ill-founded right from the beginning.
First of all, there is a premise that the cultural values of all of the different cultures would have to be either suppressed or removed. This does not have to be true. While cultures do at times relax some of their practices, there are a lot of cases where later they turn back on their traditions and even strengthen them.
An example is the Irish language which was close to extinction due to the British rule in the 19th century but is currently the official language of Ireland. Another example is the traditional Pagan religion in Lithuania which is being revived despite ages of Christianity. In fact, the Internet, mass-communication and mass-media often facilitate the revival and fostering of cultural traditions.
Second of all, even if we accept the opposition's argument on face value, the other premise that they rely on is that all of the cultural values are worth saving. This premise is in not only in direct conflict with the opposition's previous argument where they stated practices of female genital mutilation undesirable but it is not factual either.
We say that some cultural practices are indeed not worth saving but not because they are bad but because some cultures have outgrown their own practices and need new ones. It is true that there might be situations where a language gets used less than it used to be but we fail to see how this is bad if it actually helps members of that culture communicate and trade and by so doing increases their well-being.
In other words, the opposition is promoting cultural practices as ends in themselves where we submit cultural practices are often means to achieving those ends and sometimes it is better for cultures to change those values not because they are intrinsically bad but just because the culture has outgrown their own values
(We’d like to apologize to Team Lithuania for messing up on our posting and not giving them much to work with from the beginning. Our team has been working from three continents this past week, and we’ve been struggling with internet connection/communication problems. It hasn’t made for very good debate, but you’ve been good sports, so thank you!)
Prop offered us the idea that multiculturalism would result in exchange of ideas, thus contributing to the state’s economy. We agree that this kind of an outcome is desirable, but we don’t believe it would happen on a scale large enough to offset the practical issues related to pulling people out of the countries where their education is relevant, and where they understand the culture and the language, and transplant them, leaving behind social supports just when they are faced with a huge learning curve, that the diversity of ideas alone will make the whole equation add up to greater productivity.
Instead of resulting in interactions between cultures, multiculturalism ends up either bringing about greater isolation, or wearing down cultural differences. In some cases, this adds to discrimination. It entrenches attitudes of competition within rather than between nations, and discourages integration and cooperation.
Prop brought up the point that multiculturalism promotes more tolerant societies. Multiculturalism is idealistic in theory, but its real effect is promoting politically correct societies, eliminating cultural activities that do not involve all the cultures. It is liberal democracy that protects the rights of minority groups, not multiculturalism, and increasing the migrant population from different cultures as the proposition is proposing is going to complicate that job, not make it easier.
We cannot quarrel with Prop in their contention that countries have a moral responsibility to help those in need. What the opposition would like to clarify is first, that liberal democratic governments accept refuges from all different cultures in the status quo; second, that promoting the idea that all cultures are equal in value leaves room for at least theoretical support for violations of human rights as some cultures value cultural practices like infanticide, genital mutilation, the oppression of women, even retributive murder.
Finally, Prop stated that promotion of multiculturalism is going to result in a healthy new generation. The problem is that this argument destroys their previous supports for multiculturalism, because it places multiculturalism as a throw-away means to the end of cross-breeding, which will ultimately destroy cultural diversity and negate the benefits the Prop has outlined.
Ultimately, Prop’s plan is too short-sighted. Like a child mixing paints for the first time, it is full of rainbow-dreams, but we all know what happens when you mix the paintbox: you don’t get a rainbow, but cloudy grey. We need some separation to keep the beauty there is in diversity.
What do you think?