Choosing Not to Choose


Matthew Stewart has a post over at City Journal titled Multiculturalism, or Cultural Appropriation? in which he make a case that Progressives need to decide between one or the other. It looks at history and the facts and concludes

Another puzzling aspect of the cultural-appropriation focus is that it seems clearly to clash with another progressive imperative: the need to nurture multicultural appreciation. Multiculturalism has been a prominent cause among progressives for more than a generation, but today, admiration for other cultures apparently comes with a warning sign: look, but don’t adopt, lest you face accusations of “theft” or insensitivity.

Most reasonable people have no trouble understanding that to adopt an artifact or practice doesn’t diminish the culture from which it originates. “You can’t steal a culture,” as Columbia University linguist John McWhorter has observed. Cultural exchange is enriching, not impoverishing, and imitation remains, as in the old formulation, the sincerest form of flattery. It’s time for progressives to decide between embracing multiculturalism or policing “cultural appropriation.” They can’t have it both ways.

The Progressive position flies in the face of the logical principle that A is not not-A which our culture inherited from the ancient Greeks. But Progressives never let logic or the facts get in the way of their desire to be in control. O’Brien explained it this way—

‘You are a slow learner, Winston,’ said O’Brien gently.

‘How can I help it?’ he blubbered. ‘How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.’

‘Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.’

And have you noticed that Progressives keep trying to change the meanings of words?