Sunday, July 5, 2009

Something cold and inhuman in their clarity

I found this in an old essay of mine:
It is precisely in reaction to such behavior that the "multicultural" worldview makes sense. We do need to doubt ourselves. We do need to worry at least as much about our own potential for evil as that of the foreigners. We do need to meet other cultures with some humility and respect. We do need to have mixed feelings about our own culture, admiration tempered by wariness, as with a wild animal. We do need to listen to people who believe differently, instead of just lecturing them. Not because there is no right or wrong, true or false, and not because every culture is equal, but because the alternative is so dangerous. The road of the righteous champion of the Army of Light.

So it appears that I believe all of these things, both the essential ideas of the culture warriors and those of their multicultural enemies. This might be a contradiction - I'm not sure. It would seem that I'm both anti-elitist and elitist, that I understand both those who want to confront and those who want to talk. And maybe that's not such a bad place to be.

I know how the culture warriors feel about such doubt, they see it as weakness, a fear of moral clarity. But I see something cold and inhuman in their clarity. Give me conflicting ideas, isolated incidents, and individuals. Keep your angry visions, I'll do just fine with doubt and curiosity.

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At 05 July, 2009 14:26 , Blogger Arnfinn Pettersen said...

Hear! Hear!


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