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The Forum > Article Comments > Why a sustainable Australia needs multiculturalism > Comments

Why a sustainable Australia needs multiculturalism : Comments

By Andrew Jakubowicz, published 20/8/2010

Neither of the major parties has a policy that addresses cultural diversity as a dimension of policy planning.

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I am a passionate supporter of multiculturalism; indeed I have spent much of my working life promoting the value of cultural diversity. I am also an advocate of a moratorium on migration or more precisely a moratorium on migration of choice. By migration of choice I am distinguishing between asylum seekers and refugees who are not migrants of choice - these are generally people who would much prefer not to migrate but they have no realistic choice but to migrate. Similarly the family reunion programme falls outside of the moratorium A moratorium on migration does not imply a denial of the value that cultural diversity has brought to Australia, nor should it give comfort to the racists whose opposition to migration is limited to a certain type of migrant.
Equally a moratorium on migration implies the need to put in place a well considered migration policy. Those of us who have been working in this area are only too well aware that the existing migration policy is a dog's breakfast.
Posted by BAYGON, Friday, 20 August 2010 1:03:54 PM
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Dick's program pointed out that the 4% growth since Howard was not matched with appropriate infrastructure spending. The growth benefited very few financially, and disadvantaged many through crowded hospitals, roads, schools and the lack of police, housing, schools, etc.
Sorry if this may risk associating immigrants with the issues that uncontrolled, irresponsible immigration causes...but to ignore the real issues because of a small racist crowd is missing the point and frankly, disingenuous.
Australians have some genuine issues with incompatible cultures. Folks have a right to defend their own culture against peoples who would come here and demand things done *their* way. Raising the "racist" card every time population or cultural issue are raised is a pretty tiresome and offensive form of argument.
It is not skin colour or genetics, it is *behaviour* that folks are objecting to. It is not only OK to expect standards of behaviour, it is the reason western cultures were able to develop into the modern economies and industries that the world enjoys today. Liberal (thats the small "l" variety) is a necessary trait when dealing with experts, professionals and enlightened workforce. The conservative top-down society cannot work with high technology as modern tech requires that expert labour be empowered, not controlled.
If multiculturalism succeeds in winding back the culture that enabled modern industry and economy then it is no less than killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Perhaps the imported cultures can learn a little humility and learn about us before they discard and abuse our culture.
I'm sick of people winging about the rights of imported cultures while systematically abusing and destroying the local one. Don't expect the fix the situation by demanding more respect whilst refusing to offer the same to those who were born here. Gross hypocrisy tend to make people angry, and this does not help anyone.
Posted by Ozandy, Friday, 20 August 2010 2:23:12 PM
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Hi Baygon

I wonder if it's possible to have a calm rational discussion about this usually emotive issue ?

Considering the topic "Sustainable"= "need diverse cultures" is quite irrational, I hope we can make a go of it.

The professor has simply restated his particular bandwagon, and I always wonder when someone who's ethno/religious/cultural background is NOT mainstream Aussie, makes such calls?

It should be abundantly clear that 'cultural diversity' has absolutely zero to do with 'sustainability'...which is more of an economic issue.

But to our discussion. Could you explain how 'cultural' diversity contributes to 'racial harmony' ? Because culture is usually connected to race...right?

So.. you have a number of groups with different social and/or religious values, often which conflict with others....
Is that more likely to result in conflict or.. peace?

Examples are too numerous to cite many, but one from the UK where Hindu's were adamant that a 'holy cow' they had embraced religiously could not under any circumstances be culled as a precaution over foot and mouth disease.

This immediately polarized the community.

Do you (Baygon) see a way around this ?

a) Give in to the Hindu's and the Anglo's are angry, frustrated and will begin to have ill feeling for those they identify as "Hindu's"
b) Deny them and the Hindu's will have ill feeling toward Anglo's.

Who wins here?
Posted by ALGOREisRICH, Friday, 20 August 2010 9:53:09 PM
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I agree the linking with culture and sustainability is somewhat odd. But your substantive question relates to the possibilities of diverse cultures living together.
There is ample evidence that cultural diversity is not necessarily divisive. The notion of core values is central to any discussion of Australian multiculturalism. It also known as the idea of public reason
( In essence it holds that when we demand that everyone conform to a particular standard we must be able to justify that standard independently of a particular belief.
For example the recent WA court decision demanding that a witness discard the Burqa for her court appearance respected the Woman's religious beliefs but was based on the fact that the role of the court is to ensure procedural fairness for all parties in a dispute. However, to demand that the woman discard the Burqa when she is just walking down the street would be unreasonable for whilst we may find that an odd way to dress our feelings are irrelevant. A more common complaint is when people object to people using a language other than English when speaking to one another - how people choose to carry on a private conversation is no one else's business but theirs.
The polarization that you refer to is due to an expectation that everyone behaves as we do I would argue that is unreasonable expectation.
It is also clear from our experience in Australia that as we become familiar with other cultures they also become less threatening. In the sixties there were lots of objections to Italian and Greek cultures, in the late seventies we saw objections to Asian cultures today it is African and Arab cultures part of the reason we are uncomfortable with those cultures is because we do not understand them but over time the hard edges of the different cultures become softened.
It is a complex issue perhaps one of the best discussions is to be found in Hofstede's book Cultures and Organizations.
Posted by BAYGON, Friday, 20 August 2010 10:42:23 PM
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cont. The specific example you raise regarding the Hindu cow is catered for by an appeal to public reason. There is simply no question here - foot and mouth is a threat to the entire community, the only known solution is the killing of infected animals - the cow is infected so it has to be put down.
If the Hindu community were able to come up with a solution that guaranteed that the cow would not infect other animals, that it would not leave the potential of fresh outbreaks of foot and mouth then there would be no problem - for example it may well have been possible for the Hindu community to create an island on which the cow lived the remainder of her days in isolation then that may well have served the purpose.
Posted by BAYGON, Friday, 20 August 2010 10:48:38 PM
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Why do so many people want to see the White population of Australia diminished?

Racial diversity (not cultural, another lie,culture is transferable and means nothing in this context) means reducing the White population, it means less White babies will be born, how is this a good thing?
Why not just re stock the "Aging"country with young White people from Russia, Poland,Hungary or Romania?
I mean they're poor too right? The level of poverty in some parts of Eastern Europe is actually worse than India, around 60%.
They bring skills as well as diverse attitudes and cultures don't they?
What about poor White people? Don't they deserve a better life or does Brown skin automatically make someone more deserving?
The program is White Genocide through assimilation and Ethnic conflict is the model that's being used to batter us into compliance.
My advice to non white migrants: Stay out of the way and live your lives, there's another global civil war brewing between the Pro Whites and those who are Pro White Genocide, it doesn't concern you and taking sides will only see you dragged before the coming Tribunals with the pink cheeked Traitors and their allies.
Posted by Jay Of Melbourne, Saturday, 21 August 2010 12:32:22 AM
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