Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The multicultural fear factor

9 September 2016


Last Sunday, the Dutch PM stated in a Dutch public TV broadcast that he loathes the words “multicultural society”. In his view, the Dutch society is compartmentalised along cultural lines. Multicultural compartmentalisation – or “pillarisation” – is indeed a more appropriate word to describe our societies. A recent Washington Post article makes clear that these issues are not at all typically Dutch. Apparently, the US melting pot concept is being attacked from all sides.

The melting pot concept assumes melting and thus blending in. The public US labelling of cultural compartments (eg, African Americans) already suggests a failure of the melting pot concept. Once there were Indians and (European) settlers. Today there are Native Americans and Americans, but no European or white Americans. I rest my case.

The Donald Trump presidential campaign leverages on this implicit meaning of the word American. The Alt-right movement (eg, KKK) has understood that message of white supremacy very well. I start to sympathise with Americans who claim that Donald Trump is not an American export product but a European import product. The European support to the 2016 American presidential election indeed underlines this (eg, Farage, Le Pen, Wilders).

The melting pot concept came with naïve and good intentions. For a long time, the American multicultural society was united by one common language. The swift rise of the Spanish language as the informal national language, along certain cultural lines, is astonishing. A growing number of US news reports already suggest that (white) Americans are upset by this use of Spanish (eg, Quora, WP)

The bitter irony is that white Americans do not agree about the implicit meaning of the word American. This difference of opinion is probably the ultimate explanation why two white presidential candidates loathe each other. Both are a traitor in the eyes of the other with respect to the American (multicultural) society. It’s a European (white) ideological fight on American turf.

Fear and Love are essential in my concept of the 7 Belief systems. Both Fear (whether false or genuine) and Love can unite people. False fear will sooner or later run out of steam. Genuine fears last long. Fear and Love are dominant in all of the 7 Belief systems: the love for a certain Belief is often the fear of someone else.

In general, a country unites in the view of a common enemy that threatens the lives of all former adversaries (eg, post coup politics in Turkey). So far, fear over climate change (Science) hasn’t been able to unite people. Money and Religion (Power domain) have never been able to unite people. Only Love can bridge gaps (eg, race, religion, sexuality). However, Stevie Wonder already noticed in 1976 that “Love’s in need of Love today” (lyrics, video, Wiki).

Using the fear factor in Politics for uniting people, may create expectations beyond a leader’s control. Henry Kissinger was once quoted saying that “It is not often that nations learn from the past, even rarer that they draw the correct conclusions from it.” Groucho Marx was even more to the point: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me (1984) – artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

I’m just an average man, with an average life

I work from nine to five; hey hell, I pay the price

All I want is to be left alone in my average home

But why do I always feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone, and

I always feel like somebody’s watching me

And I have no privacy

Woh, I always feel like somebody’s watching me

Tell me is it just a dream?

Note: the 2nd voice is indeed of Michael Jackson


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