“The fact is that, historically, Great Britain has had a remarkably stable demographic makeup for at least a thousand years, if not much longer. The idea that what we have experienced since 1997…is in any way comparable or equivalent to the past is nonsense, at best, and disingenuous, at worst.”
rguments about immigration and multiculturalism are so fraught because they get right to the heart of the existential things: Who are we, where do we come from, and where are we going? These existential questions are deep and complex enough at the individual level, but scaled up to the societal level, they can become dangerously destabilizing. Western countries have been experimenting with increasing the levels of ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity in heir populations since the end of World War II. These increases sped up hugely from the beginning of this century, were turbocharged by the 2015 migrant crisis in Europe, and are set to continue as populations in the Global South continue to grow at the same time as climate change and environmental degradation increase in precisely those areas least able to bear these burdens.
The way these challenges are spoken of in places like the United Kingdom and United States points to the problem: Those in the liberal Clerisy who control the media and cultural megaphone not only do not raise these challenges but also claim that the very fact that these challenges are sometimes raised is itself a sign of bigotry and prejudice, depending upon who does this. So much of the debate around immigration and multiculturalism can best be described by the phrase “It’s not happening, and it’s good that it is.” This is an ideologically blinkered view, as these things are happening, and it is not entirely clear that it is good that they are.
The fact of mass immigration into the United Kingdom was given new urgency by the publication of data from the latest census, taken in 2021, along with migration figures for that year. In 2021, net migration (people who arrive minus those who leave) was 504,000. In total, over a million people arrived in the United Kingdom during 2021. This follows the year 2020-2021 when the Office for National Statistics reports that 680,000 foreign-born residents arrived. Meanwhile, on the illegal front, from 2018 to 2022, the number of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants who have arrived unlawfully in the United Kingdom across the English Channel in small boats has gone from 299 to 44,000, with around 47,000 expected to have made the crossing by the end of 2022. As Matt Goodwin writes, “the number of people crossing the Channel each month [in 2022] has surged from 1,000 back in January to more than 7,000 in September.” At the end of October, “nearly 1,000 people in twenty-four boats crossed the Channel in a single day.”
It is true that most are from countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Eritrea, and Sudan. But it is also true that 90% are male, and 1-2% of Albania’s adult male population, around 12,000, have crossed over the Channel in small boats. Albanians now comprise the single largest ethnic group crossing on small boats. Albania is not a war-torn, famine-ravaged or dictator-oppressed country. Why are these men here as asylum seekers? And this is all the more relevant given that these new arrivals stage provocative political demonstrations in our capital city, declaring their loyalty to what they still see as their home country.
Who cares, says the British state, which grants 76% of asylum claims, as opposed to a European Union average of 34% and only 8% in France. A combination of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act via its national Referral mechanism, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, mean that one’s chances of facing deportation are practically nil. As Sam Ashworth-Hayes writes, if one’s asylum application does fail, he still has a higher than 50% chance of disappearing into the black-market economy, where one can still earn more than he would back home.
These numbers are staggering; however, they represent a continuation and elevation of the numbers that began immigrating to the United Kingdom after the 1997 victory of the New Labour government of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. The relaxation of the nation’s borders under the Blair government meant that the numbers coming quickly reached into the hundreds of thousands, both from within and without the European Union. As Konstantin Kisin has written, “more people settled in England during the height of…New Labour…than had arrived between 1066 and 1950. Let me say that again: more people came in a decade than had come in nine hundred years.”
It came to light in 2009 that according to Andrew Neather, speechwriter to Prime Minister Blair, “…mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural…and rub the right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.” The supposedly immigration-skeptical Conservative Party promised in its 2010 manifesto to reduce immigration to the “tens of thousands,” repeated this in 2015 and 2017, and still promised to reduce it in 2019. Instead, the party has enabled immigration numbers that make Prime Minister Blair look like a piker.
One result of all this movement is that Britain’s population stood at 63 million in 2011 at the last census. It now stands at almost 69 million, at 68,763,110. Most of this growth came from immigration rather than an increase among those already here, given that the British total fertility rate (TFR) was 1.56 when it was last recorded in 2020, well below replacement fertility of 2.1 children per woman. These immigration numbers are a symptom of what Ed West calls a global “age of restlessness” that has also seen more than three million immigrants illegally cross the Southern United States border since the start of President Joe Biden’s time in office. The result for the United Kingdom is that the foreign-born portion of our population now stands at almost 17%, at 16.8%. Those on the American right correctly note the historically high proportion of the United States population born abroad, standing at 14%. This is in a country that, while not founded as a “nation of immigrants,” has had more experience with the phenomenon, with successive waves through the 19th and 20th centuries, assimilated them, and has experienced growing waves since 1965.
By contrast, in Britain the numbers alone—never mind the national and cultural origin of those coming—are unprecedented. Those on the Left like to claim that Britain has always been a “nation of immigrants,” conflating successive invasions by Anglo-Saxons, Danes, and Normans into a disputed territory with millions of newcomers over a few decades. As an aside, this is a conflation that could work against the Left in ways it does not apparently foresee: I cannot think of many ways that could lend more credibility to the radical right’s argument that mass immigration constitutes an invasion, colonization, and replacement, for example.
The consequence of this mass movement of peoples into the United Kingdom is that in “1951 less than 4% of the population of England and Wales were foreign-born.” Even in 2001, this had doubled to only 8%. The fact is that, historically, Great Britain has had a remarkably stable demographic makeup for at least a thousand years, if not much longer. The idea that what we have experienced since 1997, and in particular over the last seven years, is in any way comparable or equivalent to the past is nonsense, at best, and disingenuous, at worst.
This attempt to conflate the present with the past is employed against anyone who notices that the British population is changing in composition as well as size. The British population was 86% white, 80% white British in 2011. Following the 2021 census, it is now 81.7% white, 74.4% white British. After this, the next most common ethnic group was “Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh,” standing at 9.3%. Those who identified their ethnic group as “Other” rose to 1.6%. Finally, those identifying as “Black, Black British, Black Welsh, Caribbean or African” also increased to 2.5%. London and Birmingham, the nation’s largest cities, are now minority white British. Since 2011, Birmingham’s white British population has fallen from 52% to 43%. In London, this has gone from 45% to 37%. The pace and scale of these changes will only increase, as the numbers coming from outside Europe are set to rise going forward in the wake of Brexit, leading to further changes.
Many in the commentariat and political class will look at these changes and either celebrate them as evidence of Britain’s increasing diversity and, therefore, its improving morality, or as ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary Sajid Javid did, just shrug and go “So what?” to any who raise these changes as perhaps not entirely positive in every respect. The fact that it is a generally accepted belief that we are not even meant to notice any of these changes (much less discuss any possible drawbacks in any serious way) is taken as axiomatic in our governing and commentary class. After all, if one is concerned that mass migration at such high levels over such a comparatively brief timespan might strain the social compact and the sense of who we are, or if there even is a “we” at all, then this is just a sign of blatant bigotry and prejudice. The reality that, as Amy Chua has shown, people are inherently groupish and tribal, and that these sort of changes are unprecedented, must be managed with prudence, and at least discussed, must all be placed beyond the cordon sanitaire of acceptable discourse.
And yet, rising numbers cannot accept these constrictions on the reality they can see just by looking around them. Polling has shown repeatedly that British citizens want immigration to be lower than it has been for the last 25 years, and definitely lower than its current highs. As Eric Kaufmann argues, the narrative that British people have grown more relaxed about immigration since Brexit in 2016 is not wholly accurate. YouGov has also shown that 50% think immigration has been too high over the last decade, opposed to 33% who think it has been at the right level. More recent data from November 7th, from More in Common and YouGov, show respectively that most 56% and 59% British voters want immigration reduced. As Kaufmann writes, “among Tory voters, these figures are a whopping 77% and 87%, respectively.” The salience of immigration as an issue has also risen from the report’s numbers of 10% but has risen to 33% labeling it their top issue according to YouGov.
As Goodwin found in his own representative polling, “six in ten…think the government has lost control of the borders. Only one in eight think they are in control. And three-quarters of the entire country now say the government is handling immigration badly.” Furthermore, “At 49 per cent, the number of people who reject the suggestion that somebody who has arrived unlawfully in Britain on a small boat from a safe country should be allowed to stay is significantly larger than the number, at 25 per cent, who think they should be allowed to stay. And when it comes to the specific issue of Albanians, a large majority of British people, 61 per cent, say ‘they should be required to leave the country and return to Albania.’” Moreover, most people reject transnational courts deciding asylum and refugee cases, and pluralities support offshoring asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Views on immigration are currently close to a consensus issue, not a culture-war cooked up by the right as some leftists argue. The fact is that the levels of immigration seen over the last couple of decades has eroded trust in our political institutions as said institutions have promised and failed to reduce it or even control it. This is not good for our political stability. Why is this happening, despite the fact that by many measures the United Kingdom is the least racist and the most tolerant of ethnic minorities and immigrants it has ever been and far more so than most of Europe? These are indisputably positive developments. But multiculturalism threatens to undermine this moderation of attitudes, and this cannot be wished or suppressed away.
As defined by the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, “multiculturalism reject[s] the ideal of the ‘melting pot’ in which members of minority groups are expected to assimilate into the dominant culture. Instead…multiculturalism endorse[s] an ideal in which members of minority groups can maintain their distinctive collective identities and practices.” Key multicultural theorists like Will Kymlicka argue that “mere toleration of group differences falls short of treating members of minority groups as equals; what is required is recognition and positive accommodation of minority group practices through what…Kymlicka has called ‘group-differentiated rights’.” Multiculturalism is, therefore, “closely associated with ‘identity politics,’ ‘the politics of difference,’ and ‘the politics of recognition,’ all of which share a commitment to revaluing disrespected identities and changing dominant patterns of representation and communication that marginalize certain groups,” groups and claims which include “religion, language, ethnicity, nationality, and race.”
In the United Kingdom, as Rumy Hasan writes, the concept of multiculturalism was made concrete at the start of the millennium in a report commissioned by the Runnymede Trust, dubbed The Parekh Report, titled “The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain.” It recommended that the New Labour government declare the United Kingdom to be a “multicultural society.” As Hasan argues, what unites the two multiculturalist groups of white progressives and ethnic minority political activists “is a commitment to anti-racism and anti-discrimination. Crucially multiculturalism can be seen as a logical outcome of the implementation of anti-racist policies, given that ‘cultural minorities’ are invariably ‘racial minorities’ in the Western context.” Furthermore, the white progressive multiculturalists’ obsession with past sins of imperialism, colonialism and racism is rooted in a kind of Protestant heresy, whereby as Paul Gottfried writes in Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt, “making others aware of one’s personal and ancestral guilt gives evidence of virtuous intention and signifies a reaching out to the benighted in one’s own society and to bigots and victims elsewhere. This may be seen as the operation of grace in a world steeped in sin as insensitivity.”
Multicultural discourse went mainstream from the late 1980s into the 1990s, with the United Kingdom redefined in the academic-think tank-NGO managerial complex as a “community of communities.” A new emphasis was placed on ethnic minorities not only as distinct groups but extending this into political action and discourse. Gottfried argues that “Identity, in the multicultural sense, is neither about universal qualities of likeness or unlikeness nor about acculturation, family bonding, and shared genes. Identity as here understood has a relational and confrontational content and is contingent for its own validation on those who bestow political acknowledgment.” As a result, “identity is something to be extended or withheld, depending on whether a person or collection of persons is beneficial to what the [managerial] regime in question is undertaking.” Those who dispute the managerial state’s narrative are anathematized in therapeutic language as ideologically unclean and politically immoral. The effect of all of this has been a shattering of the British sense of self into a collection of parallel communities, in which people live parallel lives walled off from their fellow subjects.
The fact that ‘wokeness,’ defined as “the sacralization of historically disadvantaged race, gender and sexual identity groups” has risen to institutional hegemony over the last few years is not an isolated case of ideological extremism. It simply builds on the multicultural doctrines already entrenched and implemented by the managerial state and its cultural legitimators and enforcers in the liberal Clerisy. After all, how much difference is there between multiculturalism and wokeness when Iris Young, a key multicultural theorist, writes in Justice and the Politics of Difference that “where social group differences exist and some groups are privileged while others are oppressed, social justice requires explicitly acknowledging and attending to those group differences in order to undermine oppression”?
The difference is one of degree of expression, rather than of ideological kind. The emphasis among both groups of multiculturalists on recognition of, celebration of, and reinforcement of group difference in order to undermine what they view as an inherently oppressive, mainstream hegemonic power has simply been radicalized by the woke New Moral Order through its instrument of the managerial state, disseminated through its digital megaphone.
The efforts of the multiculturalists and the adherents of the New Moral Order to position immigration and open borders as a road to a better tomorrow has consistently failed to win widespread support outside the overclass and Clerisy, as shown by the polling cited above.
The answer is one of speed and scale. To this point, Paul Embery writes of the disquiet among locals about mass immigration into the London borough of Dagenham: “Local people felt the way they did because their sense of order, and not their sense of race, had been violated.” Multiculturalism and the woke New Moral Order further the inherently destabilizing and divisive nature of migration that happens too fast and at too high of a level. The erosion in trust of political institutions cited above also extends to the cultural and professional realms. Evidence for this only requires people to “look around you,” as Sohrab Ahmari likes to say. Most of the least stable, most divided, and conflict-riven countries around the world possess a high level of diversity. At home, given that British culture is currently extremely atomized, with loneliness a huge problem among young and old alike; a sense of purpose and meaning absent from many people’s lives; social cohesion suffering from a decline in civic engagement and friendship, mass immigration is happening at a time when our society is least able to bear its costs.
One recent example of these costs in Britain came at the end of August and into the period of mourning following the Queen’s death. Intercommunal violence flared on the streets of Leicester between Islamist and Hindutva gangs, following a cricket match that apparently brought to a head tensions that had been simmering for a while. Chants were shouted by both sides against the other as large gangs faced off in the street. Outside agitators joined in to stir the roiling pot, disseminating their messages over social media.
These clashes represents the sharp end of a form of globalization that networks group competition and violence on a global-to-local level. This conflict is rooted in politico-religious tensions stemming from those between Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India. The High Commission of India called on the British government “to provide protection to the affected people.” When this violence was finally reported on it produced headlines such as “Leicester: Why the violent unrest was surprising to many,” the violence was blamed on the legacy of British imperialism in India and British racism at home.
Another example from this year was the report into the mass sexual abuse of 1,000 mostly white, working-class girls in Telford, mostly by men of a Pakistani background. This was just the latest in a litany of shame, with large provincial towns and small cities the length and breadth of England telling their own horror stories. It is likely that tens of thousands of girls were abused, some even killed, for decades. The authorities covered it up, arrested those parents who tried to intervene, and accused anyone who raised the catastrophe with the new therapeutic language of moral stain: racist, xenophobe, Islamophobe. The result was political polarization and a boost for support of the truly far-right British National Party.
In reality, multiculturalism enabled the violence in Leicester through its siloing of different religio-cultural groups, while mass immigration made worse it by bringing these groups at speed into the same area, with Leicester being one of the United Kingdom’s most diverse cities. Multiculturalism enabled the grooming gang scandals through its celebration and protection of some cultures at the expense of others, and the anathematizing of those who initially raised the alarm.
The dislocating effects of mass immigration on social cohesion and national solidarity, of which these examples were just an extreme manifestation, have been academically observed for years. Trust is the capital that our moral economy of boundaries of national belonging and exclusion, civic friendship and forgiveness, is built on. And yet, Robert Putnam found in 2007 that over the short-term, “immigration and ethnic diversity tend to reduce social solidarity and social capital. New evidence from the US suggests that in ethnically diverse neighborhoods residents of all races tend to ‘hunker down.’ Trust (even of one’s own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer.” Furthermore, a 2020 meta-analytical review of “the literature on the relationship between ethnic diversity and social trust” of “1,001 estimates from 87 studies” found that “a statistically significant negative relationship between ethnic diversity and social trust across all studies. The relationship is stronger for trust in neighbors and when ethnic diversity is measured more locally.”
A 2016 paper by the authors titled “Contested Boundaries” confirmed the fears about communal self-segregation that former Commission for Racial Equality head Trevor Phillips voiced in 2005, recently enacted on Leicester’s streets. Another paper by the authors demonstrated that rather than the size of the minority groups what mattered was variety, with greater variety leading to less fellow feeling, inducing dysfunctional government and declining social trust. The authors also found an integration paradox, whereby perceptions of discrimination are more common among second generation rather than first generation immigrants, particularly when the second generation is less educated. As such, on a population level, increased diversity means lower trust among people of the same and different ethnicities.
This same dynamic plays out on a smaller scale with the effect of increased diversity on team functioning in the workplace. Several studies have found that team cohesion, cooperation, and performance suffer from increasing diversity. Meanwhile, top-down enforced policies, as practiced by woke capital, “to moderate managerial bias through diversity training and diversity evaluations are least effective at increasing the share of white women, black women, and black men in management.” Finally, a study on the effect diversity goals had on perceptions of competence found that diversity policies as opposed to merit-based policies for hiring and workplace management led to negative assessments of female and black co-worker competence.
This all demonstrates that those who claim that we need immigrants to keep our economy growing, including the Social Market Foundation who recently suggested that the United Kingdom should expect a million immigrants per year for years to come due to an aging population and skills shortage, do not understand how aging works or that economic productivity could indeed be hampered by workforces less able to trust and cooperate with each other. Diversity is not an inherent social or economic strength.
Culture Matters More Than Multiculturalism Admits
The view of culture propounded by the adherents of multiculturalism is rich and diverse on the surface, but it ends up being a gray, homogenized soup of globally indistinguishable brands sitting in a deterritorialized state defined as an economic zone where the inhabitants maintain little sentiment or sympathy with one another.
In the multicultural worldview, all cultures are equal, so none really matter. Sameness is the death of true plurality and particularity. Nations are reduced to names on a map, drained of distinctive content and character, now deemed oppressive.
However, a society can only call itself worthy of the name when the majority of those who inhabit it view themselves and each other as mutually bonded by a shared language, religious traditions, commonly held legal structures, traditions, and customs, expressed through the public culture embodied in the nation’s political and cultural institutions. The theorist of nationalism Anthony D. Smith rejects the reductively materialist view of national culture as defined by biological ethnic attributes and genetic affinity. As Smith writes, “it is culture–and culture in relation to politics–that is central, not subjective attitudes or feelings” or biological relationality. He defines the nation as “a named and self-defining human community whose members cultivate shared memories, symbols, myths, traditions and values, inhabit and are attached to historic territories or ‘homelands,’ create and disseminate a distinctive public culture, and observe shared customs and standardized laws.”
Smith adopts an ethno-symbolic approach to studying the nation as a historically-embedded community over the longue durée. This emphasizes the centrality of myths, symbols and communication as the expression of different ethnies, which form and maintain a sense of self over the generations. As Smith has written, countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and others in Western Europe were indeed built around a core ethnie, which developed a myth-symbolic complex, but this does not mean they can never (or should never) include anyone else. The United Kingdom’s race relations are an example of success in this regard, despite the problems cited earlier. Almost 90% do not think one has to be white to be English, for example. Smith goes further, arguing that nations periodically undergo processes of reform, reinterpretation, and reappropriation of the memories, symbols, myths, traditions, and values that constitute the national sense of self, producing a synthesis between the past and the present. This tends to birth something neither wholly new nor the same, still rooted in the symbolic world of yesterday.
Continuity and change between the past, present, and future expresses itself through the continuation of “cultural elements and forms–ceremonies and rituals, institutions, customs, nomenclature, landscapes, styles, language and other codes,” which gives public expression to who we are as individuals and communities, as part of the larger national character. An example of this in the British context is the public ritual of Remembrance Sunday, when British subjects of all backgrounds gather together to remember the sacrifice and courage of those who gave their lives in war so that we might enjoy peace today. This form of commitment to commemoration is not immemorial but expresses in symbolic form the culture of Britain’s inhabitants, old and new, binding them through communal and national attachment to a simultaneously heroic and tragic past. For Smith, “just as the Cenotaph in London’s Whitehall, the tomb of everyone and no one, embraces the death and the resurrection of the whole community, so the annual re-enactment of the service of remembrance at its steps retraces the harsh narrative of loss and death and the promise of ultimate victory.”
This kind of reappropriation of a nation’s past in service to reattachment is relevant to the question of immigration and multiculturalism. Smith writes:
“As ‘zones of conflict,’ nations are well adapted to incorporating change and resynthesis. Indeed, recurrent debates about ‘national identity,’ even if they do not encourage cohesion, help to raise the level of national consciousness among all participants, as they force all parties to focus on the significance of national history and the desirability of rival visions of ‘national destiny.’”
But, also relevant for us here, Smith argues that the reformation and reinterpretation of the national past does not mean national identity is completely reformable or remoldable. Pace and scale of change are hugely significant. This is because, even though “change is built into the definition of national identity…it is change that operates within clear parameters set by the culture and traditions of the nation in question and its distinctive heritage. It could not be otherwise. Insofar as identity connotes a measure of stability, of sameness over time, change can only operate within clear boundaries.” This is crucial when it comes to the subject of immigration, diversity and multiculturalism, for those who arrive in the United Kingdom do not come as blank slates waiting for their new nation to write its cultural script on their souls. They bring their own cultural character and myth-symbolic complexes with them.
Garett Jones shows this in his recent book The Culture Transplant: How Migrants Make the Economies They Move To a Lot Like the Ones They Left. Jones relies on so-called “deep-roots” literature, which “looks at what today’s countries were like 500 to 2,500 years ago, in terms of level of governance, agricultural development, and technological development. It observes that what a country was like hundreds of years ago is a strong predictor of how developed it is today. More to Jones’s point, it observes that what a country’s people were like hundreds of years ago predicts what they are like today.”
Jones demonstrates that immigrants retain their culture long after they have settled in a new land, and they pass this on to successive generations. For Jones, a country’s prosperity is largely determined by its culture, particularly factors such as “frugality, trust in strangers, the importance of living near family, and opinions about government regulation.” This is especially the case in Western nations, what Joseph Henrich calls the W.E.I.R.D. world, (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic). The World Values Survey World Cultural Map confirms that Western Europe and the Anglosphere are defined by a psychology that is individualist, moralist, more abstract, and exhibits a high degree of impersonal prosociality. Henrich roots this psychological and cultural development in the long-term effects of the Catholic Church’s marriage policies that banned cousin marriage, created the nuclear family, and disembedded people from kin and clan networks. These universalized the Western mindscape, allowing for larger circles of trust and reciprocity that enabled the development of autonomous institutions and free markets.
By contrast, most immigrants to Britain and other Western nations come from backgrounds with a very different cultural psychology and approach life in different ways. One example of immigrants and their descendants retaining the values and norms rooted in their different cultural origins and thus their outlook on life relates to trust. Jones writes of a study on social trust which found that “46 percent of the home country attitude toward trust survived” in second-generation immigrants in the United States. This 46% persistence was found in fourth-generation immigrants as well.
This same retention was confirmed in another way by Henrich, who reports that “using data from the European Social Survey from roughly 14,000 second-generation immigrants spread across 36 countries, we can compare the psychological outcomes of individuals who were born and raised in the same European country but whose parents arrived from diverse places. We assigned each individual a value for the Kinship Intensity Index (KII) and the prevalence of cousin marriage based on either their parents’ countries of origin or the languages spoken in their homes. Then we analyzed the same four psychological dimensions studied above. The results are illuminating: individuals whose parents came from countries with higher Kinship Intensity Indices or more cousin marriage were more conformist-obedient, less individualistic-independent, and less inclined to trust or expect fair treatment from strangers. These relationships remain strong even after we statistically accounted for differences in income, education, religious denomination, religiosity, and even people’s personal experience of discrimination.”
Furthermore, “the consistent and robust impact of historical kinship intensity on the psychology of second-generation immigrants reveals that an important component of these psychological effects is transmitted from one generation to the next, and not simply due to people’s direct exposure to poor governments, social safety nets, particular climates, endemic diseases, or oppression by the native population in the immigrant’s new home. Rather, these psychological differences persist in the adult children of immigrants both because migrants often re-create the intensive kin-based institutions found in their countries of origin (e.g., arranged marriages with cousins) and because particular ways of thinking and feeling are learned from parents, siblings, and those in newly formed social networks.”
This is not a value judgment of those who come here, but it is to argue that culture and the worldviews it produces matters, but not in the way the multiculturalists and the woke New Moral Order think it does.
As a result, the large differences in cultural background and psychological outlook mean that the mass immigration considered above, at high levels, recently soaring and set to continue, is not something to be taken lightly. This is especially true given its effects on social trust and cohesion, as well as its destabilizing effects on national identity. The pace and scale of change is the issue, not the fact of change itself, given Britain’s altering perspectives on racial diversity. The pace of immigration must be slowed to allow the speed of cultural and demographic change that is already baked in to decelerate to a point at which people can adapt to it.
But multiculturalism undermines any arguments or efforts to the contrary. It furthers the destabilization and division by attacking the sources of cultural cohesiveness and fellow feeling that could bind different groups together through their adoption, over time, of the myth-symbolic complex of our national identity, developed, reinterpreted, and reappropriated down the generations to meet the changes and challenges of history. The recent attacks by the woke New Moral Order on all of these myths, symbols, traditions, customs, and values rooted in the British past as bearers of white supremacy, patriarchy, xenophobia, and Islamophobia represent a radicalization of the multicultural attempt at the liquification of who we are, a liquification that is potentially alienating to many immigrants as well.
Given that we should all wish and aim for a stable, orderly, and civilized public culture rooted in the British past but changing within limits to meet an uncertain future, the multicultural and woke attacks must be seen as the suicidal madness they are, leading either to a breakdown in social harmony and order, or the imposition of a less democratic form of leadership to contain the consequences. Neither is desirable, for Britons old or new.
Henry George is a writer from the United Kingdom, focusing on politics, political philosophy, and culture. He has also written at Quillette, UnHerd, Arc Digital, The University Bookman, and Intercollegiate Review.