As we await this week’s vote for Scotland’s independence, my thoughts again turn to culture and its role in shaping a people and structuring a society. Reviewing some of these notions with you at this time might even pique some discussion. The basic idea here is that what a society can/will or cannot/will not do is constrained and guided by its culture. Today Scotland is not alone in the desire for its culturally cohesive population to have a country where Scots can work and live according to their own laws and traditions, and according to their own values and mores, speaking their own language. This is an ancient desire shared by all people around the world who have grown up in strong culture-defined communities. Such life has given rise to powerful sentiments expressed in art and literature, and sentiments that have also led to revolutions, wars, and migrations.
Today, perhaps more than ever before, we see such movements of people wanting to relearn their heritage and band together with those like-minded to see if they too could improve their lot by mutually embracing their roots and working together in closer harmony. The Scots are not alone. Since the Treaty of Versailles (end of WW1), and again since the Cold War ended, we have seen dozens of culturally cohesive peoples gather together to work toward their ultimate mono-cultural independence. Here the Scots are joined by the Catalans, Basques, Flemish, Kurds, Shias, Sunnis, …, and cohorts of USSR transplanted Russian speakers living in Russia’s ‘near abroad’.
From the opposite perspective, one of the lures of collectivism (especially in its Marxist-Leninist form) was the gathering of all peoples into one peaceful and productive global society to create an undifferentiated amalgam of humanity. This would be achieved by the shedding of multitudes of discriminating and chafing cultures, and in their place adopting one common social contract that would be dictated by the over-arching state and imposed equally on all. But again it has turned out that this is not how the realworld works.
It is obvious to all but the ideologically blindered that the form and function of multi-culturalism as promoted by progressives is grossly in error, and a stifling of all societies that have attempted to implement it. Penning in different cultures on the same land mass, and then keeping them ‘peacefully’ in line by the government gun has satisfied no one. Instead such autocratic cum tyrannical governance has exacerbated the cultural and ethnic divisions in these forcefully amalgamated populations. As Chancellor Angela Merkel said, after years of Germany’s heroic attempts to assimilate its recently imported ethnicities from Eastern Europe, the Mideast, and Africa, “Multi-kulti does not work.”