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02/11/2011

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Salem

This was an excellent post, and you've inspired me to start writing something of my own about this.

Bradley J Borougerdi

Excellent post (although I did not read all of it). You are very right on the Iranian issue. Actually, the left in Iran (which I wrote an M.A. thesis over some years back) ironically helped the Mullahs come to power, which was a very bad mistake on their part (as you pointed out). They still have not recovered from the defeat, and were actually much better off under the Shah!

If you mean by Westernize that they need to be accepting of others' views but can still keep theirs, then I agree with you. Immigrants can come to this country and practice their own culture to the fullest, as long as they realize that others do not have to follow in their foot steps.

Another comment I would like to make is on the issue of third world countries and the problems that usually stem from the people deciding. In most third world countries (particularly in the Middle East and Africa), tribalism significantly outweighs the nation state, and I think this countributes to a great deal of factionalism which caused many of the problems you point out.

Finally, I am still confused about this term multiculturalism. As far as I have understood it, this term refers to the diverse nature of a given society in regards to the number of cultural groups that exist in that society. The United States is multicultural because we have multiple cultures. When did this term start referring to something different?

John Pepple

Hi Bradley:
Thanks for the post. As far as I can tell, multiculturalism means something beyond the mere fact that people of different cultures live here in the U.S. The old description of this was that we lived in a melting pot, but the left didn't like that idea. It preferred the idea that different cultures should be allowed to keep their own cultures instead of having to assimilate.

One obvious problem that this entails is if you have culture A whose members are bound and determined to wipe out all members of culture B, and vice versa. Another obvious problem is when immigrants decide they want to remake all of the West to be just like their culture back home. Why come here at all, then?

People who come here to the West need to make some compromises in terms of assimilating. I don't think the old method was great, but it's better than simply allowing people who hate the West to live here and take over.

And then there's the problem that I pointed out in my soccer book, that multiculturalists here in America say that immigrants don't need to assimilate and say that Americans ought to respect other cultures, but give no indication that any of this applies to the sports of those other cultures.

John Pepple

Bradley, I should add that during the 1970s and 1980s when I was a grad student, I spent lots of time playing soccer with (though mostly against) many Iranian foreign students. I don't regret a minute of it and was glad they were around.

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